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Lessons Learned from the 1993 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress

Best Practices for a New Committee on Congressional Reform

By Mark Strand & Timothy Lang

For a downloadable version of this paper, click here.

Introduction

The 116th Congress began with the House creating a Select Committee on Modernization of Congress for the purposes of considering reforms.  Committees on reform are one of the traditional ways that Congress implements significant changes when they are needed. Congress only occasionally creates reform committees, so the members of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress might be at a loss for how to proceed in their work. As the Select Committee sets out, its members can learn a great deal from the last major reform committee, the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, which was created in 1992 and met the following year.

When the 103rd Congress adjourned, it should have looked much different than it did when it opened on January 3, 1993. In the summer of the previous year, Congress created the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, a bipartisan, bicameral committee to explore ways the Legislative Branch could be reformed. However, the 1993 Joint Committee could be considered a failure, on a couple levels. The House and Senate did not issue joint recommendations as they should have, and the bills called the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1994 did not receive Floor consideration in either Chamber. On another level, their work was not entirely in vain, as the Congress especially the House, implemented some of the recommendations when the Republicans took control of both Chambers in 1995. Thus, the 1993 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress is worth examining for those interested in reforming Congress today and in the future.

This case study of the 1993 Joint Committee examines its strengths and weaknesses. It is based on interviews of those involved in the Joint Committee process, members and staff who spoke with report co-author Timothy Lang in November and December 2018. The insights that these participants shared may help those who wish to strengthen Congress through the creation of a reform committee, whether or not it includes both Chambers. Their experience exposes numerous obstacles in the reform process and following their suggestions may improve the odds for successful reform – odds that are never very high to begin with.

A Brief Overview of the Joint Committee’s Work

Congress created the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress on August 6, 1992, with the adoption of H. Con. Res. 192. Establishing the Joint Committee was an effort of Representative Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana) and Representative Bill Gradison (R-Ohio), the co-sponsors of H. Con. Res. 192, and Senator David Boren (D-Oklahoma) and Senator Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico), who co-sponsored the companion measure in their Chamber. Although the co-sponsors introduced their concurrent resolutions at the end of July 1991, the idea inspired little positive enthusiasm for congressional reform until the General Accounting Office (GAO, now the Government Accountability Office) released a report in the fall that House Members were writing bad checks to be drawn from the House bank. Public outrage over the scandal spurred action on the concurrent resolutions until Congress finally established the Joint Committee at the beginning of August 1992.

The Joint Committee was charged with reviewing the entirety of the Legislative Branch’s operations and recommend reforms:

with a view toward strengthening the effectiveness of the Congress, simplifying its operations, improving its relationships with and oversight of other branches of the United States Government, and improving the orderly consideration of legislation.[i]

In addition to the House and Senate majority and minority leaders, who were ex officio members, the committee had 24 seats, with the Republicans and Democrats in each Chamber receiving 6 apiece. The Joint Committee was not permitted to begin its work until November 15, 1992 (after the midterm elections).[ii] Representative Hamilton and Senator Boren were named the Co-Chairmen, and Representative Gradison and Senator Domenici were named the Vice Chairmen. (Gradison would resign in January 1993, and Representative David Dreier of California was named Vice Chairman in his place.)

The Joint Committee began its work in January 1993. At its first hearing, the top five congressional leaders (the Speaker and House and Senate majority and minority leaders) testified. From then until July, the Joint Committee held 36 hearings, receiving testimony from 243 witnesses. Witnesses included former and current Members of Congress (not the least of whom was former Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale) and businessman and former presidential candidate Ross Perot. All in all, over 130 Members of the House, nearly 40 senators, 14 former Members of Congress and about 60 others, including current and former staffers, testified.[iii] The Congressional Management Foundation also conducted a comprehensive survey of members of Congress and congressional staffers to gather information on their views on various congressional reform subjects. Additionally, the Joint Committee held a retreat at the United States Naval Academy in late June 1993.

