Consequences Of Congressional Oversight

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Consequences of Congressional Oversight The types of choices that congressman have to make when it comes to oversight are often moderated by the different costs and benefits from engaging in congressional oversight. In previous sections the way members make decisions on congressional oversight whether to exercise or which technique to use was discussed. McCubbins and Schwartz highlight how difficult this process is by distinguishing general neglect from congress versus rational behavior. Rationality in this area makes it so that members can actually perform their other functions, which have higher priority so they can keep their jobs (McCubbins and Schwartz 1984). In a great percentage of the literature on congressional oversight when analyzing…show more content…
As the threat of the fire alarm being pulled may cause agencies to change their behavior to prevent this, as they are usually able to anticipate when it will happen. This is due to agencies wanting interest group support that allow for congress to have more control over the bureaucracy who often has the advantage over them (Epstein and O’Halloran, 1995). As there are electoral costs to oversight there are also benefits depending on the outcome of the oversight and if it is what the constituency wants. These consequences from oversight have heavy influence on Congresses oversight behavior no matter if the consequences are negative or positive. This type of influence especially those that come from an electoral perspective could lead to variations in oversight depending on agency as the public has different relationships with executive agencies the same way that Congress does. If these feelings are not contrary or not high on the public priority list Congress may have more freedom in how they treat certain agencies. This part of the literature answers the question of when congress decides to engage in oversight. The factors discussed here that contribute to their decision-making should also apply to any differences in their oversight between certain agencies, programs…show more content…
There could also be increased oversight that is not necessarily negative. In times of divided government when the executive is of the opposite party there would be an increased want for oversight. Some of these similar arguments may come up especially those of morality and the polarized relationship with the other party. This has been evidenced in the 113th Congresses in which the Senate held hearings against the Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from the Department of Health and Human Services, which could be viewed as a way for Republicans to pander to constituents. The 114th Congresses hearings about Benghazi are similar in nature and they are also influenced by the growth of national news. These examples both within the literature and in real life brings to light that historical context and characteristics of an agency or program could determine the type of oversight that it receives from congress. Contrast this with another example where the oversight was initially more relaxed. This is the case with oversight over scientific research and universities. On the issue federal funding of scientific research there has always been disagreement over the extent that the government should exert political control on the topics and processes of the research. Crucial to bipartisan political
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