Dear Colleague Letter on Creating a Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress
The below “Dear Colleague” letter was sent to House of Representative offices on September 20, 2016.
Become an Original Cosponsor: H.Con.Res.XXXX – Establishing a Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress
Become an Original Cosponsor
H.Con.Res. XXXX – Establishing a Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress
The House and Senate have concluded their business for the last 18 years in a lame duck session, following the election. It has become the regular order to address major issues of significant consequence at the last minute, in the final rush to adjournment.
We are about to do it again, considering critical pieces of legislation and appropriating funds for the discretionary spending of the entire Federal Government in the closing hours of the 114th Congress. This process contributes to a chronic lack of public trust in how Congress functions today and detracts from what good is accomplished. We are all responsible and we all must share some of the blame.
There is no doubt that some reforms will come with the new Congress, but we believe it is time for more fundamental changes in congressional procedures, legislative process and political behavior. We hope you will join us in a project we call “The Congress of Tomorrow,” which is a major initiative to restore public confidence in this Institution and restore the Legislative Branch to a functioning governing body. It is the first branch of government and deserves better, as do our constituents.
Launching this project requires a simple but formative step – passage of a resolution creating a Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress that will provide the framework for the consideration and ultimate enactment of major and historical reforms of the legislative and political process. The bipartisan, bicameral Committee will be comprised on 24 Members tasked with studying the organization and operation of Congress, and reporting its findings and recommendations. Congress has undertaken similar efforts in the past; however, it has been a quarter century since the last Joint Committee.
We hope that the Joint Committee will give consideration to improving not only the processes governing budget, congressional oversight, authorizations, and appropriations, but alsofind ways to improve relationships among members of Congress and their constituencies and create an environment much more conducive to legislating.
But as you will see, this resolution does not prescribe a specific reform agenda for the Joint Committee or prioritize any one idea over another. The Joint Committee will merely serve as the platform and mechanism where all Member-driven ideas, as well as those from public and outside experts, can be heard and debated.
Darin LaHood Dan Lipinski
Member of Congress Member of Congress