What Items Are Due to Congress: May 2021

Congress regularly requests reports on strengthening Congress but there’s no central place to keep track of what they’ve requested.

To help keep track of things, we built a public spreadsheet that maintains a catalog of projects, broken down by item due, entity responsible, and due date.

The catalog covers reforms and requests ordered by the House and Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittees, the Committee on House Rules, and the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. At the moment, the catalog includes major resolutions and measures: H. Res. 8, the House Rules for the 117th Congress, Legislative Branch Appropriations FY 2021, and H.Res. 756 from the 116th Congress.

We continue to update this list each month for what’s due and what’s outstanding. Here are the February, March, and April editions.

Due In May

This month has zero items that are due. You can see below what reports are past due and have yet to be publicly released.

What Items are Past Due?

There are still a number of outstanding reports that are past due that are not publicly available. Those reports include:

Legislative Branch FY 2021 Appropriations

Architect of the Capitol (AOC)

Study on Stopping the Spread of Infectious Diseases

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 17

Due Date: February 10, 2021

The Committees direct the AOC to brief the Committees on the costs associated with a study on the feasibility of necessary upgrades within the Capitol Complex facilities, including doors and elevators, to reduce the number of surfaces that are touched by staff and visitors with the goal of reducing the spread of infectious diseases. The AOC shall brief the Committees within 45 days of enactment of this act, and the AOC is encouraged to submit as part of its fiscal year 2022 budget request a funding request for a full feasibility study on this matter.

Architect of the Capitol and U.S. Capitol Police

Screening Vestibules

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 3

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The USCP and the AOC are directed to provide an updated briefing to the Committees within 90 days of enactment of this act on the feasibility of implementing screening vestibules outside of the House and Senate office buildings. The briefing should include detailed preliminary cost estimates and additional studies needed for vestibule construction. Additionally, the briefing should cover both permanent and temporary options for construction.

Chief Administrative Officer

Report on Website Accessibility

House Report, pg 17

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The Committee directs the CAO to provide a report, no later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, on the current state of web accessibility of Member websites and provide a plan that defines the scope, timeline, and cost estimates for all Member of Congress websites to be accessible for the disabled. This report shall be submitted to the Committee and the Committee on House Administration.

Centralized Human Resources Report

House Report, pg 17

Due Date: April 26, 2021

Language: The Committee commends the recommendations produced by the Select Committee, particularly those regarding centralized Human Resources. A centralized human resources program would provide standardized hiring, promoting, and managing guidelines and improve in the retention and recruitment of a diverse workforce. The Committee requests a report within 120 days of enactment from the CAO on the feasibility of a centralized Human Resources system.

Eligible Congressional Member Organization (eCMO)

House Report, pg 14

Due Date: April 26, 2021

Language: The Committee notes that the eCMO process was set up in the 114th Congress to streamline the documentation process and ease of processing paperwork. The process outlined in House Rules, was amended in the beginning of the 116th Congress to lower requirements for more participation of smaller CMOs. The Committee on House Administration (CHA) adopted regulations that defined the required paperwork for establishing and appointing staff to eCMOs in Committee Resolution 116–06. The CAO is directed to provide an assessment of current procedures and provide recommendations for more efficiencies should they exist no later than 120 days after enactment of this Act.

Congressional Budget Office

Promoting Transparency

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 12

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The CBO provides Congress with budgetary and economic analysis that is important to the legislative process and can have significant policy implications. The Committees support CBO’s current and planned efforts for improving and promoting transparency of the agency’s modeling and cost estimate process. CBO should continue with efforts on transparency that respect the interests of Congress and maintain the agency’s professional independence. Further, the Committees direct CBO to provide the Committees with an updated report within 90 days of enactment of this act detailing the agency’s ongoing future efforts to implement the multi-year plan to increase its capacity to make CBO’s work as transparent and responsive as possible. This should also review the agency’s transparency efforts in 2020. 

