Recommendations to Strengthen GAO’s Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics Program

April 15, 2021 | Zach Graves

This post was co-authored by Zach Graves and Dan Lips. The FY2022 appropriations process is underway. While it represents a small fraction of overall spending, one of the most important challenges on Congress’s agenda is meeting the funding needs for the Legislative Branch, and providing resources for key support agencies like the Government Accountability Office
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How Can Congress Improve GAO’s Performance?

April 12, 2021 | Dan Lips

An Interview with Deloitte Analysts William Eggers and Steve Berman             The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issues more than a thousand recommendations to Congress and executive agencies each year to improve operations and increase fiscal efficiency. According to the Comptroller General’s annual estimates, the Congressional watchdog agency routinely achieves a return-on-investment of more than $100
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Former Senator Carl Levin’s Defense of the Filibuster

March 29, 2021 | Dan Lips

President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is open to reforming the Senate’s filibuster has energized calls from progressives to eliminate the Senate minority’s most powerful procedural tactic to block legislation or force compromise. But in his new memoir, Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate, former Michigan Senator Carl Levin
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Testimony of Zach Graves to the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress

March 26, 2021 | Zach Graves

Click here to download a PDF of the letter Chairman Kilmer, Vice Chairman Timmons, and esteemed members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My organization, Lincoln Network, works to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and DC. This work entails building up and future-proofing our institutions with the capacity they need
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Modernizing Oversight of Federal Spending Could Save Taxpayers Billions

March 19, 2021 | Dan Lips

Days before Congress passed the $1.9 trillion emergency spending package, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a grim snapshot of the nation’s fiscal condition. CBO warned that the “growing debt burden could increase the risk of a fiscal crisis and higher inflation as well as undermine confidence in the U.S. dollar, making it more costly to finance public and private
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Stack neutrality: The holistic approach to net neutrality

March 16, 2021 | Joel Thayer

In 2003, Tim Wu first coined the phrase “net neutrality” in his paper “Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination.” He defined a neutral network as “internet that does not favor one application over another.” Today, the Federal Communications Commission faces a choice: either regulate the entire internet ecosystem as a public utility or do not. The agency
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The Promise and Perils of Interoperability

March 4, 2021 | Zach Graves

Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats now support increased regulation of the tech industry. Responding to this pressure, policymakers on both sides of the aisle have become increasingly critical of big tech, and are looking to advance new legislation. However, because their underlying grievances are different—with the right focusing on anti-conservative bias, and the left
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The Call for Modernization in the US Senate

February 26, 2021 | Zach Graves

Dear Honorable Majority Leader Schumer, Honorable Minority Leader McConnell, Honorable Chairwoman Klobuchar, and Honorable Ranking Member Blunt: The COVID-19 pandemic, growing economic hardship for many American families, a national reckoning over racial injustice, and the January 6 siege of the Capitol have strained our democracy, underscoring the need for a strong, well-prepared Congress. While democratic
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Is Mandated Sideloading the Answer to App Store Deplatforming?

February 24, 2021 | Zach Graves

Smartphone app store policies have come into focus recently, following a series of recent conflicts between app makers and app store operators (principally Apple and Google). These include the removal of conservative-oriented social media platforms Parler and Gab, and the ensuing debate about balancing free speech and harmful content. There have also been numerous conflicts
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Lincoln Network’s 2020 funding breakdown

February 19, 2021 | Garrett Johnson

Lincoln Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 2014 with a mission to help bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and DC from a pro-market, pro-innovation perspective. Lincoln’s founders recognized that the government needs, and the people it serves deserve, new ideas and technologies to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness. We founded
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Keep Congress Open to the People: Bipartisan Letter Rejecting Permanent Capitol Fencing

February 17, 2021 | Zach Graves

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, House Republican Leader McCarthy, and Senate Republican Leader McConnell: We write in firm opposition to the proposed enclosure of the U.S. Capitol with permanent security fencing. The Capitol and surrounding buildings must remain open to all engaged in the business of our democracy. Congress should be the shining
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Red Lines, Finish Lines, and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

February 17, 2021 | Jordan McGillis

Twelve months from now, two thousand athletes representing almost 100 countries are slated to march under their national flags into Beijing National Stadium to mark the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing National Stadium—the Bird’s Nest—was the focal point of the 2008 Summer Games and hosted that year’s opening ceremony, an awe-inducing tribute to
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5G Needs Better Markets, Not More Buildout Requirements

