Forecast for February 25, 2019. Your Salad Days.

WORKING IN CONGRESS again is in the news, starting with Sen. Klobuchar receiving a drubbing for her ongoing mistreatment of staff. The New York Times tells a gross story of Sen. Klobuchar and a comb, but less salaciously describes her throwing objects and requesting staff return money earned during parental leave if they leave the office.

The Huffington Post, which has been at the forefront of reporting on Klobuchar, pushed back against Team Klobuchar’s painting of these news reports as sexist, quoting one staffer as saying “She is a terrible manager and abusive to her staff.” It’s obvious that Sen. Klobuchar’s office has a huge problem. She should come clean, and it’s not just admitting that she’s a “tough boss,” because there’s obviously more to it than that. (FWIW, Sen. Klobuchar is not the only senator who is more than a “tough boss.”)

As the ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, Sen. Klobuchar is in a perfect position to push for Senate-wide protections for staff that makes sure that issues like paid parental leave is out of the hands of any individual senator. We note that Sen. Klobuchar played a major role in advocating for the passage of the Congressional Accountability Act. Continue reading “Forecast for February 25, 2019. Your Salad Days.”

Forecast for February 19, 2019. Never Waste an Emergency


has 12 newly appointed members, an initial $50,000 budget (through March), and less than one year to issue recommendations. There’s little doubt that Congress must invest in its own brain power and modernize its technology.

The select committee isn’t Congress’s only hope, as the oversight committees (House Admin + Senate Rules) and leg branch appropriations committees play a major role in modernizing Congress. So too does the House and Senate writ large, as exemplified by the House’s consideration of HR 1 (the voting & ethics reform bill) and HSGAC’s favorable reporting of the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act. What remains to be seen is how Congress will react to Trump’s ’emergency’ power grab; on that topic, it appears Sen. McConnell has dropped his guise as a Senate institutionalist. (More on that.) Continue reading “Forecast for February 19, 2019. Never Waste an Emergency”

Forecast for February 4, 2019. Executive Time.


H.R. 1, the pro-voting & ethics strengthening bill, is getting negative reviews from anti-anti-corruption politicians (Mitch McConnell), court-identified fabulists (Hans Spakovsky), and K street lobbyists. It’s also the subject of an Oversight hearing on Wednesday.

Why won’t House Dems release their caucus rules? Progressives & grassroots orgs are pushing for their publication while Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries dodges press questions. Rep. Jeffries didn’t respond to my emails, either.

House Intel will break House rules should it hold its first organizational meeting in secret, as currently scheduled. House rules require the meeting be open and held where the press and public can attend — not in the SCIF — unless the committee first holds a roll call vote in public to close the proceedings. HPSCI is reconvening following Republican appointments. Continue reading “Forecast for February 4, 2019. Executive Time.”