Thursday, May 06, 2021

First 100 days of 117th Congress show greater oversight and more probes of the private sector to be expected

By Margaret E. Krawiec, David B. Leland, and Annamaria Kimball, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

With Democratic control of both chambers of Congress and the executive branch, congressional oversight of the private sector has ramped up over the first 100 days of the 117th Congress. Moreover, companies can expect more investigations from both the House and Senate according to Skadden Arps attorneys in their article titled The First 100 Days: Congressional Investigations under the 117th Congress.

The authors note that the House of Representatives approved a rules package in January which reinforces the investigative capacities of various committees, while some of those committees have already begun issuing requests for information from private sector companies in the first few weeks of the session. The article also points to a number of House hearings and press conferences on topics impacting the private sector which provide clues regarding investigatory agendas and can assist companies in understanding industrywide priorities when reviewing their compliance practices.

With regard to the Senate, the authors observe that unlike in the House, the legislative body has not yet issued rules or policies as the Democrats assumed control over Senate committees for the first time in six years. They further note that the lull in investigatory actions may be due to a delay in establishing a power-sharing agreement between Democrats and Republicans as they grapple with a 50-50 Senate split. Nonetheless, Senate committees have held hearings on a number of topics impacting the private sector, which the authors observe will likely to translate into investigations as the session progresses.

To read the entire article, click here.