The Joint Committee issued its final report in December 1993. Although the House and Senate were supposed to issue joint recommendations, they did not, preferring instead to hold separate markups. The Senate members of the Joint Committee held their markup on November 10. Their House colleagues began their markup the following week and completed it on November 22. The Senators completed a “brief and consensual” markup, whereas the House “continued, on and off, for an arduous five days,” wrote two former Joint Committee staffers, in their book on congressional reform.[iv]

The difficulty of the House markup perhaps presaged the challenges that lay ahead of the congressional reformers. On February 3, 1994, Senator Boren and Senator Domenici introduced S. 1824, the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1994. On the same day, Representative Hamilton introduced a bill of the same name, numbered H.R. 3801. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee reported S. In 1824 with an amendment in the nature of a substitute, but it was never considered on the Floor. The House Rules Committee held a markup of H.R. 3801 at the end of September, but it was never concluded. The 103rd Congress adjourned without passing either bill. (The longer-term legacy of the Joint Committee is discussed below.)

Facing the Powers That Be

Participants in the 1993 Joint Committee noted several reasons for its difficulties, but one of the most common was the staunch opposition of powerful Members of Congress, primarily party leaders and committee chairmen, who were intent on maintaining the status quo. In a phone interview, House Co-Chairman Lee Hamilton explained why powerful leaders tend to oppose reform.

“The powers that be, the leadership and committee chairmen and the rest become wary. They see a shakeup coming, they see changes coming, and that could mean that their own power base would be disrupted” he said.[v]

There are numerous instances where powerful Members either did not assist the reform process or actively opposed it. The Joint Committee process provoked committee chairmen in particular.

When asked to recall in a phone interview the biggest obstacles to carrying out the Joint Committee’s work, Representative Bob Walker, a Republican from Pennsylvania, simply and emphatically said, “The committee chairmen.”[vi]

In an interview, one Joint Committee staffer described conversations with chairmen to coax them to support the concurrent resolution as “entertaining.”[vii]

For committee chairs, reform meant a diminution of their power. “I like the concentration of power if I’m part of the organization. The concentration of power warms my heart,” one chairman told Hamilton and Gradison.[viii] At one committee hearing, one of the most powerful chairmen of the 20th century, Representative John Dingell, admonished the Joint Committee, to “do no harm,” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”[ix] Committee chairs had much to lose, but two reform ideas in particular, altering committee jurisdictions and eliminating proxy voting in committees, threatened their power. In the “Additional Views” section of the final report of the Joint Committee House Members, Republicans wrote in terms appearing to allude to the effect that committee chairs had on the process. The “resistance of a small, entrenched, and powerful faction of the Democratic Caucus” blocked the efforts “to put before the House a bipartisan, progressive, and comprehensive reform program.”[x]

In addition to the conflicts with committee chairmen, House elected leadership proved problematic. On March 26, 1992, The New York Times editorial board called on House Speaker Tom Foley to support the creation of the Joint Committee, noting he had been “openly hostile” to the idea.[xi] Coincidentally or not, the Speaker announced his support for it that day, long after the concurrent resolution had been introduced.[xii] However, Foley’s support was limited, at best, and not a carte blanche for reformers to do whatever they thought appropriate. For instance, on September 21, 1994, Speaker Foley dramatically intervened during a Rules Committee markup of H.R. 3801, Representative Hamilton’s bill based on the work of the Joint Committee. When it appeared that amendments to implement two particularly contentious proposals, reform of committee jurisdictions and elimination of proxy voting in committees, had enough votes to pass, the Speaker called Chairman Joe Moakley and the Rules Committee Democrats to his office in the middle of the markup. Foley urged them to reject the amendments. Instead of the Democrats’ heeding the call to vote down the amendments the entire bill was killed, as Chairman Moakley simply adjourned the markup upon returning to the hearing room, never to resume it. Donald Wolfensberger, then the minority staff director for the Rules Committee, said in an interview that although the Speaker and the Rules Committee regularly coordinate their activities, this conference and the abrupt end to the markup was a singular occurrence in his time 20-plus years with the panel.[xiii]

Speaker Foley’s intervention and Chairman Moakley’s ending of the markup certainly stopped action on the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1994. However, Representative Walker, nonetheless described the Speaker’s interest in the Joint Committee in positive terms.

“Foley was absolutely engaged and wanted to see something happen,” he said, also noting that the Speaker had been “closely tied” to Representative Hamilton.[xiv]

Hamilton’s relationship with Foley, however, was not a sufficient reason for the work of the Joint Committee to succeed.

Representative Hamilton recalled that he personally appealed to Foley on three occasions to allow him to debate a “major reform proposal” on the Floor. “Tom blocked it…The reason he blocked it is because the chairmen of the committees didn’t want it,” he said. However, there was no personal enmity between the two. “Never any angry words exchanged between us,” Hamilton recalled. “He was very nice about it.”

