library-of-congress

Public to get rare look inside the Congressional Research Service, with attrition, morale points of contention
Former employees knock management as stifling quality work, innovation

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., center, chairs the House Administration Committee, which will hold a rare public examination into the Congressional Research Service. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Clarified 3:05 p.m. | Thursday’s House Administration Committee oversight hearing into the Congressional Research Service is the first in more than a decade — and is long overdue, according to former employees who say the agency is mismanaged, stifles expert research and results in a lesser work product.

The hearing will examine increasing attrition rates, low employee morale and a lack of diversity at the agency, among other issues, according to a committee spokesperson. Since 1914, the Congressional Research Service, or CRS, has provided expert policy and legal analysis to staff, members and committees in the legislative branch.

Legislative Branch spending bill opens door for employing Dreamers on Capitol Hill
$3.9 billion measure would boost funding for interns, revive defunct technology office

House appropriators released a $3.9 billion House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill Tuesday ahead of subcommittee action set for Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats touted the revival of the defunct Office of Technology Assessment and the legal employment of so-called Dreamers in the $3.94 billion House Legislative Branch Appropriations bill they released Tuesday.

The fiscal 2020 proposal includes an overall proposed increase of $135 million, or 3.6 percent more than the current funding level, according to a summary. The Legislative Branch subcommittee is set to take up the bill at a markup on Wednesday.

Why ‘Queer Eye’ stormed Capitol Hill
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 65

Jonathan Van Ness from the Netflix series ‘Queer Eye,’ takes a selfie with a fan in the Capitol after meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Washington might be Hollywood for ugly people, but every once in a while Hollywood pretties the place up. That was certainly the case when the cast of “Queer Eye” came to the Capitol to advocate for the Equality Act, to the delight of many staffers, members and tourists. Jennifer Shutt discusses how the celebrity advocates used their powers for policy purposes. 

Library of Congress aims for ambitious transformation
Three projects will cost $60 million in public and private dollars

The Library of Congress has an ambitious plan to overhaul the visitor experience. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Library of Congress is preparing a massive overhaul of the Capitol Hill flagship Thomas Jefferson Building funded through a private-public partnership that aims to “transform the visitor experience” of the library and highlight “treasures” from the massive collection.

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden unveiled renderings of the proposed changes to lawmakers in March, along with a progress report on funding efforts. The project includes an “enhanced orientation experience” to welcome visitors to the library and a youth center.

Library of Congress and Architect of the Capitol both request 2020 funding boosts
Senate appropriators will weigh requests against budget authorities

The Library of Congress and the Architect of the Capitol are both seeking budget increases for fiscal 2020. Agency heads appeared before the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee led by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators dug into budget requests from the Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress on Wednesday at the Legislative Branch subcommittee, with both agencies seeking increases for fiscal 2020.

Chairwoman Cindy Hyde-Smith opened the hearing with a warning tone for her first meeting running the panel.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Crenshaw reaches out to troubled comic, Lankford in a boot, and Corker on Peyton Manning

Sen. Tom Cotton’s 2-year-old son Daniel makes friends with Sen. Susan Collins as the two walk to a vote on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Pillow talk, Senator Hatch’s Office has spoken, and staffer shuffle

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for it. We look, but we don’t find everything. We want to know what you see too.

Library of Congress Adds More Classics to National Film Registry
‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ‘The Shining,’ ‘The Lady From Shanghai’ are among selections

Ang Lee's film “Brokeback Mountain” is among the 25 films selected to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The 2005 Academy Award winning movie is the newest film in the registry. (Ashley Pon/Getty Images)

The Library of Congress has added a wide range of movies to the National Film Registry, announcing on Wednesday the selections of contemporary films that helped smash stereotypes, such as “Brokeback Mountain,” and thrillers like “The Shining.” Also new are classics such as “Hud” and documentaries like “Hearts and Minds,” as well as rarities like “Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency.”

“The National Film Registry turns 30 this year and for those three decades, we have been recognizing, celebrating and preserving this distinctive medium,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement announcing the selections. “These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Remembering James Billington, Who Brought Ice Skating to the Library of Congress
Long-serving librarian of Congress died at age 89 on Nov. 20

Skaters perform in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building on an acrylic surface that was installed on the floor of the Great Hall. The event entitled The Role of Arts in International Relations was put on by American University's Initiative for Russian Culture and The Mariinsky Foundation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tributes to the late Librarian of Congress James Billington have touched on his transformational role at the institution, his scholarship of Russian and intellect. But he also brought ice skating, yes ice skating, to the institution's Great Hall. 

On Oct. 25, 2012, the nation's repository of knowledge rolled out not exactly ice but an acrylic surface for “ice dancers” to perform in a winter wonderland for the Role of the Arts in International Relations, an event sponsored by American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture and the Mariinsky Foundation.

Hayden Would Be First Woman, African-American to Head Library of Congress

Carla D. Hayden is Obama's pick to head the Library of Congress. (Photo courtesy of Enoch Pratt Free Library)

President Barack Obama said Wednesday his nominee to head the Library of Congress would be the first African-American and the first woman to lead the 216-year-old institution.  

But first, Carla D. Hayden will need to rise to the top of a backlog of civilian nominations pending before the Senate Rules and Administration Committee — and then make it past the Senate floor.