Washington Can Gridlock from the Comfort of Home if “Virtual Congress” is Approved

Thursday, March 28, 2013
(AP Photo)

In an age of telecommuting, at least one lawmaker thinks Congress should be able to virtually legislate the government’s business.


Representative Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico) has introduced a plan to establish a “virtual Congress” that would permit House and Senate members to stay in their districts or states, and utilize teleconferencing and video conferencing to meet in session.


Pearce says his proposal would mean more time for lawmakers to meet with their constituents, and it would save money on travel costs to and from Washington, DC. He also pointed out the idea’s counter-terrorism benefit: any attempted terrorist attack on Congress would be rendered futile, given that its membership would be scattered across the country rather than in one location like a sitting duck.


Pearce first introduced the idea of a virtual Congress in 2010, but it didn’t gain much support among his colleagues.


Under his 2010 proposal, the House would still meet in person at certain times, in order to avoid any conflicts with constitutional requirements. These would include debate and votes on key legislation and budget matters, as well as attending special events like the State of the Union address.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Should Congress Really be Allowed to Work at Home Full Time? (by Scott Bomboy, National Constitution Center)

GOP Lawmaker Seeks 'Virtual Congress' with Telecommuting Plan (by Jennifer Martinez, The Hill)

Congress Less Popular than Cockroaches, Root Canals and Used Car Salesmen (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)    

As Winter Begins, Congress Cuts Home Heating Aid for Poor (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)    

Members of Congress Increased Personal Wealth 25% in Two Years (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)   


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