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Lawmaker calls for 'virtual' Congress

  |   March 25, 2013 at 3:15 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- Congress should create a telecommuting plan using videoconferencing and other remote work technology to create a "virtual Congress," a U.S. lawmaker says.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., has introduced a resolution that would allow lawmakers to hold hearings, debate and vote on legislation virtually from their district offices, The Hill reported.

Such a system would ease the need for members to jet back and forth from their districts to Washington each weekend, and would give them more to spend time with their constituents, Pearce said.

"Thanks to modern technology, members of Congress can debate, vote, and carry out their constitutional duties without having to leave the accountability and personal contact of their congressional districts," he said in a statement. "Keeping legislators closer to the people we represent would pull back Washington's curtain and allow constituents to see and feel, first-hand, their government at work."

Telecommuting is becoming more common, although not everyone is happy with it; recently-appointed Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer has eliminated the policy that had allowed some employees to work at home for at least part of the workweek.

But the trend is something Congress should look at, Pearce said.

"Corporations and government agencies use remote work technology; it's time that Congress does the same."

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