Inside the congressional hearings process: Not sexy perhaps, but necessary

At this time of the year, Congress and its committees are in the midst of, or concluding, hearings on numerous topics, bills, and budget considerations. Authorization, budget, appropriations and oversight hearings abound on every conceivable subject. Later this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to consider the President’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

On the other side of the witness table, company executives, association leaders, heads of non-profits, government officials, and presidential nominees alike are preparing for the experience of testifying before a congressional committee, an exercise likened by some to having a root canal. Recently we’ve seen automobile executives, energy company officials, financial industry representatives, and even White House party crashers take their turn to testify in front of congressional committees, with very mixed results and reactions. One need only consult policy periodicals or committee web sites for a schedule of the seemingly never-ending stream of congressional hearings that typically commence in February each year and run heavily through early summer.

. . .
For those engaged in preparation for a hearing, you might want to consider a handy checklist of the essential elements of an effective and successful congressional hearing, and of effective testimony, from the perspectives of both a congressional committee and a witness:…

Inside the congressional hearings process: Not sexy perhaps, but necessary,” by Bill LaForge, The Hill’s Congress Blog, June 2, 2010
See also

Testifying Before Congress
Testifying Before Congress

Testifying Before Congress
A Practical Guide to Preparing and Delivering Testimony before Congress and Congressional Hearings for Agencies, Associations, Corporations, Military, NGOs, and State and Local Officials

By William N. LaForge

    As a practical guide to assist witnesses and their organizations in preparing and delivering Congressional testimony, this book is designed for use by anyone or any organization called upon to testify before a committee of the United States Congress, and for those who are providing assistance in preparing the testimony and the witness. This book can serve as a guide through the unique maze of the Congressional hearings process for virtually any witness or organization, including especially federal departments and agencies, the federal judiciary, members and staff of the legislative branch itself, associations, corporations, the military service branches, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private and voluntary organizations (PVOs), public interest entities, state and local governmental officials and institutions, and individuals who are chosen to appear as a witness before Congress for any reason on any topic.

Forthcoming Summer 2010
2010, 475-plus pages
Hardbound, $77
ISBN 10: 158733-172-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-58733-172-5
Softcover, $67
ISBN 10: 158733-163-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-58733-163-3
For more information, see




Testifying Before Congress

Testifying Before Congress

Pocket Constitution

Pocket Constitution

Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

Congressional Procedure

Congressional Procedure, from TheCapitol.Net

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