One way to modernize Congress is a throwback

Paul Kane, senior congressional correspondent and columnist for the Washington Post, writes about the last set of recommendations by the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress and how they got there.


For almost two years, Graves served as the vice-chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, alongside Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), the chairman, whom he now counts as a close friend. Their sleepy little temporary panel worked in the smartest fashion possible, forging early consensus on the relatively easy items and built toward tackling the politically challenging issues at the end.

The result is one of the most important proposals to reform Congress, with more weight than the countless wonky blue papers cranked out by think tanks that did nothing but gather dust. This new offering came from within the building, six Democrats and six Republicans, forging common ground despite serving during a brutally partisan time.

“Whether it’s the longest shutdown in history through impeachment, through just the floor battles, the rancor, and a pandemic, and now a Supreme Court vacancy,” Graves said in an hour-long joint interview with Kilmer just before his resignation. “Yet, somehow there was one committee in the House that has figured out how to operate, and, with a truly split committee, completely bipartisan, can get it done.”

Read the full story in the Washington Post.