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Nick Wakeman

GOP in charge: What changes, what doesn’t?

The 2014 mid-term elections brought some tremendous changes to the political landscape.

The Senate has flipped to the Republicans, who will now control both chambers of Congress.

President Obama suffered a rebuke in the elections and enters the last two years of his second term, the so-called lame duck years.

The most visible and obvious changes in the Senate will be the committee and subcommittee chairmanships. There are 16 standing committees, four special or select committees and four joint committees. Not counting the joint committees, the remaining four committees have 68 subcommittees.

That’s a lot of new leadership positions. My understanding is that we’ll likely see some turnover with the staff of the major committees as well.

So, what does all this change mean to government contractors? Will the chances of substantive work increase or decrease?

While I’m sure we’ll see more vetoes, both parties have an incentive to show that they want to govern, and not just obstruct. We should see more compromise, but where will that compromise come from?

We’ll be exploring these questions and hopefully finding some answers at our Contractors & Cocktails event on Nov. 18.

I’ll be moderating a panel that includes John Hillen, former CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions and now the executive in residence and professor of practice at George Mason University’s School of Business; Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council; and Jason Kaufman, principal at the Chertoff Group.

Some of the questions I want to pose to the group include:

  • If compromise is possible, what will it look like?
  • Who are the members of the Senate and the House that we should be watching closely?
  • More specifically, who is paying the most attention to contracting, and what are his or her priorities?
  • What will procurement reform mean to the new Congress?
  • With the challenges of ISIS, ebola, Ukraine and North Korea, do you think we’ve seen the end of the contraction of the defense budget?
  • If the defense budget grows, where will it grow?
  • What are the cybersecurity priorities of the new Congress?
  • The budget compromise runs through 2015. What happens after that? Will budget cuts still be the priority or has an improved economy taken the pressure off?

That’s what’s on my mind today. I’m sure I’ll think of more as I prepare for the event as well as after our panel call to prep later this week.

The event is free to WT Insiders and $42 for non-members. We kick off with registration at 4 p.m. and then the program starts at 4:30 p.m. We’ll go an hour or so, which is when the cocktail part of the event kicks off.

With this kind of topic and panel, we figured there will be plenty of fodder for discussions and debates afterward.

If you have any questions or what to pass on some suggestions, please drop me an email at nwakeman@washingtontechnology.com.

Click here for information on becoming a WT Insider.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM


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