117th Congress Recommendations
Improve Staff Recruitment,Diversity, Retention, and Compensation and Benefits
- Personalized Job Training & Management Skills: Supervisors should receive formal management training that includes management skills, cultural competency, and how to support an inclusive work environment.
- Update and Align Staff Benefits to Increase Retention: The House should establish and maintain a “Task Force on the House Workforce,” led by the Chief Administrative Officer and comprised of other House offices to make ongoing policy recommendations on updating staff benefits.
- Real Time Payroll Information: The House should create a searchable database of anonymized average staff compensation information, by position, using available information on staff salaries and payroll data.
- Mentorship Match Program: The House should initiate and facilitate a formal mentorship program for matching more experienced staff with less experienced staff.
- Professional Certifications: The House should allow Member, committee, and leadership offices to pay for certain professional development opportunities for staff that include a certification.
- Onboarding Information: The Chief Administrative Officer should provide offices with an expanded standard onboarding packet that includes comprehensive information on available resources and benefits for staff.
- Assistance for Contract Employees: Where feasible, the House should work with contractors to ensure they provide their Capitol campus employees assistance services comparable to those offered by the House through the Office of Employee Assistance.
- Supporting the Office of Employee Assistance: The Office of Employee Assistance should seek to retain a diverse workforce, offer access to bilingual services,and retain staff capable of providing various forms of trauma services.
- Tuition Assistance: The House should expand the Student Loan Repayment Program to include tuition assistance.
- Talent Acquisition Software: The Chief Administrative Officer should provide access to industry-leading talent acquisition software to assist House offices in managing their recruitment and hiring processes.
- Collecting Demographic Data: The Chief Administrative Officer should work with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to improve the collection of anonymized demographic data through an optional form provided to staff at onboarding.
Professionalize Internships and Fellowships
- Assessing Intern Cost of Living: The Chief Administrative Officer should provide information to congressional offices on the cost of living for interns to help inform intern stipend levels.
- Intern& Fellowship Program Office or Coordinator: The House should establish an Intern and Fellowship Program Office or Coordinator that helps with onboarding, developing educational curriculum, professional development,and training for office coordinators.
- Fellows& Detailees Use of Equipment: Congress should clarify rules to allow fellows and detailees to receive the same resources as professional staff.
- Remote Internships: The House should study the feasibility of permanently allowing remote internships.
- Committee Internship Stipends: Committees should be provided a program allowance,separate from their budget, for compensation of interns.
- ADA Drop off/Pick up Zone: The House should designate a drop off and pick up zone near an accessible entrance for members of the public with mobility impairments and develop a clear process for accessing the new drop-off point.
- Security Screening for those with Disabilities: Visitors and staff with disabilities should have access to information on the security screening techniques they will encounter upon entering the Capitol complex.
- Doorway Accessibility: The House should prioritize the installation of additional automatic doors and replace door hardware that is difficult to grasp with one hand.
- Accessible Websites: The House should promote awareness of accessibility requirements for Member and committee websites and provide training and tools for staff to help them properly maintain and update those sites.
Civility and Collaboration
- Promoting collaboration and leadership at member orientation: New Member Orientation should strive to promote civility, collaboration, and leadership skills and be held separately from party leadership events.
- Promoting collaboration and civility through voluntary training opportunities: The proposed Congressional Leadership Academy and Congressional Staff Academy should offer voluntary training to members and staff to promote civility, collaboration and leadership skills.
- Acknowledging member involvement in legislation: Congress.gov should provide a clearer accounting of member contributions to legislation.
- Optional committee feedback tool: The House should develop and provide tools for committee leadership to receive member feedback on committee operations.
- Bipartisan committee events: Committees should have flexibility to host occasional events to foster collaboration and further develop working relationships among committee members.
- Learning from state best practices: The House should survey and examine best practices from state legislatures.
- Bipartisan group events: The Library of Congress is encouraged to expand its regular, bipartisan events to include events specifically focused on promoting relationship building and collaboration among members.
- Ongoing institutional support to facilitate civility and collaboration: An institutional office of the House should provide best practices and facilitate workshops that encourage bipartisan collaboration.
- Technology tools to enable collaboration: The House should offer technology tools to facilitate member collaboration on legislation and issues of mutual interest.
- Information on outside organizations and resources: The House should provide information on organizations and resources members can access for services to help manage conflict and foster common ground.
- Bipartisan committee websites: Committees should have a bipartisan, public-facing website with basic, nonpartisan information about the committee and its operations.
- Voluntary resources to help committees develop civility norms: The House should provide resources and guidance to committees seeking to create tailored civility norms.
- Co-working spaces for staff: The House should explore bipartisan co-working spaces for staff.
- Task force on the legislative process: A bicameral, bipartisan group of members should convene to discuss rules changes to require reciprocated consideration for widely supported, bipartisan legislation.
Support Agency (CRS, CBO, GAO) Recommendations
- Make available non-partisan summaries: The House should prioritize ensuring that bills to
- receive a floor vote have nonpartisan summaries available.
- Bolster legislative support agency access to federal data and experts: Support agencies should report on challenges and potential solutions for accessing federal data.
- Enhancing the customer experience at CRS: CRS should ensure that its products and services are designed to adapt and meet the needs of an evolving Congress.
- Enhancing the customer experience at GAO: GAO should boost initiatives to meet Congress’
information needs and assess member and staff awareness of and satisfaction with its products and services.
- GAO annual report on unimplemented recommendations: GAO should report annually on the estimated cost savings of its unimplemented recommendations.
- GAO report to congressional committees on legislative options: GAO should annually report to Congress on legislative options to address open priority recommendations.
- Enhance CBO outreach to Congress: CBO should expand its congressional outreach to
provide additional information and assistance to members of Congress and staff.
- Legislative and support agency staff directory: Congress and congressional support agencies should establish a shared staff directory to enhance the exchange of information and improve collaboration.
- Modernize the congressional support agencies: The committees of jurisdiction should examine support agency authorities and determine if they need to be updated.
- Authorize STAA and make it a permanent part of GAO: The Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics program at GAO should be authorized and made permanent by Congress.
Evidence-based Policymaking Recommendation
- Congressional Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking: Congress should establish a bipartisan, bicameral Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking to encourage and facilitate better use of data in the legislative process.