The V-22: A Turning Point in Congressional Behavior?
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Why do legislators vote for some defense programs but against others This issue is especially important now that Congress faces the need to cut defense programs while preserving U.S. security. The history of the V-22 offers a prime case study for examining congressional voting behavior for the post-Cold War era. This thesis reviews the literature on three possible explanations for congressional voting behavior parochialism the desire to benefit constituents , the Military-Industrial Complex or MIC where votes are bought by industry campaign contributions, and the personal preferences of individual members. The thesis uses logit equations to test and assess the validity of these hypotheses in the case of the V-22. No reliable connection was found between personal preference and voting on the V-22. Liberal Democrats that were assumed to be dovish on defense spending were just as likely as hawkish conservative Republicans to support this program. Nor was any evidence found to support the MIC hypothesis that voting behavior is driven by PAC dollars. The likelihood of a representative supporting the V-22 actually decreased as PAC contributions Increased. The parochial hypothesis was supported in the House but not in the Senate. Further research is required to find alternative explanations for defense voting behavior in the post-Cold War era.
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