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].

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…

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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  
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  
Commentary
Root Causes Perspectives: How Did We Get Here?

FixUS is committed to fostering widespread dialogue around these issues so Americans of all walks of life can have a better understanding of how we got to this point and how we can move forward as a country. To help inform this effort, in March 2021 we convened a roundtable of 30 experts to examine…

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Research
Congress at a Crossroads: Retiring Members of Congress Tell Us What’s Right, What’s Wrong — And How to Fix It

The Congress at a Crossroads report is based on in-depth interviews with almost four dozen current Members of Congress from both parties as they transitioned off the Hill toward the end of the 115th Congress.  Our team of interviewers discussed with these public servants the entirety of their experience in Congress, probing for best practices, lessons…

Read more at FMC: Former Members of Congress Association's Website  
Research
Why We Left Congress

Issue One and the R Street Institute teamed up for this report to interview a select group of members of Congress from both parties who were vocal about why they chose not to return to Congress next year. These conversations revealed the institutional dysfunction that led them to give up their positions and highlighted the…

Read more at Issue One / R Street Institute's Website  
Data visualization
Congress and Public Trust Systems Map

Congress’ inability to address substantive issues and its constant partisan conflict are eroding what trust remains of the American people in the institution, further undermining their broader faith in government as a whole. It is vital, therefore, that Congress become a more capable and responsive legislative body. Just as important, the voices of the public…

Read more at Democracy Fund's Website  
Research
Bipartisan Index

The Bipartisan Index is intended to fill a hole in the information available to the public about the performance of members of Congress. The Bipartisan Index measures the frequency with which a member co-sponsors a bill introduced by the opposite party and the frequency with which a member’s own bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite…

Read more at The Lugar Center and Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy's Website  
Commission on Political Reform

The Commission on Political Reform was convened to investigate the causes and consequences of America’s partisan political divide and to advocate for specific reforms that will improve the political process and that will work in a polarized atmosphere.

Read more at Bipartisan Policy Center's Website