31 Jul BPC Action Applauds New Modernization Committee Recommendations, Urges Implementation in Government Reform
COVID-19 has revealed significant gaps in the legislative branch’s ability to continue operations in an emergency. Acting quickly over the past months, the House Modernization Committee investigated how the pandemic has disrupted the ability of members, committees, and staff to effectively respond to the needs of the nation. Despite disagreements elsewhere on Capitol Hill regarding the response to the pandemic, the Modernization Committee negotiated bipartisan agreement on sensible and impactful recommendations that will help the House continue the people’s work in this crisis and in future ones.
The dozen bipartisan recommendations include:
- Ensuring that each office has a continuity of operations plan, including crisis communications guidelines and plans for extended staff telework, and all new members of Congress undergo continuity, telework, and cybersecurity training;
- Strengthening technology so that staff have updated, regularly maintained technology and equipment to continue working effectively during an emergency;
- Establishing committee telework on a bipartisan basis and making permanent the option to submit committee reports;
- Streamlining constituent casework and expanding use of digital signatures while providing greater access to resources for constituents; and
- Creating a bipartisan, bicameral task force to assess the lessons learned from the pandemic and identify improvements for the continuity of Congress.
Congress is now at a key juncture to learn from this unprecedented situation, and these commonsense proposals provide a realistic path forward. We urge the House to swiftly implement these bipartisan recommendations to strengthen congressional operations and better prepare members and staff to guide the nation through this pandemic and the next challenge our nation might face.