Human capital and institutional decline in congressional appropriations committees

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December 17, 2018
The new, divided Congress about to be seated in January will feature one of the most reform-minded freshman classes in recent congressional history. As Congress considers sweeping electoral and institutional… Read More

Throwback Thursday: Are we surprised the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform crashed and burned?

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December 13, 2018
Last February, Congress established a Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The committee, comprised of equal numbers of… Read More

The great earmark debate: Who should determine federal spending priorities?

October 16, 2018
Opponents in the debate over earmarks have never fallen neatly along the partisan divide. Outspoken critics – organizations such as Citizens Against Government Waste and Taxpayers for Common Sense,… Read More

What’s in the FY2019 House Legislative Branch Appropriation?

September 12, 2018
On September 10th House and Senate Appropriations Committees announced details of the first of three FY2019 minibus appropriations packages after reaching a conference agreement on appropriations bills for Energy… Read More

How to spot policy riders in appropriations bills

August 22, 2018
(Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared in  Legislative Procedure on August 15, 2018.) By James Wallner Senate Rule XVI (paragraphs 1 and 2) prohibits the inclusion of… Read More

ICYMI: Budget process reform

July 19, 2018
On June 25th, 2018, the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group partnered with the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution to discuss how to build a better budget process. The… Read More

How pork-barrel spending shapes the ideological composition of Congress

July 12, 2018
In classrooms across the country, economics professors often use the phrase “guns and butter” as an analogy for the competing priorities nations face when deciding how to allocate resources. Read More

What do Senators actually want for their states and what do they receive? The importance of priorities and easy political wins

May 31, 2018
Image source: Senate Appropriations By Jeremy Gelman When Congress is doling out money or projects, the evergreen question is who won and who lost? Indeed, after the passage of the… Read More

Who wants to chair the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee? No one.

May 24, 2018
By Matt Glassman When Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA) resigned from Congress earlier this month, a vacancy was created on the House Committee on Appropriations, where Dent was the… Read More

Pursuing earmarks at the expense of pursuing policy

May 15, 2018
Image source: Bloomberg By Scott M. Guenther and David M. Searle In early January, President Trump floated the idea of bringing back earmarks to Congress, recalling before a group of… Read More