Date Thesis Awarded


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Public Policy


Paul Manna

Committee Member

Brian Beach

Committee Member

Jennifer Mellor


During the Obama administration, waves of new legislation upended regulatory environments in finance and healthcare. At the forefront of these changes were the federal bureaucracies tasked with adopting and implementing new rules based on the legislation. This thesis examines final rules published by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Health and Human Services related to the Dodd-Frank Act and Affordable Care Act to determine which organized interests have an advantage during the notice-and-comment period required by the Administrative Procedures Act, what factors encourage agencies to change proposed rules, and how regulatory bureaucracies differ from public service agencies on these topics. The results indicate that biases towards particular types of commenters exist, but those biases differ across different types of agencies. Furthermore, coalitions of commenters are effective at achieving desired results in both types of agencies.