Being Call To Testify Before Congress

@gewcew23 (8011)
United States
March 29, 2010 5:16pm CST
I am hearing that these CEOs that have reported how much money the new health care reform will cost their companies will be called to testify before Congress. My question is what gives Congress the power to call a private citizen to testify before them? Congress is not like a court, and these CEOs did not commit any crime by announcing how much money the reforms were going to cost.
1 person likes this
7 responses
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
30 Mar 10
Congress has no power to force a private citizen to testify...evidenced by the refusal of the White House party crashers refusal to go before them a few months ago. The CEO of a corporation is not called as a private citizen but as a representative of the corporation. I don't know enough about corporate regulations to say whether they can be forced or not.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Mar 10
COngress tried to call the president of Toyata...but couldn't because he is not a US citizen. Does not even live in this country. He said he was not going to come here to talk to congress himself..so he send some representatives. I think Congress can ask anyone to come talk to them...but I don't think anyone is legally required to show up...unless you are federal employee.
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@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
30 Mar 10
This shows their arrogance and how important they feel they are. It is like they feel they are the ruling class like the Barons of England their will is law and they can do what they want - legal or not - and only the King can over rule them or punish them. Many in congress feel they are above the law as shown by the scandals that keep popping up every year.
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@spalladino (17924)
• United States
30 Mar 10
Yes, they do, bob. The elitist attitude in D.C., even among congressional staff members, was the butt of many jokes over the years when I was living up that way.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Mar 10
Congressional power to compel testimony comes from Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution: "The Congress shall have Power ... TO make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers..." If Congress needs to compel sworn testimony, subject to the limits of the Fifth Amendment, in order to fulfill legislative duties, they have the power to pass a law that permits them to issue subpoenas and jail for contempt of congress those who do not comply with them. They passed just such a law ages ago.
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@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
30 Mar 10
You are going to have to explain to me how that section even address testimony. It does not even address what you are saying it does. Come on try again!
• United States
30 Mar 10
That section is commonly called "the elastic clause," because most of Congress's powers are rooted in it. What it basically says is that Congress has the power to do whatever it needs to do in order to do something else it's empowered to do. Therefore, if Congress needs to compel testimony in order to, say, regulate interstate commerce then Congress has the power to compel testimony.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
30 Mar 10
wow then after that, I will summon them to my house. Then you can summon them to yours! It will be like a progressive dinner! I will make the soup, I'm really good at making soup!
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
30 Mar 10
Now I am hungry
@laglen (19782)
• United States
30 Mar 10
lol I know, the last discussion I responded to involved bacon! yum!
• United States
30 Mar 10
That I know of...they can RQUEST someone come to talk to them...but not MAKE a private citizen come before them. They are NOT a court of law. So the CEOs can just ignore the request if they want.
1 person likes this
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
30 Mar 10
That is how I understood it but it always seems to me at lest that when ever Congress call for some one to testify it is done as a demand not a request.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
29 Mar 10
If I were the CEO I would go before Congress and tell them that they were merely following the law. The SEC requires that they refile earnings estimates when there is a large change in earnings or projected expenses. This information is required to be disclosed to share holders and other investors. They should tell Rep Waxman to read the laws he votes for, he might learn something. This points out the need for some protection from Congress and if these CEO were following the law and being challenged they should be able to go after Rep Waxman for the expenses they incurred. Of course Congress exempts themselves form such action.
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@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
30 Mar 10
Apparently Congress does not care what the law is.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
29 Mar 10
This particular Congress thinks it is all powerful and can do anything it wants and the people and businesses, etc. be d*****.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
29 Mar 10
I was reading the Constitution before I wrote this discussion and could not find the power to summons private citizens.
• United States
31 Mar 10
Gew, they can "ask" anyone to testify, but like we learned when Rove who knew he would end up in jail, or look like an idiot, you don't have to show up. These CEO's don't have to show up if they don't want to. But, it would be in their best interest to do so that way they can go on the record, and bring up the issues they have.