Forecast for June 14, 2021

First Branch Forecast Logo

Welcome to the First Branch Forecast, your weekly look into the Legislative branch and government transparency. Subscribe here.

THE TOP LINE

Justice Department surveillance. The Justice Department surveilled at least two Members of the House Intelligence Committee, some committee staff, and family members in 2017-8 as part of a  “leaks” investigation. Apple and an unidentified Information Service Provider were directed to provide information to the DOJ and were gagged from telling the targets of the surveillance that the DOJ had demanded their records. This follows on the heels of Justice Department surveillance of the press, which included obtaining email and phone call records and gagging the third party communications providers. Both the surveillance and how it came to light is highly irregular and dangerous to our democracy. More details below.

HSGAC/Senate Rules report on the Jan. 6th attacks. We read and review the 128-page bipartisan document and offer our key takeaways. 3 hearings on that topic are scheduled this week. More details below.

That the Senate must address its continuity in an emergency is the subject of two letters (one to the Senate Rules Committee and one to Senate leadership) by us, the Niskanen Center, and a coalition of 24 organizations and congressional experts.

The FOIA Advisory Committee unanimously adopted a recommendation to extend FOIA-like processes to Legislative branch support offices and agencies.

Repeal of the 2002 AUMF for Iraq will be considered next week by the House of Representatives, which is a first step towards repealing the many AUMFs that give too much power to the Executive branch to decide matters of war and peace. The CPCC has an explainer on the various AUMFs.

THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SPYING ON CONGRESS

The Justice Department seized Apple metadata on House Intelligence Committee members, aides, and family members, including a minor. Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for material from the accounts of at least two lawmakers, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California and Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California. This seizure happened during 2017-2018 while prosecutors hunted for sources behind media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia; Trump was known to have held a vendetta against Rep. Schiff, who, ironically, has long been an advocate for relaxing standards for surveillance. (We note that Trump’s vendetta is not necessarily the cause of the inquiry.) Upon becoming Attorney General under the Trump administration, William P. Barr revived leak investigations in 2020 that had lost steam under A.G. Sessions and he rebooted the investigation of Schiff and others. The Justice Department secured a gag order on Apple and at least one Internet Service Provider. This could suggest that these lawmakers may have been unaware until last month that their information was being sought, although it is equally plausible they had been notified or had reason to suspect this at an earlier date. At least one staffer was notified last year by the ISP, and there may be more. It is now being reported a focus of the inquiry was Michael Bahar, the Democratic Staff Director for the House Intelligence Committee; per the NYT the case concerning him was closed and no charges were brought. The circumstance of this investigation and its targets are particularly troubling.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General said it will investigate, but the focus will be on whether the DOJ followed its policies and procedures and will “not substitute the OIG’s judgment for the legal and investigative judgments made in the matters under OIG review.” Surely Congress should investigate; the House has given no indication it would launch an inquiry, though Rep. Schiff has said he has been in touch with the DOJ, which he said has not been forthcoming. Rep. Schiff called on the DOJ to investigate — and applauded it after the IG’s announcement — and Speaker Pelosi issued an unusually worded statement supporting Schiff’s call for an OIG investigation, which starts: “recently, it has become public that….” Surely an inquiry is a job for the House Judiciary Committee or a panel that can looks more broadly into activities of the Intelligence Community. Sens. Schumer and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Durbin have called for Barr and Sessions to testify before the Senate and Speaker Pelosi called for them to testify before Congress.

This whole thing is odd. Rep. Schiff and others certainly found out about the investigation in May, potentially sometime last year (which is when at least one staffer received notice), or maybe even earlier, but the first news report was June 10th. There was no press conference or release from the House Intelligence Committee, but instead a unnamed staffer was quoted by both the New York Times and the Washington Post, which gives rise to the question of whether the disclosure was authorized by the committee — if it was, why would these papers not name the staffer? The Post said the staffer “spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains politically sensitive,” but how does that make any sense and why didn’t the Committee speak officially and for attribution? The delay in releasing this news meant that Attorney General Garland could not be questioned on the matter when he testified before the Senate on Wednesday or in the House last month.

