House approves additional portion of Dem rules package

The House on Friday passed a set of rules to establish a select committee that will provide recommendations for modernizing Congress.

Lawmakers approved the measure, the second portion of a broader rules package, in a 418-12 vote.


The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, which will hold periodic hearings, will provide status reports to the House Administration Committee and House Rules Committee. The new panel will release reports on investigations on a rolling basis and provide a final report at the end of the first session.

The panel's recommendations on issues such as staff compensation and tech innovation will require a two-thirds vote threshold for implementation.

Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) is slated to appoint the 12 committee members in the coming days. The makeup of the panel will require at least two first-term lawmakers, two from the Rules Committee and two Administration Committee.

Six of the dozen members will be appointed by the minority leader, with one member from each of the three aforementioned categories.

Rep. Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerBipartisan group of senators seeks to increase transparency of online political ads Pro-business Dem group sees boost in fundraising House leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America MORE (D-Wash.) said he hopes the committee will help reestablish Americans’ trust in Congress.

“Every time the American people feel like they don't have a say and nothing gets done or every time a bill is written behind closed doors and passed without debate, the American people lose their faith in the ideal that formed this body, the idea they have the ability to shape the outcome of what happens here," he said. "It is time to rebuild this institution so it lives up to the motto that serves as this nation's motto that hangs in this room, 'Out of many, one.'"

The rules received support from both sides of the aisle.

“Unlike the first two times, I find myself in agreement with what the Democrats are proposing today,” Rules Committee ranking member Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeConservatives ask White House to abandon Amazon talks over Pentagon contract This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination Trump tweets — and Dems pull two bills from floor MORE (R-Okla.) said on the House floor ahead of the vote. "While I think improvements could be made to what my friends are proposing, I'm pleased to say I think that this proposal is an excellent idea.”

The House on Thursday passed a portion of the rules package that aims to promote diversity and help fight the deficit. They are expected to vote on the third and final portion, which would allow the Speaker to intervene in ObamaCare court cases, early next week.