Dec 18, 2018

2018 Holiday Wish List: Reforms We’d Like to See in the 116th Congress

This year, Congress had several shortcomings—including many divisive policy battles and two shutdowns of the federal government—which makes inclusion on Santa’s nice list this year unlikely. With a new Congress right around the corner, now’s the time to get government working for the American people. Congress of Tomorrow has written our holiday wish list for Congress. These reforms, which are supported by Representatives from both sides of the aisle, are crucial to making Congress functional and achieve real results.

2018 Holiday Wish List—Reforms We’d Like to See in the 116th Congress:

  1. Committee on the Organization of Congress: This committee isn’t a new idea—there have been three since 1945, occurring every 20-30 years. With the last one in 1993, the time for another committee is now. A new Committee on the Organization of Congress would reform the institution –making it more efficient, effective, and accountable to the American people—by examining issues like the process for authorizing government programs, chamber floor procedures, and congressional committee functions. This year, nearly 70 members stepped up to support of the committee, and it was included in a House draft rules package for the 116th It’s time to propel this committee over the finish line—email your elected officials and ask them to get Congress working better for you by supporting a new Committee on the Organization of Congress!
  2. Improved Budget Process: This year, Congress failed to pass all 12 spending bills that fund the government. Sadly, this has become the norm, and in the last four decades, there have been nearly 20 government shutdowns. By enacting a biennial budget, which would create a budget for two-year cycles instead of annually, Congress would avoid the annual gridlock that fuels shutdowns and more thoughtfully consider how to spend taxpayer dollars.
  3. Revive Civility: In a hyper-partisan era, the need for civility is more important than ever. The 115th Congress made strides towards reviving civility in Washington by introducing a civility pledge and designating July 12 as National Day of Civility. Let’s build on this momentum on the 116th Congress by making civility the norm, not the exception.
  4. Adjusted Congressional Schedule: A new schedule will help ensure the overall efficiency of Congress. By implementing a synchronized five-day workweek schedule between the House and Senate, more legislative work will be accomplished, and members of Congress will have additional time in Washington to develop beneficial, interpersonal relationships of trust with their colleagues.

Is Congress Working for You?