WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
~Monday’s committee vote on Pompeo’s nomination sets the stage for Gina Haspel at CIA. She led efforts to destroy gov’t records (videos of torture) to stop disclosure to Congress and the public. The CIA is selectively declassifying records (and tweeting) to rehabilitate her on her involvement w/ torture.
~Will A.G. Sessions be asked about a secret 7-page legal justification for Syria, or all the secret OLC opinions, when he testifies?
~Why is House Armed Services Committee breaking precedent and holding closed, classified roundtables with the Service Chiefs instead of public budget hearings?
~An AUMF bill is coming, but when? Will it strengthen or weaken Congress?
~Notables: Gen. Mattis, A.G. Sessions, FCC Chair Pai, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Dunford, many Leg Branch agency heads, and French Pres. Macron.
~Notable meetings: Changing the Senate nominations process, DOJ + FCC + SEC budgets, 7 NDAA markups, social media platforms (with an empty panel for tech companies), leg branch approps hearings, and a Special Counsel bill markup.
Monday, April 23
- Senate reconvenes at 3
- Vote on Pompeo as Secretary of State — S. For’n Relations at 5
Tuesday, April 24
- House reconvenes, first votes at 6:30
- America’s Cybersecurity Risk — HSGAC at 10
Wednesday, April 25
- House Floor: Oui? French Pres. Macron addresses a joint session of Congress at 10:30
- Copyright bill “Music Modernization Act” (HR 5447) goes to the House floor; closed rule expected from House Rules committee meeting on Tuesday at 5
- FTC Commissioner nomination of Rebecca Kelly Slaughter — S. Commerce at 9:45
- DOD Budget (Closed!) — Hse Defense Approps SubC at 1 (witnesses: Sec. Def. Mattis, Joint Chiefs Chair Dunford, more)
- GAO Budget — Hse Leg Branch Approps SubC at 1 (witness: Comptroller Dodaro)
- Library of Congress Budget — Hse Leg Branch Approps SubC at 2 (witnesses: Librarian of Congress Hayden & Dep’y Sweeney)
- Border Security and CBP — Hse Homeland Sec’y at 2 (witness: Commissioner McAleena)
- DOJ Budget — S. Commerce, Science, Justice Approps SubC at 2:30 (witness: A.G. Sessions) (note: this is not listed on the SubC page)
- Member Day — Hse Finance Services Approps SubC at 3
- House of Reps Budget — Hse Leg Branch Approps SubC at 3 (witnesses: CAO Kiko, Clerk Haas, Sergeant at Arms Irving)
- Changing the Senate Nominations Process (S Res 355) — S. Rulesmarkup at 3:30
- GAO & CBO Budget — S. Leg Branch Approps SubC at 3:30 (witnesses: Comptroller Dodaro and CBO Dir. Hall) (note: this is not listed on the SubC webpage)
Thursday, April 26
- NDAA (HR 5515) Markup — Hse Armed Svcs Readiness SubC at 9
- SEC Budget — Hse Approps Financial Services SubC at 9:30 (witness: SEC chair Clayton)
- NDAA (HR 5515) Markup — Hse Armed Services Emerging Threats SubC at 10 (not listed on docs.house.gov)
- Homeland Security Budget — Hse Homeland Sec’y at 10 (witness: Secretary Nielsen)
- Social Media Platform Filtering Policies — Hse Judiciary at 10 (note: big tech companies invited but not listed as attending)
- GAO’s Duplication Report (Fed Gov’t waste & inefficiency) — Hse Oversight at 10
- Special Counsel protection bill (S. 2644) — S. Judiciary markup at 10
- Dep’t of State Authorization Bill (unnamed bill) — Hse For’n Affairs at 10
- DOJ Budget — Hse Commerce, Science, Justice Approps SubC at 10:30 (Witnesses: A.G. Sessions)
- NDAA Markup — S. Approps Military Construction SubC at 10:30 (not listed on SubC website)
- NDAA Markup (HR 5515) — Hse Armed Services Military Personnel SubC at 11 (not listed on docs.house.gov)
- NDAA Markup (HR 5515) — Hse Armed Services Tactical Air & Land Forces SubC at 12:30 (not listed on docs.house.gov)
- NDAA Markup (HR 5515) — Hse Armed Services Seapower at 1:30
- FCC Budget — Hse Approps Financial Services SubC at 2 (witness: FCC Chair Pai)
- NDAA Markup (HR 5515) — Hse Armed Services Strategic Forces SubC at 3 (not listed on docs.house.gov)
Friday, April 27
- Should Congress survey leg branch staff pay? Create a technology assessment capacity? Establish a congressional whistleblower resource center? Provide sufficient clearances to staff to conduct oversight? Fix its lobbying disclosure forms? Publish a hearings calendar on Congress.gov? Look at CRS’s management practices? Empower the GAO to investigate the intelligence community? All these issues, and more, were brought up during Tuesday’s House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee outside witness testimony. Watch it here.
- The FY18 approps bill contains good transparency changes: a central website for Congressional Budget Justifications, public access to CRS reports, reporting back on PACER’s operations, and a central repository for IG reports.
- The Office of Compliance testified before Leg Branch Approps and dismissed the Washington Post report on its lax security practices, publicly surfaced by the release of two Wyden letters (1, 2).
- Kudos to CRS for publishing an unredacted version of its annual reportand posting a half-dozen back issues.
- The 2016–2018 FOIA advisory committee finalized its reform recommendations — we’re waiting on publication. Want to join the committee? Apply by June 1.
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