Congressional Oversight



  1. What is the meaning of congressional oversight?

  2. Use congressional oversight in a sentence (that you can be proud of):

  3. Describe a connection to congressional oversight in current events:

  4. Find an image related to congressional oversight:

Fun Facts


Congressional oversight refers to the power of the United States Congress to monitor and, if necessary, change the actions of the executive branch, including the many federal agencies. The primary goals of congressional oversight are to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, and to protect civil liberties and individual rights by ensuring that the executive branch complies with the laws and the Constitution. Derived from its “implied” powers in the U.S. Constitution, public laws, and House and Senate rules, congressional oversight is one of the key elements of the American system of checks and balances of power.


But congressional oversight in general is not novel at all. Indeed, the practice of legislative oversight is older than America itself. The British Parliament, in the 17th and 18th centuries, regularly engaged in such investigations, and American colonial legislatures followed suit, assuming “usually without question, the right to investigate the conduct of other departments of the government and also other matters of general concern brought to their attention,” as written by the legal scholar C. S. Potts in the 1926 University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Current Events

The Need for Congressional Oversight Goes Far Beyond Impeachment

The U.S. Constitution

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
— U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 1






  1. What is Congressional Oversight?

  2. Describe an instance of congressional oversight that has occurred in the past year?

  3. Congressional Oversight is not explicitly listed in the U.S. Freaking Constitution. By what means does the Congress have this power?

  4. What generally happens to the amount of Congressional oversight during divided government?

AP Studio Art

Now draw congressional oversight Take 10 or 20 seconds. That’s all you need. Nothing fancy. Don’t expect a masterpiece. Draw with symbols or stick figures if you wish. Now Look at your drawing. You’ve got it. That’s all.