Congressional Research Service

Continuing Education for Congressional Staff

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 24

House Report, pg 35

Due Date: April 26, 2021

House Report Language: The CRS provides valuable education seminars for Congressional staff on the legislative process. To strengthen and expand those educational opportunities and to assist in retaining staff, the Committee is interested in the concept of a more rigorous and extensive program for staff training. CRS is requested to provide a report within 120 days of enactment of this Act that develops a design concept for a one-year pilot continuing education Congressional law program for senior Congressional staff. The pilot could be operated by CRS or by a local law school chosen by competitive grant. Subject matter could include topics such as Federal judiciary and constitutional law; legislation and the regulatory state; and international law. The CRS report should include recommendations on the appropriate number of participants, the composition of the group, and selection process, the projected costs of such a pilot, and possible funding sources, to include Member office and student contributions. 

Joint Language: The Committees remain interested in the concept of a more rigorous and extensive educational program for staff. House Report 116-447 requested CRS to provide a report within 120 days of enactment of this act that develops a design concept for a 1-year pilot continuing education Congressional law program for senior Congressional staff. The report should include recommendations on the appropriate number of participants, the composition of the group and selection process, the projected costs of such a pilot, and possible funding sources.

Clerk

Report on Lobbyist Disclosure Unique Identifier

House Report, pg 9 

Due Date: February 25, 2021

The Committee requests a report from the Clerk of the House, no later than 60 days after enactment of this Act, regarding progress on generating a Congresswide unique identifier for lobbyists and disclosing that identifier to the public as structured data as part of the lobbying disclosure downloads.

Digital Signatures Report

House Report, pg 9

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The Committee believes that Congressional staff members need digital options to complete their critical day-today functions, such as collecting signatures for letters. The Committee requests a report from the Clerk of the House, no later than 90 days after enactment  of this Act, on the feasibility of the use of digital signatures.

Clerk and CAO

Alternative Legislative Applications Report

House Report, pg 16

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The Committee applauds the Clerk of the House for updating legislative systems to modernize House operations and comply with the rules of the House such as House rule XXI, clause 12 (referred to as the ‘‘Posey Rule’’). The Committee is aware of advances made in Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) products that could be used to expand resources for Members and staff. The Committee directs the Clerk, in consultation with the CAO, to study this issue and develop a list of COTS systems that can be easily integrated with existing House platforms leading to increase in productivity and cost savings. Furthermore, the report should examine the comparative advantages of available COTS alternatives that have been authorized for use by the Committee on House Administration for use throughout the House. This report shall be submitted no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act.

Library of Congress

IT Modernization

House Report, pg 32-33

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 22

Due Date: March 27, 2021

House Language: The Library is engaged in many agency-wide modernization efforts, which are being coordinated through a centralized chief information officer (CIO) directorate. This centralization was implemented based on the recommendations of GAO and other oversight entities because of the efficiencies it would create from a funding, IT support, cybersecurity, and IT development perspective. Some of these benefits have already been realized under the new structure. However, on occasion, the centralized structure may determine a lower priority for initiatives that benefit only one of the Library agencies rather than all of them, even though the project would help the single agency fulfill its mission. The Committee urges the Library to provide a report to the Committee no later than 90 days after enactment of this Act detailing the internal safeguards the Office of the CIO uses to ensure that funds will be allocated in a way responsive to both agency-specific and crosscutting IT needs, as well as the priorities identified by Congress and other external stakeholders. 

Joint Language: The Library is encouraged to continue to invest in IT modernization at the Library, including updating outdated infrastructure, supporting migration to a Tier III data center, and improving the security of the networks. The Library is directed to regularly brief the Committees on these efforts.

U.S. Capitol Police (USCP)

USCP Inspector General Reports

House Report. pg 21-22

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The Committee is aware that the public does not have access to reports issued by the Capitol Police Office of Inspector General. While the Committee understands that these reports can be sensitive to law enforcement actions and Congressional security, the Committee is interested in what reports can be shared with the general public. The Committee believes that the Inspector General should make an effort to make appropriate reports public if they do not compromise law enforcement activities, national security, or Congressional security and processes without redaction. Therefore, no later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act, the Inspector General is directed to conduct a review of all issued reports within the previous 3 years and provide to the Committees a report listing which reports could have been made public. 

