Elise J. Bean, FINANCIAL EXPOSURE: CARL LEVIN’S SENATE INVESTIGATIONS INTO FINANCE AND TAX ABUSE, 449 pp., Palgrave MacMillan, 2018, $49.

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Saturday, April 6, 2019
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
4
Abstract: 

The book is based on Ms. Bean’s staff leadership role on the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) from 1999 to 2014, when Senator Carl Levin served in leadership positions on the PSI. A key theme is that constructive congressional oversight, especially when it is done on a bipartisan basis, goes to the heart of the United States democratic system of checks and balances.  Such oversight helps stop abuse, expose wrongdoing, and compel reform.  An additional theme is that the oversight investigations and hearings help develop a factual foundation for a shared understanding of a complex problem that often results in a consensus on remedies for the perceived abuses. The book sets forth the oversight process, which is composed of the following diverse phases:  designing the investigations; obtaining the facts through research, document requests, and interviews; discussing the investigative results; holding a hearing; and proposing remedies for the identified problems.