Diversity and Minority Interest Group Advocacy in Congress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the role that racial and ethnic diversity plays in improving the legislative success of minority interest groups. Relying on campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures to explain minority interest groups’ influence on legislators’ behavior is not sufficient, because most minority organizations are public charities, or 501(c)(3) organizations, and as such are both banned by federal law from making candidate contributions and limited in how much they can spend on federal lobbying. I argue, however, that the inclusion of more blacks and Latinos on congressional committees enhances the lobbying influence—and thus the legislative success—of civil rights organizations in Congress. Using data from lobbying disclosure reports on bills supported by black American and Latino civil rights groups in the 110th Congress (2007–2008) and 111th Congress (2009–2010), as well as House markup data, I find that National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR), and UnidosUS-supported bills referred to House committees with greater proportions of racial and ethnic minorities received more markups than did bills referred to House committees with less diversity. Diversity is significant in predicting committee attention even when accounting for possible confounding factors, including committee jurisdiction and the ideological composition of committee membership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-220
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9876-2000 Minta Michael D. 1 1 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minneapolis, USA Michael D. Minta, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 1414 Social Sciences Building, 267 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. Email: mdminta@umn.edu 12 2019 1065912919885024 © 2019 University of Utah 2019 University of Utah This paper examines the role that racial and ethnic diversity plays in improving the legislative success of minority interest groups. Relying on campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures to explain minority interest groups’ influence on legislators’ behavior is not sufficient, because most minority organizations are public charities, or 501(c)(3) organizations, and as such are both banned by federal law from making candidate contributions and limited in how much they can spend on federal lobbying. I argue, however, that the inclusion of more blacks and Latinos on congressional committees enhances the lobbying influence—and thus the legislative success—of civil rights organizations in Congress. Using data from lobbying disclosure reports on bills supported by black American and Latino civil rights groups in the 110th Congress (2007–2008) and 111th Congress (2009–2010), as well as House markup data, I find that National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR), and UnidosUS-supported bills referred to House committees with greater proportions of racial and ethnic minorities received more markups than did bills referred to House committees with less diversity. Diversity is significant in predicting committee attention even when accounting for possible confounding factors, including committee jurisdiction and the ideological composition of committee membership. Latinos Blacks interest groups Congress lobbying advocacy edited-state corrected-proof typesetter ts1 Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The author received funding for this research from the University of Minnesota’s Talle Faculty Research Award and a research grant from the University of Missouri’s Research Board. ORCID iD Michael D. Minta https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9876-2000 Supplemental Material Supplemental materials and replication materials for this article are available with the manuscript on the Political Research Quarterly (PRQ) website.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The author received funding for this research from the University of Minnesota?s Talle Faculty Research Award and a research grant from the University of Missouri?s Research Board.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 University of Utah.

Keywords

  • Blacks
  • Congress
  • Latinos
  • advocacy
  • interest groups
  • lobbying

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Diversity and Minority Interest Group Advocacy in Congress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this