The Dynamics of Congress
An expert on Congress will discuss the dynamics of the legislative process and the three key elements that drive today's institution: politics, policy, and procedure. He will illuminate the differences between the House and Senate and the nature of the Congress. Be apprised of what legislative initiatives to expect, especially for the defense/security community.
Today's Legislative Process
The instructor will briefly review how a bill becomes a law by tracking legislation from introduction and referral to committee, through committee hearings and markups, floor consideration, to final passage and presidential action.
Politics and Leadership in the Current Congress
The instructor will examine the formal and informal leadership structures in the House and Senate, focusing on key defense-oriented leaders and committee assignments. He will analyze the politics, personalities, and policy agendas of the major players of the Congress, and comment on the issues that will be given first, second, and third priority.
This session will examine the president's role in the legislative process, how this role evolved, and how the president sets his legislative agenda in Congress today. What characteristics determine a president's success in passing his legislative agenda? The instructor will compare how the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches has shifted over time, and he will assess White House-Congressional relations in the Congress.
This session will introduce the congressional budget process, the major players, procedures, and timing of decisions, with emphasis on development of the defense portion of the budget. The President's budget, authorizations, appropriations, and reconciliation will be reviewed. Participants will see the "big picture" of federal budgeting, and where defense and security issues fit in.
How the Media Covers Washington: The White House, Capitol Hill, and the Pentagon
A reporter will discuss who comprises the Washington press corps, and how they cover the big beats in DC, especially DoD and the Pentagon. Questions to be addressed include: how forthcoming are these institutions with information, what role does the media play in shaping policy debate within these institutions, and what role does it play in elections, campaigns, or in a "war" environment.
Washington Advocacy: Communicating Effectively with Congress
This session will provide an overview of the current political environment on Capitol Hill and the role of lobbying in today's legislative process. Discussion will focus on how outside interests, including executive agencies, can educate and communicate effectively with members of Congress and staff to build positive working relationships. The instructor will provide practical suggestions for interacting with members of Congress, as well as important do's and don'ts of communicating with Congress.
Policy Making in Congress
Policy development and decision making in Congress are influenced by many forces. Learn how this occurs in macro and micro settings. Discussion will include the role of the electorate and political parties, as well as Congress' interactions with the White House, executive agencies, the media, and other political players. The instructor will assess what these factors mean for policy making in Congress, and for the defense/security community.
This session will provide insight into the key players and national security issues Congress is likely to address in its second session. The instructor will examine the relationship between the Pentagon, defense agencies, Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Homeland Security, and evaluate how Congress will distribute its time and resources to deal with defense and security issues, budget deficits, and domestic priorities.
Congressional Relations from a DoD Perspective
A representative from the Department of Defense will discuss the role of congressional liaison offices in establishing and building working relationships with Congress, both committees of jurisdiction and personal offices of members. He will discuss the organization and responsibilities of his legislative affairs team, how a legislative affairs shop can educate and work most effectively with Capitol Hill, and lobbying restrictions of which to be aware.
A Member's Perspective on Politics and Policy
A former member of Congress who served on a defense-related committee will comment on the many pressures and responsibilities that a member must balance in day-to-day decision and policy making. Discussion will include how members advance their legislative and political agenda; deal with large amounts of incoming mail; handle fund raising and press operations; get reelected, and more.
Campaign and Election Trends and Their Impact
The instructor will take an insightful look at the current trends in how campaigns, political communication and elections are conducted in the United States, citing examples from the 2008 campaigns. He will review the political landscape of the United States and interpret what it means for future elections.
The Work of Personal and Committee Staff
A congressional staff member who focuses on defense related issues will discuss the work environment on the Hill including the positions and responsibilities of committee and personal staff, and the organization of congressional offices. He will focus on what staffers need or expect from outside interests, and how these interests can build strong working relationships with staffers and the Hill. The staffer will also reveal his insights into the dynamics and agendas of his office.
Previous attendees include executives, managers, agency staff, technical staff, military officers, government relations professionals, lawyers, elected officials, program analysts, budget analysts, and others who need a solid overview of Congress and the Hill.
