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An informational rationale for committee gatekeeping power

By David Epstein


This essay investigates the relationship between congressional committees, information, and gatekeeping power. It shows that the power to obstruct legislation increases the amount of information transmitted by committees in equilibrium. As a consequence, rational floor actors will make it somewhat difficult, but not impossible, to discharge committees. Some committees will have effective gatekeeping power under the optimal rule, while others will not. The only committees that will be discharged are those which cannot credibly transmit any information to the parent body

Year: 1997
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