Representative Hamilton also noted that Representative Dreier advanced farther the reform committee since he said the Republican ranking members supported him.[xv] The opposition of the chairmen and the influence of the Speaker meant some of the most contentious reforms did not go anywhere in the 103rd Congress.

Power players in the Senate also opposed reform. In a phone interview, Senator Boren recalled that the leaders in both parties “at least seemed to be open to some major changes and reforms when we began” but eventually got “cold feet.”

Senator Boren also noted that leadership blocked reform legislation from coming to the Floor and that he had to offer it as an amendment to another bill instead. The amendment, however, did not have the votes to overcome a procedural hurdle.[xvi]

The stiff opposition that the 1993 Joint Committee faced has several implications for how any reform committee should be set up and carry out its work. Participants in the last Joint Committee suggested that any reform committee leadership should have the support of congressional leaders, committee chairmen, and other Members of Congress. For instance, Senator Boren explained why appointing Members who are influential with their committee chairs and party leaders is necessary.

“I think that the important thing is that you appoint people on the committee who are going to have clout in their own individual chambers,” he said.

“If it decides to move in a certain direction there’s a fair chance [of] some proposals being adopted,” he continued.

Members need to have the “ability to implement” their proposals, he also said.[xvii]

Echoing these suggestions, one of the Joint Committee staff members suggested that to be credible leaders of the effort, co-chairs should be senior Members of their Chamber, able to work with the other party, and have a record of success as legislators.[xviii]

In addition to selecting the influential co-chairs for the committee there are several ways the co-chairs and committee members can counter opposition to reform. When it comes to working with committee chairmen, Representative Hamilton suggested that reform leaders must appeal to chairmen’s “institutional concerns.”

“They want the institution of the Congress to work and to succeed,” he said.

Senator Boren had a similar insight.

“People have to be willing to make some sacrifices,” he said, noting that they need to be “convinced that the good of the institution really demands” reform.[xix]

One former staffer said in a phone interview that it was “absolutely critical” to focus “on the institution rather than the personal power prerogatives or party politics.”[xx]

Since a Chamber’s leadership has extensive power to block the activities of a reform committee, it would be tempting to stack the committee seats in favor of the majority party—and that would be one way to woo the leadership. That, however, would undercut bipartisanship.

“Inclusivity is what you’re seeking,” Representative Hamilton explained. “It’s a great, big, complicated country, and the Congress reflects it as well as any institution we have. So, you want the joint committee to be the miniature of that, as the best way to bring about the reform.”[xxi]

Senator Boren also said the committee needs to be “truly bipartisan,” with the number of seats split between the parties as evenly as possible.[xxii]

Staff who worked on the 1993 Joint Committee also suggested the importance of minority party buy-in for the committee. Allotting the majority and minority an equal number of seats on the committee increases the chances that the committee will deadlock, but it would also increase the committee’s credibility. Additionally, since partisan control of Congress has flipped back and forth between the parties a number of times in the last couple decades, both parties have a vested interest in Congress operating effectively.[xxiii]

Committee Staff and Resources

H. Con. Res. 192, the legislation that created the Joint Committee, provided a budget and allowed the members to hire staff. Additionally, it was authorized to use “such voluntary and uncompensated services” as it deemed necessary and use the assistance of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the GAO, and other congressional entities. H. Con. Res. 192 required the two Chambers to pay for the committee’s expenses equally, with a cap of $250,000 per house. House funds were authorized through the end of the 102nd Congress, and Senate funds extended into the 103rd Congress.[xxiv] In the 103rd Congress, the House approved a resolution authorizing additional funding up to $495,000 for half of the committee’s expenses.[xxv]

The Joint Committee hired G. Kim Wincup, the staff director of the House Committee on Armed Services, to serve as the staff director. Walter Oleszek, one of the Congressional Research Service’s preeminent experts on the legislative process, was the policy director. Each of the co-chairs was able to appoint a staff member to assist him. The committee also hired a press secretary and a number of other staff. It also made extensive use of detailees from the military and NASA, as well as CRS. CRS provided the Joint Committee extensive policy materials, including plans to reform committee jurisdictions.

