‘Right Now, You Yell and Scream and You Get Rewarded’

For this week’s Uphill, The Dispatch has a double-header Q&A with Reps. Derek Kilmer, a Washington Democrat, and William Timmons, a South Carolina Republican. They are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, formed in 2019 to figure out how to make an increasingly gridlocked institution more effective, collaborative, and transparent. 

Last year the committee saw about one-third of its recommendations fully or partially implemented and made progress on another third. And this week the committee released another slate of recommendations that focus on everything from encouraging members to pay for their staffs’ continued professional development to calling for bipartisan orientations for new members.

But thornier questions face the committee as well: Can anything be done about the increasing distrust between parties, mounting threats of political violence, and gridlock on important issues? We tackled those questions in our conversation.

The following transcript has been edited for clarity and concision.

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