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BPC: House Approves Critical Modernization Reforms

Headshot of Ari Goldberg
Ari Goldberg

Washington, DC — The Bipartisan Policy Center applauds the House of Representatives today for approving the bipartisan and unanimous recommendations of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, key reforms that will help create a more efficient and effective U.S. House of Representatives.

H.Res. 756, the Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (MODCOM) Resolution, includes more than 20 specific recommendations that would significantly improve House technology, transparency, staff diversity and retention, and constituent accessibility and engagement. Importantly, the resolution calls for more comprehensive and bipartisan orientation and training for members, which will better prepare them for their roles and help build critical relationships across the aisle starting on day one.

“For decades, Americans have demanded better from Congress, but Capitol Hill has been unable to deliver,” says Michael Thorning, BPC’s associate director for governance. “These reforms to modernize outdated processes and technologies will greatly improve the ability of members and staff to serve and represent their constituents.”

The reforms contained in the resolution were the product of the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, created at the beginning of 2019 with broad bipartisan support. Since then, the committee has held 16 hearings and heard from more than 60 witnesses about the obstacles to an effective Congress, some of which have stymied the legislative branch for decades.

“Congress is typically slow to evolve,” Thorning says. “What the Modernization Committee has done—investigate and successfully legislate on some of Congress’s biggest challenges in the span of just one year—is remarkable. And I expect we’ll see more from this committee.”

BPC applauds Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Tom Graves (R-GA), chair and vice chair of the committee, for leading the bipartisan panel of lawmakers through a long overdue process of examining how the House can better operate and govern.

Thorning further adds: “The Modernization Committee, by working in a diligent and bipartisan way, has opened the door to further conversations across Capitol Hill, and beyond, on the need for Congress to better carry out its responsibilities in our system of government.”

BPC is grateful to Kilmer, Graves, and all members of the committee for their ongoing work across the aisle to improve the institution.