The 113th Congress is still more than a month away, but the planning and tablesetting has begun for what could be one of the most significant sessions of Congress for the tech industry ever. A major tax overhaul, high-skilled workforce and education reform, cybersecurity, privacy, and market access are just some of the issues Congress is expected to consider in 2013, and all of those issues are certain to impact our sector. With that in mind, this Thursday, November 29th, ITI’s President and CEO, Dean Garfield, will be moderating a terrific all-star roundtable of former members of Congress who know quite a bit about setting, sitting, and delivering at policymaking tables. Scheduled to participate are:
Former U.S. Senator Trent Lott, R-Miss.: Senator Lott’s 35 years as an elected official include five years of service as the Senate Majority Leader. As Majority Leader, Senator Lott led bipartisan efforts to enact landmark legislation on welfare reform, children’s health, tax relief, trade promotion, skilled-immigration, and fiscal reforms that led to a balanced budget. He achieved these and other bipartisan legislative accomplishments during the presidential administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, D-S.D.: Senator Daschle served in elected office for 26 years, and served as the Senate Democratic Leader, as well as Senate Majority Leader. Senator Daschle teamed with Senator Lott to achieve a strong record of legislative accomplishments, including those noted above. Senator Daschle also is one of the co-founders, along with former Senate leaders Howard Baker, George Mitchell, and Bob Dole, of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which is designed to come up with innovative solutions to some of the country’s most important policy challenges.
Former U.S. Senator John Breaux, D-La.: Senator Breaux has more than three decades of experience in elected office – 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 18 years in the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, he became a thoughtful, creative leader on both the Senate Commerce and Finance Committees, helping to forge bipartisan agreements on policies that include health insurance, telecommunications, energy and tax. In 2005, At the request of President George W. Bush, he joined with former U.S. Senator Connie Mack, R-Fla., to develop a bipartisan blueprint for tax reform, which included major elements later endorsed by the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
Former U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.: Representative Tauscher was elected seven times as a member of Congress, representing the East Bay area of California. She was a leading member and co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, where she championed pragmatic approaches on policies ranging from trade to immigration. Her moderate approach to policymaking prompted TIME magazine to dub it “Tauscherism.” She also served in the State Department as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, and currently serves as a Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense.
What unites this bipartisan all-star panel are their experiences as solutions-driven legislators, along with a shared commitment to achieve bipartisan common ground. The elections earlier this month, which resulted in divided political control of the legislative and executive branches of government, means that any policy solutions on tech’s priorities will require bipartisan leadership and support. All of our panelists have achieved legislative successes in a similar kind of policymaking environment, and we look forward to learning from their successes and their leadership.