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Congressional Institute Praises Introduction of Resolution to Create Joint Committee to Reform Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 29, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica R. Towhey | 202-294-0494 | Jessica@2ecommunications.com

Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress Will Help Usher in Much-Needed Reform, Make Congress Effective & Accountable

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Congressional Institute hailed the introduction of a resolution to form a bipartisan Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress that will propose revisions to rules, procedures and structures of Congress to make it work better and be more accountable to the American public.

“The American public is losing faith in Congress,” said Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute. “While there is some work getting done, legislative accomplishments that move our country forward are becoming few and far between. Continuing resolutions and last-minute negotiations to prevent government shutdowns have become business-as-usual. It has become all but impossible to pass individual spending bills, and too many federal programs and even agencies remain unauthorized. Congressional oversight is viewed more as partisan witch hunts instead of an important function of what Congress is supposed to do.

“Previous Joint Committees have ushered through significant reforms that have put Congress back on track and modernized it. It’s time for this to happen again. I commend Reps. Darin LaHood and Dan Lipinski for their efforts to create a Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress.”

Research commissioned by the Institute shows record-high disapproval ratings of Congress, including, for the first time, more Americans disapproving of their own Representative in Congress. Focus groups and national polling found that an overwhelming number of people (67 percent) believe the country is heading in the wrong direction – a negative outlook that has been sustained for some time now. Less than 1 in 5 voters believe their voice is being heard.

The Congressional Institute’s mission is to help Members of Congress better serve their constituents and to help the American public better understand the operations of Congress. A Joint Committee can recommend the reforms necessary to make Congress effective again and provide the transparency and accountability the public deserves from their federal representatives.

The Institute has developed a list of ideas and concepts for reforming, among other things, the budget process, authorizations and appropriations, regular order, and the rules in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. Go here for more information and to see the reform ideas. Go here to read a letter the Congressional Institute delivered to Capitol Hill asking Members of Congress to support the formation of a Joint Committee.

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Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to helping Members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature. The Institute sponsors major conferences for the benefit of Members of the U.S. Congress as well as a number of smaller gatherings, all devoted to an examination of important policy issues and strategic planning. The Institute also conducts important research projects consistent with its mission, develops resources such as a House Floor Procedures Manual and sponsors Oxford-style bipartisan Congressional debates.

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