Since its inception in January 2019, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has remained one of Congress’ least told examples of productive bipartisanship. Today, the twelve members of the Select Committee came together, once again, to issue 20 new recommendations designed to attract and retain capable staff, support interns and fellows on Capitol Hill, and ensure equal access to the physical and digital infrastructure of Congress.
Following the release of these recommendations, Issue One’s Executive Director, Meredith McGehee, issued the following statement:
“The mission of the Select Committee — to make the legislative branch work better for the people — remains a vitally important effort before this Congress. We applaud these new recommendations, which will make the House of Representatives a stronger institution by improving staff retention, diversity, and pay. We urge Republicans and Democrats to work together to implement these proposals, because Americans deserve a responsive legislative branch that is able to meet the challenges of our modern democracy.”
Today’s recommendations — the first of the 117th Congress — build on the Committee’s work in the previous session, including the 97 recommendations contained in the Committee’s final report. The bulk of the new recommendations are aimed at improving Congress’ ability to attract and retain a diverse and capable staff. Specific proposals include calling for additional training for managers on Capitol Hill and recommending that the House maintain up-to-date, transparent information on staff compensation and benefits. These recommendations adhere closely to those made by McGehee during her March 2021 testimony and presentation to the Select Committee, as well as in her testimony to the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee.
Additional recommendations made today by the Select Committee seek to expand support for Congressional interns and fellows, including calling for the creation of an Intern and Fellowship Program Office or Coordinator. This recommendation — which Issue One made to the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee ahead of its fiscal year 2022 appropriations package — will help Congressional offices onboard, train, and manage interns and fellows, while making these experiences more substantive and rewarding for young professionals on Capitol Hill.