This could be explained, at least in part, in that it is a job of the House Intelligence Committee (of which Speaker Pelosi is the longest serving member in history) to address matters of surveillance, especially those politically driven and aimed at Members of Congress and the press. There is a sordid history of the President using the Justice Department to go after his political enemies; the misuse of surveillance authorities was one reason HPSCI was created. Did HPSCI know this was happening? It seems that some members may have been aware. Why didn’t they push to put in place sufficient controls? Why haven’t they pushed for legislation to protect the press and public? As Reps. Schiff and Pelosi are surveillance hawks, perhaps this is politically awkward for them. Is it possible they did not share this information with their colleagues — maybe not even other members of the House Intel Committee?

The Senate did include a provision in the omnibus appropriations bill enacted in December to protect itself from this very circumstance. If you look on page 1953, the Senate Sergeant at Arms Cloud Services provision covers Senate electronic communications stored off-site. If someone (e.g. the DOJ) wants to obtain Senate records held by a third party (like Apple or Google), they must show up with a warrant and the third-party must tell the Senate and cannot be gagged from doing so; and the Senate has the right to intervene in court. Clearly there should be a provision that applies across the entire Legislative branch, including the House and support offices and agencies, but there is not. (There also are repeated legislative efforts to protect information stored by third parties for everyone.)

Is this is the tip of the iceberg? The House Intelligence Committee has long been a stronghold for increasing Executive branch surveillance powers  — and the Intel Community is less than straightforward — so HPSCI must itself be reformed to align its interests with the rest of Congress, the public (see this report and coalition letter), and strengthened to do so effectively. So too should every personal office be eligible to have at least one staffer with a TS/SCI clearance so they can better advise their bosses on matters the Executive branch deems classified (see this report on how Congressional clearances actually work). Congress should consider enacting a reporter shield law, which would protect the press against having their records seized, such as the Free Flow of Information Act. Because the DOJ has a history of secretly reinterpreting laws passed by Congress to the advantage of the Executive branch, final opinions by the Office of Legal Counsel should be proactively disclosed except when not possible and all opinions should be published online in an index. Data brokers should be unable to sell your information to law enforcement as part of an end run around the 4th amendment. The provisions protecting Senate information should be expanded to the Legislative branch and also cover personal devices used by members. And Congress should establish a modern Church committee to investigate whether there have been additional abuses by the intelligence agencies, including the DOJ.

A cautionary note: It must be terrifying to have the powers of the Executive branch aimed at you for the apparent purpose of political retribution. Whether you are an average person with an opinion or the Chairman of a powerful committee, undue scrutiny can have a chilling effect and raise the specter of the weaponization of your private life against you. Our sympathy lies with those every innocent person who finds themselves at the wrong end of a microscope.

When we place all these powers in the hands of Executive branch agencies we create tremendous risks for our democracy. In the hand of an autocrat, they could mean the end of our republic. Absent meaningful, wide-ranging, and adversarial oversight, power will accrete to the presidency and the intelligence community. Surveillance hawks have underestimated the risks over the decades. We have to act now before the political wheel turns again.

TRUMP INSURRECTION

The January 6th Capitol Attack was the focus of a bipartisan joint report issued by HSGAC and Senate Rules last week. We read the report.

My takeaways:

1. The Capitol Police had timely warnings that January 6th was going to be different from other “protests” and that Congress was the target, but they bungled it. Their under resourced intelligence components did not coordinate with each other; warnings were buried at the back of a crucial report, and the daily reports did not include the concerns; there was no viable mechanism to surface emerging threats to senior leadership; and (my inference) senior leadership failed to manage the department and lacked the imagination to comprehend the nature of the threat.

2. The Capitol Police were unready. Agency leadership failed to prioritize investments in equipment and training over a long period of time and did not set up structures inside the department that would allow it to succeed. Officers were unready and ill-equipped to deal with the emergency, which (my inference) is the result of long term mismanagement. Leadership imploded under the pressure of the attack and left the rank-and-file to fend for themselves.

3. The Executive Branch was no help. Individuals in the Department of Defense and Department of Justice failed to coordinate and talked past each other. They did not clarify the point person at each agency and were slow to act.

My conclusions:

It didn’t have to happen. Had officers been properly trained and equipped and had management exercised basic foresight and prudence, the USCP would have been able to repel the attack and would have had a plan B in place.

There’s no accountability in these reports. It is the Trump insurrection. We need to address the anti-democratic dynamic and rising authoritarianism and have real conversations on how to address it. We need to talk about why the USCP Inspector General should be independent of the Capitol Police and why the IG reports should be publicly available. We need to talk about an independent “civilian” oversight board. We need to address the failed model of the Capitol Police Board and the failings of the Capitol Police Chief.

