November 16, 2020

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
 

The Honorable Zoe Lofgren
1309 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Rodney Davis
1216 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Jim McGovern
H-312, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Tom Cole
H-152, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

 

Re: The House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in the 117th Congress

Dear House Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Chair Lofgren, Ranking Member Davis, Chair McGovern, and Ranking Member Cole:

We write to encourage the House of Representatives to re-establish the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in the 117th Congress. The Select Committee made great strides during the 116th Congress toward improving the House of Representatives, as demonstrated by its in-depth hearings and nearly 100 recommendations, many of which were enacted by the House. The Select Committee demonstrated it is an effective model to further reform in the House and we believe it should be afforded the opportunity to build upon its successes and tackle additional issues.

In just 21 months, the Select Committee released five packages of recommendations, each unanimously voted out of the committee, totaling 97 bipartisan recommendations aimed at making the House more efficient, transparent, and inclusive. The Select Committee held 16 hearings, multiple virtual discussions, and numerous Member and staff-level briefing and listening sessions to develop ideas to reform and strengthen the Legislative branch. In March 2020, the House overwhelmingly enacted legislation to implement some of its recommendations, H. Res. 756, Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization Resolution.

These efforts to modernize Congress are an excellent start, but there is more work to be done to ensure a responsive, modern, and accountable legislature. The Select Committee should review the implementation of its recommendations and dig deeper to identify appropriate next steps within the House of Representatives for modernization. In addition, its scope should be expanded to review the operations and configuration of Legislative branch support agencies to determine whether they are sufficient to support the House of Representatives in meeting all of its responsibilities.

Thank you for your leadership and support of the Select Committee during the 116th Congress. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further. Please contact Daniel Schuman, policy director, Demand Progress, at [email protected], or Zach Graves, head of policy, Lincoln Network, at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Advocacy Blueprints
American Library Association
American Oversight
Bipartisan Policy Center
Business for America
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Civic Health Project
College to Congress
Common Ground Solutions
Congressional Management Foundation
Data Coalition
Demand Progress
Democracy Fund Voice
FairVote
Fix the Court
FixUS
Free Government Information (FGI)
Government Accountability Project
Government Information Watch
GovTrack.us
Institute for Democratic Engagement & Accountability (IDEA) at the Ohio State University
Issue One
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Leadership Now Project
Lincoln Network
The Lugar Center
NALEO Educational Fund
National Institute for Civil Discourse
National Taxpayers Union
Open The Government
Partnership for Public Service
Project On Government Oversight
Protect Democracy
Quorum
R Street Institute
Resetting the Table
Senior Executives Association
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Alex Howard, Digital Democracy Project*
Beth Simone Noveck, The Governance Lab*
Bob Inglis, RepublicEn.org*
Brian Baird, Former Member of Congress*
Carolyn Lukensmeyer, National Institute for Civil Discourse*
Casey Burgat, The George Washington University*
Eric Mill, Individual
Kevin M. Esterling, University of California, Riverside*
Kevin Kosar, American Enterprise Institute*
Kristen Hansen, Individual
Lorelei Kelly, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown*
Michael Neblo, Ohio State University / Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability*
Marci Harris, POPVOX Inc*
Rick Shapiro, Individual
Sarah Binder, The George Washington University and Brookings Institution*
Zaid Umar, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget*

* Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

cc:       Hon. Nita Lowey, Chairwoman, House Committee on Appropriations; Hon. Kay Granger, Ranking Member, House Committee on Appropriations; Hon. Derek Kilmer, Chair, Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress