Congressman Tim Ryan Outlines Proposed Reforms to the House Democratic Caucus

Nov 19, 2016

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today released his proposed reforms for the House Democratic Caucus. The Democratic Party cannot move forward and win back our majority unless we decentralize the power of our Party Leadership and bring it back to all Members. Each and every Member brings to Congress ideas for how we can shape our Party and our country for the 21st Century, and it is time our Leadership recognized that every member of our Caucus must play a role.

Ryan will work immediately to enact these reforms if elected to serve as Democratic Leader.

DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS REFORMS FOR INCREASING THE NUMBER OF VOICES IN CAUCUS AND COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP

  1. If elected as Democratic Leader, I will split the duties of the Steering and Policy Committee between a Democratic Steering Committee and a new Democratic Committee on Policy Innovation. With a significant number of seats reserved for young members, members in competitive districts and reflecting the diversity of our Caucus, the Democratic Committee on Policy Innovation will become our Caucus’ “Idea Factory”—ensuring the Democratic Party is always seen by the American people as the Party of Ideas. This Committee’s work will help translate our policies into electoral success.  
  2. As Democratic Leader I will immediately create, beginning in the 115th Congress, an elected-leadership position reserved only for Members with three terms or less. This person will also have a seat on the Democratic Steering Committee.
  3. I will work with our Committee Ranking Members to create the role of Vice-Chairs/Vice-Ranking Members of Committees. The Vice-Chair position will be an opportunity for additional Members to take part in decision-making, have their voices heard, assume additional responsibility, and increase their national profile. The Vice-Chairs will also have representation on the Democratic Steering Committee or the Democratic Committee on Policy Innovation.
  4. The Democratic Policy and Communications Committee—currently Chaired by retiring Representative Steve Israel—should be renamed the Democratic Committee on Message Strategy, headed by two Co-Chairs, and focused on ensuring that our best messengers in Congress are given the resources they need to advance the Caucus’ message nationally. Members of the Democratic Committee on Message Strategy will be tasked as Issue Ambassadors working hand-in-hand with the newly created Democratic Committee on Policy Innovation and the Democratic Leader’s office to find new and innovative ways to communicate with the American people.