The Congressional oversight structure over the US Capitol Police is broken. It is not a failure of any member or committee but flows from the bicameral structure of Congress. Historically, joint oversight happened through joint committees — e.g., the joint committee on printing and the joint committee on the library — but those models have largely fallen into desuetude. The Capitol Police have come to see House and Senate leaders as their political masters, but not the authorizing or appropriating committees. Making matters worse is that the House Sergeant at Arms appears to disregard Senate oversight and vice versa, which highlights structural weakness in overseeing the Board.

This points to a larger structural failing: how we administer the Legislative branch. Who runs cybersecurity for the Legislative branch? Who runs physical security? Who runs technology? Who oversees benefits and parking? Who looks to the future? Who picks the leaders of the agencies? No one is really in charge and no one looks Congress-wide. There are fixes for this, but we largely have to invent new mechanisms.

The Executive Branch intelligence community and law enforcement are broken. It is twenty years after 9/11 and they still cannot anticipate and respond to an existential threat to our democracy. The problems are the same: overclassification, an unwillingness to share information, underpowered congressional oversight, and a lack of imagination. We have pumped trillions of dollars into a system that obviously does not work. They continue to want more money and have the desire to use it to further erode our civil liberties, but this is a false choice. The problem is a lack of oversight and keeping the agencies focused on what they should be doing and collaborating with one another.

Select findings from the report::

• The FBI and DHS dismissed online posts as credible and did not issue formal intelligence bulletins about the potential for violence.

• The USCP had info about the potential for violence, but inconsistently assessed the information, did not fully share the scope of information or disseminate it throughout the USCP, especially to senior intel officials and USCP leadership.

• The USCP was woefully unprepared. It lacked an operational plan, its civil disturbance unit was ad hoc, it failed to properly equip the rank and file, and its Incident Command system fell apart.

• The Capitol Police Board didn’t understand the statutory requirements to get outside assistance, the Board didn’t know how to reach a decision, and Chief Sund never formally asked the Board for an emergency declaration.

• The DOD was not formally asked in advance for assistance by the USCP, the DOD under-responded after receiving criticism for how it handled the George Floyd protests, the DOD made it harder for the national guard to respond by imposing additional controls, the DOD did not recognize some requests for assistance as sufficiently clear, after the request was received the DOD then spent hours engaged in mission planning, the DOD has conflicting records with the National Guard about what happened, and the DOD thought the DOJ was the lead agency but did not create a plan with them.

What’s next? Hearingpalooza. House Admin and House Oversight will hold two competing hearings this Tuesday at 2pm, with the former focused on the USCP Containment Emergency Response Team and First Responders Unit and the latter focused on unanswered questions and featuring FBI Director Wray, Generals Flynn and Piatt, and USCP Chief Pittman is invited (but has not confirmed). The Senate Rules Committee will hear from USCP IG Michael Bolton on Wednesday to discuss oversight of the USCP.

CAPITOL SECURITY

Acting USCP Chief Yogananda Pittman was again asked to step aside by the Capitol Police Union after the Senate committee report revealed that Pittman as well as other senior members failed to adequately lead during the insurrection, both in withholding necessary equipment and intelligence from officers as well as insufficiently communicating with officers during the attack.

Capitol Police leadership turnover continues with No. 2 Capitol Police official Chad Thomas resigninglast Mondayjust one day before the release of the Senate report on Jan 6th. Thomas supervised most uniformed officials and received a 96% “no confidence” vote in the February union ballot. Interim chief Yoganda Pittman is almost as unpopular, scoring 92% — consistent with widely expressed criticism from rank-and-file officers toward current leadership. USCP’s union said that over 70 officers have left the force since the insurrection.

Nazi symbols are contained in the website of a contractor used by the Capitol Police to train its Containment Emergency Response Team, Roll Call’s Chris Marquette reported. The USCP IG issued a secret advisory opinion — virtually all USCP IG reports are not publicly available, even though a best practice of IGs is that the reports be released — encouraging the USCP to review whether to continue doing business with Northern Red Inc.

STRENGTHENING CONGRESS

At the House Appropriations Member Day hearing, Reps. Kilmer and Timmons advocated for funding a selected handful of recommendations made by the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, including:

• A review of the MRA to support and retain staff. An updated evaluation of the MRA formula, including consideration of staff pay, would provide a modernized and data-driven means of determining the MRA. (We note that the Senate has long used a formula to increase funding for its personal office staff to ensure constituent-facing work scales with the size of the constituency.) Constituent communications costs should be removed from the MRA to free up funds for staff salaries. Rep. Kilmer noted, “We also know that offering competitive salaries is essentially the only way to prevent staff from leaving Capitol Hill for private sector or executive branch jobs. This ongoing “brain drain” leaves Congress reliant on lobbyists for policy expertise and that’s not the system the Framers intended.”

