[On Thursday] the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) held a hearing to provide a status update on its progress as it begins its final year.

To date, the Modernization Committee has passed a total of 142 recommendations to make Congress more effective, efficient, and transparent for the American people. As highlighted in the Committee’s recently released implementation report, over 60% of the 97 recommendations from the 116th Congress have been implemented or seen meaningful action. Of that, 24 recommendations have been fully implemented with 14 more nearing full implementation. The Modernization Committee announced that it intends to provide an update in February on the additional 45 recommendations passed so far in the 117th Congress.


During the hearing, members received an update from the Chief Administrative Officer, Catherine Szpindor, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Cheryl Johnson, whose offices are responsible for implementing many of the recommendations passed by the Committee. Architect of the Capitol, J. Brett Blanton, also submitted written testimony.Witnesses discussed the far-ranging projects they have undertaken – at the direction of the Committee – designed to make Congress more accessible to Americans with disabilities, bolster congressional capacity through increased staff retention, and update antiquated technology to make the legislative process more efficient and transparent.


“From the beginning, the Modernization Committee has been focused on not only examining the issues that prevent Congress from better serving the American people, but also advancing solutions that create change.  We don’t want to just make recommendations – we want to make change,” said Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA). “That is why the Modernization Committee is using today’s hearing to publicly discuss efforts underway to increase congressional capacity, streamline the legislative process, and ensure the work of the people is accessible to all Americans. Thankfully the Committee has found great implementing partners in the Architect of the Capitol, The Chief Administrative Officer, and the Clerk, who have done an outstanding job and have already turned more than sixty percent of the Committee’s recommendations from last Congress into action.”


“The Modernization Committee is focused on making actual change to improve how Congress works, not merely building a historical record,” said Vice Chair William Timmons (R-SC). “That is why we have made implementation of our previous recommendations such a high priority, and why the participation of our partners in today’s hearing to learn about the progress that has been made, and where more work remains to be done, was so important. Our focus on implementation has been one of the distinguishing aspects of our select committee relative to prior reform efforts. And as today’s hearing demonstrated, while we have seen some implementation successes so far, that does not mean it is time to rest. On the contrary, there is important work left to do to make Congress work more effectively and efficiently for the American people. With one year left in our committee’s authorization, we intend to run through the finish line.”


You can watch the full committee hearing here.