May 02, 2019

Select Committee Hosts “Speaking from Experience” with Six Former Members of Congress

May 2, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Select Committee”) yesterday held its third hearing of the year, titled “Speaking from Experience: Former Members on Congressional Reform.” Former Congressmen Tom Davis (R-VA-11), Vic Fazio (D-CA-3), Martin Frost (D-TX-24), Reid Ribble (R-WI-8), Ambassador Tim Roemer (D-IN-3) and former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27) testified before the committee about their experiences while serving in the legislative branch.

The Members shared a wide range of ideas to improve and modernize the legislative branch and help congress fulfill its Constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government. These included ideas and solutions for addressing some of the issues facing congress, such as staff recruitment, diversity, and retention issues; building civility and greater trust between parties; boosting Congress’ current technology, improving transparency, and addressing productivity issues, such as congressional scheduling.

“We are grateful to the six former Members of Congress who shared their experiences, ideas and solutions with our committee,” said Chairman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chairman Tom Graves (R-GA). “To help tackle the challenges ahead of us, we can learn from the candid reflections of those who walked these halls. The Select Committee is exploring ways to improve Congress and better serve our constituents. We are excited to continue these conversations and produce recommendations to make the legislative branch more effective.”

“The Association of Former Members (FMC) is committed to fostering bipartisanship and improving Congress,” said former Rep. Martin Frost, President of FMC. “I was pleased to testify before the Committee, along with five of my former colleagues, to help our current colleagues better understand what we see with the benefit of hindsight, and through a non-political lens. I know it is my hope, and I believe it is one shared with our more than 600 former Members, that this Committee continue to hold hearings like this one, that they gather as much information as possible, and that they return with some great suggestions for a truly modernized Congress.”

Throughout the year, the Select Committee will host similar hearings and conversations with former Members of Congress, congressional staff, academics, and other stakeholders to make Congress work better for the American people.

To learn more about the Select Committee, please click here.

To view yesterday’s hearing livestream, please click here.