2Day in #OpenGov 7/29/2013


by Justin Lin, policy intern


  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has called the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) “anachronistic” and favors comprehensive reform on the issue. The senator expressed grave concerns over the potential that the government has in tracking people’s cellphones but could not elaborate, since he is not allowed to disclose information he received as part of the intelligence panel. (Washington Post)
  • How secure are the House’s information technology systems? According to a memo by two systems administrators, there are many potential points of entry to very sensitive information through a variety of different ways, including finding passwords of representatives’ networks or by accessing the Wireless Access Points (WAPs) that are present in obvious yet often private locations. (Roll Call)
  • The House Ethics committee is reviewing four members, Michele Bachmann, Peter Roskam, Timothy Bishop, and John Tierney for misconduct relating to campaign finance. Three of the four have disputed the claims by the ethics committee, and the committee is quick to point out that it has not reached any conclusion as of yet. (Roll Call)
  • President Barack Obama has narrowed the list of potential nominees for Federal Reserve Chairman, and the main figures that it seems he is considering are Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen. President Obama recently attended a party for Summers’s birthday but Summers is a figure disliked by both Democrats and Republicans, making the situation much more complicated. (Bloomberg)
  • The Senate’s blank-slate approach to tax reform has been leading to senators proposing new tax breaks. The secret process involved with submitting tax reform proposals has essentially allowed the senators to propose tax breaks for certain industries without any political cost, a process Majority Leader Reid has refused to involve himself. Republicans and Democrats still disagree on whether this tax reform should be deficit neutral or should raise some revenue. (National Journal)