November 02, 2022

Modernization Committee Marks Additional Progress on 8 New Fully Implemented Recommendations

Newly implemented recommendations will bolster staff capacity and increase efficiency in the Legislative Branch

Today, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) announced that 8 additional Committee recommendations have been implemented since July, bringing the number of its fully implemented recommendations to 42. The Committee also announced that on top of the recommendations that have been fully implemented, another 88 recommendations have been partially implemented or have seen meaningful progress towards implementation.

The Modernization Committee has so far passed 195 recommendations to make Congress work more effectively and efficiently for the American people. These recommendations were developed in consultation with members of Congress, congressional staff, and congressional support offices. The Committee also received expert input through a series of hearings, listening sessions, and roundtables.

The recent launch of the Comparative Print Suite marked the implementation of one of the Committee’s first recommendations (recommendation #2). The new platform allows lawmakers and staff to see how a proposed bill would impact current law as well as how different versions of bills compare.

A recent change to the Member Handbook by the Committee on House Administration on October 26th also implemented another recommendation to bolster staff capacity. Their changes, based on the findings of the committee, will allow staff to be reimbursed for expenses associated with professional development and continuing education programs related to their job duties (recommendation #102). These recommendations will help ensure that staff are equipped to work productively and collaboratively on behalf of the American people. (The full list of recently implemented recommendations can be found below.)

The Committee’s recommendations to modernize Congress are action-oriented and designed to improve and update how Congress carries out its Article I responsibilities. By drafting targeted recommendations and working closely with implementation partners, the Committee worked hard to ensure that its recommendations would be carried out.

On November 17th, the Committee is slated to vote on its final set of recommendations as well as its final report detailing its findings and recommendations to the House, with the Committee’s authorization ending on January 3rd, 2023.

Full list of the eight recently implemented recommendations:

  • Finalize a new system that allows the American people to easily track how amendments change legislation and the impact of proposed legislation to current law (recommendation 2)
  • Requiring all broadcasts of House proceedings to provide closed caption service (recommendation 28)
  • Professional Certifications: The House should allow Member, committee, and leadership offices to pay for certain professional development opportunities for staff that include a certification (recommendation 102)
  • Collecting Demographic Data: The Chief Administrative Officer should work with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to improve the collection of anonymized demographic data through an optional form provided to staff at onboarding (recommendation 108)
  • Bipartisan group events: The Library of Congress is encouraged to expand its regular, bipartisan events to include events specifically focused on promoting relationship building and collaboration among members (recommendation 124)
  • District Wi-Fi: The CAO should provide every district office with access to secure Wi-Fi (recommendation 145)
  • District staff retention: The House Task Force on the Workforce should examine the benefits, professional development opportunities, and other resources, that will improve district staff retention and recommend updates (recommendation 152).
  • Retaining expert staff: The House should exempt student loan repayments from maximum compensation (recommendation 168)