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Regulatory: Congressional Oversight of the Obama Administration

House Republicans have promised aggressive oversight of the Obama Administration's stewardship. Congressman Darrell Issa, future Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Politico that he wants to hold seven hearings a week for 40 weeks, or 280 hearings.

This won't happen, due to limitations on Committee resources and the extensive amount of work necessary to prepare a successful hearing. Nonetheless, Issa's statement suggests that Republicans will take a different approach from when they last took control of the House. In 1995-96, Speaker Gingrich largely ignored oversight of the Clinton Administration and chose instead high-level confrontation on tax and spending issues, with disastrous consequences. After the 1996 election, the House Republicans further squandered their opportunity by pursing impeachment of the President, rather than by reviewing how he actually managed the Executive Branch.

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John Cooney

John F. Cooney is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Venable.

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