September 28, 2020

MeriTalk: House Modernization Committee Approves Final Recommendations

The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress approved its fifth and final package of recommendations last week to "to make Congress work better for the American people." The final round of recommendations passed on Sept. 24 includes 40 new recommendations. Over the last 20 months, the committee has approved 97 recommendations in total. The latest recommendations cover a wide array of topics, including improving IT modernization efforts, expanding congressional technology staff, … Continue Reading


September 28, 2020

Federal News Network: House Modernization Committee issues last round of recommendations

The House Select Committee on Modernization of Congress has passed its final round of recommendations before its term expires at the end of this session of Congress. Those recommendations include standing up a Congressional Data Task Force and identifying continuity of operations best practices the House made during the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the committee have recommended creating a Congressional Digital Services Task Force that would overhaul the House's internal and … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

‘Fix Congress Committee’ launches framework for earmark revival

An 18-month effort to make Congress work smarter has yielded 97 official recommendations from the House Modernization of Congress Committee and aims to stem the brain drain among staffers, boost congressional capacity, and overhaul the budget and appropriations process. "It's not 100, but 97 is still an A," said Washington Democrat Derek Kilmer, the panel's chairman. Committee members advanced their final slate of 40 proposals Thursday in the last meeting of the select committee, which was … Continue Reading


September 24, 2020

Fulcrum: Fixing the House means more staff pay and member budget sway, panel concludes

ts nickname has been the Fix Congress Committee, an unusually bipartisan effort by House members to make their workplace a bit more functional. On Thursday it wrapped up work by endorsing 40 more ideas - including on such politically dicey topics as Capitol Hill's spending on itself and lawmakers steering federal spending toward home. The panel has been something of a pet project for good-government groups inside the Beltway, who engineered its creation two years ago, pelted it with ideas and … Continue Reading


July 31, 2020

Federal News Network: House Modernization Committee approves continuity of operations recommendations

Agencies that laid the groundwork for modernization before the coronavirus pandemic have seen those efforts pay off, especially with mandatory telework still in effect for much of the federal workforce. The same goes for the House Modernization Committee, which more than a year ago held a hearing on increasing videoconference capabilities for members. Today, those capabilities have proved invaluable for the House's continuity of operations. Now nearly five months into the pandemic, the House … Continue Reading


July 31, 2020

Bloomberg: House Modernization Panel Approves Emergency Preparation Ideas

A House panel unanimously approved a series of recommendations to allow legislative work to continue safely during the coronavirus and any future emergency. Most of the dozen proposals from the bipartisan Select Committee on the Modernization, which has six Republicans and six Democrats, focused on technology, such as making the option to electronically submit committee reports permanent and expanding the use of digital signatures for a majority of House business. The panel also proposed a … Continue Reading


July 31, 2020

House Committee Approves Congressional Continuity of Operation Recs

The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress approved a dozen recommendations to improve the continuity of operations in Congress in the event of a crisis. The Select Committee, which had 29 recommendations adopted by the House on March 10 just days before much of the Federal government transitioned to remote work, produced new recommendations based on the experience of the pandemic. "These recommendations bring more certainty to our operations and will help the legislative … Continue Reading


July 29, 2020

Roll Call: Congress still playing catch-up on accessibility, despite progress, 30 years after ADA

Thirty years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and 25 years after Congress decided to apply those standards to itself, significant advancements have been made in accessibility in and around the historic buildings. But challenges remain for people navigating Capitol Hill in person and in the digital space. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 26 percent of adults in the United States have some type of disability, but representation in … Continue Reading


June 18, 2020

Federal News Network: Will the coronavirus be the push Congress needs to modernize long-standing inefficiencies?

It's doubtful that finding ways to conduct business during a global pandemic was high on the list of reasons for forming the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in 2019. But now, the timing could scarcely be more appropriate. Proxy voting with or without quorum, video hearings, limiting member travel and maintaining social distancing at the Capitol have required lawmakers to reconsider the long-term viability of some well-established practices. For committee Chairman Rep. Derek … Continue Reading


June 11, 2020

Federal News Network: Federal Drive: Modernization committee leaders weigh in on continuity of operations, reopening

Congress has been no less challenged by the pandemic than federal agencies. Proxy voting, online hearings, difficulties in dealing with constituents. The chair and vice chair of the select committee on the modernization of Congress have been on the case, exploring best practices. Washington Democrat Derek Kilmer and Georgia Republican Tom Graves joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss. Interview transcript: Tom Temin: Joining me now, Washington Democrat Derek Kilmer. Mr. Kilmer Good … Continue Reading


