Laura Blessing, Ph.D.

Laura Blessing, Ph.D. joined the Government Affairs Institute as a Senior Fellow in 2015.  Prior to coming to GAI, she earned her PhD from the University of Virginia, where she was also a Miller Center National Fellow and a fellow for the Bankard Fund for Political Economy.  Her interests include Congress, political parties, and policy (particularly tax and budget).  She has taught classes at UVA (undergrad), Sweet Briar College (undergrad), and Georgetown University (graduate) on Congress; the Presidency; Media and Politics; the Public Policy Process; and Inequality and Public Policy, as well as advising students writing their Masters theses. At GAI she teaches two research seminars: Committees and Parties in Congress and the Politics of Tax and Budget Policy. She has worked on the Hill as an American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellow, where she served as the legislative assistant for tax policy for a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee.  She has published on the eroding budget process, tax policy in the 2016 Presidential campaign, social movements and the Presidency, and the importance of practical experience in politics informing scholarship. She has engaged in congressional testimony and other public commentary on politics in various media venues.  She is currently working on a book on the politics of tax policy from the midcentury period to today.

Education: PhD, University of Virginia; MA, University of Virginia; MAT, Johns Hopkins University; BA, George Washington University.


  • Politics of Tax Policy
  • Budgetary Politics
  • Legislative Politics
  • Legislative Process
  • State of Partisanship
  • Congressional Operation and History
  • Executive-Legislative Relations

Media: For interviews, events, and news stories, e-mail laura[dot]blessing[at]georgetown[dot]edu or you can call our office at 202-333-4838


Disarming the Speaker

Laura Blessing | March 12, 2024

Another shutdown threat barely averted, and another stopgap spending bill passed with more to follow, while major legislation stagnates. If this feels familiar, you’re not alone. But how difficult is this moment we’re in? Congress has been derided as a “do nothing” institution before: in 1880, in 1948, and more recently with the divided government

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Debt Limit Déjà Vu? What Can We Learn from the Close Calls of 2011 and 2023?

Laura Blessing | June 7, 2023

Normally, we remember what we were doing when great triumphs or tragedies take place on the world stage.  Fiscal policy is not typically on that list of events. And yet, I remember clearly what I was doing in the lead up to Treasury’s “X date” in 2011. I was in grad school, and I had

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