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The U.S. Congress first came into existence more than 230 years ago. It became an inspiration to legislatures around the world. The Founding Fathers divided it into two chambers – the House of Representatives and the Senate. With minor exceptions, both stand as equal components of the legislative process. While the House generally serves as an entryway for aspiring federal politicians, senators tend to be seasoned veterans of American public affairs.

At first sight, the lawmakers are divided into two irreconcilable camps – Republicans and Demcorats. But obscured to the layman’s eye is an interconnected web of political factions and interest caucuses. Journalists are sure to follow your every step to gain a glimpse into it. At the same time, lobbyists and cabinet members will try to influence Congressional proceedings to their advantage.

Parties and caucuses

The U.S. features an entrenched bipartisan system, meaning that only two parties. the Republicans (G.O.P.) and the Democrats, have decisive influence over federal and state policy. That doesn’t mean they are monoliths – quite the contrary! Both parties are divided into a number of political caucuses, that try to steer the parties to their own favour. More so in the House than in the Senate, a great array of unofficial lunch groups and clubs exist, many of them bipartisan – (f.e. the Congressional Black Caucus) and focused on a specific issue (like the High Tech Caucus).


The Democratic party, or “Dems” for short was founded in 1825 and originally adhered to the Jeffersonian principles of opposing federalism while strengthening individual states, which traditionally netted them support in the Deep South. After the Civil war, where Southern Democrats were largely on the defeated side, they were largely an opposition party in disarray. At the end of the 19th century however, the so-called party switch happened, with Democrats increasingly finding themselves in support of social policies for the evergrowing working class. A breakthrough with public welfare programs entrenched the Democrats among factory workers in the north during the New Deal era of the 1930s, but alienated them from their traditional southern electorate, which supported a system of more limited federal interventions. The 1960s and 70s became an especially important epoch, along with the civil rights movement. This profiled the modern Democratic party as strongly favourable to human rights.

The latest great defining event was the financial crisis of 2008. The strong pro-business crisis management swayed many clue collar workers away from the Democrats, who appeared too intertwined with the establishment and estranged from common Americans. The after-effect of this can still be seen in the increasing popularity of anti-system candidates in both parties – the national populists on the right and democratic socialists on the left.

The Democratic mainstream generally supports reasonable social policies, balance-keeping between the workers and entrepreneurs, a bigger administration capacity, the fight against climate change and socially progressive ideas, especially the protection of ethnic, sexual & gender minorities. The Democrat’s foreign policy favours trade development, warm relations with international partners and a strategic opposition to America’s rivals.

Congressional Progressive Caucus

The Progressive caucus is one of the main factions in the Democratic party and has recently grown in power. Its members support a strong, progressive state and social justice. They typically support the following in their legislation:

  • Progressive taxation
  • A universal public healthcare system
  • Increasing the minimum wage
  • Supporting the fight against climate change
  • Strong support for minority rights
  • Abortion rights

Progressives vie for a moral foreign policy. On one hand, they oppose authoritarian rival regimes, but they also criticise the U.S.’ approach to traditional allies, like Israel or Saudi Arabia.

Progressives draw support from an electorate consisting of a younger, college-educated urban population, union members and minorities.

New Democrat Coalition

New Democrats represent the mainstream middle ground of the Democratic party, being the second biggest political caucus. They’re proponents of socially liberal ideas like the Progressives, but tend to be more conservative on economic issues and don’t support welfare policies to the same degree. New Democrats typically include the following in their legislation:

  • Effective taxation infrastructure
  • Support for corporations, especially high-tech enterprises
  • Measured support for welfare policies (f.e. a partial remedy of student debt)
  • Support for minority rights
  • Support for abortion rights
  • Market intervention in support of the fight on climate change

In terms of foreign policy, New Democrats tend to be pragmatic. They support global trade and partnerships against strategic adversaries of the U.S. At the same time, they try to protect vulnerable domestic industries.

New Democrats draw support from an urban electorate, especially the intelligentsia and higher classes.

Blue Dog Coalition

The Blue Dog Coalition is the smallest of democratic factions. At the same time, they’re the closest to a political centre in America and always formed a ground for bipartisan compromise on legislation. They differ from the mainstream of their party in sizeable support for a reduction of federal insitutions and restrictions of welfare policy. They’re renowned for their recent aggressive stubborn resistance against the party establishment, making them less popular with other Democrats. Their tendency to vote with Republicans to maintain the status quo yielded them the nickname DINO’s (Democrats In Name Only) Blue Dogs typically support the following in their legislation:

  • Tax cuts
  • Curtailing the federal government’s powers
  • Reducing welfare expenditures, especially in helathcare
  • Token market interventions to fight climate change
  • Support for traditional manufacturing industry
  • Reductions in governmental expenditure
  • Support for minority rights
  • Support for abortion rights

Blue Dogs tend to be foreign policy interventionists, who support a tough stance on America’s strategic rivals.

The Blue Dog electorate can be found in traditionally Republican-leaning areas, especially the countryside, Alaska, or West Viriginia. They’re also supported by a part of the business elite in blue states – like New York.


The Republican party (also known as the GOP – Grand Old Party) was founded in 1854 and her beginnings are very confusing for those who are only familiar with her modern form. Republicans started off with strong electoral support among northern intelligentsia and industrialists, supporting a relatively big government and opposing slavery. After the Civil war, where Lincoln’s Republican government prevailed, they became the dominant party of American politics. On the eve of the 20th century however, the so-called party switch occured, where Democrats increasingly supported welfare policies for a growing working class. The Republicans, steadfast in their support for business interests, were eventually forced to take a turn and support a small government with limited regulations.

