Politics Modernization Committee tracks its own progress as clock keeps ticking
January 6 committee: 5 things we learned last week
The committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol had a big week. © Steve Helber/AP Political strategist Steve Bannon gestures during a speech during an election rally in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Key decisions were made that not only cemented the tone of how the committee has chosen to operate, but also brought future roadblocks further into focus. Here's what last week tells us about the investigation: 1.
The House Modernization of Congress Committee wants to make sure its recommendations don’t end up like some of its predecessors’ did — collecting dust on a shelf.
The panel released its latest progress report Thursday, tracking the 97 recommendations it made last Congress and whether they’ve gone anywhere. More than 60 percent of them have, the report says.
From the very beginning, the panel has tried to do things differently as it tries to cure what ails the legislative branch, said Chairman.
The Jan. 6 committee will vote to hold Bannon in contempt. Here's what we know
Bannon served a prominent role in Donald Trump's first campaign, then in the White House. Trump and Bannon stayed in touch ahead of the Capitol riot.Now, the committee is ramping up its efforts to compel him to testify and deter others they have subpoenaed from not cooperating.
“We decided to do rolling recommendations so that when we got agreement as a committee, we would pass them,” the Washington Democrat said. “Then we would focus energy on trying to get them implemented.”
Just 20 of those proposals have been fully implemented. Two of the most recent wins came in August, when Speakerannounced the House would raise the maximum pay rate for staff, decoupling it from lawmaker pay caps, and when the Chief Administrative Office launched a centralized human resources hub.
Meanwhile, 13 proposals are “nearing full implementation,” and another 30 have seen other kinds of “meaningful action,” according to the report.
Unlike standing committees, Kilmer’s does not have the authority to move legislation, so this audit is one way to keep track of how reform ideas have entered the congressional zeitgeist.
Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Steve Bannon in contempt
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection voted unanimously to hold former White House aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress after the longtime ally of former President Donald Trump defied a subpoena for documents and testimony. Still defending his supporters who broke into the Capitol that day, Trump has aggressively tried to block the committee’s work by directing Bannon and others not to answer questions in the probe. Trump has also filed a lawsuit to try to prevent Congress from obtaining former White House documents.
Good-governance advocates had long sought the staffer pay change that came this summer, as Pelosi said she would raise the maximum salary above the $174,000 that members earn. Now the cap for aides is $199,300, part of an effort to slow a Capitol Hill brain drain caused by relatively low pay for top staffers.
As appropriators work toward a fiscal 2022 spending deal, the panel is also celebrating the return of earmarks — or, as the term now goes, “community project funding.” Kilmer says he’s satisfied with the updates to that grand old tradition, like posting the requests to a website before they make their way into a final piece of legislation.
“DeLauro, to her credit, said let’s not just do things the way it used to be. Let’s actually try to do it in a reformed way that has more accountability and more transparency,” Kilmer said of House Appropriations Chair.
As the Modernization Committee seeks to get more of its recommendations enacted, it won’t stop making new ones either — at least not until the clock runs out on its tenure at the end of the current Congress.is one of its more amorphous missions, and a series of recent hearings has aimed to translate that into concrete proposals.
Analysis: 550-horsepower tracks the foundation of Kyle Busch rebuild
Kyle Busch's rebound from a dismal 2020 season has centered on strength at 550-horsepower tracks.A vocal critic of the tapered-spacer era, though perhaps the user most knowledgable of its inner-workings, Busch hit a depth previously unforeseen for him last year when he failed to win any of the first 33 races. He was eliminated from the playoffs following the Round of 12 and longtime crew chief Adam Stevens, with whom Busch won his two Cup Series championships, was removed from his pit box.
Vice Chairman William Timmons said he believes the committee will also put some energy into devising ways to free up the calendar for lawmakers so they don’t spend so many days traveling to and from Washington.
And while improving relationships in Congress may sound like a daunting task, it could start with something as simple as encouraging people to have dinner together.
“If any committee or any group of people that are focused on an issue, or any group of people that just want to break bread together, can easily sit down and have conversations about the important work that we do, that’s how we’re going to fix these problems,” he said.
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Pentagon rattled by Chinese military push on multiple fronts .
WASHINGTON (AP) — China's growing military muscle and its drive to end America predominance in the Asia-Pacific is rattling the U.S. defense establishment. American officials see trouble quickly accumulating on multiple fronts — Beijing's expanding nuclear arsenal, its advances in space, cyber and missile technologies, and threats to Taiwan. “The pace at which China is moving is stunning,” says Gen. John Hyten, the No. 2-ranking U.S. military officer, who previously commanded U.S. nuclear forces and oversaw Air Force space operations. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) “The pace at which China is moving is stunning,” says Gen.