Lincoln Supports Video Broadcast of Appropriations Committee Legislative Markups

August 7, 2020 | Zach Graves

Click here to download a PDF of the letter. The Honorable Richard Shelby Chair, Committee on Appropriations United States Senate The Honorable Patrick Leahy Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations United States Senate Dear Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy: We write to respectfully request that video of Senate Appropriations Committee legislative mark-ups be broadcast online
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Bipartisan Thanks to the Legislative Branch

July 31, 2020 | Zach Graves

Click here to download a PDF of the letter. The Honorable Tim Ryan H-306, The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Jamie Herrera Beutler 2352 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Dear Chairman Ryan, Ranking Member Herrera Beutler, and Members of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee: We write in deep appreciation of your efforts to
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“Exploring the Feasibility and Security of Technology to Conduct Remote Voting in the House”

July 17, 2020 | Zach Graves

Click here to download a PDF of the letter. Hon. Zoe Lofgren, Chair Hon. Rodney Davis, Ranking Member Committee on House Administration Committee on House Administration U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives Re: Hearing Entitled “Exploring the Feasibility and Security of Technology to Conduct Remote Voting in the House” Dear Chair Lofgren, Ranking
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Rebuilding Congress’ Policy Capacity

July 11, 2020 | Zach Graves

Click here to read the full article discussing efforts to modernize Congress. Earlier this month, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress held a hearing on improving staffing capacity and policy expertise in Congress. A major theme of this discussion was the historical loss of congressional staff capacity, and how to address it. To reverse this
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Bipartisan Coalition Urges Congress to Invest in Itself

June 22, 2020 | Zach Graves

40+ Organizations Ask Appropriators to Shift Funding from the Executive Branch to the Legislative Branch The following letter can be downloaded here The Honorable Nita Lowy Chair Committee on AppropriationsUnited States House of Representatives The Honorable Richard ShelbyChair Committee on Appropriations United States Senate The Honorable Kay Granger Ranking Member Committee on AppropriationsUnited States House
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Coalition Letter Urging Transparent Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearings

June 10, 2020 | Zach Graves

The following letter can be downloaded here June 10, 2020 The Honorable James E. Risch U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee United States Senate 423 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510-6225 Re: Committee Proceedings Should Be Open and Transparent Dear Chairman Risch: We, the undersigned transparency and accountability organizations, write to express our deep concerns regarding a
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Testimony of Zach Graves to the United States Senate, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch

May 7, 2020 | Zach Graves

The following testimony was delivered on May 1, 2020. Dear Chairman Hyde-Smith, Ranking Member Murphy, and members of the committee: Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony. Over the past two years, there has been considerable interest and new research surrounding the question of how to enhance science and technology capacity in the legislative branch,
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TechCongress Is Now Accepting Applications for its Congressional Digital Service Fellowship

May 1, 2020 | Alexiaa Jordan

“Out of 3,500 congressional staff, less than 20 have any technical background. Decent governance in the 21st century REQUIRES talented technologists to serve in government. ” — Travis Moore, Founder and Director of TechCongress Now, TechCongress has launched a new Congressional Digital Service Fellowship for experienced technologists. Here’s what they’re looking for: Commitment to helping
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Video: A Time to Build? Institutional Failure and Reform After COVID-19

April 30, 2020 | Marshall Kosloff

Marshall Kosloff, Director of Outreach and Media for Lincoln Network, moderated a virtual panel featuring the following distinguished guests, Eli Dourado, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity. Marci Harris, CEO, and Co-Founder of PopVoxMark Lutter, Founder and Executive Director of the Charter Cities Institute The event was inspired by Marc Andreessen,
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Testimony of Dan Lips before the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch U.S. Government Accountability Office Appropriations

April 24, 2020 | Dan Lips

The following testimony was delivered on April 24, 2020 Chairman Hyde-Smith, Ranking Member Murphy, and Members of the Subcommittee:  Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Dan Lips. I am the Director of Cyber and National Security with the Lincoln Network, a non-profit organization that serves as a bridge between Silicon Valley,
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Mock Hearing Convenes Experts to Discuss Remote Proceedings

