A Bipartisan Vehicle for Change: Proposing a Novel Investigative Framework Designed to Improve and Empower Congressional Investigations


The American system of government entrusts Congress with significant responsibility. America’s lawmakers are often required to gather facts or conduct investigations as part of the legislative process. Despite the need for these types of investigations, however, Congress has often demonstrated that it is ill equipped to fulfill this weighty responsibility. This Article represents an effort to restore the debate surrounding congressional investigations to its proper context. Recognizing that America’s lawmakers intend such proceedings to have a dual impact, fulfilling both political and legislative goals, the following argument attempts to reorient discussion around improving bipartisan cooperation within the legislative branch of government. Moreover, this Article makes several recommendations and proposes legislation intended to harness existing organizational structures and capabilities, while improving the manner in which Congress expends its resources. This proposal does not decrease or eliminate congressional authority. Rather, it provides for a novel funding mechanism designed to give Congress added flexibility. In essence, the proposed legislation represents a good-faith effort to demonstrate that America’s lawmakers can work together productively. It reinforces that both sides of the aisle are committed to effective governance. Furthermore, by implementing certain procedural changes designed to improve the overall efficiency of congressional investigations, Congress can firmly establish that it is committed to the shared interests of all Americans.


Stanford Law School
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