Forecast for April 15, 2019. First hundred days.

HOUSE OPERATIONS Technology staff hiring faces huge challenges, according to House Clerk Cheryl Johnson and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving. At this past week’s House Admin hearing, both agencies said they struggle with hiring and retaining IT personnel, a topic that came up several times. The House officers identified insufficient resources to pay staff, the … Continue reading Forecast for April 15, 2019. First hundred days.

Forecast for April 8, 2019.

AUTHORIZERS AND APPROPRIATORS This past week House Leg Branch Approps received outside testimony from members of Congress and 18 outside witnesses, of which a dozen were in person, concerning strengthening the legislative branch. This sets the stage for this Tuesday's House Admin hearing on House Officer priorities for 2019 and beyond, featuring the Sergeant at Arms, the Clerk, the Chief Administrative … Continue reading Forecast for April 8, 2019.

Forecast for April 1, 2019. Every Day Is April’s Fools Day.

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMIN (FRANKLINS): Last week the House approved H. Res 245, which contains House Admin's recommendations on how to allot funds amongst all the committees (except approps, which is funded separately). The upshot: flat funding for everyone, and a smaller-than-expected amount for the Fix Congress Committee. We break down the numbers and analyze them here. With an … Continue reading Forecast for April 1, 2019. Every Day Is April’s Fools Day.

Forecast for March 25, 2019. Only the best and most serious people.

MUELLER LITE? Recess is over, Congress is back, and appropriations season is in full swing, but what is everyone talking about? Sigh. As my kids would say, "BORING!" Let's talk about Congress instead. The House and Senate are back for three weeks. PROPOSED HOUSE COMMITTEE ALLOTMENTS (i.e., how much the House will spend on each of its … Continue reading Forecast for March 25, 2019. Only the best and most serious people.

Feds Lag in Publishing Funding Requests

Congressional Budget Justifications (CBJs) are plain-language explanations of how an agency proposes to spend money it requests that Congress appropriate, but how easy is it for congressional staff and citizens to find these documents? Demand Progress surveyed 456 federal agencies and entities for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and found: 7.5 percent of the 173 … Continue reading Feds Lag in Publishing Funding Requests

Forecast for March 4, 2019. This House Is Falling Apart.

IT WILL COST BILLIONS to keep the Congress from literally (physically) falling apart, the acting Architect of the Capitol explained at an appropriations hearing last week. Read this round-up (with a nifty chart!) of the four legislative branch appropriations hearings on GAO, GPO, AOC, and CBO. One big take-away: if the House is going to modernize — or even … Continue reading Forecast for March 4, 2019. This House Is Falling Apart.

The Congress’s Edifice Problem

According to the Architect of the Capitol, it will take several billion dollars to keep the Congress from literally falling apart. This, and much more, was the subject of four legislative branch appropriations hearings this past week. It’s not just the physical infrastructure of Congress that’s eroding, the power of the institution has taken a … Continue reading The Congress’s Edifice Problem