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Watchdogs on the HillThe Decline of Congressional Oversight of U.S. Foreign Relations$
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Linda L. Fowler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151618

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151618.001.0001

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Institutional Change and Senate Committee Hearings

Institutional Change and Senate Committee Hearings

(p.71) Chapter 3 Institutional Change and Senate Committee Hearings
Watchdogs on the Hill

Linda L. Fowler

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines long-term institutional changes in the Senate committee system that devalued committee work and negatively affected the total hearing activity of Armed Services and Foreign Relations. It begins with a review of expectations and measures regarding the influence of the shifting institutional context on Senate committee hearings in general and on Armed Services and Foreign Relations sessions in particular. It then analyzes the effects of various long-term changes on the frequency of public hearings first by Senate committees in the aggregate and then by the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees. It also considers the influences on the frequency of executive hearing days by the two national security committees. Finally, it looks at the Panama Canal to illustrate the confluence of trends that created a watershed moment for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Keywords:   public hearings, Senate Armed Services Committee, institutional changes, national security oversight, Panama Canal, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate committee, foreign relations

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