Congress must reclaim its Article I powers in order to earn back public trust

Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), chairman of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress and former Congressman Tim Roemer (D-Ind.) penned an op-ed in The Hill about why Congress needs to fulfill its obligations as a co-equal branch of government and reclaim its Article I powers.

From the piece:

Polling suggests that Congress is less popular than head lice and colonoscopies. For many Americans, Congress is viewed through the lens of numbing gridlock, government shutdowns, and snarky Twitter battles.

This past election shows that voters don’t want the status quo. They certainly don’t want endless and fruitless bickering in Congress. Whether you are a liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican you want a Congress that can work.

There is good news; over the past 20 months a bipartisan group of 12 lawmakers has worked quietly behind the scenes to make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent for the American people. The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”), was tasked with making recommendations that modernize, improve, and reform U.S. House operations. In dozens of hearings and listening sessions, the committee heard concerns about Congress’ failure to uphold its Article I responsibilities.

In response, the Modernization Committee passed nearly 100 recommendations for reform — all focused on giving Congress back its ability to effectively perform its policymaking, oversight, and representational responsibilities. Among the highlights are recommendations to improve the workings of congressional committees, boost bipartisanship and civility, reclaim Congress’ spending authority, and increase staff retention and diversity.

Read the full piece here.

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Topics: Committees & Caucuses