Rep. Hoyer Speaks on Renewing Faith in Government

Yesterday, House Minority Whip Steny Hower (D-MD) gave an interesting speech on renewing the American people’s faith in government. He ticked off four major areas for reform: campaign finance reform, voting rights, redistricting reform, and government technology.

While there’s a lot to digest in his speech, I want to highlight the part that concerns government technology. Continue reading “Rep. Hoyer Speaks on Renewing Faith in Government”

Is The House Intelligence Committee Out of Balance?

Yesterday’s appointment of representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) to the House Intelligence Committee may push the Committee’s membership out of balance — it no longer has a member who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, as required by the Rules of the House of Representatives.

Because of its coordinating role, House Rules require the Committee to include at least one member who also serves on the following committees: Appropriations, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Judiciary. Rep. Castro replaces Illinois representative Luis Gutierrez, who resigned on May 26th and was the only member of the Committee cross-seated on Judiciary. The House of Representatives apparently waived the rules’ requirement when it agreed to his appointment. Continue reading “Is The House Intelligence Committee Out of Balance?”

11 Simple Things to Improve Senate Accountability

Democratic members of the U.S. Senate recently announced “We the People,” a legislative package the New York Times describes as intended to “hit campaign contributions, lobbying laws and other accountability issues.” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hailed the legislation, which is unlikely to pass under Republican control, as “ a strong package of reforms to help restore our democracy and break the grip of wealthy special interests in Washington.”

We applaud any effort to address undue influence and the role of money in politics. (We also think the package of ambitious proposals should have included public financing.) While the provisions in the legislation may prove hard to move even in a Democratic-controlled Senate, we offer eleven ideas to which nearly every senator should be able to say yes. Continue reading “11 Simple Things to Improve Senate Accountability”