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Money set aside (by the legislature) for a specific purpose.

Example: Money appropriated for highways.


A system of departments and agencies formed to carry out the work of government.

iron triangle

A close relationship between an agency, a congressional committee, and an interest group.

Example: A relationship between the American Forest Foundation, U.S. environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Senate Committee of Environment.

issue network

A policy-making alliance among loosely connected participants that comes together on a particular issue, then disbands.

EPA (Enivromental Protection Agency)

An independent federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment.

FDA (Food and Drug Association)

A federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products

Independent regulatory agencies

Federal regulatory agencies that are independent, thus not fully under the power of the president.

Example: Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission.

Interstate Commerce Commission

A former independent federal agency that supervised and set rates for carriers that transported goods and people between states. First federal agency

civil servant

A public official who is a member of the civil service.

red tape

Complex bureaucratic rules and procedures that must be followed to get something done.

annual authorizations

Limits in legislative committee that state the maximum amount of money that an agency may spend on a given program. This authorization must be renewed each year, or the program or agency goes out of business.

congressional oversight

The United States Congress has the authority to conduct hearings, investigations, and budget reviews of the actions by the executive branch.

discretionary authority

The extent to which appointed bureaucrats can choose coarses of action and make policies that are not spelled out in advance by laws.

FAA (Federal Aviation Association)

An agency in the Department of Transportation that is responsible for the safety of civilian aviation.

FTC (Federal Trade Commision)

An independent agency of the United States fedeal government that maintains fair and free competition.

FCC (Federal Communications Commission)

An independent governmeent agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio and television and wire and cable and satellite

spoils system

The system of employing and promoting civil servants who are friends and supporters of the group in power.

Independent executive agencies

A federal agency who specializes in one area that is not part of a cabinet department but reports directly to the president.
Example:CIA, NASA

legislative veto

The authority of Congress to block a presidential action after it has taken place. The Supreme Court has held that Congress does not have this power.


Advantages derived from performance.

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