Strengthening Congress through the appropriations process

Appropriation bills to fund the federal government are the one legislative vehicle that moves through Congress nearly every year — and can be used as a mechanism to strengthen Congress.

The problem: 

In the current gridlocked environment of Congress, fewer and fewer bills are passed each session. However, one legislative vehicle that moves through Congress nearly every year is the federal budgeting and appropriations process, where the House and Senate produce appropriations bills to fund the federal government. These bills can serve as a mechanism to strengthen Congress and implement select committee recommendations.


In order to advance key priorities, Issue One submits recommendations to both the House and Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittees. We then follow up these recommendations with in-person meetings with key congressional staffers, coalition letters, and  public testimony, reinforcing why congress must invest in its own capabilities.

In 2021, Issue One submitted testimony to the House Legislative Branch Appropriations subcommittee that built on our recommendations by calling for greater investments in staff and increased training for managers on Capitol Hill. Some of these recommendations were included in the House’s FY22 funding bill and accompanying report, providing crucial resources for House office budgets (which are used to pay staff), intern pay, the Government Accountability Office — Congress’ internal watchdog — and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. We followed a similar process in the Senate. Once passed, these bills will provide crucial resources for Congress, making it a stronger and more effective institution.

Learn more about our work to fix Congress.