February 16, 2021 | Joe Kane

Behind all those Super Bowl commercials about “5G” has been a years-long push to get the wireless frequencies needed for the next generation of wireless service ready for widespread use. One of the biggest recent steps in that direction is the Federal Communications Commission’s auction of licenses to operate in the lower portion of the
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Bipartisan Coalition Asks Congress to Provide More Resources at FTC to Hire Expert Staff

February 16, 2021 | Zach Graves

The following letter was sent to the Hill on February 16, 2021. To discuss this issue further, please contact: Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge at charlotte@publicknowledge.org; Chris Riley, Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute at criley@rstreet.org; and Zach Graves, Head of Policy for Lincoln Network at zach.graves@joinlincoln.org. Hon. Chris Van Hollen,
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Petition to Expand Marketing Opportunities for Innovative Technologies

February 11, 2021 | Joel Thayer

Click here to download a PDF of the letter Lincoln Network (“Lincoln”) writes to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) to provide its comments in the above-captioned proceeding. Lincoln is a non-profit organization that seeks to bridge the often-siloed discussions between policymakers in Washington, D.C., and technologists in Silicon Valley so as to advance
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Power of the Purse Coalition Shares Priorities With 117th Congress

February 8, 2021 | Dan Lips

Click here to download a PDF of the letter Dear Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the undersigned organizations, members of the Power of the Purse Coalition, we write requesting your support for advancing a number of initiatives in the 117th Congress to strengthen the legislative branch’s constitutional authority
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Fifteen Senators Urge Biden Administration to Invest in Semiconductor Manufacturing

February 4, 2021 | Dan Lips

On Tuesday, Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown led thirteen of their colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. The lawmakers urged the Biden administration to help auto manufacturers address the current semiconductor shortage which has forced companies to curb production despite growing demand.  The Senators urged the
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Returning Science and Technology Assessment to Congress

January 28, 2021 | Zach Graves

The shuttering of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in 1996, along with contemporaneous cuts to Congress’s policy capacity, created a deep institutional gap in the formation of science and technology (S&T) policy in the United States. A quarter century later, in the wake of a middling response to the COVID-19 pandemic, eroding military superiority,
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Expert Advice for the Biden Administration’s Approach to Semiconductor Policy

January 28, 2021 | Alexiaa Jordan

Over the past four years, the semiconductor industry has focused on U.S. trade policy with China. Congress and the Trump Administration strengthened federal laws to restrict foreign investment, control technology transfer, and established new federal research incentives. This pattern looks to be continuing as President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Commerce committed to
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The Biden Administration Must Answer China’s Semiconductor Challenge

January 26, 2021 | Dan Lips

President Biden’s nominee for Commerce Secretary testified to Congress today that the new administration will be firm in responding to China’s unfair trade practices. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told the Senate said the administration will “take aggressive trade enforcement actions to combat unfair trade practices from China and other nations that undercut American manufacturing.”
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Questions for Biden’s Choice for Homeland Security

January 20, 2021 | Dan Lips

Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to be secretary of homeland security, brings significant experience to the role, having worked as deputy secretary during the Obama administration after serving as director of Citizenship and Immigration Services. But his confirmation to that office came while he was under inspector general investigation for allegations of preferential treatment
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Rethinking the Future of US Cybersecurity After the Latest Data Breach

December 16, 2020 | Dan Lips

5 Questions National Policymakers Should Be Asking  This week, IT-firm SolarWinds announced that it had likely suffered “a highly sophisticated, targeted and manual supply chain attack by an outside nation state,” which put the information systems of 18,000 of its customers, including federal agencies, at risk. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS issued
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Why Congress and Federal Agencies Must Improve State and Local Governments’ Cybersecurity Risk Management

December 16, 2020 | Dan Lips

Click here to download a PDF version of the paper. State and local governments have purchased commercial off-the-shelf technologies with known vulnerabilities that federal agencies have banned. Five years after Congress passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen information sharing between the federal government and its partners, federal agencies could do more to support state and local
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FCC Moving to Update Rules for Marketing and Importation Equipment Is Good for 5G and IoT

December 8, 2020 | Joel Thayer

The United States’ success in the race to 5G is critical, but enabling the Internet of things (IoT) ecosystem is equally important. This Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) in particular has made considerable efforts to expedite the deployment of 5G networks, either through reducing  barriers to building infrastructure or through opening up key spectrum
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Why GAO is Congress’s Best Investment

December 7, 2020 | Dan Lips

A new report examines the Congressional watchdog’s return-on-investment Facing a December 11 deadline to fund the federal government, Congress must finalize its annual spending bills or punt those negotiations into the new year. As lawmakers negotiate on Capitol Hill, taxpayers should keep an eye on one small line item in the federal budget.  Last year,
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