WASHINGTON (September 24) – The R Street Institute commends the Modernization Committee for its 40 unanimously approved bipartisan recommendations to strengthen the capacity and improve the functioning of the legislative branch.

The committee—a model for bipartisanship in how it structured itself and held hearings—recommends centralizing the House congressional committee calendar and working to ensure there is less overlap in scheduling hearings. Further, it proposes formalizing more activities that encourage across-the-aisle engagement among lawmakers such as retreats, domestic policy CODELs and a district exchange program. A number of recommendations also support increasing training, retention and pay for congressional staff and fixing health insurance issues for D.C. and district staff. The members of the committee also endorse experimenting with new committee procedures, among other reforms.

“The final set of recommendations by the Select Committee continues their exemplary work to improve and modernize the legislative branch,” said Jonathan Bydlak, director of R Street’s Fiscal and Budget Policy Project and interim director of its Governance Program. “I also applaud the committee taking the step of examining the budget process and recommending better practices in how Congress should fulfill its power over the purse. Other leaders in Congress should follow the example of Chairman Kilmer and Vice Chairman Graves as they put politics aside and build a legacy of solutions-driven bipartisanship at this committee.”

R Street urges the House of Representatives to consider and pass these recommendations once they are in legislation.