• Better staff training & onboarding: CAO should provide institution-wide, standard onboarding training for new employees, including required training to ensure all new staff understand their role, how Congress operates, as well as logistics like benefits.

• Casework management needs improvements, like providing electronic document management, accessibility, and the creation of constituent forms that can be viewed, edited, and electronically signed. This would be the CAO’s responsibility, and Member professional development via CAO by creating a Congressional Leadership Academy for Members.

• Tracking scheduling conflicts: Clerk should establish a common committee calendar at docs.house.gov that identifies Member committee conflicts in real-time as a committee meetings are published. By identifying & collecting data on conflicts, they can start developing a solution for calendar problems and creating a more efficient and productive committee schedule.

Progressive Hill staff are mobilizing to racially diversify its workplace. The effort is being spearheaded by the Congressional Progressive Staff Association, a newly formed organization committed to strengthening ties among progressive staffers across the Hill. In last week’s newsletter, we wrote about how congressional staffers are significantly underpaid, which drives policy expertise away from the Hill and pushes out staffers of color. Among other initiatives, CPSA outlined a commitment to pay transparency, crucial to their efforts of recruiting and retaining staffers of color. One question we would ask: is unionization for political staff on the table?

Oregon’s state legislature just unionized, a historic move labor experts predict will catalyze other unionization efforts across state and public offices going forward. State workers joined the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 89, a unionization organization that led them through a mostly digital organizing effort that resulted in a 75-31 vote. Among other things, the newly formed union will negotiate fair hours, wages, and pay transparency. This could have major impacts across other statehouses, especially now, as political campaign staff who move into state legislatures bring with them the organizing expertise they acquired on the campaign trail. Hurdles, however, include the fact that statehouse labor laws vary tremendously across the country. We wrote testimony last month which called upon the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights to consider and offer forth an analysis of Congressional unionization.

Building a more civil and collaborative culture is the topic of a House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress hearing set for this Thursday.

Cybersecurity on the Hill. iConstituent, a tech vendor that provides external constituent outreach services to House offices, was the latest target in a string of recent ransomware attacks on US businesses. As a result of the attack, constituent information has been inaccessible to nearly 60 House offices for the last several weeks. No House data was affected; the White House warned corporate leaders to be prepared to handle increasing cybersecurity risk.

Pres. Biden issued an executive order investigating breaches of US users’ personal data; cybersecurity in the Legislative branch — both to prevent surveillance of Members and protecting congressional information — is a big deal. We remember the new Senate Sergeant at Arms testifying this was her biggest concern. We are not confident that the Congress has an overarching, coordinated, and robust cybersecurity posture that protects the entirety of the Legislative branch.

LEGISLATURE PROCESS & OPERATIONS

The FOIA Advisory Committee unanimously adopted a recommendation that the Legislative branch apply FOIA-like processes to its support offices and agencies at a meeting on June 10th. Thomas Susman, who was the principal Senate staffer working on FOIA legislation on the Senate Judiciary Committee when the 1974 amendments were adopted that gave that law teeth, drafted this discussion memorandum that explored the contours of whether and how FOIA should be applied to the Legislative branch. (I testified before the committee on this topic in March; you can watch the video or read the minutes from that presentation.)

• The federally-chartered advisory committee adopted the following recommendation: “Congress should adopt rules or enact legislation to establish procedures for effecting public access to legislative branch records in the possession of congressional support offices and agencies modeled after those procedures contained in the Freedom of Information Act. These should include requirements for proactive disclosure of certain information, procedures governing public requests for records, time limits for responding to requests, exemptions to be narrowly applied, and an appeal from any initial decision to deny access.”

• FOIA-like processes already exist for some Legislative branch offices and entities. The GAO has an excellent proactive disclosure and information requesting process and the Library of Congress also has enacted FOIA-like regulations. Appropriators requested the U.S. Capitol Police adopt FOIA-like regulations in December 2020, although we are unaware of any steps forward on the matter. My colleague Alex Howard summarized the state of play inside the Legislative branch in February 2020. To see an agency-by-agency breakdown, see this spreadsheet.

