Update House procedures to allow Members to electronically add or remove their name as a bill cosponsor.

The process of collecting Members' signatures to co-sponsor legislation is frequently cited as an inefficient time suck for congressional staff. Normally, staff or an intern spends hours walking the halls of the Capitol, collecting signatures from various Members. If a Member is erroneously added as a co-sponsor to a bill, they must go to the House floor and make a statement to have their name removed. At the Select Committee’s March 12, 2019 Member Day hearing, Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53) testified on the outdated process of collecting signatures for co-sponsorship:

“Staff and interns are constantly running co-sponsor sheets to the Capitol, when they could be doing other work. Processing the lists of names takes hours, as the cosponsor sheets are handwritten and can be easily misread. Members with similar or identical last names are often signed onto the wrong bills because the cosponsor sheet was not clear. There is no good reason for our co-sponsorship process to be like this in 2019.”

Rep. Susan Davis, March 12, 2019 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren and Ranking Member Rodney Davis consulted with the Rules Committee, House Clerk, and Parliamentarian’s office to permit electronic submissions for legislative documents, including co-sponsorship of legislation. These electronic submissions will continue to be accepted during the public health emergency.[178] The Committee recommends that this change be made permanent and the House update its procedures to allow Members to electronically add or remove their name as a bill cosponsor. Specifically, the Committee recommends that the House Clerk and the Parliamentarian identify a more efficient way for Members who were added in error as a cosponsor of a bill to remove themselves as cosponsors of legislation without indicating their previous co-sponsorship.

Back To Top