Strengthening Congress

Strengthening Congress


For more information about our strengthening Congress work, please contact Troy Cribb.

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Strengthening Congress

The Partnership’s work to build a better government and a stronger democracy includes strengthening Congress. We foster constructive working relationships between executive and legislative branch leaders, provide insights on government performance to improve legislation and oversight, and promote efforts to modernize Congress so it has the capacity to listen, legislate and lead for our diverse nation.  

This work includes: 

  • Supporting modernization efforts with expertise and advocacy to improve how Congress works and help the institution better serve our diverse nation. 
  • Sharing research and performance insights to improve how Congress assesses its own performance and the performance of the executive branch agencies it oversees. 
  • Sharing best practices and expertise in public service leadership and management to help members of Congress and congressional staff serve the public effectively and equitably. 
Explore our communications toolkit on restoring trust in Congress Read our State of the Congress 2022 report


Our data shows that Americans do not feel hopeless about Congress, but rather are ambivalent. By informing the public of Congress’ accomplishments, we have an opportunity to change the way people think about the institution and our democracy.

We created a toolkit with Hattaway Communications to help the Partnership and our allies communicate a consistent set of messages and produce a steady stream of stories that help to rebuild public trust in Congress and reinvigorate people’s hope for the institution. 

In collaboration with the Congressional Management Foundation, we drew on the insights of staff working in Congress to assess congressional civility, functionality and capacity. Our findings show bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the challenges facing Congress. 

Political polarization and low levels of public trust in our federal institutions have made it harder for members of Congress to find common ground and has led to the erosion of democratic norms. This issue brief offers a starting point for new, fresh-thinking approaches that can make Congress more proactive and less reactive. 

Drawing on the perspectives of congressional staff, this report seeks to answer two broad questions: “What does a healthy Congress look like?” and “How do we build it?”


The Partnership launches the Alliance for Congress, an ambitious new initiative dedicated to helping Congress become a more effective institution by investing in its own capacity to tackle big issues facing the nation and to better serve the public good.

In a 1954 address to the World Council of Churches, President Dwight Eisenhower summed up what he called “the dilemma of modern man.” “I have two kinds of problems,” the president declared, “the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” This dilemma remains universal – as true…
Congress has an essential role to play in addressing the nation’s challenges and serving the needs of the American public, but as an institution, it has neglected its own organizational health and seldom invested in its capacity to listen, legislate and lead. But the future is hopeful. The Partnership for Public Service is premised on…
During my years of public service, my time working on Capitol Hill was the most poignant. The idea of walking the same halls as those who built the greatest democracy the world has ever known was overwhelming.


Serving the People
Investing in Congressional Capacity

During this program, legislative branch leaders discussed ongoing efforts to modernize Congress while addressing the institutional challenges that keep Congress from meeting the country’s diverse needs and interests.