Category Archives: Congressional Briefings

The National History Center’s Congressional Briefings are designed to provide historical context and perspective on current issues for policy makers and members of their staff. The speakers reflect upon historical events and developments that have influenced the evolution of current policies and provide knowledge pertinent to the consideration of policy alternatives.

History of US Refugee Policy

In October, the National History Center hosted a congressional briefing on the history of US refugee policy.  At the briefing, Carl Bon Tempo (SUNY-Albany) and Maria Cristina Garcia (Cornell) outlined the evolution of refugee policy from the immediate postwar period through the Refugee Act of 1980.

A video recording of the briefing is available here, in C-SPAN’s video library.  You can read a one-page briefing summary here.

Read Dane Kennedy’s recap of the event, “Myths and Realities of the US Refugee Policy,” for Perspectives Daily.

Historical Perspectives on Federal Agricultural Policy

In August, the National History Center hosted a congressional briefing on the history of US agricultural policy.  At the briefing, Anne Effland (USDA), Sarah Phillips (Boston University), and David Hamilton (University of Kentucky) discussed the origins of the modern “Farm Bill,” and the evolution of federal agricultural policy since 1970.

A video recording of the briefing is available here, in C-SPAN’s video library.  You can read a one-page briefing summary here.

Read Dane Kennedy’s recap of the event, “Ground Strategy: How Federal Farm Policy Shaped America,” for Perspectives Daily.

Congressional Briefing on the History of US Trade Policy

The Center’s latest briefing on US trade policy drew a standing-room only crowd.  At the event, historians offered two contrasting interpretations of America’s history of trade policy and assessments of its implications for today.

“Historically, Congress and the president shared responsibility for shaping US trade policy and determining its beneficiaries. But Congress has largely ceded its authority, granting President Trump near unfettered control over the process.” Read Director Dane Kennedy’s recap, “Rules of Trade: Historians Debate America’s Retreat to Protectionism,” for AHA’s Perspectives Daily. You can view a recording of the event here, in C-SPAN’s video library. Photo above courtesy of Bruce Guthrie.