Bloomberg: Panel Embraces Policies on Bipartisanship Day After Impeachment

Dec 19, 2019
In The News

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. “But I think that’s why this committee’s work matters so much.”

The recommendations were a handful of the 16 measures the committee unanimously approved Thursday. Other provisions dealt with communications between lawmakers and constituents and finding ways to save money through internal rules and processes, such as bulk ordering.

Two recommendations addressed emergency preparedness for lawmakers and making it easier for members to add or remove their names as bill cosponsors.

Click here for the full list of agenda items

The committee, which includes six Democrats and six Republicans, already approved 29 provisions. The House has yet to act on a resolution (H. Res. 756) based on those recommendations.

The panel plans to consider more proposals dealing with the House schedule and calendar and the House appropriations process, said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) More hearings are also being planned for next year.

“One of the things that has come up in the course of the last several years is trying to restore Article 1 powers,” Kilmer said in an interview, referring to article of the Constitution establishing the legislative branch. “In staff recruitment, retention, and diversity, I think there’s a sense there’s more to be done.”

116th Congress