Zero-Based Rule Making

There are just six short paragraphs in the Constitution about how the House and the Senate should work, but the House and the Senate rulebooks are multiple hundreds of pages each—and that doesn’t include all the unwritten norms and practices. We propose replacing the bloated and outdated rules, practices, and norms of lawmaking with a model, modern approach designed from the ground up to foster cross-partisan problem-solving.

Our prescription for changing Congress: Zero-Based Rule Making

Modeled on zero-based budgeting which starts from zero at the beginning of every budget period, analyzing the needs and costs of every function within an organization, and allocating funds accordingly—regardless of how much money has previously been budgeted to any given line item.  This method is used by organizations across the private and public sectors, all expenses must be justified and approved according to anticipated value, not history. Similarly, zero-based design for legislative rule-making will eliminate constraints on thinking and opens new possibilities for problem solving.

We propose the establishment of a Legislative Machinery Innovation Commission, an independent and nonpartisan effort to design a modern, model legislature built to produce real results by adopting the best practices for state- of- the- state negotiation, communication, and problem solving. When the commission’s work is complete, they will deliver their body of work to the two chambers of Congress for consideration.

After transforming US Congressional elections with Final-Five Voting, our collective voice as citizens will ring louder. Instead of being prisoners to ideology, our representatives will be more accountable and responsive to our demands.

But before we pursue zero-based rule making, we need a critical mass of legislators elected through a healthy system. To that end, we are laser-focused on pursuing Final-Five Voting.

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