Congress Girds for Oversight Procedures

Well, it's about time.

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Congress girds up for return to oversight

Probes include alleged contracting abuses in Iraq and the alteration of scientific findings.

Not since the Depression-era Congress of 1932 has Capitol Hill ramped up so quickly for oversight hearings and related legislation – most targeting the Bush administration.

Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are hiring more lawyers, and watchdog groups say they are swamped with calls from committee staff asking for advice on pursuing the nearly lost art of congressional investigation.

In its first 100 days, the new Congress launched probes on allegations ranging from contracting abuses in Iraq and the alteration of scientific findings to the misuse of federal resources for partisan purposes. Some hearings, such as those on last year's firing of eight US attorneys, were snatched from the headlines; others are longer-term campaigns to try to uncover any government waste and to expand the public's access to how government conducts its business.


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