Capitol Hill Workshop
The 108th Congress - Archive Edition
April 22-24, 2003
Capitol Hill Workshop: A Public Policy Seminar
Congressional Dynamics and Contemporary Challenges
Held at The Capitol Hill Club.
The Capitol Hill Workshop offers an informative analysis of the political, policy, and procedural dynamics of the current U.S. Congress. The contemporary challenges facing today's Congress are immense. From Homeland, defense, and retirement security, to health care, a burgeoning deficit, and corporate troubles, Congress' agenda is filled with issues that affect the work and action of public officials and private citizens. The seminar affords federal managers and executives the opportunity to gain insight and understanding as to how Congressional decisions impact the mission and goals of their agency, their personal lives, and our country as a whole.
As one of three main pillars of this remarkable Republic, Congress is the branch of our national government which the Founders believed would truly reflect and defend the interests of the people. While this assumption holds true, the reality has been altered by many recent developments, such as the rise of new communications technologies, the globalization of our economy, and the markedly increased attention and focus on the Presidency.
Presidents can act promptly to meet new challenges and crises. By contrast, Congress is a slow-moving institution - in part by design, and in part because consensus-making among 535 independent-minded, diverse, and geographically dispersed lawmakers is no easy task. To produce the laws that address vital national issues is, indeed, a complex undertaking in a governmental system of separate institutions sharing and competing for power.
This Capitol Hill workshop will examine the major issues that rivet the country's attention - national security, the economy, the environment, trade, the federal budget, the role of the media, the federal establishment - and how these issues and more are addressed by our elected lawmakers. The quest for policymaking consensus is often slow, but it is the only way representative government can resolve differences peacefully and produce policies that reflect the country's rich diversity of views and interests. These decisions inevitably impact the organization, operation and direction of federal agencies in significant ways.
This special Public Policy Seminar will offer attendees the opportunity to probe and discuss current issues - in an off-the-record setting - with leading authorities and observers of the national policymaking process. As usual, ample time will be set aside for participants to become involved in the ongoing discussions.
Speakers & Topics
The Evolution of Power in Congress: Walter Oleszek, Senior Specialist in American Government, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress; Author of Congress and Its Members
Leadership and the Balance of Power: Steven Roberts, Syndicated Columnist, New York Daily News; Commentator, CNN Late Edition
The Return of Deficits: How It Happened - How Long Will It Last?: Allen Schick, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution; Author of Congress and Money and Crisis in the Budget Process
International Politics and Policy in a Changing World: Ambassador Edward L. Peck, Former Chief of Mission, Baghdad, Iraq; President, Foreign Services International
A Personal Assessment of the 108th Congress: Senator Dennis DeConcini, Attorney; Former Democratic Senator from Arizona, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense
Reforming the Private Sector: Congress vs. Corporate Agencies: Cleta Deatherage Mitchell, Attorney; Former Director of Policy Initiatives, National Federation of Independent Business
The Politics of Energy: Implications to U.S. Domestic and International Security: Llewellyn King, Publisher and Editor, Energy Daily; White House Weekly and Defense Week; Guest Commentator, Meet the Press; Nightly Business Report
The New World Order and American National Security: Mark Lowenthal, Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production & Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council; Former Staff Director, House Intelligence Committee
The Globalization of Economic Life: American Institutions at Risk: Jack Blum, Attorney; Former Special Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; Former President, National Consumers League
Leadership in Congress: Personal Reflections: Larry LaRocco, Vice-President, U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress; Former Democratic Representative from Idaho
The War on Terrorism: The Continuing Implications of September 11, 2001: Hisham Melhem, Washington-based Correspondent for Al-Qabas International (London) and As-Safir Daily (Beirut)
The Changing Face of American Politics: An Analysis of Political Campaigns and Tactics: Jay Bryant, Political Consultant; Former Producer of At Issue, CNBC
The Legislative Process: How A Bill Does Not Become Law: Paul Rundquist, Specialist in American National Government, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
The Constitution and Representation in Government: The American Experience: Mark Talisman, Washington Consultant on International Affairs; Senior Lecturer, JFK School of Government
The Supreme Court: The Least Dangerous Branch? Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic; Associate Professor, George Washington University Law School; Author of The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America