Commending House Allowance For Digital Filing During COVID-19 Pandemic

United States House of Representatives

The Lincoln Network alongside a bipartisan coalition of 20 organizations sent the Speaker of the House a letter commending the allowance for legislators to submit remarks digitally amidst COVID-19.

Dear: Speaker Pelosi,

We are writing to commend the announcement and swift action taken by the Committee on House Administration, the Rules Committee, the House Parliamentarian, and the Office of the Clerk, upon a directive from the Speaker, to ensure that members of the House of Representatives can introduce bills, add cosponsors, and extend remarks digitally during the COVID-19 emergency.

This decision —and the laudable staff work that made the temporary policy possible—begin to address the unique challenges that Congress faces due to the pandemic, with members unable to safely travel or conduct business in person. By opening this new digital channel until April 19, with an opportunity to renew, the directive balances the need to ensure continuity of operations in an emergency with respect for institutional traditions and norms that should not be altered lightly. The move admirably reflects an approach found in the world of startups: to release a “minimum viable product” and then learn and improve upon the solution. The agility to identify and quickly implement this solution is a credit to the 116th Congress and in keeping with the spirit with which it began — with the naming of a Select Committee on Modernization. The coronavirus pandemic is demanding flexibility and sacrifice from Americans of all ages, as schoolchildren move to online classes and even our sacred rites of passage—the celebrations and the goodbyes—must occur virtually. In this same vein, we urge continued innovation and perseverance through technical, parliamentary, or procedural challenges to ensure the first branch of government continues to function throughout this emergency even if members cannot convene in person.

Sincerely,

College to Congress

Demand Progress

Democracy Fund Voice

Issue One

Lincoln Network

NALEO Education Fund

R Street Institute

Beth Simone Noveck, Professor, New York University and Director, The Governance Lab

Brandie Nonnecke, Director, CITRIS Policy Lab, UC Berkeley

Camille Crittenden, Executive Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, University of California; Chair, California Blockchain Working Group

Christopher Koopman, Executive Director, Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University

Claire Abernathy, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Stockton University

Kevin M. Esterling, Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Riverside

John F. Leary, Managing Partner, DotGov.com

Jon Peha, Professor of ElectricalEngineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Lorelei Kelly, Director ofCongressional Modernization, Beeck Center for Social Impact +Innovation, Georgetown University

Marci Harris, Co-founder and CEO, POPVOX

Robert Cook-Deegan, MD,Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University

Robert Seamans, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, New York University, Stern School of Business

Sarah Miller, Executive Director,American Economic Liberties Project

Will Rinehart, Senior ResearchFellow, Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University

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