One staffer recalled that CRS’ contributions to the Joint Committee were “superb and they provided great analysis.”[xxvi]

The resources provided to the 1993 Joint Committee were indispensable to its work.

“You can’t put together a joint committee or any reform committee and expect to get anywhere without having a good staff. And a good staff costs money,” Representative Hamilton said.

A reform committee would need to hire staff who are experts on the operations, history, and the powerful leaders of Congress. Those involved in reform efforts need to give many speeches, testify before committees, make many media appearances.

“And all those things take hard work and preparation and resources to do properly,” Representative Hamilton said.[xxvii]

Most of the participants suggested that the resources and staffing was adequate for the 1993 Joint Committee.

“As I recall it, we were never hampered by lack of adequate staff,” Senator Boren said.[xxviii]

One former Joint Committee staff member suggested that although resourcing was adequate for what was accomplished, additional personnel would have benefited the Joint Committee, considering the scope of its mandate. Extra staff for the co-chairs and others to produce additional analytical work would have helped. However, he noted that while additional staff and resources would have been beneficial, they could not overcome the political challenges, which were the biggest difficulties the Joint Committee faced.[xxix]

One common theme among the 1993 Joint Committee participants was the importance of effective bipartisanship among the staff.

“It was a truly bipartisan staff,” Senator Boren said.

“We didn’t pay much attention to which political party they happened to belong to. We were more concerned with their capabilities,” he said.[xxx]

The ability to work without respect to party affiliation was important for the committee leadership, as one potential Joint Committee staff director was passed over because he seemed too partisan for the position.[xxxi]

Joint Committee participants suggested that a future reform committee follow the bipartisan staffing model of the 1993 effort. For instance, one staffer who served on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) staff after the Joint Committee, suggested that similar reform efforts should maintain the bipartisan culture of the Joint Committee and that traditionally has prevailed on the Armed Services Committee. He noted that HASC Chairman Floyd Spence reminded his staff, from time to time, that their number one responsibility was to serve all members of the Committee. The 1993 effort, he thought, could have benefited from additional bipartisan products, like common committee hearing memos or studies, even if they did contain sidebars noting each party’s position on an issue.[xxxii]

Use of the Congressional Research Service is also a way to promote a non-partisan ethos for a reform committee’s work.

As one former Joint Committee staffer noted, CRS is “expert on substance, but it’s also fairly neutral, which is what you need to give an exercise like that credibility.”[xxxiii]

Scope of Study and Bicameralism

H. Con. Res. 192 gave the Joint Committee a broad scope. It was to:

(1) make a full and complete study of the organization and operation of the Congress of the United States; and (2) recommend improvements in such organization and operation with a view toward strengthening the effectiveness of the Congress, simplifying its operations, improving its relationships with and oversight of other branches of the United States Government, and improving the orderly consideration of legislation.[xxxiv]

True to its mandate, the Joint Committee studied Floor procedure, the budget process, congressional staffing, ethics, application of workplace law to Congress, relations with the other branches of the Federal Government, and other issues. The House members issued recommendations on how to reform the process of referring legislation to committees, committee assignments, ethics investigations, Floor procedure, biennial budgeting and numerous other topics. The Senate members made recommendations on a number of similar topics, though they necessarily differed in the details.

Those who were involved with the last Joint Committee differed on whether the scope of the committee should be so large. On the one hand, some noted that the problems facing Congress are so pervasive, suggesting that a reform committee should address the issues as a whole. Others thought that it would be more manageable for the committee to address only a subset of issues. For instance, a committee could address issues associated with the budget process only, and then at a separate time, address other issues, like the committee structure. Just as the last Joint Committee participants differed amongst themselves on whether to restrict the scope of the committee to a certain set of issues, congressional history has examples of both widescale and more modest approaches. The Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress model affords the widest scope to a reform committee. On the other end of the spectrum, there were smaller committees, for just one house, like the House Commission on Administrative Review (also called the Obey Commission), which studied ethics and House operations, but not matters like parliamentary procedure or committee jurisdictions. In between would be a joint committee on a specific topic, like the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. These different committees have had varying levels of success, so it is likely that factors other than scope, like the prevailing political landscape inside and outside Congress, play a much greater role in degerming whether the efforts succeed.

