Research & Resources

The Alliance for Congress works with people and organizations who believe in good government and seek to champion improvements that will better equip Congress to deliver results for the public. Our work is driven by engagement with members of Congress, staff and constituents, and by research that uses data and evidence to explain why Congress matters and how it can work better.

This library contains resources and information relevant for lawmakers, staff, media, researchers, federal agencies and others working to improve the institution of Congress.  

We work with our allies within the Alliance for Congress Research Network to generate and promote new and meaningful research designed to better understand and address issues related to congressional functionality. Through this network, we share timely and relevant research initiatives and findings, partner on projects, provide insights and hold meaningful discussions on how Congress works and how it could improve to better serve our diverse nation. The network is a resource for scholars and research institutions, and a platform for all interested parties to discuss challenges facing the institution, propose forward-looking solutions and set a course toward a more effective Congress.

For more information about our research network, the Alliance’s research and that of our allies, please contact Chayenne Polimedio at [email protected].

Serving the People: Congressional Staff Perspectives

This first Alliance study identifies key components of organizational health that have enabled congressional successes and notes where and why those attributes are not systemic from the perspective of congressional staff. The study also looks to the future by highlighting areas of opportunity for growth and improvement.

Read more
Commentary
A Practical Way Forward on Filibuster Reform

Some lawmakers have declared that the filibuster should remain essentially untouchable, claiming that it promotes necessary compromise and prevents highly divisive legislative plans from coming to fruition. On the other hand, many lawmakers have openly called for eliminating the filibuster entirely, arguing that it stands in the way of passing important legislation. This is a…

Read more at Project On Government Oversight's Website  
Testimony & hearings
Demand Progress Senate testimony on reviewing Legislative branch salaries and creating an Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Demand Progress, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies submitted testimony to the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee concerning requests for a study on staff pay and retention, and the creation of a Senate Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Download Read more
Commentary
America Talks: How not to let fear isolate you from people with different opinions

This article discusses the need for bringing Americans together to bridge the gap in conversations. Although disruptive and uncomfortable, it is effective and urgent. America Talks builds on the emergence of a field of nonprofit organizations dedicated to bringing Americans together across our differences so we can solve our challenges, bolster our democracy and live…

Download Read more
Two Congressmen joined NICD to announce CommonSense American results

“Reforms to Foster Bipartisanship and Civility in Congress” is an America’s Public Forum event. The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) is proud to co-sponsor with Braver Angels. This series explores how to depolarize America and engage our differences more constructively.

Read more at National Institute For Civil Discourse and Braver Angels' Website  
Testimony & hearings
POGO Calls on Congress to Add Safeguards to Congressional Fellowship Programs

POGO provided testimony informed by investigations that highlight how congressional fellowships pose the risk of conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.

Read more at Project On Government Oversight 's Website  
Research
Are Bipartisan Lawmakers More Effective?

Even in these politically polarized times, being a bipartisan lawmaker yields legislative payoffs.  Drawing on data from the 93rd-114th Congresses (1973-2016), scholars at the Center for Effective Lawmaking have demonstrated that those Representatives and Senators who attract a larger proportion of cosponsors to their bills from members of the opposing parties are more successful at advancing…

Read more at Center for Effective Lawmaking's Website  
Testimony & hearings
POGO Calls on Congress to Improve Its Capacity for Oversight

POGO encourages the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress to expand its work to include recommendations on how Congress can do a better job of overseeing the executive branch.

Read more at Project On Government Oversight's Website  
Research
Who Congress Pays: Analysis of Lawmakers’ Use of Intern Allowances in the 116th Congress

“Who Congress Pays” is the first-ever audit of the Congressional Internship Fund. Our research entailed reviewing over 8,500 pages of payroll records from the House and Senate and examines which offices used the funds, who they hired, and how much interns were paid. We found most offices used their funds, but not equitably. Over 76%…

Download Read more
Tools and templates
Push Forward Now: Congressional Modernization and the Future of Democracy

The January 6th insurrection on Capitol Hill is an ongoing crisis for American democracy. Yet it was also a pivotal moment to direct much needed attention and resources to our national legislature. Since 2019, the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress has been transforming the institution. This playbook explains how this group of Members…

Read more at Beeck Center for Social Innovation + Impact at Georgetown's Website