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.  

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


Thumbnail for A New Hope: Congress
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.
Thumbnail for Renewing Trust and Hope in Congress Toolkit

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. 

Thumbnail for State of the Congress 2022

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. 

Thumbnail for Foresight is 20/20: Polarization and Trust

Political polarization and low levels of public trust in our federal institutions have undermined bipartisanship and led to the erosion of democratic norms. This issue brief offers a starting point for new approaches to make Congress more proactive and less reactive. 

Thumbnail for Serving the People: Congressional Staff Perspectives Report

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?”


Thumbnail for The PLUM Act: A new era of transparency into senior leadership government
In 1952, President Dwight Eisenhower requested a list of positions he would be responsible for filling in his new administration. Thus began the tradition of the Plum Book, nicknamed for its listing of “plum” top jobs in the government and the plum-colored cover page of the printed version. Reflecting the size and scope of today’s…
Thumbnail for The broken Senate confirmation process is eating up precious floor time
Over the past two decades, the Senate has spent increasingly more floor time processing individual presidential nominees while confirming fewer of them, leaving what has historically been characterized as the world’s greatest deliberative body less opportunity to consider the issues of the day and fill critical leadership vacancies, according to recent research by the Partnership…
Thumbnail for Shutdowns and continuing resolutions aren’t the answer for effective government
Congress is racing around the clock to fund the federal government.   When annual funding bills aren’t passed through the appropriations process, the government shuts down. These shutdowns dramatically reduce or halt many basic government functions, cost taxpayers money, and hurt the economy and the public.  What is happening with appropriations now?  Congress allocates funding…
Thumbnail for Urgent and important: Navigating the political realities while building the capacity of Congress to better serve the public
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…
Thumbnail for A Capitol commitment to public service
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…
Thumbnail for The anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection: A time to heal and reflect
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.


Thumbnail for Serving the People
Serving the People
Investing in Congressional Capacity

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.