Forecast for May 28, 2019. Slow-mo.


• Congress doesn’t have the resources right now to take on Trump and House Dem Leadership isn’t fighting to acquire them.

• The Fix Congress Committee unanimously approved five measures to improve congressional transparency and accountability.

• Oversight wars: the military is trying to hold info back from Congress; McGahn may be held in contempt; and what about those tax returns?

• Defense spending bill amendments would assert Congress’s war powers.

• The Congressional Transparency Caucus will demo free tools for staffers to help them do their jobs next Friday, June 7th. RSVP. Continue reading “Forecast for May 28, 2019. Slow-mo.”

Forecast for May 20, 2019.

DESCRIBING WHY CONGRESS IS BROKEN can be hard, but this awesome claymation video helps. Seriously, it’s better than schoolhouse rock. (Thanks CS Monitor).

ON STARTING IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS, PELOSI’S STRATEGY HAS BEEN DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. But with Rep. Justin Amash’s statement this weekend that the “Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” the political calculus is changing. Continue reading “Forecast for May 20, 2019.”

Forecast for May 13, 2019.

THIS IS YET ANOTHER long winded, discursive First Branch Forecast. What’s inside?

• What happened when the Modernization Committee examined transparency as a means to strengthen Congress?

• What exactly was included in the leg branch’s budget bill? The contents may surprise you.

• Oversight Wars: the phantom privilege

• Freedom of the Press

• Swamp and Scandal Continue reading “Forecast for May 13, 2019.”

Forecast for May 6, 2019. So It’s Finally Time for Infrastructure Week?


House Leg Branch Approps Subcommittee favorably reported its FY 2020 approps bill that contains a ton of great provisions. Oddly, Republican members spoke favorably about the bill during the proceedings even as they voted against it, suggesting that their opposition had to do with political concerns unrelated to the work of the subcommittee. (This is not uncommon.) Appropriators do not release the bill’s committee report until 24 hours before the full committee markup, and based on our experience there’s probably a number of additional good provisions in that text.

We ran the numbers and compared each line item against what Congress has appropriated over the last 25 years. (You can view our spreadsheet here.) We will highlight a few important items later on, but let’s not miss the trees for the forest: Continue reading “Forecast for May 6, 2019. So It’s Finally Time for Infrastructure Week?”