Signals from the Hill: Congressional Oversight and the Challenge of Social Regulation

Christopher H. Foreman, Jr., Author Yale University Press $17 (224p) ISBN 978-0-300-04410-2
A major function of the U.S. Congress is to oversee the activities of regulatory agencies, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others, established to protect the public from many of society's ills. Using specific instances in which Congress has attempted to rein in overzealous agencies or goad recalcitrant ones into action, Foreman, who teaches government and politics at the University of Maryland, presents a detailed analysis of the complexity of the oversight function. Media attention, special-interest groups and individual congressional constituencies sometimes impedeand in other cases, aideffective regulation of the regulators. Other important factors include the informal lines of communication between agency staff members and those who serve on Congressional oversight subcommittees. Foreman has no ax to grind; he seems to see no need for drastic changes. Instead, he gives the reader a fairly clear description of the process as it exists and suggests that any reform should be undertaken gradually and only after considerable discussion. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-300-04900-8
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