Over the last several decades, Congress has de-invested in its own staff capacity, leaving its policymaking increasingly reliant on outside forces. Turnover is high, and staffers are spread thin. As one congressional staffer put it in a recent survey, “If you wanted a legislative branch run by K Street lobbyists and 25-year-old staffers, mission accomplished.”
The Congressional Capacity Project is exploring ways to build Congressional capacity so that Congress can again think for itself again without having to rely on lobbyists and special interests for policy expertise. Working with the R Street Institute, we have established the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group to create an enduring, bipartisan space to assess the capacity of Congress to perform its constitutional duties and to collaborate on ideas for improving the legislative branch’s performance in our separation of powers system.
The Project Directors of the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group are:
- Lee Drutman, Senior Fellow, New America Political Reform Program
- Kevin Kosar, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute Governance Project
Please contact them with any questions.
Selected previous works, as featured at the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group.
- Kevin R. Kosar, Lee Drutman, Paul Glastris, Yuval Levin, Jonathan Rauch, and Molly Reynolds: Restoring Congress as the First Branch
- Russell W. Mills and Nicole Kalaf-Hughs: Exit Earmarks, Enter Lettermarks
- Joshua McCrain: Cashing In On Connections: For Congressional Staff-Turned-Lobbyists, Who You Know Matters
- Casey Burgat: Congress May Be More Bipartisan Than You Think
- Megha Bhattacharya: Congressional Pit Stop: How Legislative Dysfunction Deters Young Talent