This summer, there was a rush in Congress to pass bills seen as beneficial to lawmakers embroiled in tough re-election contests. Issues with long-term consequences, such as Social Security, Medicare and global warming, were left on a back burner through the mid-term elections. The results of the elections were, of course, dramatic, and soon a new Congress will be installed.

On Friday, December 15, the first in a series of conferences dealing with Congress’ institutional barriers to legislating for the future - initiated by the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and cosponsored by The Brookings Institution and RAND Corporation - will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) and former U.S. Representative Bill Frenzel (R-Minnesota) will share their perspectives on the problem at the opener for the conference series, which is called “Legislating for the Future.”

Paul Light, Professor of Public Service at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, will present his research on why Congress has difficulty legislating on long-term issues the public often describes as paramount, as will Sarah A. Binder, a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution; James A. Dewar, Senior Policy Analyst at RAND; and G. Calvin Mackenzie, Professor of American Government at Colby College. All the presenters will discuss concrete ways to improve the decision-making capacity of “The People’s Branch.”

Please RSVP to or 212.998.2269

  • Who: Tom Dashcle (D-SD), former Senate Democratic Leader, Bill Frenzel (R-Minn), former U.S. Representative, and congressional scholars Paul Light, Sarah A. Binder, James A. Dewar and G. Calvin Mackenzie.
  • What: “Legislating for the Future” conference on Congress bottlenecks.
  • When: Friday, December 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Brookings Institution, Stein Room, 1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

The John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress - which is part of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University — seeks to increase understanding of Congress, its role in making policy and its powers, processes and responsibilities. The Brademas Center’s bipartisan work is aimed at scholars, students, current and future public servants and the general public. To realize its objectives, the Brademas Center conducts research, teaches and holds public outreach events such as symposia and conferences. It hosts policy addresses by Members of Congress, and explores issues and problems of the legislative branch from new perspectives. The Center is named for founder John Brademas, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 22 years (1959 to ‘81).

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337