Forecast for January 13, 2020.


8 House Dems voted to cede Congress’s constitutional role in matters of war and peace by voting ‘No’ on the House war powers resolution while Rep. Amash plus GOP Reps. Gaetz, Massie, and Rooney voted ‘Yes’ to protect our system of checks-and-balances. Notable, in addition to the vast majority of Republicans who likely would have voted differently if HRC were president, were the two dozen-ish Rs who flipped their vote, perhaps out of fear of political retribution.

The FY 2021 approps cycle is gearing up w/ Thursday deadline for public witness testimony for the H. Interior Approps SubC. Follow all the deadlines with our nifty Approprs Tracker + watch announcements on our Twitter bot @AppropsTracker.

Fix Congress Cmte hearing on Restoring Congressional Capacity is set for Tuesday.

Welcome the 21st century Frank: the House launched a public-facing website that publishes Member mass communications to constituents. More below.

Can’t wait until Monday for the First Branch Forecast? Follow @CongressRadar for real time Congress news, commentary, and unfunny inside jokes. Also, don’t forget to tell us what you think of our little publication!

Continue reading “Forecast for January 13, 2020.”

Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending January 9, 2020

For the week ending January 09, 2020, there were 8 Capitol Police incidents reported; 47 individuals arrested. There were 4 traffic related incidents, including 2 DUI arrests and 2 invalid permits. 40 individuals were also arrested for obstructing the flow of traffic near the Capitol Building at the intersection of First and East Capitol Streets, NE on Friday, January 3rd at 10:55am.  

Here’s how this week’s activity compares to the average distribution:

Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending January 9, 2020”

Forecast for January 6, 2020.

Welcome back. An astonishing amount has happened over the break, so let’s dive back in.


The US assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen Qassem Soleimani in what may be a violation of US and international law — in flagrant violation of Congress’s war powers. Much more on this below in the section entitled “Wag the Dog,” I mean “Congressional War Powers.”

Impeachment part II: it’s unclear when the Senate will begin its trial, but there’s a lot of news from the courts. Details below.

ICYMI we covered approps, the NDAA, and House impeachment in our December 23rd newsletter, which is soooo good we’re linking to it here.

Don’t miss our latest 5 articlesPaid Parental Leave: Coming to a Congressional Office Near YouFirst Branch, Second Rate FundingTools Every Congressional Staffer Should Know AboutThe Legislative Branch is More Than Congress; and CBO Changes Make Finding Bill Scores Easy.
Continue reading “Forecast for January 6, 2020.”

Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending December 19, 2019

For the week ending December 19, 2019, there were 11 Capitol Police incidents reported; 36 individuals arrested. There were 4 traffic related incidents, 2 drug related arrests, and 2 separate cases of assault of a police officer. 26 individuals were also arrested for disruption in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday, December 13th. 

See how this week compares to the rest of the year below:

Continue reading “Capitol Police Round Up: Week Ending December 19, 2019”

Paid Parental Leave: Coming Soon To A Congressional Office Near You

America is an Outlier on Parental Leave Policies 

America is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to providing employees with paid parental leave. The United States is one of two developed nations that does not provide its workers with any form of paid parental leave, the other being Papua New Guinea. 

Roughly 19 percent of American workers have a paid parental leave policy with their employer. The most common duration for paid leave in the US is 6 weeks, while countries in Europe provide anywhere from 6 months to two years

Continue reading “Paid Parental Leave: Coming Soon To A Congressional Office Near You”

First Branch, Second-Rate Funding

Of the $4.7 trillion proposed federal budget for FY 2020, $1.4 trillion is discretionary spending, that is,optional spending made through appropriations bills. Before Congress can spend that money, it is divided into 12 slices—one for each of the 12 appropriations subcommittees. These slices are called 302(b) allocations

Lawmakers are supposed to agree on 302(b) numbers early in the appropriations cycle, but this time around the agreement was (very) delayed. Without finalized topline numbers, lawmakers weren’t able to negotiate over the line items in the spending bills; after all, how could they dole out funds if they didn’t know how much money they were working with in the first place? 

Since Fiscal Year 2020 started on October 1st, lawmakers have pieced together short-term-spending agreements, or continuing resolutions, to keep the government’s lights on. Lawmakers finally agreed on final 302(b) numbers for FY 2020 at the end of November, and earlier this week Appropriators introduced two minibus bills that will keep the government funded for the remainder of FY 2020. 

So, what do the numbers tell us?

Continue reading “First Branch, Second-Rate Funding”