Avoiding Oversight: Legislator Preferences & Congressional Monitoring of the Administrative State

21 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2011 Last revised: 13 Jan 2021

See all articles by Brian D. Feinstein

Brian D. Feinstein

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Subcommittee oversight hearings provide perhaps the most deeply-rooted and widely-accepted mechanism for congressional involvement in the administrative state, yet surprisingly little is known about the motivations of members of Congress to perform this most basic means of monitoring administrative agencies. This article examines House members’ interest in oversight-focused subcommittees as a means of assessing the ability of these bodies to monitor and control administrative agencies. Analysis of original data on subcommittee transfers shows that members of Congress, in the aggregate, are disinclined to serve on oversight-intensive subcommittees. In a climate of increased presidential involvement in administration and significant judicial deference to agency decision-making, this congressional reluctance has implications for the functioning of the administrative state in a system of separated institutions sharing power.

Keywords: Congress, oversight, congressional administration, separation of powers, administrative law

Suggested Citation

Feinstein, Brian D. and Feinstein, Brian D., Avoiding Oversight: Legislator Preferences & Congressional Monitoring of the Administrative State (2011). Journal of Law, Economics and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1747044

Brian D. Feinstein (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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