Forecast for February 25, 2020.

We’ve been busy writing reports and appropriations requests, so welcome to an abbreviated and belated First Branch Forecast.


House Rules are a way for lawmakers to set priorities & implement reforms. We tracked the status of reforms in the House Rules package: see the results.

Approps season is in full swing. Roll Call has a draft House markup schedule, and check out our approps tracker.

This week, the Library of Congress and GAO are testifying before H. Leg Branch Approps on Thursday; next week House Officers, Members, the public, the AOC, and GPO are all testifying. Mismanagement and discrimination at CRS was the topic of a House Admin hearing last year.

Remember that panel discussion on DOJ’s OLC opinions that we teased you about last week? Video is now available! (And here’s a 1-pager on a legislative fix.)

It appears the Acting DNI was removed for sharing information with Congress; the latest in a series of steps to turn off the information faucet from the Exec. Branch to Leg. Branch overseers.

GAO launched a new line of productsscience and tech spotlights.

ICYMI: Congress has systematically underfunded its own operations for decades. We have the charts to prove it.

VA Reporting Transparency Act, a bill requiring reports the VA must provide to Congress to be available on a central website, will get a House floor vote on Thursday.


TechCongress is stepping up to fill in the tech gap: TechCongress places recent CS, engineering, etc. graduate students to act as (paid) tech policy advisors to top Members of Congress. Sound like a good fit? Apply to the 2020 Congressional Innovation Scholars Program by March 15th.

Experience doesn’t pay the bills: experts tell NPR why intern pay is critical.

An Architect of the Capitol (AOC) employee detailed horrific behavior from his colleaguesin a dicrimination lawsuit against the agency. Allegations include finding a noose hanging from equipement he was assigned to inspect and being called the N-word by white colleagues. These reports at AOC are, unfortunately, not unique: there are other ongoing racial discrimination, proof of sexual harassment, and allegations of whistleblower retaliation. BTW, the AOC has a $695.9 million budget (13.7% of the Leg. Branch budget).

The FOIA Advisory committee will consider recommendations from its three subcommittees — Records Management, Time/Volume, and Vision — at its upcoming meeting on March 5th. The meeting materialsvideo stream, and registration are available online.

Not sure how to obtain Intelligence Community records? The FOIA Advisory Committee will host a primer on Thursday, March 12th at 1 with the Information Security Oversight Office and the National Declassification Center.

Freshman Rep. Jim Hagedorn announced he has stage 4 kidney cancer; he plans to continue working in Congress.

A man in NY was arrested for threatening to kill Rep. Schiff and Minority Leader Schumer over the impeachment trial.

Capitol Police arrested ‘multiple’ individuals for crowding and obstructing Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center on Presidents Day around 11 am. USCP did not disclose how many people were arrested. Make sure to check out the complete Capitol Police round-up.



• Hearing on the “Library of Congress FY2021 Budget Hearing” at 1 pm in 2359 Rayburn and the “Government Accountability Office FY 2021 Budget” at 2 pm in 2359 Rayburn.

Down the Line

• Hearing on “House Officers FY2021 Budget” on Tuesday, March 3 at 1 pm in HT-2 Capitol.

• Hearing from Members and Public Witnesses testifying on FY21 Budget on Wednesday, March 4 at 1 pm and 2 pm in HT-2 Capitol.

• Hearing on “Architect of the Capitol FY2021 Budget” at 10 am in HT-2 Capitol and “Government Publishing Office FY2021 Budget” at 11am in HT-2 Capitol.


• H. Approps – Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government is holding its hearing on “Judiciary Department Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request” at 2 pm in 2362-A Rayburn.