Evolution of the Republican Study Committee
Feulner, Edwin John
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The Republican Study Committee (RSC) is an ideological faction within the U.S. Congress which was formed in 1973 and consists of conservative Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives. This thesis analyzes the purposes for which the group was formed and the impact which it has had in the Congress. The RSC was not formed before 1973 because the need for a distinct ideological faction was not recognized by conservatives prior to that time. The RSC was patterned after the Democratic Study Group (of liberal Democrats), and its importance quickly surpassed the Wednesday Group (of liberal Republicans) in the structure of the House. The Republican Study Committee plays several roles in Congress, each of which is examined in this thesis. It acts as a legislative coordinating and strategy group providing staff resources to its members for joint activities. This allows junior members of the House, who do not have access to other forms of research staff assistance, to use policy staff on specific legislative issues. It provides the opportunity for academic conservatives to participate in the public policy process. It functions as the "inside" vehicle in the House of Representatives where it works with "outside" organizations on legislative activities, including its Senate counterpart, the Senate Steering Committee, and the Executive Branch of the federal government. It performs an electoral function, participates in national Republican party activities, publishes works through its related RSC Campaign Fund, and it works as a service bureau for conservative Republican congressmen who support the staff of the RSC through their individual staff allocations. The Republican Study Committee has become a recognized faction in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has developed a larger membership base in the party, and most recently, it has shifted from an "entrepreneurial" organization to a "managerial" organization. The author of this thesis served as the executive director of the Republican Study Committee during much of its formative period. This position has allowed the author to interview the principal participants in the RSC's formation, discuss their perspectives on the RSC and consider a substantial body of literature pertaining to Congress in this light. This thesis analyzes the RSC's development as a new body in the institutional framework of the U.S. House of Representatives and projects its future.