In The News
House Transportation Committee Is Reinventing Itself: Going Digital to Get Things Done
Innovation Works: How an Earmark-Dependent House Committee Is Reinventing Itself
Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., took the helm of the committee earlier this year with a deeply divided Congress and serious budgetary constrictions that limited his ability to legislate. Shuster has been hampered even more by the House Republicans' ban on earmarks, the special projects that had allowed transportation chiefs to win votes for complex bills like a highway-funding mechanism or authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration.
No matter. Shuster is looking for new methods of conducting business, and his team has decided to go digital in ways that have never before been tried in a congressional office. The Web strategies the staff is implementing—Twitter campaigns, Facebook updates, a new website, videos, and graphics—aren't even close to Silicon Valley's idea of cutting edge. But the tactics are very new to the congressional world, which any shoe-leather lobbyist will tell you still operates on phone calls and face-to-face meetings.