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 Network

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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