What Items are Due in the Modernization Committee Resolution?

Last Tuesday, the House took a great step towards making the people’s chamber more efficient and responsive with the passage of a resolution (H.Res 756) adopting modernization recommendations of the Fix Congress Committee. 

The resolution contains five titles: (1) streamlining and reorganizing human resources; (2) improving orientation for members-elect and providing improved continuing education opportunities for members; (3) modernizing and revitalizing technology; (4) making the House accessible to all; and (5) improving access to documents and publications. Note, it includes a request that, whenever practical, the House Administration Committee will publish any report required under this resolution online. (Nicely done!)

The resolution calls on legislative support offices to start a number of projects and report back on how to implement others. We cataloged the projects and their due dates into a public spreadsheet, and broke down the items due by entity below.

Continue reading “What Items are Due in the Modernization Committee Resolution?”

Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending March 12, 2020

For the week ending March 12, 2020, there were 9 Capitol Police incidents reported; 10 individuals arrested. There were 5 traffic related incidents, including 2 invalid permit arrests. On Wednesday, March 4th, the Capitol Police arrested 2 individuals actively demonstrating in room 2358-C of the Rayburn House Office Building and also arrested an individual for throwing a piece of paper at a Member of Congress during a committee hearing in room 342 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. 

Here’s how this week’s activity was distributed:

Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending March 12, 2020”

Special Thursday Forecast

The coronavirus poses a deadly threat to our democracy, so we have a special issue of the First Branch Forecast focused on what the House and Senate should do right now to maintain the continuity of Congress.

Read the letter below containing civil society recommendations that must be implemented before the start of the district work period. We published a popularization of our recommendations in the Fulcrum (with PopVox’s Marci Harris).

Please stay safe and keep healthy.

March 12, 2020

Dear [Members]:

As you work to respond to the coronavirus threat on Capitol Hill, we urge you to consider the following:

Prioritize the health and safety of the public, staff, press, and lawmakers: We recognize that there are contradictory pressures to project calm while also modeling appropriate responses, such as the “social distancing” recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. In this vein, we encourage Congress to adopt a “putting on your own mask before assisting others” approach, to take rational steps to limit exposure on the Capitol Campus and within district offices. By temporarily postponing school tours, industry fly-ins, and in-person advocacy meetings, Congress will wisely decrease the risk of contagion to the public and staff.

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House Passes Modernization Committee Resolution

Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly passed H.Res 756, the bipartisan resolution voted unanimously out of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (SCOMC). The resolution includes 29 recommendations that aim to make Congress more effective, efficient and transparent. Some of these recommendations include taking critical steps to improve staff retention and diversity, updating House technology and security, and increasing public access to congressional offices and information.

SCOMC, by definition, does not have any legislative authority. The passage of this resolution marks the first time that legislative action has resulted from a select committee. SCOMC has held 16 hearings and numerous Member and staff-level briefings and listening sessions to solicit ideas and recommendations for reforming the legislative branch since March 2019.

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Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending March 5, 2020

For the week ending March 5, 2020, there were 10 Capitol Police incidents reported; 14 individuals arrested. There were 7 traffic related incidents, including 3 invalid permit arrests. Capitol Police arrested 4 individuals who were demonstrating during a committee hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Friday, February 28 around 9 am. 

Here’s how this week’s activity was distributed:

Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending March 5, 2020”

March Update: Legislative Branch FY2020 Appropriations Items Due Dates

Back in December 2019, Congress passed the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill for FY 2020, starting the clock on dozens of Leg. Branch projects and reports. 

Last month, our team reviewed requests from the Leg. Branch approps bill, broke them down by entity, and summarized the deadlines. For those interested in looking at the complete spreadsheet, you can access it here.

We will regularly post a list of items due from the Leg. Branch approps bill, broken down by entity. We also will include which items were due during the previous month at the end of the report. 

Expected This Month

Below are the items that are expected in March 2020, broken down by entity:

Continue reading “March Update: Legislative Branch FY2020 Appropriations Items Due Dates”