The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) has the mission of ensuring public access to our elected officials while protecting members of Congress and the Capitol campus. The USCP is well resourced, with a $450 million budget — a little larger than the budget for the police department serving Austin, Texas, which has a population of 950,000 … Continue reading A Look at the US Capitol Police
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
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
The House of Representatives has an Inspector General that is authorized to provide independent, nonpartisan investigations into the House’s operations, but over the years that office’s findings have become largely shrouded from public view. In what ways has it become less transparent? How many reports does the office issue and what do they cover? We … Continue reading The House Office of Inspector General Should Publish Information About Its Reports
It is hard enough to be a congressional staffer, but if you have young children the problem is magnified. Washington, D.C. is the most expensive place in the United States to raise a family, congressional staff work on average 53 hours-per-week when Congress is in session, and child care options in the nation’s capital can … Continue reading Congressional Child Care Options Are Grossly Inadequate
Recent proposals to reform the rules of the House of Representatives included measures to make it easier for legislation that has the support of a majority of the chamber to advance to the floor or prompt committee consideration. If implemented, would this make a difference in how legislation plays out? Apparently, yes. To find out, we reviewed … Continue reading Do 218 Co-Sponsors Make a Difference? Apparently, Yes.
A subset of current CRS reports was published online by the Library of Congress on Tuesday. While federal law mandated the Library publish by September 18 any non-confidential final written work product of CRS containing research or analysis in any format that is available for general congressional access and that was published after the date of enactment … Continue reading CRS Publishes Some of its Reports, With Promises of More to Come