Ideas, roundtables, and reports go only so far. It is not possible to guarantee the attendance of crucial legislators at every event or to ensure that they will read Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) papers before every vote. The hard work of impacting the federal policy debate and passing legislation requires action on the ground. That’s why the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network (BPCAN) works directly with Congress and the administration—translating BPC projects into workable proposals and finding common ground between the left and right.
BPCAN pairs the substantive analysis of BPC with strong advocacy efforts and ongoing strategic engagement with the legislative process. The sister organizations work as complementary efforts: BPC impacts the public dialogue and then BPCAN influences the policy outcomes. In 2011, BPCAN fully staffed up, adding legislative expertise from both congressional chambers and both sides of the aisle, creating a seasoned team of strategists with a combined nearly 40 years spent working on Capitol Hill.
The results speak for themselves: In 2011 alone, BPCAN held nearly 300 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs as well as hosting more than two dozen committee briefings, and public events on Capitol Hill. Composed of federal legislative-process experts, BPCAN provides BPC programs with political insight, advice, comprehensive advocacy strategies, and targeted materials for each of BPC’s program areas. BPCAN leaders then forge relationships with members of Congress and their staffs, serve as resources for Capitol Hill, and, of course, advocate for bipartisan solutions.
As the 501(c)(4) BPC affiliate, BPCAN sets BPC apart from other Washington think tanks. More often than not, D.C. organizations will develop comprehensive policy recommendations only to fail to interact with Congress or the administration to ensure their successful implementation. Not only is BPC among the very few think tanks in D.C. that promotes bipartisanship, it is also one of the few think tanks that actively works to see its recommendations move through the legislative and regulatory processes. Thanks to BPCAN, the work of BPC projects will not grow dusty in an archive once released; the work of BPC projects will have a real shot at making an impact in Congress, influencing legislative language, changing minds, changing laws, and even changing the nation.