Capitol Hill Heuristics

Every day, Hill Members and staff are assailed by lobbyists they know and like whose interests and arguments are opposed. To get to the truth many use Hill heuristics or “rules of thumb” to help them decide which side’s argument to believe. For example, they prefer arguments based on actual narratives to manipulatable numbers. Constituent experiences with an issue in conflict are easy to understand and recall and of course are politically relevant. Recent Hill appearances by inventors already harmed by AIA also have been persuasive. Sometimes it helps to “follow the money”. Which side has the most to gain or lose can provide independent understanding regarding what is really going on. Mr. Issa’s public characterization of university opposition to HR 9 (see earlier post) not only confirms the persuasive power of past direct constituent congressional contact, it can provide valuable insight into the true motivation driving his attachment to the issue. Continue reading Capitol Hill Heuristics