Helping Congress again fulfill its constitutional role 

The Rebuild Congress Initiative (RCI) aims to help Congress again fulfill — and be seen and appreciated for fulfilling — its Constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government.

That means a Congress able to initiate action, exercise independent judgment on policy, assert its prerogatives (including control of all government spending and any decision to go to war), provide robust oversight of the executive branch and its entire bureaucracy, and generally function as a responsible and responsive deliberative body representing the whole of the electorate. In such a body individual Members should be empowered to bring their full abilities and best judgment to the service of their country and their constituents more than any party, donor, or other interest.

RCI is an initiative of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a leading academic research group which seeks to develop and apply ideas of use to practitioners in managing conflict, and Issue One, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations focused on political reform and government ethics that has recruited more than 200 former members of Congress to its bipartisan ReFormers Caucus to advocate on behalf of democracy reform.

To pursue its objective, RCI brings together Members of Congress to explore and develop actionable strategies for addressing the systemic challenges that are preventing Congress as an institution from fulfilling its duties as an independent and coequal branch of our government. The RCI team comes to this effort with no predetermined policy prescriptions.

The RCI team aims to facilitate wide-ranging deliberative sessions with Members from across the political spectrum — from conservatives in the Freedom Caucus to liberals in the Progressive Caucus and all those in between.

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RCI’s work has been funded to date by a small, bipartisan group of individual donors, with senior staff donating their time. Additional funding will be needed to support the continuation of this work. Your tax-deductible donation would be greatly appreciated!