The Leg Branch Approps To-Do List for FY 2019

Congress requested a number of improvements to how the legislative branch functions as part of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (and, in one instance, for FY 2018). What happened?

We reviewed the status of requested leg branch projects in the following chart and then provided an issue-by-issue analysis. We expect to have more status updates at this week’s upcoming Legislative Data and Transparency Conference.

Leg Branch Checklist Continue reading “The Leg Branch Approps To-Do List for FY 2019”

Forecast for October 7, 2019


The impeachment inquiry is underway — so why don’t members have a sufficiently-cleared staff to help them do their jobs? (They should.) By the way, this Ryan Grimm story on why the Democratic caucus moved towards impeachment is the best one out there.

RSVP for the Legislative Data & Transparency Conference, set for Thursday October 17th. Hosted by House Admin in the CVC, it brings members and staff from the House, Senate, support offices, and support agencies (and us) to talk about improving congressional tech and transparency. RSVP here. Wanna give a lightning talk?

Speaking of tech, join us on Tuesday for “Time for an Upgrade: Getting Better Tech for Congress” at 12 in 2075 Rayburn, hosted by

Continue reading “Forecast for October 7, 2019”

Sens. Peters and Portman Intro Transparency Bill for Agency Spending Plans

On Friday, Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation to make it much easier to find how federal agencies propose to spend federal funds. The Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act of 2019 (S. 2560) requires all agencies to publish a plain language explanation of their funding proposal — known as a Congressional Justification (CJ) —  online within two weeks of submitting them to Congress. Users must be able to download reports individually and in bulk, and agencies are encouraged to publish the CJs as structured data. 

Currently, getting your hands on these federal spending roadmaps can be a challenge. This adds yet another hurdle to tracking federal spending, an already tricky topic. Trust us, we’ve tried. Here’s the problem: Continue reading “Sens. Peters and Portman Intro Transparency Bill for Agency Spending Plans”