Policy Making Process

PolicyMaking Process


Theprimary lawmaking agency in the United States is the House ofRepresentative and the Senate. However, this is not the only groupsengaged in making thousands and thousands of laws that govern thepeople of the United States. America has a complicated and complexlaw making system, and it would be difficult to mention preciselythose who handle law making. Its system of devolved government withindependent states increases the complication in the law making andenforcement process. Who comes up with the various policies that areused to operationalize the law? The constitution grants the twoparliaments an express authority to make laws and policies. Theoffice of the president commonly referred to as the White House, havean express or implied authority from the law to make the laws. TheDemocratic and Republican political parties have an influence on thepolicies made because they are the dominant factors in the twohouses. Courts and the judicial system in general in some cases makelaws which the Constitution upholds. Federal Bureau and agencies areknown to make policies that help the White House administration toexecute its mandate. How does all these parties influence policymaking and which groups have a greater influence on the policy?


Democraticand Republican are the two dominant political parties in the historyof the United States politics. Republics are viewed as conservativeand those who promote racism and neglect equality on their policies.On the other hand, Democrats campaign is designed to promise theAmerican people that they would draft and pass policies that wouldpromote equality. In this aspect, the political party that head theexecutive arm will develop policies to fulfill its manifesto.Nevertheless, the American people will hold the leaders accountablefor what they have done to promote economic development, cut downspending, promote healthcare, and good governance. When PresidentObama was elected in 2008, the Democrats had a majority in both thesenate and house of representative. Failure to perform as expectedled to the loss of confidence in the people and placed the democrat`sre-election chances lower. Political parties were formed on differingprinciples, and members do not deviate from the policy proposition oftheir political parties.


Congressis the United States House consisting of 100 senators from the fiftystates each state providing two. It is mandated with theresponsibility of ratifying presidential appointees, triesimpeachment cases and ratifies treaties. Congress can also make lawsas prescribed by the constitution at its discretion. Many members othe Senate are non-partisan compared their House of Representativescounterparts. Congress can influence many policies made by the WhiteHouse because they require its approval. The budgeting process isindependently reviewed by Senate and alterations are madeappropriately. However, despite the fallacy that members areindependent, many members of Congress have conflicting goals thatrevolve around re-election. Therefore, they support policiesregarding status quo with an aim of seeking re-election. The memberstake care of their interest acting as delegates instead of a trustee.However, in some incidence, the White House can use its massivestrength House to pass unpopular policies since they are undisputableby the commanding numerical strength.

TheOffice of the President

Thepowers bestowed upon the holder of the holder of White Houseauthority makes them able to influence policies in some ways.President’s mostly use the executive order, presidentialdeclaration and, or a presidential directive to initiate a policy.These declarations are directed to the state officials or agencyproviding authority to implement a certain policy as directed in theorder. Executive orders should be registered in the federal registerbefore it comes operationally. All presidential orders are notpopular, and some have been declared unconstitutional in the Americanhistory. The presidential orders, declarations or directives remainoperational until the next president is elected or until a time whenthe declaration fulfills its goal. White House can influence thedecision of the congress and house of representative given the powerenjoyed by its authority.


Inits effort to provide service to its people, the executive arm of thegovernment of united states has set up many bureaucratic agencies tohelp in this function. These agencies act as independent bodies whileothers are open to scrutiny by other bodies. Securities agenciesincluding the CIA and the secret service are only under the WhiteHouse, and no other body can directly influence their operations. Inthe same category, regulatory authorities and agencies are created tocreate policies necessary to implement the certain measure.Environmental regulation, intelligence organs, administration agency,homeland securities are some of the bureaucratic agencies. Theagencies formulate policies as they deem fit to regulate and executetheir legal mandate. They also help Congress and the house ofrepresentative in drafting laws and regulatory bills.


Courtsare mandated with the role of interpreting the Constitution andmediate in cases of a crisis in the interpretation and operation oflaw. Judicial precedence is called cases because they are bindingrewards in court. Subsequent cases may be determined in the same way,and courts are not expected to deviate from the same as long as allfactors have been met. However, in policy making, courts play animport role. In policy formulation, the government is expected touphold the basic constitutional stipulations. However, the WhiteHouse in some cases neglects some constitution clause and come upwith policies that contravene and abuse the Constitution. The courtscan be used to suspend such policies on grounds of constitutionabuse. An example would President Truman order during the Korean War,which was struck down citing unconstitutionality. Courts are thecustodians of law and would not fail if requested to interpret thelaw accordingly.


Allthe above parties have an influence on the policy formulationprocess. However, all the parties have a different intensity ofinfluence on the policies. Some have a greater influence while othershave limited influence, and that influence is dependent on otherfactors. The Congress and the office of the president have adominating role in policy formulation. The two parties work closelybecause many of the presidential nominees are approved by Congress.The federal budget is also controlled and finalized by the Congress.The court also has a huge impact on policy formulation. However,courts are limited to policies that seek judicial review. Courtscannot, in themselves initiate judicial review and the same must comefrom a member of the public. Policies constitutionality can only bedeclared by the courts, and that is why it is an important player inpolicy formulation. Nevertheless, the others are important policymakers although their influence is not as massive as that of thecongress, the White House, and federal courts.