Provide Members and staff with training for debate and deliberation skills.
During new session orientations, Members should attend training on overall legislative debate, Oxford-style debate principles and strategies, as well as workshops on how to process and understand opposing policy views. The training should be bipartisan, led by professionals, and should occur outside of Congress. To further foster bipartisanship, staff should also receive this training.
“I never participated in debate classes. My parents might have made the argument that I was … good at arguing, but never really learned debate. Here, the structure is not set up to where that dialogue does occur. It seems like each committee and even the House floor is not positioned in a way that we are there to persuade opinion. It is more, we are articulating a singular point, defending something rather than persuading.”
Vice Chair Tom Graves, February 5, 2020