Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information: Legislative Tools

Description

This report begins by reviewing the precedents established during the Washington Administration for withholding documents from Congress. Close examination reveals that the scope of presidential privilege is often exaggerated. Congress had access to more documentation than is commonly believed and might have had more had it pressed for it. Subsequent sections focus on various forms of congressional leverage: the power of the purse, the power to impeach, issuing congressional subpoenas, holding executive officials in contempt, House resolutions of inquiry, GAO investigations, and blocking nominations, all of which may force executive officials to release documents they would otherwise want to keep ... continued below

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59 pages.

Creation Information

Fisher, Louis May 17, 2001.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Congressional Research Service Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 136 times , with 10 in the last month . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

This report begins by reviewing the precedents established during the Washington Administration for withholding documents from Congress. Close examination reveals that the scope of presidential privilege is often exaggerated. Congress had access to more documentation than is commonly believed and might have had more had it pressed for it. Subsequent sections focus on various forms of congressional leverage: the power of the purse, the power to impeach, issuing congressional subpoenas, holding executive officials in contempt, House resolutions of inquiry, GAO investigations, and blocking nominations, all of which may force executive officials to release documents they would otherwise want to keep private and confidential. Even if Presidents announce perfectly plausible grounds for withholding documents, they may have to comply with the congressional will to achieve other more important goals.

Physical Description

59 pages.

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Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of Congress. This legislative branch agency works exclusively for Members of Congress, their committees and their staff. This collection includes CRS reports from the mid-1970's through the present--covering a variety of topics from agriculture to foreign policy to welfare.

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Creation Date

  • May 17, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2005, 1:21 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Feb. 9, 2017, 3:41 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Fisher, Louis. Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information: Legislative Tools, report, May 17, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6983/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.