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
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.
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
WORKING IN CONGRESS again is in the news, starting with Sen. Klobuchar receiving a drubbing for her ongoing mistreatment of staff. The New York Times tells a gross story of Sen. Klobuchar and a comb, but less salaciously describes her throwing objects and requesting staff return money earned during parental leave if they leave the office. The … Continue reading Forecast for February 25, 2019. Your Salad Days.
THE HOUSE COMMITTEE TASKED WITH MODERNIZING CONGRESS has 12 newly appointed members, an initial $50,000 budget (through March), and less than one year to issue recommendations. There's little doubt that Congress must invest in its own brain power and modernize its technology. The select committee isn't Congress's only hope, as the oversight committees (House Admin + Senate Rules) and leg branch … Continue reading Forecast for February 19, 2019. Never Waste an Emergency
THE TOP LINE H.R. 1, the pro-voting & ethics strengthening bill, is getting negative reviews from anti-anti-corruption politicians (Mitch McConnell), court-identified fabulists (Hans Spakovsky), and K street lobbyists. It's also the subject of an Oversight hearing on Wednesday. Why won't House Dems release their caucus rules? Progressives & grassroots orgs are pushing for their publication while Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries dodges press questions. Rep. Jeffries didn't respond to … Continue reading Forecast for February 4, 2019. Executive Time.
The House Intelligence Committee has scheduled its organizational meeting for this Wednesday, but by setting the meeting as "closed" and holding it where it is inaccessible to the public and press, it is in violation of House rules. House Rule XI (2)(g)(2) on open meetings requires that business meetings be open to the public (including … Continue reading House Intel Should Follow House Rules and Keep Its First Meeting Open to the Public