What Items Are Due to Congress: June 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, April, and May editions.

Due In June

This month has 12 items that are due.

Legislative Branch FY 2021 Appropriations

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

Report on House-wide Leave Policy

House Report, pg 13

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: House-wide Leave Policy: The CAO is urged to examine the feasibility of a House-wide paid family and medical leave policy for House employees and report its findings no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.

Report on House Staff Retention Strategy

House Report, pg 11

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: House Staff Retention Strategy: The Committee is concerned that according to the recent House of Representatives Compensation and Diversity Study Report, 53.5 percent of Member office staff are not satisfied with their pay, and as a result, 49 percent of those staffers are considering looking for employment elsewhere. No later than 180 days after enactment of this Act, the CAO shall produce and submit to the Committee a report with recommendations on how to improve retention and bring staff salaries in line with executive agency equivalents. The CAO is further directed to solicit anonymized input from House personnel for suggestions on how to improve retention and increase staff salaries.

Report on Staff Tuition Remission

House Report, pg 14

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Staff Tuition Remission: The CAO is directed to study the feasibility of a tuition remission program for House of Representative employees in addition to the student loan repayment program currently in effect. The CAO shall share its findings with the Committee on Appropriations and CHA in a report no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act. 

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

Report on Cost of Legislation

House Report, pg 23

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Cost of Legislation: The Committee is interested in the costs and benefits of allowing lawmakers to request and receive formal cost estimates of legislation prior to Committee markups. CBO should examine the feasibility, cost, benefits, and drawbacks of providing formal cost estimates, and provide guidance on the amount of time and resources such requests would demand from CBO. The report should also shall assess how many additional personnel might be required to accomplish this task. This report should be submitted to the Committee no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act. 

Information on Access to Data

House Report, pg 24

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Access to Data: The CBO provides Congress with budgetary and economic analysis that supports the legislative process and can have significant policy implications. The Committee supports the work CBO has done in the area of responsiveness and recognizes that CBO’s access to Federal agency data enhances its ability to respond quickly to the Congress. To that end, the Committee requests information pertaining to CBO’s access to Federal agency data, including both data sources and data sets. The requested information should be submitted to the Committee no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.

Clerk

Report on Automated Committee Roll Call Voting System

House Report, pg 9

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Automated Committee Roll Call Voting System: The Committee is interested in the feasibility, the costs and requirements for the implementation of an automated Committee Roll Call Voting System for all Committees. The report should provide cost estimates with the emphasis on flexible implementation for each Committee if this is action is possible. The report should also address the number of Committees that may be interested in automated voting. This report should also consider whether publishing these electronic votes in a central online database, managed by the House Clerk, would facilitate other goals of Committee vote transparency and efficiency. This report shall be submitted no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.

Report on Electronic House Functions

House Report, pg 9

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Electronic House Functions: The Committee is aware that due to COVID–19 the Clerk of the House has taken action to make Office of the Clerk functions electronic. For example, for the official reporters, extensions of remarks and general leave statements are electronic. For legislative operations, Members can now introduce legislation electronically, add cosponsors, as well as provide constitutional authority statements. The Committee applauds the Clerk’s forward thinking on these matters and encourages the Clerk to continue to develop more electronic systems for House processes. The Committee further directs the Clerk to provide a report detailing these actions as well as the cost of implementation of these, and further necessary actions to update the functions of the Office of the Clerk. This report shall be submitted no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.

Report on Hyperlinks to House Floor Proceedings

House Report, pg 17

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Hyperlinks to House Floor Proceedings: The Clerk of the House in consultation with the Congressional Research Service and other relevant stakeholders, is directed to report to the Committee no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act on the feasibility and cost of hyperlinking Congressional Record entries to video of floor proceedings on Congress.gov

Disbursing Office

Study on Withholding Relevant Taxes

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 5

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Study on Withholding Relevant Taxes: Within 180 days of enactment of this act, the Disbursing Office should submit a report to the Senate Committee regarding the Office’s ability to withhold relevant and appropriate taxes from Senate paychecks to help Senate staff better manage and pay their local taxes. The report should include a summary of existing capabilities, the estimated cost of the change in policy, an accounting of new tools and authorities required, and a list of recommendations.

Government Accountability Office

Report on GAO STAA Team

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 28

Senate Report, pg 46

House Report, pg 38

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: GAO Science, Technology, Assessment, and Analytics Team: In fiscal year 2019, GAO was directed to provide a comprehensive plan to reconfigure its science and technology function to better address the evolving and time-sensitive needs of Congress, and in January 2019, GAO established a Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics [STAA] team. In consultation with internal and external stakeholders, academic and nonprofit organizations, and Members of Congress, the STAA team submitted its plan for staffing needs, resources, areas of expertise, and the products and services that the team will provide or is currently providing to Congress. The plan demonstrates STAA’s value and ability to assess upcoming technological and digital innovations. Presently, the ST AA is providing Congress with technology assessments, technical assistance, and reports in the areas of oversight of Federal technology and science programs, as well as best practices in engineering sciences and cybersecurity. GAO’s efforts on the STAA team are applauded and STAA is encouraged to continue providing Congress with unbiased explanatory data while also exploring new areas for independent science and technology guidance that are relevant to Congress. To better evaluate the ST AA’s relationship to Congress since it was established, GAO is directed to submit a report to the Committees within 180 days of enactment of this act with an analysis of STAA’s protocols and abilities to address requests from Congress with respect to technology assessments, including any recommendations for improvement.

Secretary of the Senate

Report on Senate Archival Services

Joint Explanatory Statement, pg 5

Senate Report, pg 16

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Report on Archival Services: The Senate Committee notes the importance of preserving the records of currently serving Senators to ensure a full historical record of a Senator’s service. While Senators’ official congressional papers are not classified as “Senate records” and are not managed by the Office of the Secretary, the Senate Archivist and Senate Historical Office provide valuable guidance to Senators and their offices on records management and preservation. The Committee supports the Secretary’s advisory role to Senators on archiving and seeks to enhance the Secretary’s capacity to provide archiving services so that Senators’ official papers will be ready for historical preservation when a Senator leaves office. The Secretary is directed to provide the Committee with a report within 180 days of enactment of this act detailing what current archiving services the Secretary provides to Senators, how the Secretary communicates those services to Senators, and ways in which the Secretary can further support the archiving needs of Senators, particularly with regard to digitizing paper records, and including partnering with public institutions that are designated by Senators as the repository. The Committee asks that the report present options and recommendations on increasing the archiving capacity of the Secretary (e.g. increased funding, additional personnel, etc.) so that the Committee can make an informed decision on how to provide additional archiving capability to the Office.

U.S. Capitol Police

Report on Cost of Arrest Summary Data

House Report, pg 21

Due Date: June 25, 2021

Language: Arrest Summary Data: The Committee is aware that the U.S. Capitol Police does publicly share its arrest data, however, it is not available in a user-friendly format that is searchable, sortable, downloadable, and is made available on a cumulative basis. The Committee directs the U.S. Capitol Police to explore the potential of developing a system that can meet these requirements and provide the Committees a report of the cost of such a system no later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.