The Lawfare Podcast: Former Congressman Brian Baird and Daniel Schuman on How Congress Can Continue to Function Remotely

By Jen Patja Howell
Monday, April 20, 2020, 3:15 PM

On April 16, former members of Congress participated in a "Mock Remote Hearing" via Zoom to test the viability of online congressional proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Former General David Petraeus testified, along with representatives from Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other experts; a Member of the UK Parliament testified about how the UK Parliament is innovating to meet the demands of social distancing.

Margaret Taylor talked with former Congressman Brian Baird—who chaired the mock hearing—and Daniel Schuman, a lawyer, technologist and government transparency advocate who testified. They talked about Congress’s rather timid efforts so far to innovate in the age of social distancing, and ways Congress could continue to do hearings, markups and floor votes in a live, digital, remote format. They talked about the constitutional underpinnings of remote work by Congress and the importance of robust legislative and oversight work in a representative democracy—especially in the midst of a national crisis.