skip to main content

H.Res. 756: Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization Resolution


We don’t have a summary available yet.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 10, 2020.


Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization Resolution

This resolution implements recommendations made by the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

TITLE I--STREAMLINING AND REORGANIZING HUMAN RESOURCES

(Sec. 101) The House Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) must establish and operate a centralized human resources program to assist Member, committee, and leadership office staff.

(Sec. 102) The House Office of Diversity and Inclusion shall submit to the Committee on House Administration (1) an operational plan for appointing and establishing duties for staff of the office that sets forth a proposed maximum number of staff; and (2) a diversity plan for the committee's review and approval that includes, among other things, policies to direct and guide House employing offices to recruit, hire, train, develop, advance, promote, and retain a diverse workforce consistent with House rules, regulations, and law.

(Sec. 103) The CAO must (1) report to the committee on the feasibility of updating the employee payroll system in order to address considerations of younger and lower-paid employees and issues experienced generally by some employees regarding the current monthly pay schedule, and (2) enter into a contract with an outside entity under which the entity shall work with the CAO to prepare and submit a report examining the feasibility of adjusting the statutory limitation established in 1975 on the number of employees that may be employed in the office of a Member.

(Sec. 105) The committee shall design and implement a comprehensive and uniform (1) orientation process for new employees and interns of the House to complete within a designated period of time after appointment, and (2) separation process for House employees and interns to complete within a designated period of time before termination. Such processes shall apply only to employees and interns who have access to the House Network.

TITLE II--IMPROVING ORIENTATION FOR MEMBERS-ELECT AND PROVIDING IMPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR MEMBERS

(Sec. 201) The CAO must report a detailed plan to the committee for establishing a program under which the CAO shall appoint an individual recommended by a Member-elect (other than a Member elected to fill a vacancy) for a limited period of time to assist such Member-elect with responsibilities to prepare the Member-elect's congressional office for operation.

(Sec.202) The committee shall modify orientation services for new Members, including in-person courses and sessions. Furthermore, the committee must (1) ensure that such services are made available to all new Members, including Members elected in a special election during a Congress; and (2) examine the feasibility of providing a "just in time" approach to orientation sessions in which information is provided when it will be most useful to the Member.

(Sec. 203) The CAO shall (1) survey Members to determine their level of interest in establishing a Congressional Leadership Academy, including a pilot program, to provide certain online and in-person continuing education opportunities; and (2) implement a cybersecurity training program to provide annual training to each individual who has access to the House Network (including each Member, officer, employee, intern, and vendor of the House). This resolution sets a 30-day deadline by which an individual must complete the training after obtaining access.

TITLE III--MODERNIZING AND REVITALIZING TECHNOLOGY

(Sec. 301) The CAO must report to the committee on specified operations of the Office of House Information Resources (HIR). The committee may direct the CAO to enter into a contract with an outside entity to provide (1) the committee with an independent review of HIR's operations, and (2) independent recommendations to the committee regarding strategies and steps for revising such operations.

(Sec. 302) The committee may issue regulations or take other necessary steps to ensure that Member offices have the necessary technology and software to improve their efficiency and operation and to improve constituent engagement.

(Sec. 303) The HIR shall report to the committee

a description of the steps necessary to create a streamlined process for HIR approval of outside technology vendors, including a discussion of unique considerations relating to specified issues regarding such process; its intention to establish a program to enable early adoption by Members, committees, and leadership offices of new technology or applications developed by outside vendors before final approval by the House; and steps necessary to create an internal customer satisfaction portal on HouseNet that allows Members and employees to rate and review outside vendors and HIR services, annually survey district-level staff and district-specific technology concerns, and survey Members and employees on what technologies they would like to use. (Sec. 306) The CAO must report to the committee (1) on steps necessary to provide a specified standard suite of information technology for the use of offices of Members of the House; and (2) an analysis of alternative methods for funding the purchase of such suite, including by increasing the Members' Representational Allowance or creating additional accounts.

(Sec. 307) The committee (1) shall work closely with the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to ensure that CRS has the capability to rapidly provide short nonpartisan fact sheets to be disseminated by Members' offices, and (2) may issue regulations to establish a nonpartisan constituent engagement and services page on HouseNet to better disseminate best practices and ideas for ways to optimize and improve constituent engagement and service.

TITLE IV--MAKING THE HOUSE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL

(Sec. 401) The CAO shall submit to the committee a detailed plan to ensure that all House websites and applications are accessible.

(Sec. 402) The CAO and the Clerk of the House shall report to the committee a detailed plan to (1) ensure that all House proceedings that are broadcast on television or streamed on the Internet provide closed caption services; and (2) provide a free captioning service for all web videos created by Member, committee, and leadership offices, including the CAO and Clerk's office.

(Sec. 403) The Architect of the Capitol, the Sergeant at Arms of the House, and the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights shall identify jointly to the committee areas of the Capitol buildings and the U.S. Capitol grounds that are not currently accessible and the estimated costs of making such areas accessible.

The CAO must report to the committee on the accessibility of the practices and programming used by offices of the legislative branch to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities.

TITLE V--IMPROVING ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS

(Sec. 501) The Clerk shall report to the committee on

the overall status of implementing a certain standardized format for drafting, viewing, and publishing legislation; the establishment on the Clerk's public website of an up-to-date database of the expiration dates of all federal programs, including their primary committee of subject matter jurisdiction, and a separate database of certain recorded votes taken in committees beginning in the 116th Congress; and the status of assigning unique identifier numbers to persons required to file lobbying statements or reports with the Clerk. (Sec. 506) The committee must make reports required under this resolution publicly available on its official website or in some other manner.