Select Committee Extended Through 116th Congress
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to extend the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Select Committee”) through the end of the 116th Congress. The rule that created the Select Committee originally had it set to expire on February 1, 2020. The extension allows the Select Committee to continue its work proposing bipartisan reforms to make Congress work better for the American people.
Created by an overwhelming bipartisan vote at the beginning of the 116th Congress, the Select Committee was tasked to produce recommendations on rules to promote a more modern and efficient Congress; procedures, including the schedule and calendar; policies to develop the next generation of leaders; staff recruitment, diversity, retention, and compensation and benefits; administrative efficiencies, including purchasing, travel, outside services, and shared administrative staff; technology and innovation; and the work of the House Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards.
“It’s important to get Congress working better on behalf of the American people. That’s what the Select Committee is about. It’s why we’ve already passed nearly 30 recommendations, and it’s why we’re working on additional reforms,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chair Tom Graves (R-GA). “We are grateful to our colleagues, House leadership, civic groups and the American people for seeing the value of this work and ensuring the progress continues over the next year.”
There has been widespread bipartisan support for the Select Committee’s extension. Last week, leaders of the Republican Study Committee and the New Democrat Coalition, representing 249 Members of Congress, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting the Select Committee be extended. Earlier this week, nearly 40 freshmen Members of Congress sent a letter to House leadership expressing their support for the committee’s work and extension through the 116th Congress. The Association of Former Members of Congress, and leaders from organizations nationwide committed to advancing bipartisanship and reform in Congress, also sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi in support of the Select Committee’s work earlier this month.
Since March the Select Committee has held 12 hearings and numerous Member and staff-level briefings and listening sessions to solicit ideas and recommendations for reforming the legislative branch. On a rolling basis throughout the year, the Select Committee has issued 29 recommendations to increase transparency in Congress by making congressional operations and legislative updates more accessible and understandable for the American people; improve the way Members of Congress can communicate and connect with their constituents; increasing staff retention on Capitol Hill; improve accessibility in the House for Americans with disabilities, and; overhaul the current onboarding and education processes for new and current Members of Congress.