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Regulatory Agencies and Commissions of the Federal Government
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The Interstate Commerce Commission (or ICC) was created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. It was the first regulatory body in the United States.
Its mission was to regulate what was seen as unfair practices of railroads that were driving many farmers out of business.

The ICC served as a model for later regulatory efforts. As time passed its role extended far beyond regulating railroads.
On December 29, 1995, the 108-year-old Interstate Commerce Commission was disbanded.

Today there are approximately 1000 government regulatory agencies. They impact every aspect of citizen’s lives.
Some examples of regulatory agencies are: EPA, FCC, FTC, OSHA, FDIC and the NRC.

What part of the U. S. Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate commerce?

Select a governmental regulatory body. Collect the critical facts.

Name -

History - When was it founded? List several important actions taken.

Who are its current officers. How are they selected? How long do they serve?

Where is the agency or commission’s headquarters located?

How does it monitor or enforce its regulations?

Explain how one of their regulations impacts your life or the lives of the people in your community.

Do you believe the impact is positive or negative?

What recourse do citizens have when they do not support the regulations or they oppose proposed regulations?


Extra challenge: Does your state government have a similar agency?


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The Yes Men - democracy for sale - Try your hand at this approach to dealing with a problem facing you today.
Center for Media and Democracy - PR Watch investigating public relations spin and propaganda

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posted 9/2006 by Cynthia J. O'Hora, released to public domain

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