The House of Representatives has the capacity to be one of the greatest institutions for the promotion of the public good in human history. Over recent decades, through a combination of design, happenstance, and malign neglect, its members gave their power away to others: to the executive branch, to the Senate, to outside interest groups, to a handful of internal power brokers. This created an unlevel playing field where most representatives have surprisingly little ability to engage in policymaking.
Congress as an institution has been weakened accordingly. The narrowing of perspectives, evisceration of oversight, and limiting of lawmaking continues to drive the vicious cycle of congressional subordination. Governing is a muscle that must be exercised, lest it atrophy.
The following recommendations to reform the rules of the House of Representatives will do much to restore the capacity, incentives, and capability of representatives to fulfill their roles as legislators. They are the result of dozens of conversations with congressional experts, congressional staff, and members of Congress over the last year.