The House of Representatives changed the landscape when it amended House rules, allowing virtual hearings and remote voting by its members.
The May 15 move came as lawmakers sought to address the disruption caused by COVID-19 and social distancing efforts that have upended travel and brought normal operations to a standstill. The change itself is historic.
When the House of Representatives acted on Friday to allow remote voting and virtual hearings, the coronavirus pandemic officially succeeded in doing what Philadelphia’s yellow fever outbreak of 1793, the Spanish influenza of 1918, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and generations of agitators for institutional change never could: untethering Congress from its mandate to come together physically.
However, it’s not just legislators who will have to adapt. The lobbyists and PR practitioners that work on campaigns in Washington, D.C., must now look farther afield for the levers to drive action on their key issues.
Ron Bonjean, a partner at Rokk Solutions, explains it this way: