The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) was established by H.Res. 6 on January 4, 2019 and is tasked to investigate, study, make findings, hold public hearings, and develop recommendations to make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent on behalf of the American people. The Modernization Committee is one of the only truly bipartisan committees in Congress, with an equal number of Republican and Democratic members.
The Members were appointed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
In the 116th Congress, the Committee was helmed by Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chair Tom Graves (R-GA).
During the 117th Congress, the Committee is helmed by Chair Derek Kilmer and Vice Chair William Timmons (R-SC).
Two members are each drawn from the House Rules Committee, the House Administration Committee, and the congressional freshman class.
Although the Modernization Committee was originally set to expire in February 2020, the House voted on November 14, 2019 to extend the committees work to the end of the 116th Congress. However, on January 4, 2021 the House adopted the Rules of the 117th Congress, officially reauthorizing the Select Committee to continue making Congress work better for the American people.
A first for congressional select committees, the Members release recommendations on a rolling basis throughout the year. Though the committee does not have legislative jurisdiction, on December 10, 2019 all 12 committee members introduced H.Res. 756, the Moving our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (MODCOM) resolution. The resolution incorporates 29 of the recommendations passed by the Select Committee to improve transparency, accessibility and communication throughout the House. The resolution overwhelmingly passed the full House on March 10, 2020.
The Modernization Committee released its 116th public report on October 14, 2020, which details 97 recommendations and the committee’s research, conversations with experts, staff and Members throughout the last two years.
You can read the full report here.