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was brought home to me last week and I would like to share it with you. I received a letter from a concerned mother in my district whose son had written a poem about Congress as a part of a school assignment. This young man is a 16-year-old Eagle Scout, a top student in his school, a man who she says in her letter, a young man who is patriotic and not a cynical young man. Yet the last phrase of his poem reads: "Life to them is a game of cards. They throw away what they can't use, the pride of the American people. They keep the rest for their full House, the king of money, the joker of power."

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Right or wrong, and I think in many ways right, that is the feeling that many American people have about the way our Congress now operates, that the pride of the American people in this institution can no longer be justified.

Many of the more experienced colleagues I have met here in Washington have told me that there have been countless committees that have been created to study Congress and to see if there are ways to fix it. I have heard some disillusionment about whether this committee will make a difference. And the first thing that I would like to say to you is that you must make a difference.

I believe that the mood of the American public is there, I believe that the mood is there in Congress if we can get some momentum, and I believe that this committee has a stellar opportunity to create the momentum for change if it will stand up and boldly say what needs to be done and make those recommendations that need to be made so that Congress can have a blueprint from which to operate.

I just want to go through very quickly a series of things that I would hope you would consider. Some of them I know have been said often; perhaps some of them are new.

Obviously, a balanced budgeted amendment is needed, a lineitem veto; and I am sure that you have heard of those. I think that all mandatory spending programs should be placed on equal footing with annually appropriated discretionary programs. We need to have periodic reauthorization for all mandatory programs.

The people in my district were alarmed this year to find out that 60 to 70 percent of our budget is on automatic pilot. That is not how to run a government. We need roll call votes on all taxing and spending measures. There needs to be accountability in this Congress. We need to eliminate the process of non-germane amendments in either House, whether it is through rule or through suspension of rules, to make sure that legislation is specific to one topic.

Congress must be required to adhere to the same laws that it applies to the rest of the country.

We need to reduce the number of committees, and I know from what I have seen of the hearings so far-you have heard a lot about that, and I add my voice to those who say that we must reduce the number of committees and the number of committee staff.

But while we are doing that, we also need to inject fairness into the system. The ratios on committees need to reflect the ratios of the party representation in Congress. And the ratios of staff on the committees need to represent that same fair ratio. The American

people need to know that when they have a balance in Congress, that balance is honored on committees and honored on committee staff, and the allocation of the resources of Congress.

We also need to ban all proxy voting.

There is one final thing that I would like to address. We need to stop the use, in the House at least, of the operation of restrictive rules. I have served in the Idaho State legislature for 8 years before coming here, and never can I recall did we change the rules.

Now, I realize that a large body such as the House of Representatives, with 435 Members, needs to have some ways to create efficiency. But in looking back over the record, I have found that since 1977 and 1978, restrictive rules were used only 15 percent of the time. The rest of the time there was full, open debate and resolution-issues were resolved. And as I understand it from those who were here in those days, you were able to work out through the amending process, from both sides of the aisle, solutions to bills and develop consensus on many occasions. Now, as was said by the previous speaker, we come in with the decisions made and the debate limited. Today, or in the last Congress, 66 percent of the rules were restrictive rules. We have gone from 15 percent to 66 percent, and I might add that since being here as a freshman Member of Congress, I have yet to have the opportunity to operate under rules in the House. We need to have less operation by restrictive rules that prohibit the opportunity to amend and address and develop consensus. Again, I thank you for your opportunity to present these materials to you and I would be glad to answer any questions if there are any.

Mr. DREIER. Thank you very much, Mr. Crapo.

[The statement of Mr. Crapo is printed in the Appendix.] Mr. DREIER. Mr. McHale.


Mr. MCHALE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for inviting me to speak before this distinguished Joint Committee. My comments in the next few minutes will draw extensively on my 30 days' experience in the U.S. House of Representatives and should be weighted accordingly.

Let me begin with a quote from David Broder: "A pattern of selfinterest prevailing over collective responsibility is what is wrong with Congress. It is the end product of a political system that in almost every way is exalted, individual self-aggrandizement over party and institutional responsibility," end of quote.

We should act promptly to enact the mandate voiced by the people last November. Many of the new Members of Congress were elected specifically because our constituents demanded reform. That was certainly a message that I heard loudly and clearly throughout the course of my I-year campaign, the office that I am now privileged to hold. The comprehensive agenda now under thoughtful consideration by this committee provides a once-in-ageneration opportunity to carefully restructure the Congress.

I have heard skepticism with regard to your mission. I have heard other Members talk about previous committees that attempt

ed to accomplish the purpose which I hope you achieve. Very few matters that we as an institution consider during the course of this session will rival the ultimate importance of our job. Whatever we achieve in terms of substance must be as a result of an equitable process, and unless the American people democratically have faith in that process, no matter how wise, we will not be able to justify the substance that emanates from that process.

Toward the accomplishment of that goal, I would like to express the following thoughts: First, a genuine sense of democratic responsibility shared by those who govern as well as the governed, requires Congress to live under the same laws and statutes which were enacted to guide the behavior of all other American citizens. I have been watching this proceeding on C-SPAN and I know that you have heard that message dozens of times today. I would simply echo the comments that have been previously voiced to you. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 349, the Congressional Responsibility Act, sponsored by two of the most distinguished bipartisan Members of the Congress, Dick Swett and Congressman Shays from Connecticut. This legislation will make Congress accountable under the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, going back to the 1930s, and the Freedom of Information Act, to name but a few.

Second, a serious reform should also entail a comprehensive review of current standing committees, subcommittees and their staffs, again, a message I know that you have heard repeatedly throughout the course of the day. At a time when we are hastilyand I would insert parenthetically, I believe "unwisely," eliminating the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families-many standing committees are continuing to operate with excessive staffs and unnecessary subcommittees.

