By Gabriel Debenedetti
WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - A week after U.S. Senateleaders brokered a bipartisan spending deal to reopen the U.S.government and stave off a potentially disastrous default onAmerican debt, Reuters will host several key players in thebudget dispute as part of its annual Washington Summit.
The Summit, to be held Monday through Thursday, will featureroundtable discussions with some of the newsmakers who havedominated the headlines in Washington recently. They includeTexas Senator Ted Cruz, the first-term Republican whose fierydefense of the unsuccessful efforts to use a government shutdownto force changes in President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaulmade Cruz one of the most provocative figures in the nation'scapital.
The Summit will touch on the recent debt and spendingcrisis, the shaky rollout of "Obamacare" and conservativeRepublicans' attempts to undermine the law, the future offinancial regulation and Obama's foreign policy and use of warpowers.
Other guests scheduled for the Reuters Washington Summitinclude longtime Arizona Senator John McCain, a vocal critic ofCruz's tactics and the 2008 Republican nominee for president, aswell as Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, the top Democraton the House Budget Committee and a rising star in theDemocratic Party.
The Summit will include discussions about the influence inCongress of compromise-resistant Tea Party Republicans such asCruz, and whether the recent showdown weakened that movement.
With guest Bruce Josten, executive vice president forgovernment affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Summitwill examine how the landscape is changing for businessinterests that are seeking to influence Congress.
Josten, the Chamber's top lobbyist, helped lead the businessgroup's efforts to encourage lawmakers to end the 16-daygovernment shutdown. The Chamber, traditionally aligned withRepublicans, has found itself in a standoff against smallerconservative groups that now have unprecedented influence overthe party's right wing.
Another summit guest, Mary Kay Henry, president of theService Employees International Union, will discuss how labor isresponding to Obamacare and her union's efforts to promote thelaw.
Financial regulation and consumer protection remain on thefront lines of debate in Washington, and the Reuters Summit willinclude a discussion with Richard Cordray, the first director ofthe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, has emerged as acentral figure in the financial regulation battle that hasconsumed the worlds of banking and lobbying as the U.S. economycontinues to recover from the financial crisis.
Obama's foreign policy and his reluctance to attack Syriawithout an endorsement from Congress also will be on thesummit's agenda.
The summit will feature roundtable discussions with BenRhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategiccommunications, and Elliott Abrams, a longtime diplomat whoserved in the administrations of Republican presidents RonaldReagan and George W. Bush.
Rhodes' appearance comes as the White House is navigatingdifficult situations in Syria and Iran, as well as managing thefallout from the revelations of the National SecurityAdministration's surveillance of Americans.
- Politics & Government
- Barack Obama
- Ted Cruz
- government shutdown