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Senate Poised to Move, Can House Muster Votes?

WHO: American University experts available to discuss last ditch efforts to avert default, re-open government, and whether there are any winners at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue during this fiscal cliff showdown.

October 16 - ongoing

In-Studio, via Skype, via telephone, or at American University
Congress, the President, and the Budget Process
James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is an expert on presidential-congressional relations and author of Obama in Office (2011). Thurber is available to discuss the dynamics and dysfunction of the congressional budget process, kicking the can down the road, and the impact of the latest fiscal cliff drama on the parties and central political actors.

Gordon Adams, professor of U.S. Foreign Policy, is a budget expert who oversaw all U.S. foreign affairs and national security budgeting at the Office of Management and Budget under the Clinton Administration. Adams is the co-author of Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home (Routledge 2009). Throughout the government shutdown and as the country teeters on the fiscal cliff, Adams has been providing discussion and analysis.

Connie Morella, ambassador in residence, represented Maryland’s 8th district in Congress from 1987 to 2003. Morella later served as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris from 2003 to 2007. In Congress, Morella was a well-known moderate who successfully initiated legislation In addition to teaching at American University, Ambassador Morella is the president of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress. Morella can discuss the bitter partisanship, impact on credibility, and the state of affairs within the GOP.

Patrick Griffin is the academic director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute and served as legislative affairs director in the Clinton administration. Griffin served in the White House during the 1996 shutdown Griffin also has served in various roles in the U.S. Senate including as a staff member on the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the Senate Budget Committee. Griffin can address the last minute maneuvering in the Senate and House, the gambit of no negotiating on the debt ceiling from the White House, and other issues related to the fiscal cliff, reopening the government, and kicking the can down the road.

Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history, is an expert on the presidency, presidential campaigns, voting behavior, public opinion, and American political history. His book, White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction. Lichtman is available to discuss President Obama, Congress, and how the budget battle and fiscal cliff dilemma will ultimately be resolved as well as the winners and losers.

Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of public communication and history, is an expert in American politics, strategic communication, and the presidency. He appears regularly in the Washington Post, Salon, New York Times, Politico, International Herald Tribune, Huffington Post, and History News Network among others, and he is the founding editor of PunditWire, where political speechwriters comment on the news. During the 2012 election he served as a political analyst for CBS News. Prior to coming to academia, Steinhorn spent 15 years as a political consultant and speechwriter. Steinhorn is available to discuss the political implications of major events on Capitol Hill.

Media Treatment of the Budget Battle
Richard Benedetto is a journalism professor who before entering academia served as a White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today and political columnist for Gannett News Service as part of his nearly 40 year career. Benedetto covered the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush White Houses. Benedetto is available to analyze how the media is covering the shutdown and fiscal cliff threat and President Obama’s performance.

Political Actors and Political Psychology
Antoine Yoshinaka, assistant professor in the department of government, examines how institutions and the preferences of political actors influence political outcomes. Yoshinaka is available to discuss the dynamics of the key players in the budget and fiscal cliff debate on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Gautham Rao is a U.S. historian who specializes in the history of capitalism and the state. Rao is available to talk about the history of the federal government, including its purpose, as well as the myths. He can also provide analysis on how present day politics clouds the role in which the government is meant to play in our lives.

Matthew Wright, assistant professor in the department of government is an expert in public opinion, political psychology, and political methodology. Wright’s research explores numerous topics relevant to American politics including the causes and implications of political identity; political culture; and U.S. voting behavior.

Conservative Movement
Christopher Malagisi, an adjunct professor in American University's School of Public Affairs is an expert on the conservative movement. Malagisi was previously the director of National CPAC & External Relations at the American Conservative Union, and currently serves as the president of the Young Conservatives Coalition.  Malagisi can talk about the hardline GOP budget battle, the future of GOP Republicans, and how factions within the Republican party are impacting the credibility of the United States in terms of the raising the debt ceiling.

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