Are Congressional Hearings Truly Influencing American Politics?

Joshua Fitch

Millions watch in astonishment. As Mark Zuckerberg testifies in capitol hill.

November 13, 2019- You are Mark Zuckerberg. It is one forty-five pm in Room 2128 of the Rayburn Office Building. You were testifying for almost four hours, enduring the questions of the House Financial Services Committee, five mins in step with a representative, some of them very angry at you. Chair Maxine Waters (D-California) listens to your request for ruin and consults with a staffer. There is a floor vote arising and she wishes one more member to ask you questions. So before your wreck, she instructs, you will take questions from Representative Katie Porter (D-California). Porter begins by using asking you about a contention that Facebook’s legal professionals made in court earlier this 12 months that Facebook users do not expect privacy. You might have heard this—it got press insurance on the time—but you are saying you couldn’t comment without the whole context. You’re not a lawyer! She turns to the plight of the heaps of content moderators Facebook hired as contractors who observe traumatic images all day for low wages. You give an explanation for that they get extra than minimum wage to police your provider, as a minimum $15 an hour and, in high-fee regions, $20 an hour. Porter isn’t impressed. She asks if you’ll vow to spend one hour a day for the subsequent year doing that work. This is something you honestly don’t need to commit to. You squirm—is it nature’s call or wondering?—and sputter that isn’t the exceptional use of some time. She triumphantly takes that as a no. Waters presents the recess and also you run a photographer gauntlet for a few remedies.
That, in a nutshell, is what happens when you are the chief executive of Facebook in 2019 and you come to the People’s House. Zuckerberg knew that some of this became in a shop when he came to Washington to testify before the committee. Waters had warned him it’d no longer be first-rate, as if he didn’t recognize all too well. He got here although because Libra, Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, is burning. As the only witness on Wednesday, Facebook’s CEO knew he’d be dealing with almost 60 legislators keen to take a whack at him. But the cryptocurrency plan concocted inside his business enterprise is in trouble—partners are leaving, regulators are vowing to prohibit it, and legislators like Waters assume Facebook must claim a moratorium at the plan. So Zuckerberg is back to Congress for the first time in a year, to arise for the task. He does this completely understanding that he’ll be facing humans convinced that Facebook isn’t fit to deal in baseball cards, let alone a blockchain-based totally international charge device.
Despite the numerous allegations that accused Zuckerberg of sharing data information. We as Americans are questioning if committee hearings play a significant role in American politics? According to foreignaffairs.com, many Americans have argued that u.s Congress is broken. Legislators prioritize political posturing and self-aggrandizement over the actual business of legislation. They have caused two costly and pointless shutdowns of the federal government in the past two years alone. Despite his campaign promises, President Donald Trump has not, in fact, drained the swamp. The Republicans’ 2017 tax reform bill set off a frenzy of lobbying, and in the 2018 midterm elections, total campaign spending broke the $5 billion mark for the first time. The only lawmakers who buck the party line tend to be those who have already announced their retirement—and even then, the dissent only rarely and with trepidation. No wonder 76 percent of Americans, according to a Gallup poll, disapprove of Congress.  This dysfunction started well before the Trump presidency. It has been growing for decades, despite promise after promise and proposal after proposal to reverse it. Many explanations have been offered, from the rise of partisan media to the growth of gerrymandering to the explosion of corporate money. But one of the most important causes is usually overlooked: transparency. Something usually seen as an antidote to corruption and bad government, it turns out, is leading to both.
The problem began in 1970, when a group of liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives spearheaded the passage of new rules known as “sunshine reforms.” Advertised as measures that would make legislators more accountable to their constituents, these changes increased the number of votes that were recorded and allowed members of the public to attend previously off-limits committee meetings. But the reforms backfired. By diminishing secrecy, they opened up the legislative process to a host of actors—corporations, special interests, foreign governments, members of the executive branch—that pay far greater attention to the thousands of votes taken each session than the public does. The reforms also deprived members of Congress of the privacy they once relied on to forge compromises with political opponents behind closed doors.
Although many have questioned the belief of special interest groups, many Americans have changed their opinions during the trump era. In future years, Congress will eventually have the most political power based on political party affiliation. This will dramatically change American politics.
 
Sources: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2019-04-16/dark-side-sunlight
https://www.wired.com/story/mark-zuckerberg-endures-another-grilling-capitol-hill/