On Friday, January 4, the House voted (418-12) to establish the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The 12 person committee was created as part of the House rules package (a section by section analysis of the rules package can be found here) and consists of six Democrats and six Republicans appointed by Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy. At least two members were to be drawn from the Rules Committee, two from the House Administration Committee, and two from the freshman class.

H.Res. 86, introduced on January 29, provided temporary funding for the committee. On February 7, the House approved the temporary funding measure by a vote of 225-193. The committee’s allocation for the remainder of year – $487,500 – was included as part of H. Res. 245.

Committee members

Speaker Pelosi named Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) chair of the select committee. The other five Democrats appointed are: Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.).

Minority Leader McCarthy named Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) as vice-chair of the select committee. The other five Republicans appointed are: Reps. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), and William Timmons (R-SC).

Committee jurisdiction

The panel, which must issue its final report at the end of this year, is tasked with studying and making recommendations for modernizing Congress. More specifically, the committee will look at rules to promote a more modern and efficient Congress; procedures, including the schedule and calendar; policies to develop the next generation of leaders; staff recruitment, diversity, retention, and compensation and benefits; administrative efficiencies, including purchasing, travel, outside services, and shared administrative staff; technology and innovation; and the work of the House Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards.

Committee hearings

Links to testimony and video from the Select Committee’s hearings thus far can be found on this committee hearing page.

Committee recommendations

May 24, 2019: The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress unanimously approved a package of 5 recommendations to improve the transparency of the legislative branch. The recommendations can be found here. On July 25, 2019, these recommendations were formed into a H.Res. 526 which currently awaits action by the House.

July 25, 2019: The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress unanimously approved a package of 24 recommendations to improve the technology, Human Resources, onboarding process, and accessibility of the House of Representatives. The recommendations can be found here.

Previous reform efforts, reform options, and recommendations

LegBranch has collected a wide variety of resources related to the Select Committee’s work in these six categories:

  1. Previous reform efforts
  2. Congressional staff and capacity building
  3. Technology
  4. Committees, rules and floor procedure
  5. Various reform proposals, Members of Congress
  6. Various reform proposals, non-governmental organizations

News items, blog posts, and opinion

This page contains a wide range of news and opinion pieces focused on the work of the Select Committee.


Want to learn more about the Select Committee or have something to contribute? Please contact the LegBranch team.