First Branch Forecast

Proposals for Modernizing House Rules — Summary of Committee Members’ Day Recs for 118th Congress

Written by Taylor J. Swift At the start of the 118th Congress, the House of Representatives will adopt new procedural rules that govern nearly every aspect of how it conducts business. In preparation, the House Rules Committee held its Member Day hearing (announcement, video) on Tuesday, November 28, 2022, to provide members of the House … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Members of Congress on Mastodon

Fourteen years ago, an organization I was involved with pushed to change congressional rules to allow members of Congress onto Twitter. Like many of the starry-eyed democracy and technology efforts of that era, we saw the potential upside — closing the gaps between elected officials and the people they represent, allowing movements to push their … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Demand Progress and Lincoln Network Issue Bipartisan House Rules Recommendations Calling for Rebalancing Power in the 118th Congress

The progressive grassroots policy advocacy organization Demand Progress and the right-leaning technology nonprofit Lincoln Network have joined forces to urge the House of Representatives to adopt modern rules that improve congressional transparency, oversight, technology, and more. The bipartisan recommendations issued today by the two groups emphasize changes to House Rules that give more power to … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Recs on Making GovInfo More Transparent, Useful, & Accessible

In response to the White House’s announcement of an open government engagement session on increasing federal data access and utility, Demand Progress Education Fund submitted these recommendations for making government information more transparent, useful, and accessible. The administration announced that, at today’s session, they plan to further define commitments related to: Strengthening access to government … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Special First Branch Forecast for November 28, 2022: Rules Rules Rules

This week is a big week for party leadership elections and party and chamber rules. We realize we just sent our weekly First Branch Forecast newsletter Monday morning, but this update is both important and timely. As a reminder, we’ve gathered resources on proposals to update the caucus and conference rules. Also, don’t forget our compilation of recs … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast for November 28, 2022: Stopping by Congress

TOP LINE The next House will be symmetrical to this one: 222 Democrats becoming 222 Republicans. The incoming coalition, however, is a lot less stable than the outgoing one. How Rep. Kevin McCarthy navigates the complex journey to the speakership could break either way for the institutional health of Congress. Meanwhile, Democrats, like good Thanksgiving … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast for November 21, 2022: Twilight of the Idols

TOP LINE Last week, the transition of leadership in the Democratic caucus of the House grabbed the spotlight even as control of the House finally flipped. Off stage, we started tracking whether an institutional transition is underway from the current party/leader management structure. Splinter groups of Republicans in both chambers are dissatisfied with their subordinate … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast for Nov. 14, 2022: Twilight of the Idols

TOP LINE Last week, the transition of leadership in the Democratic caucus of the House grabbed the spotlight even as control of the House finally flipped. Off stage, we started tracking whether an institutional transition is underway from the current party/leader management structure. Splinter groups of Republicans in both chambers are dissatisfied with their subordinate … Continued

Vote Recommendations

NDAA Recommendations from Demand Progress Action

As the House and Senate negotiate the National Defense Authorization Act, Demand Progress Action urges members of Congress to support the retention, rejection, amendment, and addition of the following provisions: We urge retention of the following SASC provisions: – Section 1273 of S.Amdt. 5499 to H.R. 7900, Prohibition on in-flight refueling to non-United States aircraft … Continued

First Branch Forecast

Recs to Update the House Democratic Caucus Rules for the 118th Congress

We are pleased to release our recommendations to House Democrats on modernizing their caucus rules. The House Democratic Caucus rules provide the framework for how Democrats in the House of Representatives organize their Caucus. They address how they choose their leaders and committee members, identify their priorities, and express their values. With the transition in … Continued

First Branch Forecast

The 118th House Rules Package Should Retain Fixes From the 116th and 117th Congresses

Written by Taylor J. Swift The conservative House Freedom Caucus issued a 52-page guide to new GOP candidates last month on what they’ll face as freshman members, with recommendations for updating the rules for the chamber and for the party, and the conservative Lincoln Network just published their own recommendations for the rules and procedures … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast for November 14, 2022: Who’s the Boss?

TOP LINE We still don’t know many things after Tuesday’s congressional elections, including who will control the House of Representatives. It appears at the moment that Republicans can do no better than a two-seat majority in the House, and winning control is not guaranteed. Democrats will retain control of the Senate, and, pending a run-off, … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast for November 7, 2022: The Longest Weekend

TOP LINE The fallout from the attempted murder of Paul Pelosi reverberates as Americans go to the polls. Those charged with protecting Members of Congress have asked for even more money while the proximate cause of security failures — bad leadership, bad management, bad oversight — remain unaddressed. As some on the new right escalate and make … Continued

First Branch Forecast

First Branch Forecast for Oct. 31, 2022: Improving Congressional Tech

Top Line 1/ Speaker Pelosi’s husband was violently assaulted in their San Francisco residence. • At the time of writing, we do not know the motives of the assailant. However, it would not be surprising if the ultimate aim was to harm Speaker Pelosi. In this newsletter we have previously discussed the concept of stochastic … Continued