Jan 3, 2019
This Year, Congress Should Resolve to Reform Itself for the American People
2018—and its government shutdowns, partisan congressional battles, and broken government processes—is behind us. With a new year and a new Congress, it’s time to ensure that government finally works better for the American people. With new legislators bringing a breath of fresh air to the institution, Congress has a unique opportunity to make much-needed and long-overdue changes that would allow government to solve problems once again.
Congress doesn’t often get the opportunity to revitalize itself—in fact, it hasn’t done so since 1994—but that can change this year! A Select Committee on the Organization of Congress is the key to a functional government that produces results. This committee would examine the gears of Congress —from floor procedures to the operation of committees—and recommend reforms to restore the legislative process so that it can respond to America’s needs and make a difference in people’s lives. Here’s what a Congress of Tomorrow—one that’s revamped to work more efficiently and effectively—would do:
- Enable bipartisan cooperation and consensus-building to achieve legislative results. As it stands, the country is polarized, and excessive partisan divisions inhibit the passage of important legislation.
- Empower congressional committees which are key to bipartisan bridge-building. Committees are logical places to spark bipartisanship — at the beginning of the legislative process — and where lawmakers can develop a stake in the success of legislation to address the people’s interests.
- Ensure robust amendment processes. A robust amendment process will ensure that bills have been thoroughly debated, the best possible legislation is crafted on a bipartisan basis, and lawmakers have the opportunity to include measures that will encourage them to support the final bill.
- Pass budgets and complete funding bills on time. This will make Congress more effective by setting priorities, staying on schedule, and ensuring that all agencies are funded in a timely way.
- Provide effective and regular oversight of federal programs. The government must constantly and consistently analyze federal programs to ensure they are meeting their goals and addressing needs.
Over 80% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing—let’s make our representatives resolve to turn that around this year. Urge your representative to create a Congress of Tomorrow!