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 Congress has no enumerated constitutional power to conduct investigations or issue subpoenas, but the Supreme Court has held that each House has power “to secure needed information” in order to legislate. McGrain v. Daugherty, 273 U. S. 135, 161, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L. Ed. 580 (1927). This “power of inquiry-with process to enforce it-is an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function.” Id., at 174, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L. Ed. 580. Without information, Congress would be shooting in the dark, unable to legislate “wisely or effectively.” Id., at 175, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L. Ed. 580. The congressional power to obtain information is “broad” and “indispensable.” Watkins v. United States, 354 U. S. 178, 187, 215, 77 S. Ct. 1173, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1273, 76 Ohio Law Abs. 225 (1957). It encompasses inquiries into the administration of existing laws, studies of proposed laws, and “surveys of defects in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them.” Id., at 187, 77 S. Ct. 1173, 1 L. Ed. 2d 1273, 76 Ohio Law Abs. 225.

Because this power is ...

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