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Group of Four

The Congressional Budget Office is now a voting member of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board. Language in the fiscal 2004 legislative branch appropriations bill gave CBO the authority to help fund the entity that promulgates generally accepted accounting principles for the government. [IMGCAP(1)]

The board was created in 1990 with a memorandum of understanding between the General Accounting Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Treasury Department.

“CBO wanted to play a role on the FASAB,” said Comptroller General David Walker, who runs GAO. “The principals agreed that they could and should play a role. To the extent that they wanted to have a voting seat … they should share the cost.”

Listserv Yourself. House Members now have access to a new tool for sending constituent e-mails.

Listserv can be used to manage distribution of newsletters, press releases or other communication via e-mail.

Any publication sent using Listserv must still meet Franking Commission guidelines. For more information, visit the House intranet system, https://housenet.

BlackBerries on the House. For the third year in a row, House lawmakers won’t need to worry about depleting their Members’ Representational Allowances to pay for their BlackBerries.

The Chief Administrative Officer’s office has renewed Cingular airtime through Sept. 30, 2004, for the popular e-mail devices, and the House will pick up the tab.

The arrangement “ensures the continuity of the Member emergency notification system used by the House and the U.S. Capitol Police,” House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and ranking member John Larson (D-Conn.) wrote in Sept. 30 “Dear Colleague” letter.

House Information Resources and Cingular are working to determine whether combination e-mail/cellular telephone devices can eventually be used with the emergency communications system, but for now the Administration panel recommends Members do not purchase new equipment.

Remembering Sniper Victims. The mother of Montgomery County bus driver Conrad Johnson, the 13th and final victim of last year’s sniper shootings, will be on Capitol Hill today to commemorate the upcoming one-year anniversary of her son’s death and the D.C.-area sniper attacks.

At 1:30 p.m. in the Russell Senate Office Building, Sonia Wills will call on lawmakers to support S. 1431 and H.R. 2038, which would renew and strengthen the federal assault weapons ban. Also scheduled to attend: Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and other lawmakers hoping to extend the ban, which, unless renewed, will expire Sept. 13, 2004.

— Suzanne Nelson, Jennifer Yachnin and John McArdle

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