Bloomberg BNA Publishes Ross, O’Connor, Moyer Article on Private Sector Oversight in GOP Congress

“Caught in the Crossfire:  Congressional Oversight, the Private Sector, and the New Republican Congress,” an article by Akin Gump public law and policy partner Steven Ross, counsel Constance O’Connor and associate Tom Moyer has been published by Bloomberg BNA.

In this article, the authors write that, as the 114th Congress convened in January, the nation was confronted with an even more divided government, anticipating some of the sharpest partisan divisions yet experienced during the Obama administration. They believe that this new dynamic will empower Congress’s active oversight committees to thrive. Following the trend set by Republican committee chairmen in the House during the 113th Congress, this new congressional term presents an opportunity for leaders in the House and Senate to collaborate on investigations of the Obama administration, likely with an eye toward the 2016 presidential election. 

However, the authors note that the reach of Congress’s oversight authority does not end at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or at the Capital Beltway. The potential for active and extensive congressional oversight of the private sector remains as real as ever, and it is important not to understate the likely impact that the 114th Congress will have on oversight of the business community. They add that the Republican Party’s traditionally more pro-business platform, when viewed through a historical lens, is not wholly inconsistent with active and extensive congressional oversight of the private sector. To this end, recent Congresses saw Republican-led congressional committees oversee robust private sector oversight on issues including compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA); Department of Energy loan programs; allegations concerning the dissemination of confidential, market-sensitive information; government contracting and whistleblower protections; financial market manipulation; and data security.

They conclude by alerting readers that, given this track record for congressional Republicans, as well as the persistent threat of investigations led by a vocal Democratic minority, the private sector would be well advised to prepare for a very active two years of congressional oversight ahead. 

To read the full article, please click here.