Should Congress Have Hearings On Professional Baseball?

Should Congress Have Hearings On Professional Baseball?

It might not seem unusual that the House Committee on Government Reform held hearings all day Thursday, March 17. Hearings are a regular part of business for the committee, which routinely focuses on resolving government reform issues such as whether energy demands will exceed availability in the coming century, whether the country’s national parks survive for future generations, etc.

But the focus of this potential hearing was somewhat unusual – major league baseball. Specifically, eliminating steroid usage in professional baseball. Or perhaps it was an attempt to determine the extent that steroids are used by professional baseball players – it really isn’t certain. It also isn’t certain whether there will be more hearings to further discuss steroid use/abuse in professional sports.

What is certain is that as a result of the day-long, taxpayer-sponsored hearings, there are no pending bills concerning steroid usage in baseball or any other sport. So what was the point? Proponents of the hearing indicated that the hearings were scheduled after committee members accused baseball of ignoring its steroid problem for years and then reluctantly, after years of pressure, adopting a weak steroid testing program. While there are certain arguments about why it took so long to get it done, the powerful players’ union fighting it every step of the way is one reason, the question to federal workers and taxpayers can be summed up by one word…”why?”

Why is professional baseball steroid usage demanding tax-payer funded hearings? The sport, like all professional sports, is already regulated and self-governed. So what was the point of the hearing? Where is it going? How much is it going to cost?

Well, we at are asking readers the same question in a new survey. Should the House Government Reform Committee be spending its time and effort on hearings regarding the use of steroids in professional baseball?

Which do you think is the most relevant topic for the House Government Reform Committee to be considering? Changing the fundamental structure of the federal civil service? Pay for performance in the civil service? Or use of steroids in professional baseball?

Readers can also submit their comments and views on the survey. will release the results of the survey, along with some of the more interesting and consensus comments, in a future article.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47