LegBranch Event

Building a 21st century Congress that works


Less than one in four Americans have a favorable opinion of Congress. Many legislators and congressional staff feel frustrated that they cannot get things done. Yet, our Constitution deems Congress the first branch, and the source of all legislative power. How can we reform Congress so that it can better serve the public?

To answer that question, the American Political Science Association (APSA) assembled esteemed scholars of Congress and experts from the advocacy community to study what’s going right in Congress, what’s going wrong, and how our national legislature might be improved.

In accord with the bipartisan character of the Select Committee, APSA brought together academic specialists on Congress with individuals from across the Washington, DC think tank and advocacy community. The co-sponsorship of the R Street Institute and Brookings Institution provided critical support in reaching out to a diverse array of experts on Congress inside and outside the academy.

Inspired by the creation and action of the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (SCOMC), their analyses and recommendations were recently released in the Report of the Task Force Project on Congressional Reform. Many of the recommendations within the report relate to – and in some cases mirror – the recommendations and topics of discussion the SCOMC discussed and those that have been included in H. Res. 756. Some of the experts who contributed to this report will come to discuss their findings and recommendations at this event.


Kevin Kosar, R Street Institute, Vice President, Research Partnerships

Casey Burgat, R Street Institute, Resident Senior Fellow, Governance Project

Claire Abernathy, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stockton University

Menna Demessie, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Vice President of Policy Analysis and Research

Frances Lee, Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University


Lunch will be provided as supplies last

Topics: Reform Efforts
Location: 1310 Longworth House Office Building
Date: Jan 14, 2020  ·  12:00 pm - 1:00 pm