Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer announcement.
Today, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) released its Final Report, which details the sum of the Committee’s findings and recommendations in the 117th Congress.
The Modernization Committee, which was formed at the beginning of the 116th Congress and later extended through the 117th, was tasked with researching a broad range of issues, identifying challenges and opportunities for reform, and offering recommendations for improving and strengthening the House.
In the 117th Congress, the Committee continued the work begun in the 116th Congress and heard from elected officials, current and former staff, academics, the private sector, and everyday Americans, all with different backgrounds and areas of expertise, and all interested in improving the People’s House. This report details the Committee’s findings in the 117th Congress as well as its 105 bipartisan recommendations, in addition to the 97 recommendations made in the 116th Congress, which seek to bolster staff capacity, bring congressional technology into the 21st century, facilitate bipartisan collaboration, and more.
“The Modernization Committee was established with the sole mission of making Congress work better for the American people. The Committee has spent the last four years examining everything from staff capacity to outdated technology to increasing polarization in order to figure out how we can build a better institution that is more responsive to the needs of the American people,” said Chair Derek Kilmer. “The Modernization Committee’s final report details the sum of our efforts, including the 105 bipartisan recommendations made in the last two years, on top of the 97 from the two years before. The Committee’s work will make a difference well beyond the 117th Congress and ensure that Congress is better equipped to make ongoing improvements in service to all our constituents.”
“I was honored to be appointed to this Committee four years ago because it has provided me with the opportunity to make the institution work better for the American people,” said Vice Chair William Timmons. “By putting policy above partisan politics, the Modernization Committee found common ground at every possible turn and advanced 105 recommendations during the 117th Congress. As the Committee comes to an end, I hope my colleagues and I can continue working together to ensure these reforms are implemented and find additional ways to make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent for the American people.”
“Under the leadership of Chair Derek Kilmer, the Select Committee has drawn invaluable insights from every corner of the House community, including Members, staff, experts and constituents across the nation,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “That diligent fact-finding has yielded more than 200 recommendations, from reasserting the power of the purse through a new Community Project Funding initiative to bolstering the recruitment and retention of diverse, talented staff. Guided by the Select Committee’s vision and values, the House has proudly implemented 65 percent of those recommendations since 2019 – delivering positive, concrete and lasting change.”
Unlike many other reform efforts, the Modernization Committee chose to not only focus making recommendations, but also assisted with implementation efforts. This has allowed the committee to make progress on 132 of the 202 recommendations passed in the 116th and 117th Congress. This includes 45 of which have been fully implemented and 87 that have been partially implemented.
Additionally, the Chair and Vice Chair intend to make any and all Modernization Committee records publicly available immediately. The Committee is choosing to release its records in hopes that its body of work will support future efforts to strengthen the institution and ensure that all efforts to improve the People’s House are done as transparently as possible. Absent this action, records archived by the Modernization Committee would ordinarily not be publicly available for 30 years per current House rules.