Welcome back to the Weekly QuizCap. This week, we highlight the new Congress, the shutdown, and how much the federal government spends in 9 hours.
The 116th Congress convenes today, and a record number of women will be sworn in. What percentage of members will be women (House and Senate)?
Almost a quarter of Congress will be made up of women, the highest percentage in U.S. history. 106 of 441 in the House, and 25 of 100 in the Senate.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was voted as the Speaker of the House today, and was sworn in by the longest serving member in the House, Don Young (R-AK). How many years has he served in the House?
Almost 50 years! Of course, Don Young is famous for his pro-earmark stance and heavily advocated for Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere...and still does.
With the House flipping from Republican to Democrat for the first time since 2011, there will be a lot of people with no experience in their new role. What percentage of Republican House members will be serving in the minority for the first time?
Only 54 Republicans will have experience serving in the Minority. Sixty percent of Democrats have not had any experience serving in the Majority.
They will have to get used to their new roles quickly as there is pressing legislation to pass. The government “shutdown” is now in its thirteenth day. What percent of the federal government is being impacted?
Unlike previous shutdowns, this one is more of a “slowdown.”
Nine agencies have been affected by the shutdown. However, of these agencies, “essential” employees are still working. What agency had the highest percentage of “non essential” employees?
A whopping 95% of employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development are nonessential. It seems that if everything is running smoothly without federal workers, Congress may need to evaluate the size and scope of what taxpayers are paying for.
The new Speaker plans to vote on a bill that will fund the shutdown agencies through September, except which agency?
It seems border security will be the biggest fight going into the new year. Speaker Pelosi’s other bill will fund DHS at previous levels through February eighth, and would not add additional funds for President Trump’s wall.
The government remains shutdown over a $4.3 billion difference in border security – or “the wall.” How much time does it take for the federal government to spend $4.3 billion?
While $4.3 billion is still a significant sum, it’s only 9 hours’ worth of spending in our $4.1 trillion federal budget. This shutdown fight may be worthwhile if it was actually trying to resolve our massive long-term debt problems.
How much improper payments (any payment that should not have been made or that was made in an incorrect amount) did the federal government make in 2018?
Cutting improper payments by a mere 3.6 percent would make up the $4.3 billion difference that is causing the multi-week shutdown. Of course, this isn’t about the money, it’s about the political symbolism of “the wall.”
Speaking of the wall, how does most illegal immigration happen in the United States?
Since 2007, most undocumented immigration happened as a result of people overstaying their visas. So a wall without serious reforms to the U.S. visa program will do little to fix our illegal immigration situation.
Customs and Border Patrol has struggled with hiring recently and contracted with Accenture to help them with their recruiting process. CBP paid Accenture $13.6 million to help hire how many people?
An OIG audit of the CBP contract with Accenture found that 10 months into a $297 million contract to hire 7,500 people, the firm had spent $13.6 million to process two accepted job offers. The IG warned that “CBP may have paid Accenture for services and tools not provided…. CBP risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a hastily approved contract that is not meeting its proposed performance expectations." At $6 million per hire, that seems right.
To be eligible for benefits, SNAP recipients (food stamps) may need to participate in an Employment and Training Programs. In 2016, what percentage of SNAP recipients were enrolled in a training program?
GAO recently released a report on SNAP work requirements and training programs. Of the 43.5 million SNAP recipients, only 6.1 million have work requirements and only 200,000 (or .5%) participated in an employment and training program to meet the eligibility criteria.
What did Congress do this week to address our unsustainable $21 trillion national debt and $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities?
The new 116th Congress will have its plate full immediately to just simply get the government fully running again. But as soon as that is done, they must turn to the future to see that $1 trillion deficits are coming soon and changes are needed and needed fast to protect the future generations of our country.