MRA

Should Congress spend more on itself to avoid deterioration?
Former lawmakers and groups think crisis is brewing if investments not made

Civil society organizations and former lawmakers are calling on appropriators to boost funding for Congress itself to avoid a “crisis.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Civil society groups and former lawmakers are calling on appropriators to boost funding for Congress itself to stem what they call a “significant loss of institutional capacity.”

Ten former lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, joined more than three dozen groups to pen letters to House and Senate appropriators asking that the Legislative Branch slice of the federal funding pie get a bit larger. Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Eva M. Clayton of North Carolina were among the former members to sign the letter, which was led by the advocacy organization Demand Progress. 

Tampons to be stocked in House supply store; allowed for purchase with office funds
The feminine hygiene products will be stocked in the Longworth House Office Building

Tampons and other menstrual products will soon be available in the House office supply store for purchase with office funds. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House lawmakers will soon be able to purchase and provide tampons to staff and constituents on campus with office funds, following an inquiry from three Democratic members pushing for wider access.

In a letter released late Monday night, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairperson of the House Administration Committee, instructed that menstrual products be stocked in the House office supply store for purchase with Members’ Representational Allowance funds.

Staffer Raise Might Pay for Daily Coffee
Roll Call analysis shows stagnant salaries lag far behind costs

An aide tends the door to a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol in December. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House lawmakers are intent on giving staff members a raise in 2017, concerned that low pay and long hours are contributing to turnover and congressional brain drain.  

But the money won't go very far, according to a Roll Call analysis.