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.

Continue reading “House Passes Modernization Committee Resolution”

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”

Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending February 27, 2020

For the week ending February 27, 2020, there were 8 Capitol Police incidents reported; 17 individuals arrested. There were 6 traffic related incidents, including 3 invalid permit arrests. Capitol Police arrested 10 individuals for blocking vehicle and pedestrian traffic while chanting and holding signs near First Street, NE on Monday, February 24 around 10:30 am. 

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Staffers Form Bipartisan Association Aiming to Modernize Congress

A new staff association is looking at ways to reform the staff workplace from the inside. The Modernization Staff Association (MSA) is a bipartisan group of staffers whose goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Congressional staff by modernizing systems that affect their day-to-day operations. The association held its latest meeting last week, focusing on onboarding new members, defining their mission, and creating resources guides for staffers. Roughly 50 staffers attended the meeting. The association continues to grow, with a total of 82 members, all House staffers. According to MSA, they encourage Senate staffers to join as well. 

Continue reading “Staffers Form Bipartisan Association Aiming to Modernize Congress”

Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending February 20, 2020

For the week ending February 20, 2020, there were 9 Capitol Police incidents reported; 9 individuals arrested. There were 4 traffic related incidents, including 3 invalid permit arrests. Capitol Police arrested ‘multiple’ individuals for crowding and obstructing Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center on Monday, February 17th around 11 am. 

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

Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending February 20, 2020”

Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending February 13, 2020

For the week ending February 13, 2020, there were 9 Capitol Police incidents reported; 18 individuals arrested. There were 2 traffic related incidents, including 1 invalid permit arrest. Capitol Police arrested 10 individuals for crowding and obstructing the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, February 5th at 1:47 pm. 

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

Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending February 13, 2020”

Coalition Urges House Democratic Caucus to Publish Caucus Rules

Earlier today, a coalition of 15 organizations sent a letter requesting the House Democratic Caucus to publish its current set of Caucus rules. 

Similar letters were sent on January 31, 2019February 7, 2019, and April 10, 2019, requesting the Caucus to publish the rules online. The coalition received a response on February 7, 2019, saying that the issue would be brought up to the Caucus shortly. Unfortunately, no further action was taken by the Caucus. 

It has been one year since the Democratic Caucus informed the coalition that the matter would be brought to the Caucus’ attention. The letter once again requests that these rules be published online.

Read the full letter here