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Is legislation required for Congress to perform their responsibilities?

Updated on March 31, 2014

It is quite confusing why legislative proposals need to be generated to perform oversight function for government operations and reform. There is a committee for oversight and government reform in the House of Representatives. The responsibility of this committee is obvious and with this existence it begs the question why legislation needs to be created for this committee to perform its assigned responsibilities.

The present regulations coming out of executive departments and agencies need to be examined prior to their implementation. It is true that there are many rules and regulations generated and the number and length if they were known would raise some serious questions from the public. This kind of activity does not seem to get exposure in the media at least as much as it should. An act now being proposed titled the Regulatory Accountability Act is establishing some rules to make the selection of regulations to be reviewed. One of the criteria is the cost factor establishing a requirement that regulations which would cost the economy millions of dollars to be reviewed prior to them being issued.

Congress has many responsibilities according to the Constitution not the least of which is a check on the executive branch of government including decisions or lack of them by departments and agencies. The need for oversight is needed now more than ever. Regulations from various departments and agencies such as the EPA, Education and energy to name a few seem to be rampant and uncontrolled. Granted the responsibilities of these examples are associated with laws passed by Congress and signed by the President but are the regulations and rules in complete agreement with the laws is the question.

As stated Congress has many responsibilities not the least of which include looking out for their constituents and the country in terms of generating legislation and regulations/rules being issued. This can be a daunting task given the number of legislative proposals, amendments and regulations generated it seems on a daily basis. This however, is the task for which we have elected these individuals. Legislative proposals and regulations need to get under control and the oversight committee is the right place to start.

We as individuals and businesses are bombarded with government regulations and rules not to mention the laws themselves. We are all subjected to government oversight and this committee needs to perform their oversight responsibilities on government operations. The oversight committee should also look at the laws being proposed as an oversight function which may or may not be part of their responsibilities. The checks and balance system engrained in our Constitution need to be fully engrained in the actions or inactions of departments and agencies of the executive branch.

Another aspect is oversight activity in reference to judicial decisions. Sometimes decisions are made within certain levels of our justice system based on the language of the laws generated. If decisions are made which conflict with the intention of the law then Congress needs to make the language clearer to the intention when laws were initially passed. Congress performing their responsibilities is what we expect and it should not take legislative proposals to perform their responsibilities according to the Constitution. The recent actions or inactions by Congress have left us disappointed. This is not to infer that there are not individuals who are making every effort to perform this responsibility but are met with a brick wall. It is hoped that after the results are in from all the elections (primaries and general) that there will be a change in the way Congress operates and addresses their responsibilities. Our decisions as voters will decide if changes will occur based upon who we elect.


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