Masks off in the House. The Office of the Attending Physician relaxed COVID safety requirements for vaccinated representatives in advance of the House’s return on Monday, thanks to reaching an 85% vaccination rate. That memo is available here. The guidance emphasizes that employers may ask whether an employee is vaccinated and that masks are required for everyone who are not confirmed to be fully vaccinated.

Remote vs. in-person: As of a couple weeks ago, however, fewer than half of House Republicans had been vaccinated compared to 100% of House Democrats.

Proxy voting is unpopular among even the Republicans who have needed it. Rep. Crenshaw has been voting by proxy and attending virtual hearings while he recovers from his emergency eye surgery, yet still believes that the proxy system and remote work harms Congress and must be removed once the pandemic ends.

Bioguides. We are a little late in giving this praise, but we are very pleased to see the Congressional Bioguide website has been updated for the 117th Congress— it is now https and publishes information on all members of Congress as structured data. This fix was originally requested by civil society as part of the FY 2019 Legislative branch appropriations bill and was included as part of the House Leg branch Approps Subcommittee’s report.

LEGISLATIVE POLITICS

All three top Dems in the House appear to be running to keep their jobs. Clyburn just announced he’s seeking another term, and Pelosi and Hoyer haven’t said anything to suggest otherwise — though Pelosi did pledge two terms as speaker in 2018. Have folks forgotten that Speaker Pelosi made a deal to change the Democratic Caucus rules to put in term limits for top leadership in return for continuing on in that role? Per Roll Call, “If the Democratic Caucus were to have adopted the proposal, all three of them would not be able to serve beyond 2022.” Apparently those changes were never put into place. Said Speaker Pelosi at the time: “I am comfortable with the proposal and it is my intention to abide by it, whether it passes or not.”

The Congressional Black Caucus seems to be blocking membership to Rep. Byron Donalds, a Black Republican from Florida who voted to deny Biden’s win. Donalds, who is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, has expressed interest in joining the CBC to challenge its dominant liberal voice. Unlike others who won the election in 2020 and were inducted into the CBC six months ago, Donalds has yet to receive an invitation.

TRANSPARENCY & PRESS FREEDOM

The Pentagon is seeking to expand what it can withhold from the public, requesting that the Armed Services committees make changes to the Freedom of Information Act to further limit public access to unclassified information on military operations. This perrentially request would constitute a major breach of the Freedom of Information Act and a threat to a transparent and open government, especially given that the Defense Department’s proposal to Congress specifies no explicit limits on the kinds of information the Pentagon can keep from the public. Trust us, they say, to not overuse this exemption. Right.

CNN turned over reporter email records to the Biden Justice Department that continued a so-called “leaks” investigation aimed at forcing journalists to disclose their sources. (We note that the Executive branch authorizes leaks all the time, including classified information, so “leaks” investigations tend to cluster around when the release of information is politically inconvenient to the current administration.) Senior CNN executives were gagged from telling their own journalists or the public about the Justice Department’s demand for information and the ensuing litigation. We watched A.G. Garland testify on this before Senate CJS Approps lack week, which was intended to make us feel better about press freedom but did not. “What I want to be clear about,” said Garland, “is these [decisions to go after the press] were under a set of policies that have existed for decades that continue continuously with each new administration ratcheted up greater protections.” While A.G. Garland says his policy is the most protective of journalists in history, we respectfully suggest that the only assurances worth anything are those compelled by laws enacted by Congress and rigorously overseen by independent entities, such as that proposed in the Free Flow of Information Act.

• The DOJ’s pledge to no longer secretly obtain journalists’ records leaves much in the dark. We hate to lawyer the DOJ, but experience has shown that they often carefully and misleadingly choose their words. Will the DOJ purchase information about journalists and other communications from 3rd party providers, which means the process is not “compulsory”? Who exactly does the DOJ consider to be a member of the news media? Will the DOJ obtain journalist information for other investigations besides “leak” investigations or that are conducted in parallel with a leak investigation? Will it come clean on all its gag orders concerning journalists? What kinds of controls will be exercised — and can we trust the DOJ to do this on its own? (Seems doubtful.) Apparently the NYT’s Charlie Savage is thinking along similar lines.

TECHNOLOGY

The federal judiciary’s filing system desperately needs revamping according to a recent report published by the General Services Administration. The analysis makes evident that much of federal courts’ technology is obsolete and failing its users. Demand Progress joined a letter earlier this year underscoring the need for reform concerning accessibility, transparency, and efficiency’s sake at the federal courts, including modernizing PACER. GSA’s digital services agency recommends replacing the existing system with a new, open source one, aligning database schemas across federal courts, and modernizing security systems.

