Author archives

Paul Jenks is a veteran expert on Congress and legislation who reports from Washington, D.C.

CongressLine: Presidential Patronage

Paul Jenks’ commentary addresses the background of the scramble for thousands of presidentially appointed offices within the government that accompanies a new administration. The selection process has evolved over the past couple of hundred years and every position outside of the new president’s personal staff requires Senate approval.

Subjects: Congress, Government Resources, Legislative

CongressLine: Congress and Money

Paul Jenks examines how the appropriations process this year has provided a multitude of interesting examples of the wide variety of tools available to Congress and the federal government for appropriating money, beyond just the ordinary appropriations bills in Congress.

Subjects: Columns, Congress, CongressLine, Government Resources

CongressLine: The Committee Markup

Paul Jenks describes how the committee markup is where the real work of Congress takes place. According to Paul, in the House, where floor amendments can be strictly regulated, they are the only place a member can propose a change. In some cases, the actual bill is written completely in a markup. This usually happens for appropriations bills, but is done increasingly for other really big bills.

Subjects: Congress, CongressLine, Legal Research, Legislative

CongressLine by Lobbying and Ethics Rules

This month Paul Jenks provides readers with a copy of a recent CRS report, Lobbying Law and Ethics Rules Changes in the 110th Congress.

Subjects: Congress, CongressLine, CRS Reports, Government Resources, Legislative

CongressLine by The Earmark Reality

Paul Jenks offers insights into the procedures by which Congressional earmarks are used to inject opinions and priorities, great and small, into the governing process.

Subjects: Congress, CongressLine, E-Government, Legal Research

CongressLine by Votes and Whips

Paul Jenks explains voting, a finely orchestrated legislative process that is full of arcane and ancient precedents and many mechanisms to get around the rules.

Subjects: Congress, CongressLine, Government Resources, Legal Research