Last Friday, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) announced that he will not be seeking reelection for Washington’s 6th congressional district, a seat he has held since 2013. A committed public servant, Kilmer is well-known for his bipartisanship and problem-solving approach to governing. Issue One salutes Kilmer for his leadership and dedication to the congressional modernization movement.
For four years, Kilmer chaired the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress to make the institution a more functional, accessible, transparent, and technologically adept institution. Under his leadership, the select committee garnered a reputation for its bipartisanship and pragmatism. A groundbreaking body, the select committee introduced 202 bipartisan recommendations to modernize the institution. Accomplishments included a new system that allows the public to easily track how amendments change legislation and the impact of proposed legislation to current law; the establishment of bipartisan committee staff briefings and agenda-setting retreats to encourage better policymaking and collaboration among members; improved new member orientation; and more opportunities for constituents to better communicate with their elected representatives. A permanent Subcommittee on Modernization under House Administration was established during the 118th Congress, on which Kilmer currently serves.
“Congressman Kilmer devoted his time in Congress to making the House of Representatives more responsive to the American people,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “We applaud his leadership and thank Kilmer for recognizing the importance of a strong and functioning Congress.”
Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus Co-chairs Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN) and former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) also commended Kilmer:
“Making Congress a more effective, efficient, and transparent institution has always been a priority for Congressman Kilmer,” said Amb. Roemer. “The congressional modernization movement is losing a key champion, but thanks to Kilmer, the institution of Congress is stronger today than when he arrived in 2013. He has led with a powerful commitment to public service and has left a strong roadmap that dedicated members in both parties should follow to continue to improve the People’s House.”
Added Rep. Wamp: “Congressman Kilmer’s leadership in the modernization space demonstrates what’s still possible when both parties are able to set aside their differences and work together on behalf of the American people. The success of the select committee, and the permanent Subcommittee on Modernization, shows us that a more accessible and representative first branch is possible. Thank you, Kilmer, for the critical role you played to strengthen our republic.”