The power behind the scenes at Congressional hearings

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Media Outlet: Marketplace

Lee Drutman was interviewed on Marketplace about the theater of Congressional hearings and the role lobbyists play.

"Hearings today are almost like theater," he explained. "It's the lobbyists who are the directors and the producers behind the scenes."
Drutman now researches lobbying at the think tank New America. He said lobbyists often write the questions lawmakers ask witnesses, they help choose the witnesses and those lobbyists are frequently in the room, in full view of the committee members up on the dais.
"And who's there is a powerful signal to you, as to who actually cares about this," Drutman said.

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Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the program on political reform at New America. He is the author of The Business of America is Lobbying (Oxford University Press, 2015).