Congressional committees are on a hiring spree as Democrats prepare to take control of the House of Representatives. With control of the lower body comes broad investigative powers. A job post, reviewed by CNN, reveals House Democrats are looking for individuals who have experience with executive branch oversight, signaling the White House may be the target of many of those investigations.
A recent job posting seeks legislative counsels with a variety of experience, including “criminal law, immigration law, constitutional law, intellectual property law, commercial and administrative law (including antitrust and bankruptcy), or oversight work.”
Democrats are expected to double the number of staffers in the coming months. They cannot officially begin hiring those staffers until the new Congress is sworn in on January 3. But that did not stop them from beginning those hiring efforts in the immediate wake of Election Day.
“Investigative counsel” sought “to conduct congressional investigations and advise on policy matters related to oversight of the executive branch,” read a job post for an unnamed committee posted November 7, 2018 – the day after Election Day.
“Responsibilities include staffing letters and subpoenas, conducting interviews, organizing and staffing hearings and preparing memos, talking points, statements and reports as necessary…Previous congressional or executive branch experience preferred, but candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply.”
“Candidates must have attention to detail, excellent writing skills, excel under pressure and have a sense of humor,” the post read.
The flurry of hiring activity belies pledges made by Democrats that their time will be spent governing rather than investigating Republicans.
Interest in the jobs has been brisk however, according to Democrats on Capitol Hill.
“We’re being deluged with resumes, really impressive resumes. There will be no shortage of good candidates. The difficulty will be choosing among them,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), incoming Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which will take the lead in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Because many of the controversies Dems have their sights set on investigating stretch into different areas – such as national security, campaign finance laws and governmental ethics – large areas of overlap between jurisdictions are likely to exist. That has led some to worry whether turf battles will erupt between the respective committees.
But Democratic leaders are brushing aside those concerns. “We’re not going to step on each other’s toes,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), incoming Chair of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform committee, which has sweeping oversight powers over the entire federal government.
“We want to make sure that if there is jurisdiction that we work that out in private and then go to our committees and do what we have to do.”
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