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Congressional Oversight: Police Controls or Fire Alarms? Open Access

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What is the nature of congressional oversight of executive branch decision making? Do members of Congress oversee the work of federal agencies on a routine, ongoing basis? Or, alternatively, is congressional attention to the bureaucracy driven by disasters and other highprofile events? Arriving at an accurate sense of the balance between these two archetypes is crucial for gauging the accountability and performance of executive branch organizations operating in the American separation of powers system.

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