Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | May 5, 2021

Dear Friends,

The House may not be in session this week, but there’s still plenty of drama surrounding Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s (R-WY) future in House leadership. Cheney, the GOP Conference Chair, easily survived a challenge earlier this year following her vote to impeach former President Trump. But her colleagues have grown increasingly vocal about their frustrations, and it appears almost certain the conference will soon hold another vote to replace her.

Meanwhile, the Census Bureau last week announced its long-awaited 2020 state population counts, and these numbers will reverberate through Congress in countless ways. Elections analyst Dave Wasserman, a favorite GAI speaker, has a great piece on how to understand the reapportionment numbers.

We got some new information this week on the return of earmarks (or “community project funding”), as House committees began posting the required disclosures of member requests. All but one House Democrat submitted earmark requests, while Republicans remain split over the practice. The submission process has not yet begun in the Senate, but divisions are evident there as well. Of course, all the agonizing could be rendered moot in the always-likely event that Congress can’t pass their individual appropriations bills at all.

As negotiations continue on police reform, infrastructure and immigration, another issue simmering in Congress has to do with the third branch. In this month’s newsletter, Non-Resident Senior Fellow Susan Sullivan Lagon walks us through the latest on Supreme Court reforms, including President Biden’s Executive Order, potential legislative options, and the political pressures driving them.

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you soon.


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates