Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | December 1, 2022

Dear Friends:

The House and Senate have returned for the lame duck session, and the Hill is a whirlwind of activity, from leadership elections and  committee jockeying, to clearing the legislative decks and trying to fund government beyond December 16. GAI Fellow Katina Slavkova has a piece in this month’s newsletter with much more detail on what we can expect over the next few weeks, and why.

The end of the 117th Congress will also see the dissolution of two House select committees, both of which have left a substantial mark. The January 6 Committee obviously received vast amounts of public and media attention, and its final report is expected by the end of the year. In addition to its deep and wide-ranging investigative work, the Committee broke new ground for how congressional committees can operate in terms of procedure, presentation and public engagement. Despite the panel’s admittedly unique nature, I hope some of these innovations may inspire future committees.

I also want to highlight the House Select Committee on Modernization (or ModCom to us Congress nerds), which received far less notice but made tremendous contributions that deserve recognition. The ModCom adopted over 200 recommendations on everything from improving staff pay and diversity to enhancing technology, accessibility and transparency. Nearly half the committee’s recommendations have been at least partially adopted, ushering in meaningful physical and operational changes that will not only make the House a better place to work and visit, but will help the chamber better serve the public.

There is so much to keep track of as we move towards the 118th Congress, and we can help. I encourage you to sign up for one of our upcoming New Congress classes, or let me know If we can tailor one for your organization. With that, I wish you a joyful holiday season, and we will see you next year.



Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates