Summary: Successful lawyer and Harvard Law graduate,Samuel Dewey, breaks down what to expect from congressional investigationsduring the 117th Congress.
The 117th Congress is fully seated, and Democrats have retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and gained control of the Senate (albeit under a 50-50 power sharing agreement) and the Executive Branch. This is the first time we have seen unified Democratic control since 2009. Samuel Dewey, a former Senior Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, predicts that the private sector will be the central focus of Congressional investigations for the 117th Congress.
In addition to his role as a former Senior Counsel, Dewey has also served as the Chief Investigator and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. As a lawyer, Dewey specializes in white-collar investigations, compliance and litigation, regulatory compliance and litigation, and complex public policy matters. Dewey’s degree of expert knowledge makes him a recurrent commentator on national network news. Due to his level of expertise, Sam is often sought out by a variety of parties to comment on both congressional and executive branch investigations.
For the current Congress, Sam predicts that renewed congressional scrutiny directed towards the private sector will intensify as the unified Democratic government pursues its policy objectives. There will be a vast ensemble of industries and topics that congressional Democrats will seek to investigate as the current session of Congress begins to move forward, especially in the wake of the pandemic and in the aftermath of a Presidential transition.
Some of the more specific topics likely to be investigated include the fossil fuel industry and its sway on climate change, the financial sector, a variety of topics regarding the former Presidential Administration, as well as the 2020 pandemic and the federal government’s response to it such as the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and its programs. In addition, Democrats may inquire into monopolization of “Big Tech” companies, although such investigations may be limited to avoid giving Republicans ground to attack “Big Tech’s” pro Democratic political bias.
The CARES Act programs most likely to be investigated include the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts, nursing homes, and hospitals could face additional scrutiny over the coming years. Finally, beyond the already mentioned monopoly-motivated “Big Tech” investigations, the spread of extremism and misinformation on social media platforms is also likely to be examined and analyzed in preparation for a potential legislative push addressing these concerns sometime in the next year and a half.
“These predictions for the 117th Congress are predicated on historical evidence,” Sam Dewey said. “Traditionally, whenever the same party holds both the Presidency and Congress, there is little in the way of congressional investigations directed at the Executive Branch. And Democratic controlled Chambers of Congress have traditionally been much more aggressive in investigating the private sector. So we can naturally expect that there will be more scrutiny directed at the private sector."
About Samuel Dewey
Samuel Dewey is a successful lawyer and former Senior Counsel to the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and Chief Investigator and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Mr Dewey specializes in: (1) white collar investigations, compliance, and litigation; (2) regulatory compliance and litigation; and (3) complex public policy matters. Within these fields Mr. Dewey is considered an expert in Congressional investigations and attendant matters. Mr. Dewey has a BA in Political Science, a JD from Harvard Law School, and is admitted to practice law in Washington, DC, and Maryland.