Press Releases

What Senators Need to Ask DNI Nominee Avril Haines at Her Confirmation Hearing Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: [email protected] Avril Haines, President-elect Biden’s designee to be the Director of National Intelligence, will appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) today at ten for her confirmation hearing. As has been reported in The Daily Beast and elsewhere, Haines has a history of positions and ties that are concerning to … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast: January 18, 2021

THE TOP LINEThe insurrection is not over. The likelihood of violence at federal and state capitals across the country and ongoing organizing by white nationalists means the danger of immediate political violence has not passed even as the national guard and local police forces are on high alert. Meanwhile, the Twitter pundits who tittered that … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Capitol Police Fire Arm Regulations

The Capitol Police Board has regulations governing firearms, explosives, incendiary devices and other dangerous weapons which specify that no person shall carry any firearm inside the chamber or on the floor of either House. The full regulations can be seen in the following image, which has been transcribed as text at the end of this … Continued

First Branch Forecast

U.S. Capitol Police: Past, Present and Future Panel Discussion Set for Friday

The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has thrust the U.S. Capitol Police into the spotlight. They failed to adequately protect lawmakers, staff, essential workers, and journalists against a mob-led insurrection, despite an abundance of resources.  Demand Progress and the Article One Coalition are hosting a webinar with congressional experts who have covered USCP for years … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast: January 11, 2020

We are overwhelmed and you are too. If you are feeling like you need to talk to someone, call the national suicide helpline at 800-273-8255. You can call even if you are just feeling powerful emotions. It’s perfectly okay to do so. Congressionals can reach out to the Office of Employee Assistance (there’s a recent … Continued

First Branch Forecast

A Primer on the Capitol Police: What We Know From Two Years of Research

Today armed Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an apparent and temporarily successful effort to disrupt the vote to certify the 2020 presidential election results. Members, staff, and journalists were forced to hide throughout the terrifying ordeal and many took to Twitter asking the fundamental questions: Where are the Capitol Police and how could … Continued

First Branch Forecast

House Rules for the 117th Congress

The House of Representatives adopted a new rules package on Monday. Here is the text of H. Res 8, a section-by-section summary, a press release that highlights some of the major changes, and a decent overview of activities of the House Rules committee. We have put together a guide to rules reform proposals over the … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Forecast for January 3, 2021

THE TOP LINE Welcome back, Congress. It’s like you never left. Did you miss us? If so, make sure you subscribe (and tell your friends.) Our back issues are here. Tick Tock: On Friday (Jan.1), the Senate overrode the NDAA veto (even as Sen. McConnell killed the boost to COVID relief), and today the House … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Forecast for December 28, 2020

You shouldn’t be at work and neither should I. But since we’re here, this is the latest on the decline and fall of the American republic. Happy holidays! THE TOP LINEThe COVID/Omnibus bill has been hung up by Pres. Trump and the circumstances could mean a government shutdown lasting two weeks or more… and there’s … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Forecast for December 21, 2020

THE TOP LINE You gotta be kidding. We prep this newsletter during the week and finalize it over the weekend. Alas, there’s no way we could possibly evaluate what is in the appropriations + COVID bill(s) for you — and there’s no way most Members of Congress could know what they’re voting on, either. It … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Forecast for December 14, 2020

THE TOP LINE It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I really don’t want to talk about the totally avoidable train-wreck that is the CR, approps omnibus, and COVID relief efforts, which are as infuriating as they are predictable. The latest contretemps are the natural consequence of institutional design and political incentives, shaped by those … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Who Steers the Ship in the 117th Congress? An Examination of House Steering and Policy Committee Membership

House Democrats and Republicans use internal party committees to control major aspects of the legislative process, including choosing who gets to serve on legislative committees. Who serves on these committees and how are they chosen? Read on. (If this seems familiar, we looked at internal party committee makeup for the 116th Congress here). Under the … Continued

First Branch Forecast

2021 Congressional Budget Priorities: House vs. Senate

Senate appropriators released their Fiscal Year 2021 Legislative Branch spending bill proposal back in November — more than a month into the fiscal year. How does their pitch stack up against the House numbers released in July? To find commonalities and differences in funding, we created a side by side comparison, including dollar and percent … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Forecast for November 30, 2020.

THE TOP LINE Agreement? House and Senate appropriators reached a bipartisan agreement last Tuesday on the 302b numbers — the amount of funding available for each appropriations subcommittee — but LOL, we won’t know these numbers until the bill is released. Is there a path to completing the omnibus on time? Kevin McCarthy announced he will oppose the … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Why isn’t the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights protecting Congress during the Pandemic?

Wouldn’t it be good to have an independent office that had the authority to impose a uniform set of mandatory safety and health standards across Capitol Hill? Such an office already exists and Congress is giving them a pass. The Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (OCWR) is the independent, centralized workplace safety and health agency … Continued