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Congressional Credit Claiming and Blame Avoidance in ACA Lawsuits

Semester: Summer 2023


Presentation description

The purpose of this research is to examine the role of the Credit Claiming and Blame Avoidance theory in congressional communications with the public. We specifically examine the theory in the context of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to this theory, elected officials selectively claim credit for actions that benefit or are perceived to benefit their constituents, while avoiding attention and blame for actions that do the opposite. We use the legal history of the ACA and the Supreme Court cases challenging its constitutionality from the period 2010-2021 to examine how this theory applies to members of Congress. We also examine how the strategies used by members of Congress to take credit and avoid blame have changed and evolved over this ten-year period. In order to do this, we analyzed all available press releases from members of Congress relevant to constitutional challenges to the ACA during the time period. Each release was numerically coded to quantitatively measure these strategies and changes over time. Our findings will help to explain contemporary political strategies in the U.S., particularly as they pertain to policy retrenchment and communications.

Presenter Name: Siena Popiel

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #20
College: Social & Behavioral Science
School / Department: Political Science
Research Mentor: Phillip Singer
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM