November 17, 2022

Modernization Committee Reports Its Findings to the House in Final Committee Action

The Committee also voted on its final set of bipartisan recommendations to encourage ongoing modernization efforts and the continued implementation of its recommendations

Today, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) took its final action before the Committee sunsets at the close of the 117th Congress. Members of the Committee passed the fifth and final set of recommendations along with the Final Report, which details the sum of the Committee’s findings in the 117th Congress.

In the meeting, Committee members passed a set of recommendations that help lay the groundwork for continued modernization efforts in the House, including a recommendation to create a permanent subcommittee within the Committee on House Administration.

This vote brings the total number of recommendations advanced by the Committee in the 116th and 117th Congress up to 202, 105 of which were passed this Congress. The recommendations seek to bolster staff capacity, bring congressional technology into the 21st century, facilitate bipartisan collaboration, and more. Each recommendation is rooted in the Committee’s mission to help the House better execute its Article I responsibilities for the American people. During the Committee’s tenure, 130 of 202 recommendations have been implemented or have seen meaningful action toward implementation. This includes 42 of which have been fully implemented and 88 that have been partially implemented.

“The American people deserve a Congress that works. They deserve a Congress that is efficient, transparent, and responsive. They deserve a Congress that is focused on solving problems and that has the capabilities to solve them. From Day One, that has been the focus for our committee,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA). “And the recommendations we have made and the work that we’ve done – and will continue to do – to implement these reforms, move us closer to having a Congress that works better for the American people.”

“This Committee has demonstrated that Republicans and Democrats can engage in constructive policy discussions and work together to find solutions that strengthen the institution,” said Vice Chair William Timmons (R-SC). “As we report out the totality of our findings to the House, along with several additional recommendations to encourage ongoing modernization, I hope we continue to look for opportunities to collaborate and help ensure that the People’s House remains well equipped to address our nation’s most pressing issues. It has been an honor to serve alongside Chair Kilmer and make great strides toward our shared goal of making Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent for the American people.” 

Below is a list of the recommendations passed today.

Congressional Operations

  1. Requiring Data to be Entered into Committee Scheduling Tool: House Rules or policies should require entering of committee meeting times into the shared committee scheduling tool.
  2. Report on Members Voting Late: The House should publish a regular report noting the cumulative time individual members voted after the allotted time.
  1. Opportunities to Learn from other Legislatures: The Committee on House Administration and the Committee on Rules should conduct semi-regular, bipartisan international CODELs to learn about other legislatures and to facilitate better collaboration and understanding among committee members.
  2. Bipartisan New Member Update Seminar: The Committee on House Administration should offer a voluntary seminar for new members well into the start of their term.

Pathways to Congressional Service

  1. Align the Treatment of Member Travel-Related Expenses with the Private Sector and Federal Agencies: The House should align travel related expense reimbursement rules for members with standard business travel practices in the private sector and other parts of the federal government.

Modernization Going Forward

  1. Modernization Subcommittee: The House should provide a home for ongoing modernization work within the Committee on House Administration.
  1. Regular Modernization Select Committees: The House should authorize a Modernization Select Committee at least every fourth Congress.