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Congress as an Ineffective Policy Maker Essay

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Updated: Jun 7th, 2020

Policy-making is the duty of the Congress since time immemorial. In fact, when Congress members get into power they sign up for the policy-making duties as required by the law. The Congress over the years has been making policies that help its citizens to have a better life. When there is any crisis, they have to attend to it through making policies to avoid various crises or reduce their impacts on the country. Of late though, it seems like these people are sleeping on their job. The policies enacted are turning out to be ineffective. For instance, there is fear that the Congress is ignoring important issues and would become ineffective policy makers. The public is not sure of the way various policies are made and are concerned if the method will be able to meet future challenges.

The power of a government is dependent and closely linked to the power of policy-making. Thus, the whole country is relying on it. When policies fail, the whole country falls into turmoil. Policy-making is difficult in the Congress and the process tends not workout due to the struggle for power between the branches namely the executive and legislature. The president sometimes makes decisions without consultation, and this usually does not go well with the Congress (Jacobson, Kernell & Smith 2014).

Thus, they do not act believing that the president is sidelining the Congress. There is no detailed description and division of responsibilities and the process is often slowed down. The foreign policy is one of the policies with such issues. The political system that exists has divided power between the legislature, executive, and judiciary. There is always war when it comes to making and enacting the foreign policy. Each side wants the power and authority for decision-making. There are continuous debates with responsibilities associated with the foreign policy. The president is the dominant authority, but he has some constraints. Sometimes the president makes a decision before the Congress is informed forcing the Congress to support him (Nagel 1994).

Good policies are made when technocratic and political issues are combined. Political support needs to be obtained from both the ruling team and the opposition. Technocratic issues involve looking for what will work and developing a policy and implementation design. The Congress ignores the role these two parties play in making a policy. Thus, the Congress breaches the hopes for an effective relationship. Passing a policy becomes difficult at this point given that when the opposition is not consulted, they are bound not to support the policy (Schneider, Koempel & Koempel 2012). The opposition will claim to be looking out for the public while they are only pushing for their political agendas.

Recently, many policies have failed. In fact, such policies were not designed well and not that they were bad ideas. The Congress when making a policy tends to ignore the design. What the house fails to understand is that a design helps it to see that the planned actions for achieving the policy aims are viable and realistic. The purpose of the policy becomes integrated, and the purpose will be achieved. When the house fails to consider these implications, the policy becomes ineffective and results in waste of time and resources.

Transparency and accountability are very important in a policy making process. The problem with the current Congress is that no one is willing to be accountable for his or her actions. When a process is transparent, it is easier to achieve the expected results. It helps everyone involved to start adjusting to the change that is coming. Their consultation is done in secret so that when a policy backfires fingers are pointed in every direction. With the kind of secrecy observed, the public ends up not having any idea on the policy that is going affect life (Jacobson, Kernell & Smith 2014).

To make a decision, one has to have background information about the issue. A little research needs to be done to get all the facts straight up. Simple policy decisions require in-depth analysis of the condition at hand and the previous situations. There are rules to be followed when making a policy, but these are of no use if the policy makers have little information about the issue at hand. Members of the Congress spend very little time gathering information about a policy they are to make. Their time is limited and thus cannot attend all the meetings. More often, they depend on what their colleagues or party leader tells them (Schneider, Koempel & Koempel 2012).

Members of the Congress are bound to be ineffective since decisions are influenced by other team players and not the needs and wants of the local citizens. Legislators are influenced by their acquaintances that have only a little knowledge about a particular issue. They pay close attention to what their respected colleagues have to say (Spanier & Nogee 2013). People always have different interests and direct their legislature friends to the direction of their interests.

The Congress only takes action to work on policies when a problem arises. The implementation lag is created as this is the period between recognition of a problem and the enactment of the policy. The time lag often causes the problem to grow making it even more difficult to solve (Graham 2010). At times when the policies have been made, it becomes the time when the Congress realizes that they need a different approach. The act proves the ineffectiveness of the Congress.

The Congress is becoming ineffective given that it often acts superficially and quickly without considering the issue at hand. It does not coordinate the different opinions in the countries and ends up making decisions without considering them (Nagel 1994). The Congress often sticks to the laid principles and never gets anything done instead of deciding to compromise issues at times.

The Congress is not effective in policy making since they earn political favors than do what they are supposed to do. The Congress gives ordinary citizens little attention while they only take care of their self-interests. They do not even know the problems facing the ordinary citizen. Members of the Congress have a tendency to be rude in their behavior and speech towards the citizens. The position of the Congress member is determined by the party leadership, and they have to support their party at all times to have power. Thus, the political party will be the determinant of what passes in Congress (Graham 2010).

There is little consultation when it comes to policy-making in the Congress. The executive do not treat Congress as an equal partner in the decision-making process (Spanier & Nogee 2013). The lack of consultation makes the Congress agree on some policies that are not efficient.

The Congress is very important and affects the daily lives of ordinary citizens. The current house is not efficient as the other Congress. The problem is that they are self-centered and only think of their interests especially those involving power. The house is not efficient in policy-making and getting things done (Graham 2010). The prevailing situation is bound to make the Congress inefficient in policy-making.

Reference list

Graham, J 2010, Bush on the home front: domestic policy triumphs and setbacks, Indiana University Press, New Delhi. Web.

Jacobson, G, Kernell, S & Smith, S 2014, The logic of American politics, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, California. Web.

Nagel, S 1994, Encyclopedia of policy studies, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Web.

Schneider, J, Koempel, M & Koempel, M 2012, Congressional deskbook: the practical and comprehensive guide to congress, The Capitol Net Inc, SE, Washington. Web.

Spanier, J. & Nogee, J 2013, Congress, the presidency and American foreign policy: pergamon policy studies on international politics, Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA. Web.

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