Ethics, Accountability, and Leadership in the Contemporary Congress
Friday, March 13, 2020
10:15 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Bancroft Hotel-Great Hall
The 2020 Travers Conference will bring together experts from around the country to assess proposals to reform Congress. There is an active bipartisan effort underway in DC to consider potential reforms of a Congress that is commonly perceived as falling short on the tasks delegated to it by the Constitution. The conference will engage these reform efforts with a particular focus on issues of ethics, accountability, and leadership.
10:15- 10:25: Introductory Remarks
10:30- 11:45: Ethics in Congress: Campaign Finance, Lobbying, and Accountability
This panel will offer a general consideration of political ethics, with a focus on particular ethical issues relevant to congressional reform, including issues of campaign finance and post-congressional lobbying.
Bruce Cain (Stanford University)
Ellie Powell (University of Wisconsin)
Steven Hayward (UC Berkeley, IGS)
11:45- 1:00: Lunch Break, lunch provided for conference participants and attendees
1:15- 2:30: Leadership in a Polarized Congress
This panel will focus on issues of congressional leadership. It will address the broad question of whether leadership is possible both within and across parties in today's Congress.
Ruth Bloch Rubin (University of Chicago)
Danielle Thomsen (UC Irvine)
Vanessa Tyson (Scripps College)
Thomas E. Mann (Brookings Institution and UC Berkeley, IGS)
2:45- 4:00: Ideas and Prospects for Congressional Reform
This panel will address the issue what can be done to improve Congress. Does it actually need reform? What are some key reforms under discussion? Is it possible to move forward with reform in a polarized context?
Tim LaPira (James Madison University)
Menna Demessie (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation)
Donald Wolfensberger (Woodrow Wilson Center)