Claire Abernathy, Kevin Esterling, and Marci Harris at

As a complex, distributed system of 441 individual offices, 20 committees, two party leadership offices, and a dozen or so administrative and research support agencies, House technology has, understandably, developed in silos over the years, with few opportunities for evaluating and optimizing the overall functioning of the chamber as a whole. This distributed, disconnected architecture is no longer tenable. A “modernized” Congress requires the ability for the component parts of the institution to operate in a coordinated way, leveraging the situational awareness that technology enables to realize greater process efficiencies, free up staff time for higher value tasks, and contribute to greater satisfaction and improved morale for those who serve the American people as employees of the U.S. Congress. Members and staff alike recognize the need to upgrade congressional technology. In January 2019, when the House of Representatives created the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, it included in its authorizing language a specific charge to identify recommendations around technology and innovation. Shortly after the creation of the Select Committee, the American Political Science Association convened the Task Force Project on Congressional Reform, bringing together Congress scholars and practitioners to “assist Congress in its own stated ambitions to strengthen and reinvigorate itself to better carry out its representative and lawmaking functions.” The APSA Task Force operated through subcommittees created around the Select Committee’s areas of focus and produced a comprehensive report that evaluates a wide range of potential congressional reforms.