Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Joseph Bessette


In the past century, there has been an increasing trend in American government toward opening government procedures to the general public. The intention of these reforms was to improve government accountability and responsiveness, increase public education and involvement in government, and prevent corruption and undue influence by special interests. Conventional wisdom about open government, however, does not take into consideration many of the repercussions of opening up congressional proceedings to the glare of public scrutiny. Reforms in the 1970’s opened the deliberative process and made members of Congress more vulnerable to constituent and interest group pressure. These effects have had many negative impacts, in both the House Appropriations Committee and the Ways and Means Committees, for deliberative democracy and responsible budgeting.