Ideas. Action. Results.

The Commission on Political Reform launched in 2013 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.

Commission on Political Reform


Senators Tom Daschle, Trent Lott and Olympia Snowe along with Secretary Dan Glickman and Governor Dirk Kempthorne announced a set of bipartisan recommendations in June 2014. Over the course of 18 months, the commission, a group of thirty Americans from all political stripes, engaged concerned citizens across the country to develop these reforms.

Read Governing in a Polarized America: A Bipartisan Blueprint to Strengthen American Democracy

View a full list of commissioners

National Surveys

In a series of national polls conducted by Whit Ayres and Mark Mellman, BPC and USA TODAY examined Americans’ attitudes toward partisanship, public service, Congress, and the electoral system.

Poll results on political polarization

Poll results on public service

Poll results on the electoral process

Poll results on Congress

Town Hall Events

The commission, in partnership with USA TODAY, hosted four town halls on political reform to solicit input from stakeholders, experts, and political leaders from across the country. Public input was an integral part of the commission’s process to craft a package of realistic and actionable recommendations for improving the political process. All forums were open to the public and available by live webcast.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library
Simi Valley, CA – March 6, 2013

USA TODAY’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page moderated the discussion with more than a dozen commission members – including national political figures, volunteer and religious leaders, business executives, academics, state and local elected officials, and journalists. The conversation examined how polarized our country is, the causes of that polarization and its effect on our government and decision-makers.

The National Constitution Center
Philadelphia, PA – July 23, 2013

Bipartisan Policy Center's Commission on Political Reform

The discussion examined ways in which Americans are serving their country, current barriers to participation in elective politics, and analyzed how political polarization is discouraging citizens of all ages from engaging in our democratic process.

The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH – October 15, 2013

Commission on Political Reform

The event explored issues related to elections such as redistricting, primary reform, and resolving disputed elections.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Boston, MA – March 26, 2014

Commission on Political Reform

The event featured former elected officials and White House chiefs of staff for discussions about solutions to our nation’s congressional gridlock.

Healthy Congress Index

BPC’s Healthy Congress Index provides Americans with crucial metrics for evaluating Congress’s ability to effectively legislate and govern. It compares results against past Congresses and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The index represents a new, long-term effort to bring accountability to Congress and answer the question: how is Congress governing? View the index.

Ongoing Efforts

Commissioners have led discussions across the country focused on how to get government working more effectively and engage more Americans in the political process.

They once helped broker solutions in Washington. Now they want to fix what’s broken in our nation’s capital.
Featured Speakers: Secretary Dan Glickman and Senator Olympia Snowe
Charlotte, NC – September 11, 2014

Bipartisanship Matters: A National Forum
Featured Speakers: Molly Barker, BPC President Jason Grumet, and Senator Olympia Snowe
University of Central Florida – October 2, 2014

Mastering the Congress: Political Reform 50 Years After the Great Society
Featured Speakers: Representatives Charlie Gonzalez and Henry Bonilla, and BPC’s John Fortier
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin – October 20, 2014

We Can Fix It – A Bipartisan Blueprint to Strengthen Our Democracy
Featured Speakers: Senator Bob Bennent and Secretary Dan Glickman
Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics – October 23, 2014

Discussion on Political Reform
Featured Speakers: Senator Olympia Snowe and BPC President Jason Grumet
Harvard Law School – October 30, 2014

An Evening with Senator Olympia Snowe and Secretary Dan Glickman
Featured Speakers: Secretary Dan Glickman and Senator Olympia Snowe
University of New Hampshire Law School – January 22, 2015