New Research – When House Members Don’t Like Pork

Pam Clouser McCann and I have published a paper in Legislative Studies Quarterly that examines the influence of decentralized administration through grant-in-aid programs on congressional role call voting.  The last working paper version can be accessed on SSRN and the abstract appears below.

Congress packages pork-barrel spending in complicated proposals that belie theories of distributive politics. We theorize that roll-call voting on such bills depends on grant programs’ administrative centralization, party ties with presidents or home-state governors, and differences in geographic representation between chambers. Analyzing votes between 1973-2010 using a within-legislator strategy reveals that House members are less likely to support decentralized spending when they are co-partisans with presidents, while senators support decentralization regardless of such party ties. When House members or senators share affiliation with only governors or with neither chief executive, the likelihood of support rises with decentralization.