What Are the Benefits and the Possible Downsides of the Congressional Committee System?
Parliamentary government is a democratic form of government in which the political party that wins the most seats in the legislature or parliament during the federal election forms the government. This majority party chooses a leader to be the Prime Minister or Chancellor, and other high-ranking members of the party make up the cabinet. The minority party forms the opposition, and its job is to challenge the majority party. If no party is able to win a majority in the election, a coalition government will be formed with a few political parties cooperating together.
From a human standpoint, the biggest advantage of committees may be increased motivation and commitment derived from participation in the committee deliberations and indirectly in the important organizational affairs. Also, when the committee consists of managers and subordinates, it gives the subordinates some degree of recognition and importance. Since the committee members may have different interests and opinions that may be opposed to each other, the process of committee deliberations gives a critical viewpoint and balanced outcome of these different representations. However, even though a committee should be highly representative of all interests, capabilities of the members should take precedence over the representation. While autocratic authority makes decision making and implementation faster and easier, it may lead to misuse of power and wrong decisions. However, by spreading authority and responsibility over all committee members, this problem can be eliminated. The committees provide an excellent training ground for young executives. They also provide opportunity for personal development that individuals may not be able to get on their own. In the committees, they learn the value of interaction, human relations and group dynamics. They get exposed to various viewpoints and tend to think in liberal manner and get to understand how collective decisions are mode. Such type of exposure and experience enables them to take on integrative view of solving various organizational problems.
The President’s general authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch also limits the structural choices Congress may make in designing agencies. These limits are often implicated by statutory provisions that seek to insulate an agency from presidential control by providing agency leaders with removal protections (Nat’l Ass’n of Chain Drug Stores, 2009). For example, “for cause” removal protections generally prevent the President from removing an identified official except in cases of “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” Generally, these and other removal provisions cannot be used to deprive the President of his constitutional duty to “oversee the faithfulness of the officers who execute” the law. The Supreme Court has established that by vesting the President with both “the executive Power” and the personal responsibility to ensure the faithful execution of the laws, Article II confers upon the presidency the “administrative control” of the executive branch )Richard J. Lazarus, 2006). The President’s ability to ensure accountability through removal of executive branch officials has long been viewed as an essential aspect of this ability to oversee the enforcement and execution of the law, as “the power to remove is the power to control.”
As can be seen, during each two-year Congress thousands of bills and resolutions are referred to Senate committees. To manage the volume and complexity, the Senate divides its work between standing committees, special or select committees, and joint committees. These committees are further divided into subcommittees. Of all the measures sent to committees, only a small percentage are considered. By considering and reporting on a bill, committees help to set the Senate’s agenda.
Nat’l Ass’n of Chain Drug Stores v. HHS, 631 F. Supp. 2d 17, 22 (D.D.C. 2009)
Richard J. Lazarus, Congressional Descent: The Demise of Deliberative Democracy in Environmental Law, 94 GEO. L.J. 619, 651 (2006)