October 22, 2021

Modernization Committee Holds Hearing on Modernizing the Congressional Support Agencies

On Thursday, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) held a hearing to examine the congressional support agencies.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Congressional Research Service (CRS) play critical roles in the legislative process by providing Congress with the expert analysis necessary to carry out its responsibilities. As congressional demands increase for accessible and specialized policy, legal, and technical expertise, the hearing explored how these support agencies can adapt and better meet Congress’ evolving needs.

“Legislative support agencies make Congress and its members smarter. Armed with their budget scores, policy analyses, legal assessments, and accountability measures, members are better equipped to make informed decisions on behalf of the American people,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA). “Our committee is exploring the critical work that these support agencies do – and the steps they’re taking to update their products and services. This Committee recognizes the tremendous value these agencies provide to Congress and we look forward to continuing to support their missions.”

“The purpose of this Committee is to make Congress more effective and transparent for the American people, and Congressional Support Agencies could not be more important in reaching that goal as they help the People’s House confront the biggest policy challenges our country faces,” said Vice Chair Wiliam Timmons (R-SC).  “Our hope is that today’s conversation will help us identify how we can ensure the success of these agencies as they support our work in the halls of Congress.”

The hearing, titled “Modernizing the Congressional Support Agencies to Meet the Needs of an Evolving Congress,” featured two panels. The first panel included Gene Dodaro, the Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Mary Mazanec, Ph.D., Director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and Phillip Swagel, Ph.D., Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

The second panel included Wendy Ginsberg, Ph.D., who served as an analyst at the Congressional Research Service for a decade, Zach Graves the Head of Policy at Lincoln Network, and Philip Joyce, Ph.D., a Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and a former principal analyst with the Congressional Budget Office.                 

You can watch the full hearing HERE.