E-gov expert Peggy Garvin provides an overview of the significant developments in the world of online government information this past year. According to Peggy, overall the year saw a push by individuals and nongovernment organizations for increased access to digital government information. Specifically, new official government and non-government websites came online, and existing sites developed more sophisticated features.
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.
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.
Beth Wellington’s commentary tracks the legislative path of retroactive immunity for telecom eavesdropping.
Following up on the passage earlier this year of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes make two proposals absent from the law, but which would help FOIA requesters.
Paul Jenks recounts how for the past two years he has run marathons and monitored Congress at the same time, describing how the two experiences are very similar.
Scott A. Hodes contends that Congress must actively use its oversight role to ensure that the new FOIA law, and the FOIA and other disclosure laws that are already on the books, are actively followed and funded.
Beth Wellington comments on mine safety legislation one year after the Sago Mine disaster.
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.
Analysis of the Energy Bill, the EPA’s Refusal to Grant Waivers and State Laws With Respect to Climate Change
Beth Wellington reviews the contentious debate underway on the state, national and international level, concerning efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.