Jim Townsend and Elise Bean, The Levin Center

January 29, 2021  

  • Video
  • 1:48 Elise Bean Intro
  • 2:43 What are your research interests related to Congress?
  • 6:50 How to define the oversight role of Congress
  • 8:51 How Congress conducts oversight investigations
  • 10:38 How an investigative oversight team is composed
  • 12:12 Are congressional staff shared or are they split by party?
  • 14:18 How is time allocated by staff during an investigation?
  • 16:37 How are investigations prioritized between the policy goals of the committee vs. addressing new problems that may arise?
  • 20:02 How Congress conducts oversight of the Executive Branch
  • 22:57 How are committees identifying problems that should be investigated?
  • 26:18 How are the outcomes of laws passed by Congress evaluated through oversight?
  • 31:10 What are the research priorities of the Levin Center?
  • 37:22 How congressional oversight teams ARE structured vs. how they SHOULD be structured
  • 42:50 Using full time staff vs. consultants/contractors
  • 44:34 What framework can be used to find the right budget for congressional committees?
  • 47:23 Sunset Provisions/Building oversight mechanisms into legislation
    [Lightning Round]
  • 48:51 What should representation mean in our democracy?
  • 50:36 – How would your ideal Congress allocate its time?
  • 52:40 – How should debate, deliberation, or dialogue occur or be structured in Congress?
  • 55:46 – What book or article most shaped your thinking with respect to congressional reform?
  • 57:55 – What plans do you have for your research over the long term?