Elise Bean Joins FedTalk Podcast

Our director of the Washington, D.C., office – Elise Bean – joined FEDTalk for a deep dive into congressional oversight and its function in our constitutional system. You can find the podcast description below. Give it a listen!


This episode of FEDtalk focuses on congressional oversight and its function in the constitutional system. The guests, Tim Stretton from the Project on Government Oversight’s (POGO) Congressional Oversight Initiative and Elise Bean from the Carl Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, discuss the importance of effective oversight, the challenges faced in conducting oversight, and the role of training and assistance for congressional staff. They emphasize the need for bipartisanship, time and resources, and credibility in conducting oversight. The guests also highlight the role of other oversight partners such as inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office. Overall, the conversation highlights the importance of oversight in promoting a more ethical and effective government. 


  • Congressional oversight is a core power of Congress to gather information necessary for legislation and ensuring proper administration of existing laws. 

  • Effective oversight requires bipartisanship, time and resources, credibility, and a focus on producing legislative change. 

  • Training and assistance programs, such as congressional oversight boot camps run by nonprofits like POGO and the Levin Center, help educate congressional staff on how to conduct better oversight. 

  • Collaboration with other oversight partners, such as inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office, can enhance the effectiveness of congressional oversight. 

  • Challenges in oversight include partisanship, lack of institutional knowledge, and resistance from agencies.