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Inside the congressional hearings process: Not sexy perhaps, but necessary

At this time of the year, Congress and its committees are in the midst of, or concluding, hearings on numerous topics, bills, and budget considerations. Authorization, budget, appropriations and oversight hearings abound on every conceivable subject. Later this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to consider the President's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

On the other side of the witness table, company executives, association leaders, heads of non-profits, government officials, and presidential nominees alike are preparing for the experience of testifying before a congressional committee, an exercise likened by some to having a root canal. Recently we've seen automobile executives, energy company officials, financial industry representatives, and even White House party crashers take their turn to testify in front of congressional committees, with very mixed results and reactions. One need only consult policy periodicals or committee web sites for a schedule of the seemingly never-ending stream of congressional hearings that typically commence in February each year and run heavily through early summer.
. . .
For those engaged in preparation for a hearing, you might want to consider a handy checklist of the essential elements of an effective and successful congressional hearing, and of effective testimony, from the perspectives of both a congressional committee and a witness:...

"Inside the congressional hearings process: Not sexy perhaps, but necessary," by Bill LaForge, The Hill's Congress Blog, June 2, 2010


See also


Testifying Before Congress
Testifying Before Congress

Testifying Before Congress
A Practical Guide to Preparing and Delivering Testimony before Congress and Congressional Hearings for Agencies, Associations, Corporations, Military, NGOs, and State and Local Officials

By William N. LaForge

Forthcoming Summer 2010
2010, 475-plus pages

Hardbound, $77
ISBN 10: 158733-172-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-58733-172-5

Softcover, $67
ISBN 10: 158733-163-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-58733-163-3

For more information, see TestifyingBeforeCongress.com

Posted June 2, 2010 05:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye



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