April 21, 2020 | Zach Graves

Former members of Congress participated in a “Mock Remote Hearing” exercise to test the viability of online proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was co-chaired by Former Rep. Brian Baird [D, WA] and Former Rep. Bob Inglis [R, SC] and co-hosted by AEI, The Brookings Institution, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown University,
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SBA.gov vs. Instacart – Collapsing IT Infrastructure During Covid 19

April 16, 2020 | Garrett Johnson

Exploding demand for government assistance at nearly every level has strained many old technology systems to the point of crashing, causing millions of Americans nightmares. Any startup would dream of the hockey-stick traffic spikes experienced by state unemployment pages or by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) since mid-March, but the current crisis provides another
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Congress Can Save Taxpayers Billions By Using Data Science to Stop Improper Payments

April 7, 2020 | Dan Lips

By Maggi Molina and Dan Lips Congress faces major challenges in 2020—including the Coronavirus pandemic and addressing its significant disruptions to our way of life. With the Congressional Budget Office already forecasting trillion dollar federal deficits through 2030, lawmakers may have less flexibility to authorize new spending to address these problems. One way for Congress
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It’s Time to Improve Congress: Support the Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (MODCOM) Resolution of 2019

January 28, 2020 | Will Upton

Lincoln Network joined a bipartisan coalition in support of H. Res. 756, the “Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (MODCOM) Resolution of 2019.” The letter argues: We urge your support for the Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (MODCOM) Resolution of 2019, H. Res. 756. This resolution advances nearly 30 bipartisan
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American competitiveness requires a smarter Congress

November 26, 2019 | Garrett Johnson

Increasing science and technology advice would be an important first step Technological advancements are rapidly changing the American economy and workforce. At the same time, lawmakers increasingly appear to lack the capability to understand and respond effectively to this transformation. Flip phone-wielding lawmakers may have been cutting edge in the 1990s, but not in today’s Congress, which routinely grapples
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Coalition calls for increased transparency at CBO

July 20, 2019 | Zach Graves

Lincoln joined a bipartisan coalition letter urging new Congressional Budget Office director Dr. Phillip Swagel to improve CBO’s information publication practices and transparency. Other signatories include Demand Progress, Americans for Prosperity, Campaign for Liberty, TechFreedom, FreedomWorks, and others.
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Want to Shrink Government? Make Congress Smarter

June 13, 2019 | Zach Graves

The following article, co-authored by Lincoln Network head of policy Zach Graves and R Street Institute vice president of policy Kevin R. Kosar, originally ran at RealClearPolicy. They are the authors of the policy study, “Bring in the Nerds: Reviving the Office of Technology Assessment.” Barely one in five Americans approve of the way Congress is operating. It
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Podcast roundup on OTA

June 6, 2019 | Zach Graves

I appeared on several podcasts over the past few months to discuss improving S&T expertise in government, reviving the Office of Technology Assessment, and related issues. Check them out here: Cato Institute’s Building Tomorrow Podcast Federal News Radio’s Federal Drive with Tom Temin Techdirt Podcast Harvard University Ash Center’s AshCast
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Written Testimony to Senate Appropriators on Improving S&T Expertise in Congress

May 31, 2019 | Zach Graves

I submitted the following written testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch regarding the fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill. Zach Graves, Head of Policy, Lincoln NetworkWritten testimony to the United States Senate, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch Re: GAO’s STAA Team Dear Chairman Cindy Hyde-Smith, Ranking Member Chris Murphy, and
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A curious letter from Newt Gingrich on OTA

May 23, 2019 | Zach Graves

Looking through former Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-NJ) archives, I found this curious letter from Newt Gingrich to Rep. Amo Houghton (R-NY) on the Office of Technology Assessment dated January 10, 2006. In it he writes: “I agree with your thoughts about the essential nature of the OTA, and I am very interested in finding new
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Re: Strengthening Legislative Branch Capacity on Science and Technology

May 9, 2019 | Zach Graves

The following bipartisan coalition letter, organized by Lincoln Network and Demand Progress, was sent to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Click here for a PDF version. Hon. Cindy Hyde-Smith, ChairmanHon. Chris Murphy, Ranking MemberU.S. Senate, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Legislative BranchRoom S-128, The
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Reboot American Innovation Conference

