What’s in the FY2018 House legislative branch appropriation?

By: Casey Burgat

The House Appropriations Committee approved Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations via a June 29 voice vote. The bill calls for $3.58 billion of funding for House and joint-chamber operations (Senate-specific items are not included), a full $100 million more than the enacted FY2017 funding levels. It should, however, be noted that the FY2018 appropriation is much lower than the appropriation of FY2010.

On the same day, the committee released a full report explaining the appropriating rationale.

What is actually included in the bill? Who won and who lost the funding battles?

Continue Reading

New Madison Prizes to Honor Compromise in Congress

Rep. David Skaggs and his wife Laura established a new award for legislators who advance the public interest through compromise. More details (press release) below.

Continue reading...

Join/Watch the House of Representatives 2017 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference

On Tuesday, June 27, the House of Representatives will host the 2017 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference. The all-day conference focuses on making Congress more efficient, transparent, and effective, and brings together people from inside the Legislative branch with member of the public to discuss how technology can help ensure Congress works for everyone. The conference is […]

Continue reading...

OPEN Government Data Act moves to Senate floor after markup

By: Jonathan Haggerty  Legislation requiring federal agencies to publish their data online in a searchable, nonproprietary, machine-readable format has been cleared for the Senate following a May 17 markup by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Sponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, S. 760, the Open Public Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act […]

Continue reading...

Three years in, what does the DATA Act tell us about agency spending?

By: C. Jarrett Dieterle  Trying to figure out exactly how much money the federal government spends long has been an exercise in futility for those few brave souls who endeavor to try it. Though the U.S. Treasury has published financial data since the beginning of the republic, the government has an uneven history, to say […]

Continue reading...

Congressmen reintroduce bill to make CRS reports public

By Jonathan Haggarty The Government Publishing Office would be required to make Congressional Research Service reports publicly accessible over the internet, under legislation reintroduced last week by Reps. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill. The CRS, a division of the Library of Congress, is known as Congress’ in-house “think tank.” House offices and committees […]

Continue reading...

Alex Pollock: Data Transparency and Multiple Perspectives

At Data Coalition‘s Financial Data Summit in March, Alex Pollock, distinguished senior fellow with the R Street Institute, former president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, provided the plenary address. These are Mr. Pollock’s remarks as prepared for delivery. One question underlying the very interesting data project and proposed legislation we are considering today is the relationship […]

Continue reading...

GovTrack testimony to the House of Representatives on public access to legislative information

Everything that our government does starts with an “appropriation” that sets a funding level for it. When Congress sets funding levels for the government as a whole, it also sets funding levels for itself to pay congressional staff, the Capitol police, to maintain the office buildings, and so on. (It’s about 0.1% of the total […]

Continue reading...

Library of Congress, National Archives Host Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

On Friday, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and Wikimedia D.C. hosted an Edit-a-Thon, focused on updating committee information on Wikipedia. This is the second such event, and the first to be hosted at the Library of Congress.

Continue reading...

Whip Watch 2.0

On Thursday, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer launched Whip Watch 2.0, a free app that provides the public (and congressional staffers) a real-time mobile view into the Democrats’ whip operation. In addition to all the neat features we wrote about when Whip Watch first launched in June 2015, it allows users to see vote totals, including vote […]

Continue reading...