Party Disciplines

Weak Party Discipline makes it difficult to enact public policy because of individuals' inability to follow the party policies. Traditionally party members set an agenda in a caucus and agree on this policy, and this policy is enforced by the Party Whip (the policy maintainer) however some outliers in a party can choose to disagree on their own free will. This causes cohesion on an issue to falter and a party grows less and less stable. If a majority is needed to pass a bill, and a party already needs to convince a few members of the opposition to join their side having weakly disciplined party members only increases their chance that the bill will end up in gridlock and possibly be killed.
In recent decades the number of interest groups has grown dramatically. Reasons for this growth include an impetus in government toward increased regulation of society, an increase in groups seeking policy goals, legislation that both requires and funds citizen participation, campaign finance laws, and increasing income and education levels. Many scholars feel that interest group activities may have harmful effects. Theodore Lowi has argued that interest groups have become part of iron triangles of policy making that include members of Congress and the bureaucracy. This proliferation of well-organized groups may lead to a system in which interest groups create legislative gridlock at the expense of the public interest. Madison's worst fears concerning the dangers of factions, may become a reality today. The increased use of unlimited independent expenditures to fund issue advertisements and target candidates for defeat may also be a threat to a truly democratic system. Alternatively, some scholars suggest that when Americans achieve consensus regarding a particular policy outcome, legislative gridlock disappears and we are able to make real progress.

  (a) The three most important extant constitutional powers of Congress in this area are the following: