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Modernizing the People’s House: Reform Proposals for the New Congress

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Modernizing the People’s House: Reform Proposals for the New Congress

November 15, 2022

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Click here to download the full report in PDF format.

About the report

The start of a new Congress can be a significant opportunity for operational reform and modernization. This is particularly true for the House of Representatives, which come January will elect its Speaker and officers, and adopt new rules and protocols. This gives members, and intra-party factions, an opportunity to negotiate the rules and procedures that determine how the People's House is run over the next two years.

This can also be a time to leverage new technologies and modernize operations, promoting greater efficiency and transparency. While Congress has been criticized as a nineteenth-century institution struggling to respond to twenty-first century problems, it has also been remarkably adaptable. Over its history, new technologies—from the telegraph to the Internet—have repeatedly transformed the institution of Congress and the American people’s relationship with it.

The new Congress also offers a chance to continue the work of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress—whose bipartisan work has focused on recommendations in areas such as improving member participation, staffing reform, upgrading tech infrastructure, and improvements to foster greater transparency and accountability. While the committee has already had success in pushing for the adoption of many of its recommendations, there is still much work to be done to strengthen Article One, and continue this important work in the 118th Congress.

In Lincoln Policy's new report, "Modernizing the People’s House: Reform Proposals for the 118th Congress," we propose a set of recommendations to enhance Congress’s ability to serve the American public. The recommendations focus on four primary areas: enacting impactful legislation, conducting effective oversight, improving constituent services, and ensuring wise stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

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This report was a collaborative product of the Lincoln team and its partners, including lead authors Zach Graves, Matt Lira, Jessica Seale, and Dan Lips. In our research process, we relied on input from a wide range of stakeholders and policy experts. We are indebted to these individuals for their contributions and thoughtful comments.

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