Sunday, January 01, 2017

Congressional Hearings are Important…Or Are They?

What Is The Purpose Of Congressional Hearings?

Ø When Congressional Hearings are announced I could swear I hear trumpets in the background.

Ø Once Congressional Hearings get underway their proceedings are splashed across our TV screens for days or even weeks at a time.

Ø Their “progress” is reported on the nightly after day.

Ø Dozens of witnesses come to testify.

Ø Many witnesses refuse to testify and nothing happens to them because they refuse to testify, except it is reported that they refused to testify.

Ø In order to keep the Folks Back Home (that’s us) confused there are several types of Hearings...Standing Committees, Select Committees, Joint Committees and Conference Committees.

Ø Many of the Congressional Committee Member’s Chairs are unoccupied by Congressional People during the Congressional Hearings.

Ø Occasionally they hold people in Contempt of Congress. When this happens I used to sit up and say to myself, “Oh no! Not Contempt of Congress! This is getting serious!” but, in reality, nothing happens to those held in Contempt of Congress other than they are held in Contempt of Congress.


Interesting Note: Congressional Committees are actually Killing Machines because 86% of all Bills and Acts die in Committee. This is a good thing. Can you imagine how confused we would be if they did not stop all these “Good Intensions” from becoming Law?


The other important purpose of holding Congressional Hearings appears to be to hold Congressional Hearings.


I pecked out in the second to last bullet above that many of the Congressional People’s Seats are unoccupied but, in the interest of fairness I am compelled to point out, they are not always unoccupied. They actually become occupied starting about 5 minutes before the Congressional Person assigned to that seat starts asking his questions.


Most of the Congressional People do not appear until it is time for them to ask their questions and the questions are very likely written by one of their aides (who probably has been on the job a week or so after becoming very smart in an Ivy League School).


Once these In and Out Congressional People have asked their questions, they get up and leave. If the Congressional Hearing is so important and all the questions are so important, why do all the committee members not hang around to hear all that important stuff asked and the important answers given?


I know the answer to this question and you are about to know what I know. The answer as to where they are when they are not in their chairs is they are back in their chambers doing 2 things...

Ø Scheming to become a Committee Chairman so they can hold Congressional Hearings of their own which will bear their names (Kefauver Committee Hearings, Senator Whiplash Committee Hearings, McClellan Committee Hearings on Organized Crime).

Ø They are warming up their elbows for Happy Hour.


Would I kid u?



Lagniappe: It gives me hope that Congress sees its shortcomings because it has a Committee named, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. What dashes my hope into the dirt is this Committee has been functioning since 1977 and I have not seen any Progress Reports issued as of yet.