What three kinds of groups make up an iron triangle?

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In the United States government, the political formation of an iron triangle is composed of the congressional committee, the government agency, and the special interest group who all have a mutual interest in the creation, administration, and outcome of a certain policy. A special interest group may lobby a specific congressional committee to enact a law that benefits the interest group's goals. The bureaucracy, or governmental agency, is then responsible for the administration and oversight of that policy. For example, an environmental special interest group based in Southeast Appalachia may lobby the Virginia congressional committee to create a policy that better protects streams that are affected by coal ash. The environmental group may work with specific individuals in the state senate who they promise to support in exchange for the policy push. The Environmental Protection Agency would be a bureaucratic government agency that would have a mutual interest in the stream protection and could also push for the policy in congress.

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The three groups that make up iron triangles are the government agencies (bureaucracies) that are supposed to regulate a given area of the economy or a given group, the congressional committees that oversee the government agencies, and the interest groups that represent the people who are regulated by the agencies.  For example, let us imagine an iron triangle having to do with agriculture.  It would be made up of the US Department of Agriculture, the Agriculture committees of the House and Senate, and interest groups representing farmers, farm equipment manufacturers, and others who are part of the agriculture business.

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