Pay Congressional Staff More! Says Bipartisan Group of 30 Orgs to House Approps

May 17, 2021 | Zach Graves

Click here to download a PDF of the letter 30 organizations and 11 congressional experts sent a bipartisan letter to House appropriators today calling to restore funding levels for congressional personal office and committee staff, amounting to double-digit percentage increases. The bipartisan letter was organized by the progressive organization Demand Progress and the conservative organization Lincoln
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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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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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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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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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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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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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How Congress Can Leverage GAO to Expand Taxpayer Savings

October 23, 2020 | Dan Lips

GAO’s Work Has Yielded $1.1 Trillion in Taxpayer Savings Since 1999. But Congress Can Do More to Leverage Them. The United States faces growing governance and fiscal challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the federal government’s limited ability to manage a national crisis. The Congressional Budget Office warns that the national debt will eclipse GDP
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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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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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