Solving the Congressional Riddle

Solving the Congressional Riddle

Steve Lesueur

It's hard enough to know what Congress is doing even when its offices are open. The anthrax scare is making it nearly impossible.

But we've got some news.

Staff Writers Gail Repsher Emery, Joab Jackson and Patience Wait each have taken a look at different pieces of legislation pending before Congress. Gail's front-page story provides an overview of several key bills dealing with outsourcing, procurement reform, economic recovery and other issues vital to the information technology industry.

Patience's story, also on the front page, examines President Bush's request for emergency appropriations, the second half of a $40 billion funding request that comes in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. There's quite a bit of IT spending hidden between the lines.

And finally, Joab takes a look at new airport security technologies in a story on page 16. The House and Senate are fighting over whether to federalize airport security; but whatever the outcome of that debate, lawmakers are expected to approve some portion of the $50 million in annual spending the Senate wants for developing new security solutions.

Olga Grkavac, who follows Capitol Hill for the Information Technology Association of America, told us many lawmakers don't have offices to call and some aren't very proficient with
e-mail. Sending mail is out of the question.

"It's all adding to the confusion," she said.

The business of government marches on, albeit at its own pace.


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