Establish bipartisan committee staff briefings and agenda-setting retreats to encourage better policy making and collaboration among Members.
Lastly, there are few opportunities within committees to establish bipartisan relationships. Committee staff are divided by party, and cross-partisan discussions are often limited to public (often televised) hearings. House committees have therefore become increasingly partisan in their organizational and procedural activities. In committees, the need for bipartisan relationships goes beyond desire for personal civility; bipartisanship is essential for creating an efficient and effective committee agenda, and ultimately high-quality legislation.
Thus, the Committee recommends regular, bipartisan briefings and trainings for committee staff, to make committee meetings more productive and nonpartisan. Establishing objective education opportunities will ensure that hearings are informative. Second, the Committee recommends bipartisan committee retreats to establish a bipartisan agenda, discuss committee goals, and form personal bonds.
An inability to work across party lines prevents committees from being productive and effective. Regular bipartisan briefings and training for committee staff, as well as bipartisan committee retreats, would encourage collaboration between parties and promote productivity. Committees cannot engage in effective oversight, or produce meaningful legislation, without working together in a bipartisan fashion. Facilitating and strengthening trust between members and staff is the first step.