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House Votes to Extend Select Committee on Modernization Through 116th Congress

November 15, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The House on Thursday voted to extend the mandate of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress 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 panel to continue its work proposing bipartisan reforms to make Congress work better both for the American people and those who work on Capitol Hill on a daily basis.

Created by an overwhelming bipartisan vote at the beginning of January, the Select Committee was tasked to produce recommendations on rules to promote a more modern and efficient Congress.

These included looking at issues related to the schedule and calendar; developing the next generation of leaders; staff recruitment and retention; administrative efficiencies, including purchasing, travel, outside services, and shared administrative staff; and technology and innovation.

“It’s important to get Congress working better on behalf of the American people. That’s what the Select Committee is about,” said committee chair Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and vice chair, Tom Graves, R-Ga., in a joint statement.

“It’s why we’ve already passed nearly 30 recommendations, and it’s why we’re working on additional reforms. 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,” they said.

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.

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