In other news on judicial branch inconsistencies, Sen. Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Whitehouse of Rhode Island are making moves toward a deeper investigation into senior government officials’ financial disclosure standards. The judicial branch currently has less rigorous reporting requirements than the executive branch and either chamber of Congress, and the standards they do uphold don’t necessarily apply to Supreme Court justices. The Senators asked the US Marshals Services — from whom justices can request security for domestic travel beyond DC — for relevant information and documentation of the last 10 years of senior members’ travel. Sens. Whitehouse and Graham wrote to Chief Justice John G. Roberts making explicit that if the court does not address disclosure inconsistencies itself, a legislative solution may be in order.

Meanwhile, the federal judiciary asked for $182.5 million to fund more rigorous security measures in response to the increase of threats toward courts and judges as part of a House-passed emergency spending bill.

Congressional accessibility is of particular importance as many government services continue to operate online due to the pandemicAlmost half of the most visited federal websites don’t meet accessibility standards, a recent report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation finds. The report recommends solutions, including developing a federal website accessibility test lab and expanding GSA’s Digital Analytics Program to include accessibility testing.

APPROPRIATIONS

Stopgap funding measures may be required to avoid a government shutdown after September 30th, as a result of the delays in this year’s appropriations process. Though they lack a clear course of action, Democrats are seeking to raise or suspend the debt ceiling before the funding deadline. Sen. Richard Shelby, the Senate Appropriations committee vice chairman, expects multiple Continuing Resolutions and a final funding deal no earlier than winter.

July markups. Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy announced he wants to use July to start marking up 2022 spending bills.

ODDS & ENDS

An expansive network of tunnels underlies Capitol Hill, through which thousands of congressional members and staffers travel each day. A website that documents the development of the underground network, which is seriously cool, was part of what Trump insurrectionists shared as they planned to storm the Capitol and was cited in the recent Senate report.

An important procedural tool has been waived by the House, one that allowed members to submit resolutions of inquiry to obtain information from the Executive Branch, according to the Due Process Institute. The procedure — Rule XIII, Clause 7 of the Rules of the House — mandated that committee(s) of jurisdiction report resolutions of inquiry to the House within 14 legislative days unless unanimous consent grants an extension. Without this rule in place, it’s much harder for House members of either party to obtain information from the administration — a critical piece of an open and transparent government. It’s not the first time this rule has been waived, during this Congress or previously. Waiving this rule follows other omissions of critical procedural tools, including current operations under “martial law,” which allows the House to consider legislation the same day it’s introduced.

How to preserve the proper functions of major American institutions will be the primary theme of the new series of free panel discussions held by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. Spread out between ten events—each focusing on one key American institution—over ten months, the Pillars of Democracy Series will center the following questions: “What is the institution’s proper role? Where does it fall short? And what can we do about it?”

Senate pages are returning this fall.

Hill eateries are reopening. Cups is back in action this week, and other reopenings will be diligently monitored by the Hill Eats twitter account.

CALENDAR

The House and Senate committee schedules are here.

Monday

• House Rules Committee is holding a meeting to examine “H.R. 256 — To repeal the AUMF of 2002” at 1:00 pm ET.

Tuesday

• House Administration Committee is holding a hearing on “Oversight of the January 6th Attack: United States Capitol Police Containment Emergency Response Team and First Responders Unit” at 2:00 pm ET.

• House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing on “The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions (Part II)” at 2:00 pm ET.

Wednesday

• Senate Rules and Administration Committee is holding a hearing to “Examine the U.S. Capitol Police following the January 6th attack on the Capitol” with Michael Bolton, Inspector General for the U.S. Capitol Police, at 2:15 pm ET.

Thursday

• Building a More Civil and Collaborative Culture in Congress is the topic of a House Modernization Committee hearing on Thursday at 9.

• Senate Appropriators will consider the Department of Defense budget proposal for FY 2022 at 10:00 am ET.

• Senate HSGAC Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight is holding a hearing on “Addressing emerging cybersecurity threats to state and local government” at 10:15 am ET.

Down The Road

• The Law Library of Congress is hosting a webinar on the process for inventorying, processing, and publishing these reports, as well as the recent launch of the Law Library’s second crowdsourcing campaign June 22nd at 11.