Presidential Strategies in Statements of Administration Policy



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Presidents routinely employ Statements of Administration Policy (SAPs) to inform Congress about the executive's thoughts and position on pending legislation. Such statements are used for a variety of purposes, including bill promotion, suggesting changes, issuing veto threats, and addressing perceived threats to traditional powers. While SAPs have been identified as an important vehicle for interbranch communication and a key source of insight into presidential preferences, many questions remain as to how presidents make use of SAPs' full range of potential. Using a novel data set of over 4,600 SAPs across multiple administrations, we explore the content of these interbranch communications to uncover how, when, and why presidents use such statements over time. Ultimately, we demonstrate the many ways that presidential use of SAPs is strategic based on political contexts.


© 2022 The Authors. Presidential Studies Quarterly published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


Statements of Administration Policy (SAPs), Congress, legislation, president, White House


Ostrander, I. and Sievert, J. (2022), Presidential Strategies in Statements of Administration Policy. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 52: 759-784.