What is and isn't working in Congress today? We'll talk to former moderates from both sides of the aisle about extremes in the parties. We'll look at how Congress became so polarized and how Congress can govern effectively again.
Moderator: Ben Pershing
Panelists: Bob Bennett, Bud Cramer, Martin Frost, Steve LaTourette, Olympia Snowe
The Honorable Bob Bennett
Robert Bennett served as a U.S. senator for 18 years. He is highly regarded as a pragmatic problem-solver and has established himself as a powerful consensus builder among colleagues, constituents, and clients. His contributions have been both creative and based on common sense. Bennett served as the senior member of both the Senate Banking Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.
The Honorable Bud Cramer
Bud Cramer, Jr. is a managing director in the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting. As a former congressman (D-AL) serving 18 years representing Alabama’s 5th district, Mr. Cramer has expertise in advocacy, community relations, government relations and issues management, having worked extensively in the aerospace and defense; financial services; and transportation industries. Prior to FTI Consulting, Mr. Cramer was vice chairman of Capitol Hill Consulting Group and chairman of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates. Prior to the U.S. Congress, Mr. Cramer served as the elected district attorney for Huntsville, Madison County, Ala.
The Honorable Martin Frost
In his 26 years of congressional experience, Mr. Frost served for eight years as a member of the House Democratic Leadership, spending four years as Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and four years as chair of the House Democratic Caucus. A member of Polsinelli’s Public Policy practice since 2006, Mr. Frost has devoted much of his time to issues dealing with energy, taxes, and transportation.
The Honorable Steve LaTourette
Steve LaTourette, who served 18 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Northeast Ohio, is president of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies™. He was known as a fiscally conservative/moderate Republican who strove to take a bipartisan and regional approach to governing. Prior to his election to the House of Representatives, Mr. LaTourette served from 1989 to 1995 as the Lake County (Ohio) prosecutor.
Ben Pershing is Washington editor of National Journal, overseeing White House and congressional coverage. Before joining National Journal in 2014, he was a reporter at the Washington Post for six years, covering Congress as well as campaigns in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Prior to that, Mr. Pershing was at Roll Call for 10 years as a reporter and editor.
The Honorable Olympia Snowe
With her election in 1994, Olympia Snowe became only the second woman Senator in history to represent Maine. In November 2006, she was re-elected to a third six-year term in the U.S. Senate with 74 percent of the vote. Before her election to the Senate, Ms. Snowe represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for sixteen years. In 2005, she was named the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2006 TIME Magazine named her one of the top ten U.S. Senators.