oversight is the implied power that refers to the review, monitoring, and
supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy
implementation of the Executive Branch by Congress.
hearings by standing committees are where measures or policy issues that may
become public law are presented; here witnesses, special interest groups, etc.
are heard before something is finally decided upon. These often regard the
review, restructuring, or supervision of various federal agency functions.
Authorization, appropriation, and investigative hearings are also often
employed as a means for Congress to keep a check on the Executive Branch. Specialized
investigations by select committees are another way congressional oversight is enacted;
the Watergate scandal serves as a prime example of Congress’ enforcement of its
implied power through the abridgement of executive privilege, as supported by
the Supreme Court. Reviews and studies by congressional support agencies and
staff also often take place, providing Congress with eyes looking into the
Executive Branch, and granting them hard facts upon which to base decisions
such as federal agency budgets, etc.
methods that I feel that is the most powerful is the standing committee’s decisions
keep the most solid check of Congress upon federal agencies, since they can
manipulate the budget, which gives them the most powerful of bargaining tools.
feel congressional oversight is justified and necessary as a part of our
government’s system of checks and balances, and that it is therefore an
effective way for our government to operate, since it prevents the
concentration of power. If it’s effective in reality, I’m not sure, though I
would assume in some cases it is, and in others, it isn’t.
an alien, stayed in US soil after his visa expired, so the US Attorney General
deported him. In the Immigration and Nationality Act, Congress authorized
either house of Congress to veto deportations by the US Attorney General prior
to this, so the House suspended the deportation ruling under what it thought
was its rightful power. INS vs. Chahda basically consolidated House vs. INS and
Senate vs. INS into one case. The method of oversight here was by use of the
power granted by the aforementioned act; it allowed either house of Congress to
quickly and efficiently repudiate a deportation decision by the US Attorney
General. Congress argued that what it was doing was indeed constitutional, but
in the end, Supreme Justice Burger sustained that the act was in essence
unconstitutional, because while it would have allowed things to run more
smoothly (allowing congressional oversight to be applied more quickly and
effectively), this power in fact violated “explicit” standards in the
constitution regarding lawmaking and authority, since both houses of Congress
were not involved in the decision process. This meant the bureaucratic process
would have to be at all times implemented fully, and every decision would have
to go through both houses of Congress before being constitutionally acceptable.