How Senate Procedure Makes Things Harder (and maybe, sometimes, better?!)

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Mergenthaler 266

This session will focus on the power of Senate floor procedure — those rules enshrined in law and the constitution as well as quirks of the process that are based on informal precedents. In particular, we will examine how Senate process affects foreign and national security policy. The Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war, ratify treaties and oversee and appropriate for foreign policy. All of these powers are eroding in practice. Part of that story is about the hurdles Senate procedure puts in front of legislative action.

This discussion is hosted by the SNF Agora Institute and the International Studies Leadership Council (ISLC).

About our speakers:

Rebecca Brocato is founder and principal at Stony Run Advisory. She launched Stony Run after serving as Chief of Staff of the Development Finance Corporation (DFC). With $34B assets under management, the DFC functions like a bank, providing equity investments, loans, and political risk insurance to private sector-led projects in the U.S. national security and economic interest. Rebecca served previously as Special Assistant to President Biden and NSC Senior Director for Legislative Affairs and was Obama’s chief liaison to the House Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees.

Reema Dodin is an American political advisor who currently serves as chief of staff to Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). Dodin served previously as the deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs in the Biden administration. Upon taking office, she became the highest ranking Palestinian-American woman to serve in the Executive Office of the President of the United States.  An expert in Senate procedure, she is the former deputy chief of staff and floor director for Dick Durbin as the Senate Democratic Whip.