The Honorable Mike Quigley

2458 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

May 23, 2018

 

Dear Representative Quigley:

Thank you for your strong advocacy in support of restoring the House of Representatives to its proper role as a legislative body capable of performing its legislative, oversight, and constituent service duties. The FY 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, recently reported out of the House Appropriations Committee, constitutes a significant stride towards returning the people’s house to the people. Your leadership in submitting for consideration many government transparency, accountability, and strengthening provisions made possible their inclusion, and we appreciate all that you did to make it happen.

The legislation contains so many significant, constructive measures that we will highlight only a few of them, starting with your efforts to strengthen Congress’s capacity to govern. The GAO study on avenues for whistleblowers to connect to the proper congressional offices could potentially lead to significant cost savings, as improved communications will help root out waste, fraud, abuse, and malfeasance. In addition, the study on congressional staff pay and retention — including its comparison of congressional staff pay against the executive branch as well as its inquiry into whether staff are receiving equal pay for equal work — is timely because it will help ensure that Congress has the staff necessary to do its job, and that some of the problems raised by the #metoo movement are appropriately ventilated and addressed.

In addition, the legislation contained significant provisions to improve Congressional transparency. The Library of Congress will begin to publish a unified calendar for hearings and markups. Witness disclosure forms will soon become available online and in a central location, making it possible to better track the role of special interests. And the Clerk will publish bioguide information as structured data and GPO will explore the costs of doing the same for the Statutes at Large.

These last two years have been banner years. We have not forgotten your efforts around public access to CRS reports, and are grateful for all that you have done to improve the legislative branch. Thank you for your leadership and your willingness to work in a non-partisan fashion to promote the best interests of the country.

 

With gratitude,

Center for Data Innovation
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Congressional Management Foundation
Defending Rights & Dissent
Demand Progress Action
Government Information Watch
GovTrack.us
Issue One
National Security Archive
Project On Government Oversight
R Street Institute
Senior Executives Association (SEA)
The OpenGov Foundation

Norman J. Ornstein

James A. Thurber