The Open House Project from The Sunlight Foundation

The Day in Transparency 1/20/11

January 20th, 2011 by Melanie Buck · No Comments

Here is Thursday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

  • House leaders reappointed the Office of Congressional Ethics’ eight-member board with former Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) as chairman. (Roll Call $)(Politico)
  • The Center for Responsive Politics and Remapping Debate just released the first listings in an interactive tracking tool that will allow the public to explore where outgoing senators and representatives from the 111th Congress are now employed. (Open Secrets)
  • The Supreme Court heard arguments for Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T Inc. on Wednesday where the major issue is whether corporations have personal privacy rights and can keep documents from being released due to these rights. (The New York Times)(Project on Government Oversight)
  • Common Cause filed a petition with the Justice Department advocating for an investigate into potential conflicts of interest on the part of Justices Scalia and Thomas when hearing campaign finance cases such as Citizens United. (New York Times)
  • Top staff for House and Senate Republicans met in a closed-door session with energy industry interests (thought to include the American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce) to discuss a strategy for addressing EPA climate regulations. (Politico)
  • House Republicans plan to use Twitter and YouTube to get citizens engaged with actual policy making decisions by introducing more programs such as YouCut. (Politico)
  • Former Rep. Vic Fazio advises new members of Congress to develop relationships and learn from lobbyists. (Politico)
  • Reports from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) are not posted anywhere online but were obtained through a FOIA request and are now being offered by the Project on Government Oversight. (Project on Government Oversight)
  • The House Administration Committee has decided to allow Members to use their representational allowance for security upgrades in their district offices as long as they obtain clearance from the House Sergeant-at-Arm. (Roll Call $)
  • The Office of Personnel Management reminds agencies that President Obama wants agency managers to discuss issues with labor-management partnership councils before making decisions on their own. (Federal Times)
  • Seven retired admirals and generals hired as military consultants have chosen to leave their advisory roles instead of complying with new regulations requiring them to divulge outside income to avoid potential conflicts of interest. (Federal Times)(USA Today)
  • A video is available of a panel of leading thinkers exploring WikiLeaks and how it matters in terms of information, security, first amendment rights, and innovation. (The Real News)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/20:

  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • H.R. 339. A bill to deem any adjournment of the House of Representatives which is in effect on the date of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held during a Congress to be adjournment sine die, and to amend title 31, United States Code, to provide for automatic continuing appropriations if a regular appropriation bill for a fiscal year does not become law before the date of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held during such fiscal year; to the Committee on Appropriations, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
  • H. Res. 39. A resolution electing Members to certain standing committees of the House of Representatives; considered and agreed to.
  • H. Res. 42. A resolution electing certain Members to certain standing committees of the House of Representatives; considered and agreed to.
  • H. Res. 45. A resolution amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to encourage bipartisan amendments; to the Committee on Rules.

Transparency events scheduled for 1/20:

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