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Archive of posts filed under the Congressional Accountability Act category.

Some Schocking Information About Congressional Records

Former congressman Aaron Schock, under investigation for financial misconduct while in office, has been in various disputes with the Justice Department about documents prosecutors are seeking from him. One of those disputes involves the somewhat peculiar legal status of documents from a Member’s personal congressional office. So the blog having been on hiatus for a [...]

The Office of Compliance and a Mysterious Rule VIII Notice

In case you forgot, Rule VIII is the House rule that governs when a judicial or administrative subpoena is served on a member, officer or employee for documents or testimony relating to the official functions of the House.  The rule requires that notice be given to the House, through the Speaker, whenever such a subpoena [...]

Senator Vitter, Congressional Health Care, and the Rule of Law

This weekend the Washington Post published an article entitled “A senator’s lonely quest to embarrass Congress,” which describes Senator Vitter’s continuing efforts with regard to the health insurance plans available to Members of Congress and congressional staff. You wouldn’t think that embarrassing Congress would be all that lonely of a quest; perhaps that’s why the [...]

Senate “Official Office” Designations Still a Black Box

Yesterday Roll Call reported on a memorandum issued by the Senate Disbursing Office to guide Senate employees on the considerable intricacies of their health insurance situation. However, with regard to the foundational question of whether any particular employee may continue to receive health insurance through the FEHB or, conversely, must get insurance through the DC [...]

CAO Fact Sheet on Congressional Health Insurance

The House Chief Administrative Officer has issued this fact sheet regarding federal health insurance available to Members of Congress and those lucky staffers found to be employed in a Member’s “official office.” Following OPM’s guidance, the CAO states: Members of Congress and congressional administrative staff are best equipped to make the determination as to whether [...]

OPM’s Final Rule Pretty Much as Expected

OPM’s final rule on congressional health care says the following regarding the determination of who is “congressional staff” required to go on the Exchanges: OPM received several comments related to health care coverage for congressional staff and how staff will be designated for the purpose of determining which individuals are required to purchase their health [...]

What the Bleep is an “Official Office”?

Much outrage ensued last month when the Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed regulation that allows the federal government to defray the cost of congressional health care purchased on the Exchanges pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. Less notice was taken of OPM’s more dubious decision, or rather non-decision, on the question of who [...]

Speech or Debate in Congressional Employment Litigation

In June a panel of the D.C. Circuit decided Howard v. Office of the CAO, in which a former congressional employee argued the Speech or Debate Clause did not bar her lawsuit challenging adverse employment action under the Congressional Accountability Act. If it stands, the case resolves a question left open by Fields v. Office [...]

Senator Stevens and the Strange Evolution of Speech or Debate

Yesterday was the release date for Henry Schuelke’s report on misconduct in the prosecution of the late Senator Ted Stevens. The report, which I have only skimmed, is available here.  In addition, Judge Sullivan’s opinion ordering the public release of the report may be read here. Judge Sullivan summarizes the case for release by noting: [...]