May 6, 2019 | Lincoln Policy

Check out all the videos from Lincoln Network’s Reboot American Innovation conference. Additional information about the speakers and program can be found here. Agenda 8:15 AMREGISTRATIONContinental breakfast 8:45 AMWELCOME & OPENING REMARKSGarrett Johnson, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Lincoln Network; Aaron Ginn, Co-Founder, Lincoln Network. 9:00 AMOPENING KEYNOTEDr. Robert Zubrin, President, Pioneer Astronautics; and Contributing Editor, The
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Re: Options for Congressional Technology Modernization

April 8, 2019 | Zach Graves

This bipartisan coalition letter, organized by Lincoln Network and Demand Progress, was sent to the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress on April 8, 2019. It offers a series of recommendations for improving information technology in Congress. Click here to read it. Signatories include: Zach GravesHead of Policy, Lincoln Network Daniel SchumanPolicy Director,
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Testimony Before House Appropriators on Improving S&T Expertise in Congress

April 3, 2019 | Zach Graves

On April 2, 2019, I testified before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s Legislative Branch Subcommittee on improving S&T expertise in Congress. At hand was the ongoing discussion on building-out technology assessment capabilities (modeled on the defunct Office of Technology Assessment) within the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The following is an excerpt of the testimony (available
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Re: FY 2020 302(b) Allocation for the Legislative Branch

March 25, 2019 | Zach Graves

The following bipartisan coalition letter was organized by Lincoln Network and Demand Progress. Two versions were sent to House and Senate appropriators. Click here for the House version (displayed below). Click here for the Senate version. Rep. Nita Lowey, ChairwomanRep. Kay Granger, Ranking MemberU.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations The Capitol, Room H-307Washington, DC
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Should Congress revive the Office of Technology Assessment?

March 6, 2019 | Zach Graves

I joined an expert panel on Capitol Hill to talk about improving science and technology expertise in Congress. Check out the full video and details below: Following a series of news-grabbing exchanges with tech CEOs last year, there has been a renewed push to boost Congress’s in-house policy expertise. The most prominent of these efforts
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Modernizing Congress

February 7, 2019 | Zach Graves

This event was held on February 4, 2019 at the State Room (near the U.S. Capitol). See the full video above. Description: In recent decades, digital technologies have opened up the legislative process and lowered barriers to democratic participation. Congressional staff, individuals, and interest groups learn about new legislation through sites like Congress.gov, docs.house.gov, or
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What to expect from GAO’s new science and tech team

February 2, 2019 | Zach Graves

Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced the formation of a new office to aid Congress in understanding science and technology matters. This office will be organized as a 15th mission team under GAO’s organization chart called “Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics” (STAA). Its work will focus on four key areas: Conducting technology assessments and providing technical services
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Doing Business with Congress

December 15, 2018 | Zach Graves

Of the three branches of the federal government, Congress is the most responsive to the American people. On a daily basis, congressional offices hear from constituents, industry groups, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders across a broad range of issues. While digital tools have lowered barriers to communication with our elected representatives, Congress’s information technology
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The Decline of Congressional Expertise Explained in 10 Charts

October 5, 2018 | Zach Graves

The following article by Lincoln Network head of policy Zach Graves and Demand Progress policy director Daniel Schuman originally ran at Techdirt: When Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify earlier this year, the world was shocked by Congress’s evident lack of basic technological literacy. For many, this performance illustrates the institution’s incompetence. After all, if our elected representatives
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Paying congressional interns is a good thing

September 14, 2018 | Lincoln Network

While some fiscal conservatives may be skeptical, in actuality these newly approved funds for intern salaries presents a set of unique opportunities to improve human capital on Capitol Hill. Conferees from both chambers of Congress announced that they reached an agreement over H.R. 5895, the first of three minibus appropriations bills. This spending package will provide funding to
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Re: Enhancing Congressional Capacity on Technology Policy

May 20, 2018 | Zach Graves

I co-organized the following coalition letter urging Congress to takes steps to improve its in-house expertise on science and technology. The letter argues: The dearth of technological expertise in the legislative branch makes it difficult for Congress to properly evaluate the divergent claims of executive agencies, academic centers, interest groups and lobbyists. This circumstance is
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