In Model Congress, students assume the roles of senators and representatives in Congress’ two respective bodies: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Instead of debating in UN chambers like the WHO or EcoFin, participants hold session in the House Armed Services Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Welfare and Pensions, and other similar committees.
Advanced committees at Model Congress conferences take things a step further by representing bodies like the Supreme Court or the President’s executive staff in the West Wing. Many IDIA conferences have also featured historic advanced committees set during a pivotal time and place in American History: President Kennedy’s cabinet during the Cuban Missile Crisis, or the state government of New Orleans on the eve of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Just as in Model UN, all Model Congress committees at IDIA programs are connected back to a central educational focus that provides a timely theme for that year’s events.
Topics debated at Model Congress often hit close to home for many students. However, it provides a tremendous opportunity to help students reach beyond their own personal borders and tap into “foreign” issues on the domestic front that are under-covered by mainstream sources.