Yesterday, the House Administration Committee announced the establishment of a permanent modernization subcommittee to continue the important work of the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Under the leadership of Chairwoman Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) and Ranking Member Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), who previously served as chairman of the select committee, the newly formed Subcommittee on the Modernization of Congress will be tasked with improving and strengthening the legislative branch.
Beginning in 2018, Issue One called for the creation of the modernization select committee and has continuously advocated for and helped inform its work. Issue One repeatedly gave testimony before the select committee focused on attracting and retaining smart and diverse staff, with several of our recommendations adopted by the committee.
Since its inception at the start of the 116th Congress in January 2019, the select committee advanced a total of 202 bipartisan recommendations — of which 130 have been fully or partially implemented to make the House a more functional, accessible, transparent, representative, and technologically adept institution.
“As the Modernization Committee worked to build a better legislative branch, the team at Issue One has been a valuable resource,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA). “The launch of this subcommittee this week is good news for everyone who wants a Congress that works better for the American people.”
Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus Co-chairs Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN) and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) applauded the news in the following statement:
“The decision to create a permanent modernization subcommittee is a historic step forward that will make Congress a more effective, efficient, and transparent institution,” said Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN). “For four years, the select committee was a remarkable bipartisan success story. That’s why we supported its work every step of the way. The result is an improved Congress that’s working better for the American people. With Chairwoman Bice and Ranking Member Kilmer at the helm, we remain optimistic that further bipartisan victories and cooperation will demonstrate that Congress is once again working for the people.”
Added Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN): “Our great nation needs a functioning and representative first branch that is living up to its Article I responsibilities and working on behalf of its constituents. The achievements of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress demonstrate that a stronger legislative branch is possible when both parties work together to create solutions to problems. Yesterday’s agreement to establish a permanent subcommittee is a significant victory for our republic, one that will allow Republicans and Democrats to continue working together to improve the institution for years to come.”
The creation of the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in January 2019 at the start of the 116th Congress was a vital step in identifying and addressing areas of improvement in how Congress functions, and creating a more modern and productive policymaking institution.
Accomplishments of the select committee 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.
Issue One discussed the bipartisan successes of the select committee on our “Swamp Stories” podcast in episode 11, Fixing the People’s House.
Last December, Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus praised the select committee in a letter to House leadership and called for the creation of a permanent modernization subcommittee on the House Administration Committee in the 118th Congress.