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

27 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2011 Last revised: 3 Oct 2014

Brian D. Feinstein

University of Chicago Law School

Date Written: January 24, 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., Avoiding Oversight: Legislator Preferences & Congressional Monitoring of the Administrative State (January 24, 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)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
205
rank
134,496
Abstract Views
653
PlumX