Swalwell, Pearce Introduce Resolution to Bring Congress into 21st Century

Jul 2, 2013 Issues: Congressional Issues

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives Eric Swalwell (CA-15) and Steve Pearce (NM-2) introduced a resolution to allow members of Congress more time connecting with the American people and less time being influenced by lobbyists in Washington, DC. H. Res. 287, the Members Operating to Be Innovative and Link Everyone (MOBILE) Resolution, would enable Members to participate in committee hearings and vote on non-controversial suspension bills remotely. 

“Imagine the opportunity to discuss key legislation with your representative even minutes before he votes on it, or watch committee debate conducted in a town-hall setting from your hometown,” said Pearce.  “Modern technology could make this kind of accountability a reality—allowing members of Congress to debate, vote, and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the personal contact of their congressional districts.  Keeping legislators closer to the people we represent would pull back Washington's curtain and allow constituents to see and feel, first-hand, their government at work.  Elected officials should be in their districts, where they are easily accessible to constituents.  Congress’ top priority should be constituents in our home states and districts, not the lobbyists and bureaucrats in Washington.”

“Companies and families across the country are using technology to communicate remotely and conduct business. There is no reason that the legislative branch of the world's oldest constitutional democracy cannot do the same.  I’m pleased to introduce the MOBILE Resolution with Rep. Steve Pearce to bring technological innovations to Congress,” said Swalwell. “Our bill will allow Members of Congress to work more efficiently and stay better connected to our constituents.  Northern Silicon Valley, where I represent, is leading a technological revolution and Congress shouldn’t be left behind. I pledged during the campaign that I would bring Congress into the 21st century and this is a first upgrade.”

The MOBILE Resolution would require that Members and invited witnesses be allowed to participate in committee hearings remotely, and this participation would count toward rules on quorum.  It also would mandate the development of a secure remote voting system which Members could use to vote remotely on suspension bills, generally non-controversial bills that require a two-thirds vote to pass.