The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has the best opportunity in decades to bring the House into the 21st Century, if its members are up to the challenge.
1. What is the modernizing committee?
At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the House established the bipartisan Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (modernizing committee for short), the first committee since the early 1990s to investigate how Congress can fix itself. The committee has started by hearing testimony from sitting and former lawmakers, legislative experts, academics, and good government organizations about how Congress can be more modern and efficient.
2. Why is the modernizing committee important?
The committee has the opportunity to fix a representative body that too many Americans are deeply unsatisfied with. The modernizing committee needs to help Congress reclaim its power as the first and most vital branch of our national government that is directly linked to the will of the people. It needs to examine increasing the resources of Congress, including the size, diversity, and depth of expertise of its staff. The committee should recommend ways Congress can create opportunities for bipartisanship among new and current lawmakers that will forge connections between members of both parties. This committee must examine the corrosive morale and real impact of lawmakers spending half their day raising money for leadership positions and re-elections.
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