March 11, 2020

The Fulcrum: Rare Bipartisan Vote For Steps To Strengthen And Modernize Congress

Nine out of 10 House members don't agree on much, but they do agree it's past time to make an array of modernizing changes to the place they work. So the vote was 395-13 on Tuesday to implement 29 unanimous recommendations from a special bipartisan committee, with six members from each party, who worked on the package for almost a year. Their work is designed to bring the technology, purchasing, travel, and human resources practices into the 21st century, at least on half of Capitol Hill. … Continue Reading


March 10, 2020

Bloomberg: Modernization Measures on Hiring, Technology Embraced By House

The House approved proposals intended to improve its ability to operate in a more bipartisan and efficient fashion including measures addressing staff hiring and technology upgrades. The chamber adopted the resolution (H. Res. 756) by a vote of 395-13. The measure, which applies only to House operations, doesn't need to be considered by the Senate. The changes are based on recommendations from the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, made up of six Democrats and six Republicans … Continue Reading


March 10, 2020

Roll Call: House votes to modernize itself adopts 29 bipartisan recommendations

The House is ready to make long overdue, behind-the-scenes changes, and it set those in motion by adopting a resolution on implementing 29 recommendations of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The House voted 395-13 on Tuesday to approve the recommendations, which were put together by the 12-member committee equally divided between Republicans and Democrats. The panel was established in 2019 to promote a more modern and efficient Congress, and its recommendations are aimed … Continue Reading


January 02, 2020

The Christian Science Monitor: Where Republicans and Democrats work together to ‘fix Congress’

A bit of the spirit of Dolley Madison may be quietly at work within the U.S. Congress. The wife of James Madison, a Founding Father and later the fourth president of the United States, she is often remembered as a gracious hostess. But the "presidentress," as she was known, accomplished much more. Her popular social gatherings, called "squeezes" (for the crowds they drew), brought together the members of Congress in the early 19th century from both sides of the aisle. The deeper purpose: … Continue Reading


December 28, 2019

Washington Post: A bipartisan committee has ideas to make Congress more bipartisan — and lawmakers are listening

On Sept. 26, the House Intelligence Committee opened its first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. That same day, a dozen lawmakers gaveled in a hearing on a much quainter topic: Promoting a more civil and collaborative Congress. “As you can imagine, it was viral,” Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) said, a deadpan that prompted his Republican wingman Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) to let out a laugh. For the past year, the pair … Continue Reading


December 25, 2019

Task force hammers out plans to make Congress more efficient

While bitter partisan clashes over impeachment were consuming Capitol Hill, a small congressional task force quietly hammered out bipartisan plans to make the institution more efficient throughout the past year. That work continued the day after the House impeached President Trump on a historically partisan vote, as the committee unanimously passed 16 recommendations, several of which focus on improving bipartisanship. One of those civility-minded suggestions is to start having … Continue Reading


December 19, 2019

Roll Call: The fix-up-Congress committee takes on a fresh agenda for 2020

With impeachment done, modernization panel looks at more civility and new technology It’s almost like an alternate universe. Fresh off the bitterly partisan and acrimonious House impeachment vote, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress approved a slate of recommendations Thursday including some aimed at boosting civility and bipartisanship in the legislative branch. “It’s a bright spot right now,” said the panel’s top Republican, Tom Graves of Georgia, during an … Continue Reading


December 19, 2019

Bloomberg: Panel Embraces Policies on Bipartisanship Day After Impeachment

A day after divisive impeachment votes, a House panel approved measures intended to foster bipartisanship in the chamber, including retreats for members and families and designating Capitol spaces where lawmakers can collaborate privately across party lines. “It might feel like we’re going a little bit against the grain this week in issuing recommendations on civility and bipartisanship,” said Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), the vice chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. … Continue Reading


December 18, 2019

National Journal: Quick Takes on the News: More Money for Members-Elect?

Modernization committee looks to improve member-elect experience The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has spent the year canvassing state governments, academics, and members themselves for ideas on how to improve the way the House, Senate, and nonpartisan offices function. As the year draws to a close, it’s unveiled a second set of recommendations. Cosponsored by the entire bipartisan committee and introduced by Chairman Derek Kilmer, the Moving Our Democracy and … Continue Reading


December 10, 2019

FedScoop: Committee on modernizing Congress knows what it wants from the House

The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress is ready to put most of its recommendations up for a vote in the House. The members of the bipartisan group announced on Tuesday that they will introduce legislation to codify the close to 30 official recommendations members have made to date. The “Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (ModCom)” resolution ultimately aims to “make Congress work better for the American people.” In a statement, Chairman … Continue Reading

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