Closely related to the scope of a reform committee is the question of whether it should be a joint committee or a select committee in one Chamber as the House Democratic Caucus Rules package allowed for. From the fact that the 1993 Joint Committee did not hold a joint markup or issue joint recommendations, one could argue that it is best for the two Chambers to go their separate ways. However, a joint committee approach still has its merits, whatever good a single-house committee might do, and there is no reason today’s House could not reorganize its current effort to include the Senate at a later date. Representative Hamilton noted that he looked at various options to reform Congress, but the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress model appeared to be the best way.

“The Joint Committee has a lot to recommend it,” he said, noting that a reform committee needed inclusivity and representativeness.[xxxv]

Moreover, a committee for just one house cannot effectively address issues, like the budget process, that necessarily touch upon both. Although a bicameral committee does pose special challenges, one staffer suggested that any new joint committee have a clearer pathway to legislative action, rather than simply requiring it to issue recommendations. Additionally, he noted that additional time for the 1993 Joint Committee to meet might have allowed for greater development of bicameral relations.[xxxvi]

Taking a Longer View of Congressional Reform

The 103rd Congress adjourned without enacting the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1994, but when the Republicans took control of both Chambers in 1995, it did implement reforms based on the work of the Joint Committee. The first bill enacted in the 104th Congress was the Congressional Accountability Act, which applied various civil rights and workplace laws to Congress. Additionally, each Chamber instituted internal forms based on the Joint Committee reports. In fact, one CRS report notes, “While few of the recommendations of the JCOC were adopted at the time, its list of suggested reforms reads like a description of the structure and workings of the contemporary House of Representatives.”[xxxvii] Despite difficulties with the Joint Committee, it contributed to the development of Congress in the longer term. (Not all the Republican reforms were committee recommendations, and the party had done considerable work on generating reform ideas apart from the Joint Committee process.)

Although Congress implemented some Joint Committee recommendations, it took the 1994 elections to make that happen. Reform was integral to the Republican “Contract with America,” and they quickly worked to deliver on their promises. Just as public sentiment after the House bank scandal aided the creation of the Joint Committee, citizens again furthered the effort by empowering the Republicans. The Republican takeover and their reforms show the importance of exercises like the Joint Committee, even if they “fail” in terms of reporting a bill or enacting a law right away. Having reform ideas at the ready are critical since contingencies like the House bank scandal and the Republican Revolution of 1994 can propel ideas to the finish line.

The Republican Revolution of 1994 illustrates an insight Representative Hamilton had about the need for ongoing reform.

“So many things in Washington happen because of events that are occurring at the time and one of the tricks to reform…is being able to respond quickly,” he said. “So an ongoing effort at reform, I think, is desirable.”[xxxviii]

One way that a reform committee could promote ongoing reform is by recommending the creation of a standing committee on to monitor the health of Congress and propose reform as needed. They could recommend a joint committee or one compose only of Members of one House. Both Chambers could reform at any point, and they already have committees that are competent to examine reform of issues in their jurisdiction (e.g., both Chambers’ budget or rules committees). At the same time, congressional reform crosses committee jurisdictions making one panel on reform, with a more general jurisdiction, advisable. Additionally, as pointed out previously, committee leaders often oppose attempts at reform, so a strong, independent committee on reform might be a practical necessity to counter opposition from others. That is not to say that a standing committee on reform should be without the input from the leaders of other committees; in fact, it would need their contributions, and they could be appointed as members. Additionally, this committee could be larger than other committees, and could include subcommittees to study various aspects of the legislative process.

The need for ongoing reform points to a key quality that congressional reformers must possess to succeed: perseverance. Reforming Congress requires the right people offering the right ideas at the right time—all while fending off opposition from those who benefit from the status quo. Any wide-ranging effort to strengthen and modernize Congress will take tremendous effort, making grit indispensable.

As Walter Oleszek, the policy director of the 1993 Joint Committee, advised, “Just keep at it.”[xxxix]

Members of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress will need to “keep at it.” Today, there are more than enough areas of the legislative process that are ripe for reform. For instance, the Budget process needs to be reformulated. House rules and procedures have stymied debate and legislative entrepreneurship. Power has seemingly drifted inexorably toward party leadership and away from the committee system. In addition, as Congress grows increasingly dysfunctional, it allows the Executive Branch to encroach upon its powers, reducing its role in the system of checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution. Addressing the various ills that afflict the House alone, not to mention the entire Congress, will take much time, effort and patience. If the Select Committee is even able to agree to recommendations on reform, it will not be the end of the Members’ work; it will only be the beginning.

