All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.

"What's In It For Me?": Why Members of Congress Pursue Oversight
Unformatted Document Text:  Regarding variation across the different House subunits, the high number of oversight hearings that some non-oversight-focused subunits hold – and the dearth of hearings heldby subunits with a clear jurisdictional mandate to oversee the bureaucracy – is noteworthy.Although, as the aforementioned means indicate, oversight-focused subunits tend to holdmore oversight hearings than do other subunits, there were eight oversight-focused bodiesthat did not hold a single hearing during at least one Congress. 32 Moreover, many subunits without an oversight-focused jurisdiction vigorously engaged in oversight. In fact, duringthis period 20 different subunits without an oversight-focused jurisdiction held more thanten hearings within a given Congress. The Small Business (full) Committee alone has heldmore than 21 hearings in a given Congress on two separate occasions. Clearly, oversighthearings are not the exclusive province of the oversight subcommittees. 33 3.2 Hypotheses As Figures 7 & 8 shows, there is considerable variance in the number of oversight hearingsheld (a) across different subunits and (b) by specific subunits across time. In this section,I develop a set of hypotheses that may account for this extraordinary variation. • H 1 : Electoral Security: The average margin of victory in the previous election of a committee or subcommittee’s membership will be negatively correlated with thatsubcommittee’s oversight activity in the current Congress. • H 2 : MC Seniority: The average terms of House service of a committee or subcom- mittee’s members will be negatively correlated with that subcommittee’s oversightactivity. • H 3 : MC Bill Passage: The average number of bills that are sponsored by (sub)committee members that pass the House will be negatively correlated with that body’s over-sight activity. • H 4a : (Sub)comm. Preference Heterogeneity: Subunits with large 1 st dimension Com- mon Space score interquartile ranges will tend to engage in greater oversight thanthose with smaller ranges. • H 4b : ——- ——————– ———— Subunits with large 2 nd dimension Common Space score interquartile ranges will tend to engage in greater oversight than thosewith smaller ranges. • H 5 : Rules Committee Deference: Committees whose “legislative products” tend be be respected on the floor (specifically, committees whose bills are frequently assigned 32 These eight are: the Civil Service, Census & Agency Organization Subcommittee of the Govern- ment Reform & Oversight Committee (GROC) (107 th Congress); Technology & Procurement Policy Subcommittee of GROC (108 th ); the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the International Re- lations Committee (109 th ); the Federalism & the Census Subcommittee of GROC (109 th ); the Energy & Resources Subcommittee of GROC (109 th ); the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats & Capabilities Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee (109 th ); the Oversight Subcommittee of the Ways & Means Committee (109 th ); and the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee (109 th ). 33 There is also considerable oversight activity at both the subcommittee and full committee level. During the 1997-2006 period, full committees held 455 oversight hearings (3.79 hearings per committeeper Congress) and subcommittees held 1936 hearings (3.61 hearings per subcommittee per Congress). 24

Authors: Feinstein, Brian.
first   previous   Page 24 of 46   next   last

background image
Regarding variation across the different House subunits, the high number of oversight
hearings that some non-oversight-focused subunits hold – and the dearth of hearings held
by subunits with a clear jurisdictional mandate to oversee the bureaucracy – is noteworthy.
Although, as the aforementioned means indicate, oversight-focused subunits tend to hold
more oversight hearings than do other subunits, there were eight oversight-focused bodies
that did not hold a single hearing during at least one Congress.
Moreover, many subunits
without an oversight-focused jurisdiction vigorously engaged in oversight. In fact, during
this period 20 different subunits without an oversight-focused jurisdiction held more than
ten hearings within a given Congress. The Small Business (full) Committee alone has held
more than 21 hearings in a given Congress on two separate occasions. Clearly, oversight
hearings are not the exclusive province of the oversight subcommittees.
As Figures 7 & 8 shows, there is considerable variance in the number of oversight hearings
held (a) across different subunits and (b) by specific subunits across time. In this section,
I develop a set of hypotheses that may account for this extraordinary variation.
: Electoral Security: The average margin of victory in the previous election of a
committee or subcommittee’s membership will be negatively correlated with that
subcommittee’s oversight activity in the current Congress.
: MC Seniority: The average terms of House service of a committee or subcom-
mittee’s members will be negatively correlated with that subcommittee’s oversight
: MC Bill Passage: The average number of bills that are sponsored by (sub)committee
members that pass the House will be negatively correlated with that body’s over-
sight activity.
: (Sub)comm. Preference Heterogeneity: Subunits with large 1
dimension Com-
mon Space score interquartile ranges will tend to engage in greater oversight than
those with smaller ranges.
: ——- ——————– ———— Subunits with large 2
dimension Common
Space score interquartile ranges will tend to engage in greater oversight than those
with smaller ranges.
: Rules Committee Deference: Committees whose “legislative products” tend be
be respected on the floor (specifically, committees whose bills are frequently assigned
These eight are: the Civil Service, Census & Agency Organization Subcommittee of the Govern-
ment Reform & Oversight Committee (GROC) (107
Congress); Technology & Procurement Policy
Subcommittee of GROC (108
); the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the International Re-
lations Committee (109
); the Federalism & the Census Subcommittee of GROC (109
); the Energy
& Resources Subcommittee of GROC (109
); the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats & Capabilities
Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee (109
); the Oversight Subcommittee of the Ways &
Means Committee (109
); and the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the Veterans’ Affairs
Committee (109
There is also considerable oversight activity at both the subcommittee and full committee level.
During the 1997-2006 period, full committees held 455 oversight hearings (3.79 hearings per committee
per Congress) and subcommittees held 1936 hearings (3.61 hearings per subcommittee per Congress).

All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 24 of 46   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.