All statements and discussion at all of our courses, workshops and seminars, public and custom, are off the record and not for attribution, unless specified otherwise. The resulting confidentiality ensures a frank and free exchange of views.
Fax or Mail: Print out and complete the registration form (in Adobe pdf). The completed form should include your method of payment.
Fax the completed form to us at 202-688-2424.
Mail the completed form to us at TheCapitol.Net, Inc., PO Box 25706, Alexandria, VA 22313-5706
This Sponsored Course Requires Three Days
8:30 am to 4:00 pm
All of our courses and workshops include extensive interaction with our faculty, making our courses and workshops both educational and mini-consulting sessions with substantive experts.
"This seminar has helped me better understand
the complicated yet interwoven procedures within
the authorization and appropriations process. .
. this seminar will assist me in developing a
more persuasive argument defending my programs."
-- Workshop Attendee, Navy Recruiting Command (from Capitol Hill Workshop: 2010 Election)
"Understanding the 'players' and the processes used by Congress will help our staff improve our responses to Congress on our programs."
"Understanding the U.S. process will provide context for
our future discussions on common issues of interest. As
well, the perspectives on the Obama administration were
fascinating and valuable for our negotiation going
forward, as a member of the Canadian government."
-- Senior Analyst, Canada Border Services Agency (from Capitol Hill Workshop: 2008 Election)
"One of the best
courses I've taken under govt sponsorship."
-- Program Director, FAA
"Provides excellent insight into legislative workings
of Congress which will only improve our abilities to
work with Congress. Great & insightful
presentations. Wonderful workshop!
Thanks for attention to details."
-- Chief of Contracting, U.S. Air Force
"Excellent choice of presenters. Would
recommend this workshop to anybody interested in
learning how Washington really works."
-- Program Manager, FAA
"What an outstanding 3 days! A wonderful use of
All aspects of this program were useful."
-- Director, Public Affairs, Fortune 500 company
"Excellent program - very informative w/entertaining, knowledgeable [faculty] from different backgrounds."
"Taught me how to communicate effectively with House
and Senate members."
-- Workshop Attendee, Navy Sea Systems
"Excellent course. Every Federal Manager should take
-- Deputy Director, Office of Competitive Sourcing Acquisition, FAA
"What an extraordinary group of speakers. All
were extremely dynamic."
-- Senior Administrator, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
was able to get 'real-world' insight into the actual
operations of congress. It was awesome."
-- Group Manager, Government Agency
A team of more than 12 Hill and political experts, each with at least 10 years' experience in observing or working with or in Congress, teach this intensive 3-day course.
Select Previous FacultyKen Ackerman Hon. Michael Andrews Col. Michael Barron Steven Billet Glen Bolger Clinton Brass Hon. Jim Chapman Ann Compton Rhodes Cook Stephen Daggett Chris Davis Sid Davis Chris Deering John Donnelly Hon. Thomas Downey Hon. Dennis Eckart Ron Elving Ron Faucheux Hon. Vic Fazio Lee Fritschler Jim Garamone Deanna Gelak Don Gessaman Philip Joyce Sheilah Kast Kevin "Spanky" Kirsch William LaForge Bob Levi Robert McLean Col. Alan Metzler Roy Meyers Cleta Mitchell Ned Monroe Walter Oleszek Betsy Palmer Chuck Parkinson Paul Powell David Rehr Steve Roberts Mark Rozell Paul Rundquist Hon. Patricia Schroeder Hon. David Skaggs Hon. Jim Slattery James Thurber Pat Towell Gene Ulm Hon. Robert Walker Stephen Wayne Hon. William Zeliff Our Clients Congressional Offices Federal Agencies Military NGOs and Nonprofits Diplomatic Corps Fortune 500 Law Firms Lobbying Firms Labor Unions Associations Also See Congress by the Numbers Congressional Leadership and Committees (listing) Federal Budget Links and Research Tools Glossary of Congressional and Legislative Terms