 

 

 

 

[i] To Establish a Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, H. Con. Res. 192, 102nd Congress, 2nd session, §2, Congress.gov https://www.congress.gov/bill/102nd-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/192/text Accessed December 18, 2018.

[ii] H. Con. Res. 192, 102nd Congress, 2nd session, §2.

[iii] Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, Final Report of the House Members of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, H. Rept. 103-413, Washington: U.S. GPO, page 2.

[iv] C. Lawrence Evans and Walter J. Oleszek, Congress Under Fire: Reform Politic and the Republican Majority, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, page 71.

[v] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Lee Hamilton on November 6, 2018.

[vi] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Bob Walker on November 13, 2018.

[vii] Interview by Timothy Lang with Mr. Philip Grone, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 30, 2018.

[viii] Evans and Oleszek. Congress Under Fire, page 40.

[ix] Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, Committee Structure: Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, 103rd Congress, 1st session, April 29, 1993, page 186. https://archive.org/details/committeestructu00unit

[x] Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, House Members, Final Report of the House Members of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, “Additional views of David Dreier, Robert S. Walker, Gerald B.H. Solomon, Bill Emerson, Wayne Allard, and Jennifer Dunn,” H.Rept. 103-413, 103rd Congress, 1st Session, page 152.

[xi] “Listen to the Anger,” The New York Times, March 26, 1992. https://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/26/opinion/listen-to-the-anger.html. Accessed December 10, 2018.

[xii] C. Lawrence Evans and Walter Oleszek, Congress Under Fire, page 41. (About two weeks before Foley announced his support, the House ordered the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, the ethics committee, to release the names of all who had bounced checks at the House bank.)

[xiii] Interview by Timothy Lang with Mr. Donald Wolfensberger, December 6, 2018.

[xiv] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Bob Walker on November 13, 2018.

[xv] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Lee Hamilton on November 6, 2018.

[xvi] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable David Boren, November 8, 2018.

[xvii] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable David Boren, November 8, 2018.

[xviii] Interview by Timothy Lang with  Mr. Philip Grone, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 30, 2018.

[xix] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable David Boren, November 8, 2018.

[xx] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with Prof. C. Lawrence Evans, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 12, 2018.

[xxi] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Lee Hamilton on November 6, 2018.

[xxii] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable David Boren, November 8, 2018.

[xxiii] And perhaps on a cynical note: Bipartisanship on a reform committee could perhaps be another way for the leadership to block its efforts. The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform in the 115th Congress and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction in the 112th Congress were both bipartisan committees created within the last decade. Both failed to advance reforms.

[xxiv] H. Con. Res. 192, 102nd Congress, 2nd session, §3.

[xxv] Judy Schneider, Christopher M. Davis, Betsy Palmer, Reorganization of the House of Representatives: Modern Reform Efforts, Washington DC: Congressional Research Service, 2003. Page 46-47.

[xxvi] Phone interview with Prof. C. Lawrence Evans, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 12, 2018.

[xxvii] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Lee Hamilton on November 6, 2018.

[xxviii] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable David Boren, November 8, 2018.

[xxix] Interview by Timothy Lang with Mr. Philip Grone, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 30, 2018.

[xxx] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable David Boren, November 8, 2018.

[xxxi] Interview by Timothy Lang with Dr. John Deeken, MD, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 28, 2018.

[xxxii] Interview by Timothy Lang with Mr. Philip Grone, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 30, 2018.

[xxxiii] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with Prof. C. Lawrence Evans, former staff member for the Joint Committee, November 12, 2018.

[xxxiv] H. Con. Res. 192, 102nd Congress, 2nd session, §2.

[xxxv] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Lee Hamilton on November 6, 2018.

[xxxvi] Interview by Timothy Lang with Mr. Philip Grone, November 30, 2018.

[xxxvii] Judy Schneider, Christopher M. Davis, Betsy Palmer, Reorganization of the House of Representatives: Modern Reform Efforts, Washington DC: Congressional Research Service, 2003. Page 47.

[xxxviii] Phone interview by Timothy Lang with the Honorable Lee Hamilton on November 6, 2018.

[xxxix] Interview by Timothy Lang with Dr. Walter Oleszek, Ph.D., former staff member for the Joint Committee, on November 30, 2018.

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