As Republicans are poised to take control of the House in early January, the House Modernization Committee created under Democratic control in 2019 is winding up its recommendations with one last ask: let’s do it again real soon.
Over its relatively brief lifespan, the committee has cranked out more than 200 recommendations to modernize how the House of Representatives works, and said that 105 of them been approved by Congress. In total, the committee said, 130 of its recommendations have “been implemented or have seen meaningful action toward implementation.”
Many of those recommendations are of the more mundane administrative variety, but some have tackled IT modernization efforts head-on, including the establishment of congressional digital services and data task forces, and a revival of the Office of Technology Assessment.
In the committee’s final set of recommendations released on Nov. 17, the panel urged continued work on modernization issues, and a periodic reconstitution of the committee. Specifically, the committee recommended:
- “The House should provide a home for ongoing modernization work within the Committee on House Administration”; and
- “The House should authorize a Modernization Select Committee at least every fourth Congress.”
“The American people deserve a Congress that works. They deserve a Congress that is efficient, transparent, and responsive. They deserve a Congress that is focused on solving problems and that has the capabilities to solve them. From Day One, that has been the focus for our committee,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., the committee’s chairman.
“This Committee has demonstrated that Republicans and Democrats can engage in constructive policy discussions and work together to find solutions that strengthen the institution,” added Rep. William Timmons R-S.C., the panel’s vice chair.
“As we report out the totality of our findings to the House, along with several additional recommendations to encourage ongoing modernization, I hope we continue to look for opportunities to collaborate and help ensure that the People’s House remains well equipped to address our nation’s most pressing issues,” he said.