First Branch Forecast for August 14, 2023: House HR help


Welcome to an abbreviated First Branch Forecast. We hope you’re on vacation and we’re looking forward to your creative OOO messages.


  • Congress shouldn’t create a new Pentagon slush fund, a commentary by William Hartung arguing that “using war spending to fund unrelated items was a bad idea during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is a terrible idea now.”
  • Planning for the Next Emergencies, a white paper from the R Street Institute’s Jonathan Bydlak that discusses “the expansion of emergency powers and emergency spending” as flip sides of the same overspending coin Congress must address.
  • What does the GAO do? A podcast with Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, hosted by AEI’s Kevin Kosar.
  • Federal agencies often overlook federal territories, but new legislation aims to fix that


The House CAO’s Human Resources Hub announced the launch of new Member Office Career Paths, a career development resource for staff.

“Designed exclusively for House Member offices, this new resource provides career information for 16 Member office positions, organized within four primary career paths (Administrative, Communications, District, and Legislative).

House staff can use this resource as a guide to learn more about common Member office roles, responsibilities, and skills. Additionally, each career path contains helpful links to associated training opportunities and a host of potential career options.

The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is dedicated to providing and expanding innovative resources to address all the unique aspects of House staffers’ jobs as we help shape the future development of House staff.

House staff who are connected to the House network may visit the Member Office Career Paths page at to learn more. Questions and comments may be submitted to the HR Hub Team” at [email protected].


The Congressional Management Foundation announced the winners of its Democracy Awards. A ceremony to honor the winners will take place on September 15, 2023.


Congressional Committee Calendar

~ Down the road ~

The International Federation of Library Associations and institutions section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments is holding its 38th pre-conference meeting in the Hague on August 17th and 18th. For those of us who cannot attend in person (like us), you can watch the livestream of the plenary and break out sessions at this linkThe agenda is here. (Note that the conference starts at 2:30 AM ET; there will be a recording available later on.) Friday will feature substantive presentations. We are particularly interested in the following papers:

1. Research Service Innovations in Support and Products at the Congressional Research Service: A 10-Year Retrospective (Julia Taylor, USA)

2. Sustainability Information and sustainability services at the Library of Congress of Argentina (María Eva Sodero Nievas, Argentina)

3. Digital Innovation The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications on legislative library and research work (Susan Viets, Canada)

4. Research Service Mapping and connecting parliamentary research services around the world (Vicky Ward and Mark Monaghan, United Kingdom)

5. Research Service Support for Parliamentary Diplomacy as an innovation of research service to Members of Parliament? (Dohee Kim, Korea)

Enhancing Parliamentary Processes with Effective Workflows is the focus of a panel discussion hosted by Bússola Tech at 8 AM. on Tuesday, August 16th. Panelists will include representatives from the EU Parliament, House of Commons of Canada, Oireachtas of Ireland, Senado Federal of Brazil, and ServiceNow. Please follow this link to learn more and RSVP.

Internapalooza, a free, non-partisan orientation and welcome event for all interns, scheduled for September 11. RSVP.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is scheduled to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee on September 20.

The Ridenhour Prizes, which celebrate whistleblowers, documentarians, and authors in support of government transparency and accountability, will hold its annual gala on October 25 at 6 PMSubscribe to this link for ticket information.