Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress’ bipartisan legislation to make Congress more effective, efficient and transparent. H.Res.756, the Moving our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization Resolution, includes nearly 30 of the recommendations made by the Select Committee, chaired by Rep. Kilmer, to make Congress work better for the American people. This marks the first time in recent history that a select committee has effectively turned recommendations into legislative action.
“These recommendations are the product of bipartisan collaboration and a commitment to making Congress work better for the American people. These recommendations, though wide-ranging, share a common goal of making Congress more responsive, transparent and accessible for every American. Today marks the first time in recent history that a committee like ours has turned recommendations into legislative text, and it’s thanks to the collaboration and partnership of Democratic and Republican members. I am grateful for their time and commitment to improving the People’s House and I’m hopeful there will be more to come,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA).
Every select committee member co-sponsored this legislative text, led by Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chair Tom Graves (R-GA), to signal their strong support for delivering real reform in the U.S. House of Representatives. The recommendations, which will be implemented by the House, include streamlining and reorganizing human resources, modernizing and revitalizing technology, improving access to documents and publications, and making the House accessible to all. The full list of recommendations made by the Select Committee can be found here.
Created by an overwhelming bipartisan vote at the beginning of the 116th Congress, the Select Committee was tasked to produce recommendations on rules to promote a more modern and efficient Congress; procedures, including the schedule and calendar; policies to develop the next generation of leaders; staff recruitment, diversity, retention, and compensation and benefits; administrative efficiencies, including purchasing, travel, outside services, and shared administrative staff; technology and innovation; and the work of the House Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards.
In January 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Rep. Kilmer as Chairman of the Select Committee, referring to him as “an innovator and a pioneer who has worked relentlessly to make the House more transparent and more responsive to the voices of Members and the American people.”
The Select Committee has held 16 hearings and numerous Member and staff-level briefings and listening sessions to solicit ideas and recommendations for reforming the legislative branch. On a rolling basis throughout the year, the Select Committee issued recommendations and shared ideas for reform on a bipartisan basis. Last fall, after widespread bipartisan support throughout Capitol Hill, the Select Committee and its work was extended through the end of the 116th Congress. The rule that created the Select Committee originally had it set to expire on February 1, 2020. The extension allows the Select Committee to continue its work proposing bipartisan reforms to make Congress work better for the American people.