USCP Jurisdiction Report

House Report, pg 22

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: The USCP’s primary mission is to ‘‘Protect the Congress—its Members, employees, visitors, and facilities—so it can fulfill its constitutional and legislative responsibilities in a safe, secure and open environment.’’ The Committee is interested in how the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and USCP navigate overlapping jurisdiction and what agreements and regulations are in place that allows the USCP to operate beyond their primary and extended jurisdictions. The Committee directs the UCSP to provide a report that details its working relationship with MPD, the number of arrests made beyond USCP’s primary and extended jurisdictions, and how many times USCP has responded to incidents outside of its jurisdiction, as well as the reason for responding. This report shall be submitted no later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act.

Progress Report on USCP Public Information Office

House Report, pg 22

Due Date: March 27, 2021

Language: USCP communication is vital to provide accurate and timely information to Members and Staff, as well as the general public that often visits the Capitol Hill Complex. While the USCP does an excellent job of keeping Members and staff informed, the Committee is concerned that the general public is often not aware of severe weather events and security incidents while on the complex grounds. The Committee directs the USCP to establish a community notification system that can be utilized by visitors and community members to allow a larger audience to receive USCP notifications. The USCP may leverage social platforms to meet this goal. The Committee further directs the USCP to provide a report no later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act on its progress to meet this directive. 

H.Res. 8 – House Rules

Clerk

Regulations on Support for Senate Measures

H.Res. 8, pg 34

Due Date: February 1, 2021

Not later than February 1, 2021, the Clerk shall submit to the chair of the Committee on Rules regulations establishing a process for Members to indicate their support for Senate measures that have been received by the House. Such process shall include the maintenance of a publicly available list of Members supporting each such Senate measure. Upon receipt of such regulations, the chair of the Committee on Rules shall cause them to be printed in the Congressional Record, and Members shall be permitted to indicate their support for Senate measures accordingly.

Mandatory Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policies For House Offices

House Rules, pg 21

Due Date: April 1, 2021

Bill Language: “(1) REQUIRING OFFICES TO ADOPT POLICY.— Each employing office of the House of Representatives under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 shall adopt an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy for the office’s workplace. (2) REGULATIONS.—Not later than April 1, 2021, the Committee on House Administration shall promulgate regulations to carry out this subsection, and shall ensure that such regulations are consistent with the requirements of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, rule XXIII, and other relevant laws, rules, and regulations. “

Outstanding Items – Modernization Committee 

Despite being almost three months into the new session, there are still several items due from the 116th Congress’s H.Res 756 — the resolution from the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Traditionally, these reports are posted on the Committee on House Administration’s website. See below which 13 reports are past due and have yet to be publicly released. We look forward to the Modernization Committee and the Committee on House Administration to continue to release more reports to the public.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Bulk Purchasing Report

Resolution, pg 20

Due Date: June 8, 2020

The CAO will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the steps necessary to provide a standard suite of information technology for bulk purchases. 

Plan for Members-elect Office Operations

Resolution, pg 11

Due Date: June 8, 2020

The CAO shall submit a report to the Committee on House Administration that contains a detailed plan for establishing a program under which, upon the recommendation of an individual by a Member-elect (other than a Member elected to fill a vacancy), the CAO shall appoint the individual for a limited period of time to assist such Members-elect with administrative and other responsibilities pertaining to the preparation of the Member’s congressional office for operation, and shall include in the plan a timetable for implementation, an estimate of expected costs, and the identification of any statutory or regulatory obstacles to the implementation of such a program

Report on the Feasibility of Updating the Employee Payroll System

Resolution, pg 7

Due Date: July 8, 2020

The CAO will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the feasibility of updating the employee payroll system to address considerations of younger and lower-paid employees, as well as address the timing of the monthly payment schedule. 

Report on Adjusting the Statutory Limitation of Number of Employees in Member Offices

Resolution, pg 8-9

Due Date: May 9, 2020 for the outside entity contract. July 8, 2020 for the final report to CAO.

The CAO will enter into a contract with an outside entity under which the entity shall work with the Chief Administrative Officer to prepare and submit a report examining the feasibility of adjusting the statutory limitation established in 1975 on the number of employees who may be employed in the office of a Member. 

The report submitted to CAO will include information regarding the size and markup of each congressional district, the average number of employees for each district office and common tasks per position, recommendations for the optimal number of employees for the DC and district offices, and recommendations regarding employee salaries and costs. 

