Too often, members of Congress choose witnesses for oversight hearings based on who agrees with them, not who’s most qualified to help them uncover the truth. Both chambers of Congress should enact rules to ensure hearing witnesses are fully vetted.
Congress is a crucial part of the three-branch system that keeps our government ticking. Not only does Congress represent the people, the legislative branch should also act as a critical check on the executive and judicial branches. Over time, Congress has ceded some of its authority, failing to hold the president and other executive officials accountable when they abuse their offices or act corruptly. We’re pushing for reforms and resources that would improve Congress’s ability to act as a check on the executive branch and make sure members of Congress are acting ethically. By doing so, we can better ensure that our leaders are held accountable and that the whole of government is serving the public.
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What’s at Stake
Decisions by Congress can move markets, yet elected representatives are allowed to trade stocks — even though Congress is privy to confidential briefings. It’s no wonder the public doesn’t believe Congress is always acting in their best interest.
High turnover on Capitol Hill makes it hard for members of Congress to maintain the staff they need to conduct effective oversight. Congress should do more to train staff and boost retention.
The Bridge: Checks and (Im)balances Study Shows POGO’s Oversight Trainings Increase Congressional Capacity The Bridge: Choose Your Battles Representatives are Too Invested in Defense Contractors The DOJ Needs to Stop Thwarting Congressional Oversight Congress Can Earn Back Public Trust by Banning Stock Trading