The Government Accountability Office

The Government Accountability Office - of Congress behave...

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The Government Accountability Office The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the main investigative agency of Congress. The GAO regularly examines federal expenditures and activities on request from Congress. GAO reports are usually nonpartisan and well researched. These reports often form the basis of new legislation and at times spark public outcry. Helping Constituents Members do a variety of things to please and aid their constituents. Sometimes they support legislation that will help the district. Members also have their staff engage in casework, which helps constituents with individual problems from recommendations for military academies to signing up for Medicare. Part of casework involves acting as an ombudsperson, a person who investigates complaints against government agencies or employees. To stay in touch with their constituents, members spend as much time in their districts as possible, performing community service, attending the openings of new businesses, and meeting with local leaders to discuss key issues. The way members
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Unformatted text preview: of Congress behave at home is known collectively as their home style. Pork Members of Congress help their constituents by getting money for their districts through legislation. The federal government, for example, may fund a highway project or a research project at a local university. The term pork refers to federal money that is funneled into a specific legislative district. A member of Congress will often insert pork into a bill in order to gain another member’s support or to win votes back home. Example: An infamous example of pork in 2006 was the so-called bridge to nowhere, a bridge in a remote part of Alaska (to be built with federal money) that would be used by very few people. The bridge was inserted into the budget by Alaska senator Ted Stevens. Defining Pork To some degree, one’s person’s pork is another person’s worthy way to spend money. People often label money as “pork” when the money goes to someone else’s district....
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