I, too, missed this when first posted — thank you for sending me the link, David. Benefits of a “teleworking Congress” are clear — as are some of the implementation challenges. I was not aware of the Swalwell bill–it hasn’t been deemed newsworthy, apparently!
I believe we keep electing the delegates because they come across as normal when they’re in their home districts…it’s when they get caught up in the Capitol Hill environment that they seem to lose their compass and lose touch with the majority of their constituents. So, take them out of that environment. Maybe they’ll remain the people we elected, or perhaps we’ll learn that the person we elected isn’t real and elect someone else next time.
I cannot agree with Peter more, that moving the staffers out of Washington would have more impact on the culture of Congress than moving the members themselves. I had my eyes opened when a friend became a staffer, but I don’t know how widely it’s known that the staffers probably have more influence on how our Congressional members vote than does the Congressional member’s own thinking or values that got them elected. The staff do the research, are often the target of the lobbyists’ attention, and recommend which way their member should vote. Who the Senator or Representative is can change in any election, but the staff largely remain, educating the new official to “how things work,” who they need to listen to the most, etc. As the permanent “residents,” they are the keepers and conveyors of the culture.
I agree with everything you, Terry, Henry, Peter, and Phuong have said, and I cannot tell you how excited and heartened I am that this conversation is taking place! It may be a small start, but so is an acorn compared to a giant oak tree!