Americans are rightly concerned about government’s ability to solve problems. BPC works to understand the true causes of political polarization and to develop proposals to increase government’s capacity and competence.
The problems in Congress run deep. Members of Congress do not spend enough time legislating, and they spend too little time working with their colleagues in the other party. The absence of regular order in Congress—that is, legislation through a committee process with ample opportunity to consider amendments—has ground business to a halt. BPC is working to address the day-to-day, congressional culture; the legislative process; and how Congress handles the federal budget, spending authorizations, and appropriations.
BPC is deeply concerned about the distrust that permeates the entire electoral process and that reverberates through both federal and state legislatures. Americans must be able to trust that their electoral system is fair. States will need to take the lead in reformulating an electoral system that earns back the people’s trust.
Most policies don’t originate in Washington. BPC highlights the changing landscape outside Washington and promotes policies to improve the federal-state relationship. Too often, policies adopted at the national level result in federal overreach, impose unfunded mandates, trigger unintended consequences, and stifle state innovation. The council brings together a bipartisan group of former governors to offer practical solutions to public policy challenges critical to the nation.
Successful democracies require an educated citizenry who actively participate in civic life. Unfortunately, over the past five decades, the United States has witnessed a steady and perilous decline in the habits that define American citizens: fewer Americans volunteer, charitable giving is lower, and many young adults increasingly question the value of seeking elective office. BPC’s work is geared toward reversing these trends and reinforcing the notion that, as Americans, we are all part of a common enterprise that requires a lifetime of civic engagement.