“We’re an 18th-century institution using 20th-century technology
to solve 21st-century problems,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who is
in her eighth term.
Against that background, the House Select Committee on the
Modernization of Congress is working in
temporary office space with only 2 fulltime staff positions and a long history
of establishing select committees to tackle tough issues that lawmakers are
unwilling to deal with through regular order, only for these temporary panels
to end their work in gridlock or see their recommendations buried in dustbins.
Maybe not this time.
the American people certainly see a lot of what happens here and think, ‘Dear
God, why is it this broken?’ ” said Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), the chairman
of the 12-member panel, on which Democrats and Republicans have an equal number
want that purpose and fulfillment in doing their job. There is a longing to do
it,” Rep. Tom Graves (Ga.), the top Republican on the committee, said during
the first joint interview the two have done.
Kane of The Washington Post thinks this time is different.
One lesson was to roll out recommendations once there is unity,
rather than waiting to release one final report. So, the modernization panel
unanimously approved and released five transparency suggestions last Thursday. One
proposal calls for a unified software program to ease the process of tracking
changes that have been made to legislative text, from committee rooms to the
really want to work together,” Graves said. “There is a strong yearning and
desire for bipartisan outcomes and results.”