Harvard hosts ‘How to be a Lawmaker’ session for incoming House freshmen

Olivier Knox

Roughly 50 incoming members of Congress, out of the 84 elected in November, were set to converge Tuesday on Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government's congressional issues conference—which might as well be described as "how to be a representative."

The group includes 37 Democrats and 10 Republicans, some of whom are coming back to the U.S. Capitol after a stint in the political wilderness.

(Given the state of politics in Washington, calling the group bipartisan might be overly optimistic. Perhaps "bipartisan-curious"?)

"This conference provides an opportunity to gain important guidance from current and former representatives, policy experts and key U.S. policymakers and political practitioners," Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson said.

According to the institute's press release, the conference, which runs Tuesday through Friday, will focus "on exercising leadership in Congress and the issues they will face."

It also noted that "the new members of Congress will participate in a variety of sessions. ... Topics will include the economy and sessions on the federal budget, American power and competitiveness, Middle East policy, communications and navigating the legislative process."

They will also, apparently, get a lesson in public affairs: Just one of the sessions will be open for media coverage.