David Frulla writes in The Hill:
"Congress' power and authority to oversee the executive branch's execution of laws date back to 1792 when then-Rep. James Madison led the first congressional oversight investigation. And the legislative oversight's historical antecedents stretch back even further, beyond the Enlightenment in the late 1600's through the early 1800's.
In fact, the Enlightenment idea of the consent of the governed animated in large part both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. It was James Madison in Federalist No. 39 who fortified the notion this new government would not only be 'of the people' and 'for the people' but answerable to the people in varying, strategically differing ways. He thus explained the 'House of Representatives [would] derive its powers from the people,…the Senate, its powers from the States,…and the executive power [would] be derived from a very compound source....'”