Office of House Information Resources Report

Resolution, pg 15

Due Date: September 6, 2020 

The CAO will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the operations of the Office of House Information Resources. This report will include:

  • A roadmap of root causes of HIR’s inability to deliver enterprise programs and IT in a timely manner.
  • Recommendations to improve the quality of services.
  • Recommendations for changes to HIR’s mission to better align it with the needs of Members. 

Report on Accessibility of Practices and Programming by Leg. Branch Offices

Resolution, pg 24

Due Date: September 6, 2020 

The CAO, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Congressional Accessibility Services and the Librarian of Congress, will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the accessibility of practices and programming used by offices of the Legislative Branch to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities. 

CAO and the Clerk

Closed Captioning of Proceedings Report 

Resolution, pg 23

Due Date: September 6, 2020

The CAO and Clerk will provide the Committee on House Administration with a report detailing a plan to ensure that all House proceedings that are broadcast on television or streamed on the Internet provide closed caption services, and provide a free captioning service for all web videos created by Member, committee, and leadership offices, as well as the CAO and the Clerk. The report will include:

  • A statement of the estimated costs of providing close captioning services for all such proceedings.
  • A statement of the estimated costs of providing captioning service for all such web videos.
  • An estimated timeline for carrying out the plan
  • A discussion of any barriers to carrying out the plan, including statutory or regulatory impediments

Clerk of the House (Clerk)

Report on Database of Recorded Votes in Committee

Resolution, pg 29-30

Due Date: July 8, 2020, with quarterly reports thereafter. October 15, 2020 is currently outstanding. 

The Clerk will submit an initial report to the Committee on House Administration regarding the establishment and maintenance for all recorded votes in committees. The clerk will then submit quarterly reports on its establishment and maintenance. 

House Information Resources (HIR)

Reports on Improving Member and Staff Feedback Regarding Outside Vendors and Services

Resolution, pg 19

Due Date: June 8, 2020 

HIR shall submit a report to the Committee on House Administration on the steps necessary to:

  • In compliance with applicable Rules of the House of Representatives and other regulations and standards of the House, create an internal customer satisfaction portal on HouseNet that allows Members and employees to rate and review outside vendors and HIR services;
  • Annually survey district-level staff and district specific technology concerns; and
  • Survey Members and employees on what technologies they would like to use.

Report on Streamlining Tech Vendor Approval

Resolution, pg 17 

Due Date: June 8, 2020 

HIR will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration describing the steps necessary to create a streamlined approval process for outside technology vendors.

Report on Establishing a Program for Offices to Adopt New IT Early

Resolution, pg 18 

Due Date: July 8, 2020

HIR will submit a report to the Committee on House Administration describing the establishment of a program for offices to elect to participate in early adoption of new IT and applications developed by outside vendors prior to the approval by HIR. 

House Sergeant at Arms, the Architect of the Capitol, and the ED of the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights

Capitol Grounds Accessibility Report 

Resolution, pg 24

Due Date: September 6, 2020 

Provide a joint report to the Committee on House Administration identifying areas of the Capitol buildings and Capitol Grounds that are not currently accessible, estimated costs of making the necessary changes, and a timetable for accessibility modifications. 

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity Plan

Resolution, pg 6

Due Date: August 7, 2020 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will submit a diversity plan to the Committee on House Administration that include the following:

  • Policies to direct and guide House employing offices to recruit, hire, train, develop, advance, promote, and retain a diverse workforce, consistent with applicable House rules, regulations, and law.
  • The development of a survey, in consultation with the Committee on House Administration, to evaluate diversity in House employing offices. The Office shall develop, conduct, and report the results of the survey in a bipartisan manner.
  • Framework for the annual diversity report. 
  • A proposal for the composition of an Advisory Council that shall inform the work of the office. 
  • Anything else determined by the Committee on House Administration. 

Diversity Report

Resolution, pg 6-7 

Due Date: End of each session of Congress

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will submit a diversity report to the Speaker of the House, the House Majority and Minority Leaders, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration, and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee. The report will be presented in a bipartisan manner.