Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Can We Eliminate The Agricultural Committees Without Assuming A Can Opener?

I'm getting more and more convinced by the Ezra Klein view that it would be good to eliminate the agricultural committees, which have become dens of regulatory capture for the subsidy-hungry forces of Big Corn.

But I'm wondering how one would go about doing this. For one thing, I don't know much about the procedural mechanics of eliminating a committee or demoting it to subcommittee status. But whatever those mechanics are, won't the Senators on those committees fight like crazy to protect their power? I'd imagine that they and agricultural interests would be fighting with all their might and main to prevent this from happening, while the rest of Congress would feel blase enough about Agricultural Committee elimination to be bought off. That's how regulatory capture works.

Of course, I'd like to believe otherwise. So how do we do this?

[Those who haven't heard the can opener joke should click here. I'm wondering which of the academic jokes I know are in-jokes and which are widely known.]


Vadranor said...


Go back and study what the Republicans did when they took over the House after the 1994 election. Three standing committees (District of Columbia; Post Office and Civil Service; and Merchant Marine and Fisheries) were eliminated and their functions transferred to other committees). In addition, three select committees (Aging; Hunger; and Children, Youth and Families) were eliminated period.

corvus said...

As a data point, my non-academic ass has never heard that joke before.