Congressional decision-making: testing constituent interest versus the national interest
Wilson, Tevin Devon
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Congressional decision-making involves making representatives subject to different factors that can influence their decisions. Constituents can be an important influencer because members of Congress are sent to Washington to represent them, but the national interest can play a role on some issues. The approach of this paper takes a look at what factors influence members of Congress when they are deciding how to vote. Trade and the relationship between the United States and China are used because of the complexity of the issue and the overlap between constituency interest and the national interest. This paper theorizes that members of Congress depending on the importance of trade, with China, to their district or what committee members sit on impact their decision-making. The end result of this study shows little to no support for theories laid out in the paper, but the overall concept of the papers warranted consideration.