Democrats are promising new scrutiny of corporate America's biggest names as they expand their power on Capitol Hill.

In the week since the midterm election, Democratic lawmakers have vowed to launch inquiries into publicly traded companies with ties to President Donald Trump and his top lieutenants, including Deutsche Bank, Boeing, and AT&T. They plan to seek answers directly from pharmaceutical CEOs on the cost of prescription drugs. And they want to turn up the pressure on consumer-facing companies like Wells Fargo, Equifax and payday lenders.

"To appeal to the Democratic base right now requires them to at least posture as though they're going to meaningfully contest corporate power," said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, a liberal advocacy group.

The combative approach is partly an outgrowth of Democrats' strategy of maximizing their oversight authority in the House once they wield the gavel. With Republicans in control of the White House and Senate, Democrats have little chance of passing meaningful legislation. Instead, they're doubling down on accountability for the Trump administration — and business provides a back door.

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