Priorities for Government Operations House Subcommittee in 116th Congress


Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) sits down with Francis Rose to outline shutdown priorities, new developments at the Government Operations subcommittee and the future of FITARA.

As the 116th Congress begins, the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform is trying to prioritize what will be led by the full committee and what will be left to the subcommittees. As the new chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) is ready to put the executive branch under the microscope. Connolly announced on Government Matters that the full committee has scheduled a hearing on March 14 from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on the plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

“This is a very high priority for both myself and [Chairman] Elijah Cummings,” Connolly said.

One of the issues currently looming over Congress is the partial government shutdown. Rep. Connolly told Francis Rose that negotiating an end to the shutdown is difficult, because the president is acting unpredictably. Connolly would support a bill to institute automatic continuing resolutions, and stop government shutdowns from happening.

Outside of the shutdown, Rep. Connolly says that the Government Operations Subcommittee is being reorganized, and that big changes are coming to the House Oversight IT subcommittee.

“The IT subcommittee is going to be folded into government operations. We are going to do a lot of work on modernizing and procurement oversight of how the federal government deals with information technology and a $96 billion per year procurement portfolio,” Connolly told Government Matters. “There’s good government legislation we want to get into the mix.”

One of these pieces of legislation is FITARA. As co-sponsor of the original FITARA legislation, Connolly wants to keep the ball rolling. He told Francis Rose that while the scorecard doesn’t need to be completely overhauled, the Office of Management and Budget is taking some actions that Congress needs to “resist.”

“On data center consolidation, they are willing to look at best efforts and optimization rather than consolidation. You’ve got too many. We need to make it more efficient and save some money. And likewise, cloud. We want to press people to move to the cloud as quickly as you can because we think that’s a better way to go from a management point of view,” Connolly said “We want to make sure that there’s a CIO that reports directly to the boss and we measure you on that. Those are all areas where OMB has gotten squishy.”