Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Panel to discuss 'Is Congress Still Relevant'

David Obey David Obey

 View live stream of the panel starting at 1 pm CDT

As trust in all levels of government continues to decline, the La Follette School of Public Affairs is pleased to welcome former U.S. Rep. David Obey and three other Congressional experts to the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Tuesday, April 5.

Mickey Edwards, Thomas Mann, Norman Ornstein, and Obey will discuss “Is Congress Still Relevant” from 1 to 3 p.m. in Varsity Hall of Union South. Katherine Gehl, a member of the La Follette School’s Board of Visitors, will moderate the discussion, which is cosponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS). 

The panelists will discuss political gridlock, extreme party loyalty and partisanship, the rise of money in politics, and other issues that have eroded public confidence in Congress, in elected officials and in political processes. 

“With our nation more divided politically than in recent history, the La Follette School welcomes this opportunity to provide a thoughtful and informed discussion about governance and public policy,” said La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee. “This program reflects the La Follette School’s commitment to public service and to nonpartisan research and teaching, and we look forward to this engaging conversation.”

Obey represented Wisconsin in the U.S. House from 1969 to 2011 and serves as a senior fellow at WIPPS.

Edwards, who served alongside Obey for 16 years as a Republican from Oklahoma, is the vice president and director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership, and Mann is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and a resident scholar at the University of California-Berkeley Institute of International Studies. Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

WIPPS is a nonpartisan statewide organization connected to the UW Colleges and UW-Extension that organizes and implements programs to educate, inform, and engage people and communities throughout Wisconsin.

The event is free and open to the public, and live streaming will be available at