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"What's In It For Me?": Why Members of Congress Pursue Oversight
Unformatted Document Text:  Table 2: MCs’ Preferences for Seats on Oversight-Specific Subcommittees when theirParty Controls the White House versus when the Opposition Party Controls the WhiteHouse under same- under oppos. diff. in means p-value party pres. pres. Democrats 0.57 0.18 -0.39 0.43 Republicans 0.15 0.89 0.74 0.12 Differences of means obtained by computing the difference between the mean coefficient for oversight-specific subcommittees when the MC and the President share a partisan affiliation and the mean coefficientfor oversight-specific subcommittees when the MC and the President are members of opposing parties.Results obtained via paired-samples t-tests. For a different perspective on these data, Figures 3 & 4 provide a more in-depth look at exactly which subcommittees are valued more (less) by each party’s MCs with Demo-cratic and Republican Presidents. 23 I first examine the ordinal rank that Republican MCs place on oversight subcommittee service during the Clinton versus Bush administrations.I again arrange the cardinal preference values on an ordinal scale (with a lower num-ber signifying that a subcommittee is more popular, and a higher number signaling theopposite). I then plot each subcommittee’s rank on the following figure, in which the x-coordinate is the subcommittee’s ordinal preference rank among Republicans during theClinton Administration, and the y-coordinate is the subcommittee’s ordinal preferencerank among Republicans during the Bush Administration. Thus, points on this graphthat fall below the x = y line are interpreted as subcommittees that were more popu-lar among Republicans during Bush’s presidency than during Clinton’s. Likewise, pointsthat are above this x = y line can be interpreted as subcommittee seats that were morevaluable to Republicans during Clinton’s presidency than during Bush’s. 23 While these figures provide a better sense of the relative ranking of specific subcommittees before and after a presidential regime switch, these do not include a measure of uncertainty. Thus, they are tobe considered complementary to the above differences of means table. 12

Authors: Feinstein, Brian.
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Table 2: MCs’ Preferences for Seats on Oversight-Specific Subcommittees when their
Party Controls the White House versus when the Opposition Party Controls the White
under same- under oppos. diff. in means p-value
party pres.
Differences of means obtained by computing the difference between the mean coefficient for oversight-
specific subcommittees when the MC and the President share a partisan affiliation and the mean coefficient
for oversight-specific subcommittees when the MC and the President are members of opposing parties.
Results obtained via paired-samples t-tests.
For a different perspective on these data, Figures 3 & 4 provide a more in-depth look
at exactly which subcommittees are valued more (less) by each party’s MCs with Demo-
cratic and Republican Presidents.
I first examine the ordinal rank that Republican MCs
place on oversight subcommittee service during the Clinton versus Bush administrations.
I again arrange the cardinal preference values on an ordinal scale (with a lower num-
ber signifying that a subcommittee is more popular, and a higher number signaling the
opposite). I then plot each subcommittee’s rank on the following figure, in which the x-
coordinate is the subcommittee’s ordinal preference rank among Republicans during the
Clinton Administration, and the y-coordinate is the subcommittee’s ordinal preference
rank among Republicans during the Bush Administration. Thus, points on this graph
that fall below the x = y line are interpreted as subcommittees that were more popu-
lar among Republicans during Bush’s presidency than during Clinton’s. Likewise, points
that are above this x = y line can be interpreted as subcommittee seats that were more
valuable to Republicans during Clinton’s presidency than during Bush’s.
While these figures provide a better sense of the relative ranking of specific subcommittees before
and after a presidential regime switch, these do not include a measure of uncertainty. Thus, they are to
be considered complementary to the above differences of means table.

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