I think really the select committees have become a target of opportunity because of our failure to routinely and periodically reexamine the continuing utility of the standing committees and subcommittees. I happen to think that if our entire structure were subject to the same scrutiny during this past week that the select committees have experienced, that frankly the select committees would not be at the top of anyone's list in terms of diminishing the size of Congress.

You are talking to a-listening to a Democrat who plans to vote for the Balanced Budget Amendment. I will vote for the line-item veto. There are numerous standing subcommittees and several standing committees where I think consolidation would make sense, and I urge you-I listened this morning as Mr. Dreier posed a number of questions to our colleague, David Price, on this very issue. I would hope that you would look at that aspect of reform as part of your continuing mission.

Many opportunities and services available to Members of Congress and their staffs have been abused. Foreign travel must come under much greater review and scrutiny. But for some Members, it is simply too easy to travel to foreign countries at taxpayers' expense. In addition, services provided to Members of Congress

should not be made available at a reduced rate, but rather at fair market value.

Finally, I wish to lend my enthusiastic support to President Clinton's proposed ban on lobbying by former Members for a period of 5 years. Today's corporate constituent should not be tomorrow's employer.

I am deeply honored, and I guess this is somewhat in contrast to a number of the comments that you have heard today—and I want to stress the words that I am about to voice-I am deeply honored to serve as a Member in the most distinguished legislative body yet conceived and shaped by the enduring democratic values of western civilization. The Congress is a great institution, reflecting the best of constitutional democracy, but possessing the capacity for even greater achievement.

An article in today's issue of Roll Call indicates that fully 59 percent of the American people disapprove of our collective performance in office. The reforms which I have previously described would go a long way toward addressing those concerns.

I was proud the day that I entered Congress. I hope to have an even greater pride in the institution and its capacity for effective democratic government when the time comes for me to leave. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

[The statement of Mr. McHale is printed in the Appendix.]

Mr. DREIER. Thank you very much, Mr. McHale. It was very enlightening testimony and we appreciate it very much.

I would like to ask both of you two questions. First we have a new Republican and a new Democrat sitting here, and we are going to be faced with the challenge of trying to consider the reduction in the number of committees in the Congress, and I don't know the committees that you all serve on, but I would like to ask if either or both of you would be willing to give up some of the committees or subcommittees on which you serve if we are to make those kinds of cuts.

Mr. CRAPO. Let me go first.

I serve on only one committee. It is the Energy and Commerce Committee, so I would like to have at least one.

Mr. DREIER. There are some Members, Mike, who would like to have you give up the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Mr. CRAPO. I understand that very much, Mr. Chairman, but I think I would say that I serve on two subcommittees. If it is necessary to serve on only one, I would do it. And I think that in addressing these issues, we have to put our partisanship aside and we have to put our personal interest aside, because although there has been much said about Congress and the disrepute into which it has fallen, I think the comments that we have just heard about the kind of institution Congress is, and I think should be in the minds of the American people, are true. If we will put aside those personal interests, I would be glad to sacrifice committees, subcommittees, staff, whatever is necessary on the committee level to make sure that we address these issues.

Mr. DREIER. Paul.

Mr. MCHALE. The answer to your question is yes, I would. belong to two committees, the Armed Services Committee, Science, Space And Technology and at the present time four subcommittees.

My view is that membership on a committee or a subcommittee should be more than a line on the letterhead. In reality-I can give you a perfect example.

Yesterday I was participating in a subcommittee hearing of Science, Space and Technology. I had at least two or three other meetings simultaneously scheduled. It turned out that the testimony before that subcommittee hearing became directly relevant to an economic enterprise in my congressional district. I could not and should not have left that subcommittee meeting, and so I didn't.

As a result of that, I missed at least two or three other meetings where literally I wish I could have attended but it was physically impossible to do so. In my opinion, we would be better served as a deliberative legislative body if we were limited to one major committee, two at the most, and perhaps one subcommittee under each major committee, and I for one, despite the fact that I would hate to give up the subject matter jurisdiction in order to accommodate the reality of conflicting schedules, would be willing to cut back on my committee participation so that I could more effectively serve on a limited number of committees.

Chairman HAMILTON. Gentlemen, I want to join Mr. Dreier in thanking you for your testimony. One of the things that has impressed me today, we have quite a string of newer members, is how much you folks have learned in a very short time, and you have got a lot of insights into the institution and as I have indicated to others, a perspective which we very much need on this Joint Committee on Organization, so I thank you for your testimony and I hope that your appearance here will not cease your interest in our work, that you will stay in touch with us as the weeks go by here and as we begin to shape recommendations. I think you can contribute importantly to that.

Mr. CRAPO. Thank you. Could I just make one other comment? Chairman HAMILTON. Surely.

Mr. CRAPO. Could I just ask that I don't know if it has happened before, but you have sitting before you now a freshman Republican and a freshman Democrat, and I would hope that that would stand as a symbol to this committee to leave the partisanship aside and do what this committee needs to do for the country. Mr. MCHALE. I think that is the united voice of the entire freshmen class.

Chairman HAMILTON. We thank you.

Mr. DREIER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let me just say, gentlemen, that I think some other people might have some questions here. I was going to follow up with my second question for Paul, and I wanted to say that as you work in an united way to try and deal with these issues, I hope that you will be able to go to your respective classes, freshmen and I mean Republican and Democrat, and we have an idea now of what is going to come from this committee.

There have been a litany of items that have been mentioned and not all of them will be there, but we do have an idea of what we will do, but what chance do you think there is that we will be able to get a very large number of the 63 Democrats and the 47 Republicans to join with us in the final vote on this?

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