Congressional Reform Concepts
For Consideration By
A Joint Committee on the Congress of Tomorrow
The following recommendations are the result of conversations that have taken place among several groups and are intended to serve as a framework for short-term and long-term change.
Such a framework would be best achieved through the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral Joint Committee on a Modern Congress, patterned after those created during the last Century for a similar purpose.
- Enforce and strengthen restrictions on the inclusion of unauthorized programs in appropriations and legislating on appropriation bills (addressed in BPC recommendations)
- Restore regular order to House-Senate conference by adhering to established procedures for appointment of conferees, convening of regular meetings and consideration of amendments.
- Provide for the bundling of appropriations for floor consideration after July 1, but not more than four subcommittee bills at once.
- Amend congressional rules to permit members to direct spending, on a project-by project basis to state and local entities within their state and strengthen ethics rules governing conflicts of interest, transparency and sponsorship identity related to such direct appropriations.
- See “The Case for Earmarks: Were They Really That Bad?”
- See “How Congress Can Make the Earmark Process Work” (Published in Stanford Law and Public Policy Review Online)
For the complete list of reform concepts, click here.