Time for Congress to start telecommuting?
posted at 8:41 pm on March 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wants to create a “virtual Congress,” where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington from their home districts.
Under a resolution Pearce introduced on Thursday, lawmakers would be able to hold hearings, debate and vote on legislation virtually from their district offices. …
“Thanks to modern technology, members of Congress can debate, vote, and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the accountability and 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,” Pearce told The Hill in a statement.
Obviously, there’s plenty of work that Congress needs to do in person in DC, but if adopting some of the same remote-work methods used throughout the private sector mean that Congresspeople can cut out maybe a couple of the back-and-forth trips they make between DC and their districts every year, and then you spread that over the 500+ members of Congress and their aides… that’s a lot of time and cash for the saving, once a telecommuting framework (electronic voting, video conferences, etc?) was up and running.
Plus, it would give Congresspeople a great opportunity to practice what they preach, both in terms of budget savings and being “green” by shaving off some of that carbon-emitting travel they’re constantly doing, as well as affording them more time to spend in their home districts. Major companies can make it work, so why couldn’t Congress in some capacity?
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