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Members of U.S. House Help Strengthen Legislative Skills of Colleagues around the World

July 10, 2014

Supporting the development of effective, independent and responsive legislative institutions, the House Democracy Partnership (HDP) hosted members of parliament from Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Peru and Timor-Leste for a week-long seminar focused on topics including  committee operations, legislative research and legislative oversight. 

With support from the International Republican Institute, the HDP, which is chaired by Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) and co-chaired by Representative David Price (D-NC), offered the 20-member delegation an opportunity to learn from and engage with members of Congress and congressional staff, technical experts from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), House Legislative Counsel and other legislative experts.  The delegation was also able to observe a public committee hearing. 

Of particular interest to the delegates was the session with the CRS following which many of the parliamentarians discussed the importance of creating a legislative research entity in their own countries.  Liberian Congressman Edward B. Dagoseh remarked upon the need for a resource that “provides independent, in-depth research, analysis and communication to law makers in the discharge of the duties.”  Further, Liberian Congresswoman Mariamu Fofana added, “I will recommend to my Parliament to put aside money for the creation of CRS and legal counsel services.”

A highlight was a discussion with congressmen Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) on budget and committee operations.  From their positions serving on key budget and appropriations committees, the members shared their personal experiences on how they ensure that fiscal policy reflects the priorities of the public.  The delegations thanked the congressmen for sharing their personal experiences and outlined their own countries’ priorities, which focused conversation on many timely as well as historical events that highlighted the similarities of all of the legislatures involved in HDP.

Over the course of the week, the parliamentarians discussed mutual challenges, learned about best practices, and enhanced their knowledge and skills to strengthen their parliaments and be more effective legislators. 

In the concluding session, the parliamentarians thanked the congressmen and HDP for sharing their personal experiences and expressed gratitude for the continued support and partnership by the U.S. House of Representatives.

HDP was established in 2005 as a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives which works directly with partner countries around the world to support the development of effective, independent and responsive legislative institutions.  

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