Will Congress Make Itself Oversee Agencies?

It's a common refrain: Congress doesn't fully and appropriately exercise its powers of oversight over federal agencies. Now, Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., has a solution: Let's pass a law forcing ourselves to do it. He's introduced a bill, H.Res.841, that would require:

  • Hearings within 60 days of inspector general reports that identify waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement over $1 million.
  • Hearings and testimony from agency officials when the Government Accountability Office identifies an agency as high risk for mismanagement.
  • Hearings featuring Cabinet secretaries when auditors issue disclaimers or corrections to an agency’s financial audit.
  • At least two hearings a year on the results of performance reviews using the Office of Management and Budget’s Program Assessment Rating Tool.

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