Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Karen Shafer


Congressional appropriations for federal public health agencies are subjected to external factors throughout the congressional appropriations process, resulting in fluctuations in funding. Recent literature has focused on externals factors, such as political attention and public attitudes, that could influence government funding levels; however, the impact of these factors on federal public health funding was not addressed. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between these external factors and federal public health appropriations. A quantitative study was used to examine congressional attention, policy mood, and the influence on the change in the level of federal public health appropriation during fiscal years 1947-2015. The theoretical framework for this study was based on the punctuated equilibrium theory. The population of this study included 68 years of time series data and analyzed using bivariate linear regression to determine the relationship between the independent variables of congressional hearing days and the policy mood scores and the dependent variable of federal public health appropriations. The results of the regression models indicated that congressional hearings days and policy mood scores did not have a statically significant effect on the change in the level of public health appropriations. Policy implications include informing public health officials and advocacy groups targeting public health messages to Congress that focus on increasing resources to targeted programs. Social change implications include informing health officials in planning congressional outreach and appropriations strategies, which can be used to improve the implementation of public health programs benefiting the community and promoting positive social change.