Brookings Executive Education

Program Series Inside Congress: Understanding Congressional Operations

Inside Congress

Walk the corridors of the Capitol, and witness the legislative process firsthand in this fast-paced, in-depth course. Hear from members of Congress, and observe floor action in the House of Representatives and the Senate as you explore how bills are initiated, written, and passed.

Speakers highlight current national policy issues, and explain the politics, policies, and processes of Capitol Hill. Take this program along with Inside the Executive Branch to get an extensive, front-row view of how the federal government really works.

Note: This course is required for the Certificate in Policy Strategy.

Speakers for previous iterations of Inside Congress include, but are not limited to:

  • Dana Bash, Senior Congressional Correspondent, CNN
  • Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D—MD);  Member of Science, Space & Technology  Committee; Member, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives
  • Laurie Sedlmayr, Senior Legislative Specialist, Legislative Affairs Group, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior 
  • Stephen Billet, Director, Legislative Affairs, Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University
  • Jim Papa, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Global Strategy Group; Former Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; Former House and Senate senior staffer
  • Congressman Bob Carr, (D—MI), Former Chairman of the Transportation Subcommittee, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives
  • Rob Epplin; Vice President, Gephardt Government Affairs; Former Senior Staff, U.S. Senate
  • Former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, (R—CA), Member of Energy and Commerce Committee, House of Representatives;  Vice President, Faegre BD Consulting
  • Steve Olson, Vice President, Government Affairs, Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Tuition: $2,025

Location: Washington, DC

July 2013Inside Congress
"I'm stunned by how comprehensively the course is organized. Everything related to congress was carefully categorized and distributed in the program with balanced perspectives. If I am to be the next one working in our US Embassy in charge of legislative liaison affairs, this course will be a perfect pre-job training to save time finding directions, build networks with all sorts of government agencies, gain a better understanding of how to make our mission welcomed by congressional staff, and even how to increase our influence by making connections with lobbyists or the media.

I will write a recommendation report on this program. I think all of our diplomats should attend this course before assuming their post in DC. Plus, this is one of the best experiences I have in Brookings. I really appreciate the hard work and making this wonderful educational opportunity available to us. Thank you!"

—Participant Erica Lee, Taiwan Diplomacy Fellow, Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies Visiting Fellow at Brookings 

September 2012Inside Congress
“This program is second to none.  In terms of topics, materials, information and organization and practical knowledge gained.  This BEE program should be required for all elected officials, civic leaders and the average citizen.  Understanding congressional operations certainly has the Brookings Institution status and excellence!” 

 —Participant David Sickey, Member of Council, Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, Office of the Tribal Council