BPC Action Recommendations Included in New House Rules Proposals in Government Reform

BPC Action applauds the inclusion of several of the Bipartisan Policy Center and BPC Actions’ recommendations in incoming House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)’s draft rules package for the 116th Congress. These key provisions are a crucial step toward restoring the legislative process so Congress can achieve results that will make a real difference in people’s lives.

The package includes the following BPC Action and BPC proposals:

1. Examine the Organization and Operation of Congress: BPC Action has called for the creation of a new Select Committee on the Organization of Congress to make the institution more efficient, effective, and accountable to the American people and recently launched a grassroots advocacy campaign, Congress of Tomorrow, to champion this committee. The committee is not a new concept: there have been three since 1945 with the last one in 1993. In the 115th Congress, nearly 70 bipartisan members have supported legislation establishing a select committee. With most Americans viewing Congress unfavorably, a Committee on the Organization of Congress is essential to rebuilding public trust by improving the legislative branch’s functionality.

  • Members must strengthen the proposal: As the proposal moves forward, BPC Action strongly recommends that a new select committee be required to report out recommendations by a date certain and that floor action be held shortly thereafter. It is essential that the committee have the authority to make meaningful recommendations and that the House be required to consider that package on the floor. In addition, it is critical that the committee be given the resources and staffing necessary to do its job effectively.

2. Time to Read the Bill: In its report entitled “Governing in a Polarized America,” BPC’s Commission on Political Reform, co-chaired by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, former Representative and Secretary Dan Glickman, and former Senator Olympia Snowe, advocated for bills to be posted a minimum of three days before a vote Allowing sufficient time for discussion and review of legislation not only ensures a better understanding of the bill, but also restores individual members’ roles in the legislative process.

“These proposals, which enjoy bipartisan support and are ripe for action, are vital for returning to ‘regular order,’ which is foundational to restoring Congress’s capacity to solve problems,” states BPC Action’s Executive Director Michele Stockwell.

BPC Action looks forward to working with the 116th Congress to make these rules a reality and urges members to support these proposals as they consider a new rules package.