The 1960s and 70s were another important milestone along with the civil rights movement, with the Republicans coming out as opponents of progressivism. Finally, during the financial crisis of 2008, a significant group of voters from lower classes emerged, unhappy with the establishments attempts to curtail the crisis. This group formed the core of Donald Trump’s campaign, whose election created a strong anti-establishment movement of national populists within the party. Because of that, Republicans today find themselves in a crisis, convulsing between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump wings. Circumstances of the 2020 election only escalated this conflict further.

Freedom Caucus

The Freedom Caucus is one of the youngest and most prominent factions in Congress. Its members are generally followers of Donald J. Trump. They often advocate for nationalist, conservative and even far-right ideas. Many of the more extreme caucus members are also renowned for spreading conspiracy theories. Establishing what policies the Freedom Caucus supports can be hard – given it is rather defined by the policies it opposes. This means they usually:

  • Oppose any measures to combat climate change
  • Oppose expansions of welfare policies
  • Oppose progressive ideas
  • Oppose higher taxation
  • Oppose abortion rights

In foreign affairs, the Freedom Caucus adhers to the “America First” slogan and is therefore very isolationist. It supports trade protectionism and generally opposes intervention abroad.

Freedom Caucus voters are often highly religious (predominantly Evangelical), the electorate is largely rural with the notable exception of certain working class areas, dominated by socially disadvantaged areas.

Republican Main Street Partnership

The Main Street Partnership (also referred to as the “New Right” in a Reaganist sense) is the strongest Republican caucus, but their power is significantly limited due to the Freedom Caucus’ extortive tendencies. They represent the Republican mainstream, with roots in Ronald Reagan’s free trade policies & deregulation waves. Their representatives favour the following in their legislation:

  • Decreasing regulations and (federal) governmental oversight
  • Tax breaks for corporations
  • Fiscal responsibility and decreased budget expenditures
  • Social conservatism and opposition to progressive values
  • Opposition to abortion rights
  • Market-focused problem solving

In terms of foreign policy, they’re rather pragmatic. They prefer domestic industry to international trade but also support strategic partnerships and an active role in containing America’s rivals.

Their electorate is usually distributed among businessmen, in religious circles and throughout the countryside.

Liberal Republicans

Liberal Republicans have always been a minority in their own party. They differ to their colleagues in greater willingness to negotiate consensual agreements and foster bipartisan support, earning them the nickname RINO (Republicans In Name Only). Compared to the rest of the party, they tend to be less socially conservative and very environmentalist, often advocating for minority rights. Lately, their members gained prominence as vocal critics of Donald Trump, agreeing to inquiries and actively contributing to investigations of January 6th events. Typically, Liberal Republicans support the following in their legislation:

  • A balanced approach to fiscal responsibility and worker’s rights
  • Moderately environmentalist regulations
  • Rights for minorities
  • A limited but effective federal administration

Liberal Republicans are foreign policy pragmatics, supporting free trade and a tough stance on America’s strategic rivals.

House of Representatives

Representatives are elected in hundreds of districts all over America. Will you be able to cooperate with your colleagues across the lines of ideologies and interests? Can you forge a good agreement with lobbyists? Are journalists going to be on your side?

Committee on Foreign Affairs

The Alaska purchase, a rejection of the Versailles treaty or the Marshall plan. These steps left a profound impact on the world and America. The Comittee on Foreign Affairs is, among other bodies, closely responsible for them.

  • AmCon agenda: Yemen

Committee on Homeland Security

National security became a key issue after 9/11. The committee was originally established with the intention to protect Americans from acts of terror, but is now also contending with other security issues.

  • AmCon agenda: DEEPFAKES Accountability Act

Committee on Education & the Workforce

While Republicans prefer the current title, whenever the House is captured by a Democratic majority, the ‘Workforce’ in the committee’s name is changed to ‘Labor’ – in line with the original name given to the body during its founding after the Civil war.

  • AmCon agenda: Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act


The Senate equally represents all 50 states of the Union. Contrary to the House, senators tend to have closer ties with their home state, technically acting as its highest representatives in the federal government. This means you’ll have to balance your personal ideology and the state’s best interests in legislation.

Currently, the Senate is only available at our main event in Pilsen.

Presidential cabinet

Cabinet secretaries

While secretaries don’t have any voting power in committee sessions, their voice is well-heard nonetheless.

At AmCon, secretaries are the president’s extended hand. Their task is furthering White House policies in every committee of Congress. You’ll propose bills and amendments, motivate lobbyists to cooperate with the administration and keep a watchful eye over members of your party.

Federal agencies

The president doesn’t rely solely on his secretaries. Federal agencies form a useful part of his tool array – the FBI and ATF are notable examples. Agency directors have great power and their voice bears importance in the White House. Do you dare to take part in top-level decision making?

List of cabinet secretaries

Attorney General

As the highest law advisor to the government, the Attorney General formally represents the U.S. government in lawsuits and criminal trials. He shouldn’t be confused with the subordinate Solicitor General, who holds this responsibility in practice. Nevertheless, the AG’s responsibility over the federal prison system, oversight powers pertaining to the FBI, DEA and ATF, and the U.S. Marshals, coupled with the ability to approve or stop federal prosecutions, make his Department of Justice a very powerful position, possibly rivalled only by the Department of Homeland Security.

Secretary of Defense

The Secretary of Defense is, after the president, second-in-command of the U.S. Armed Forces. The inability to handle longstanding rivalries between the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard lead to their subordination under the Department of Defense, degrading branch secretaries from their erstwhile positions as cabinet officials and making the Secretary of Defense one of the most powerful positions in cabinet. Not even the Joint Chiefs of Staff can rival him – being traditionally relegated to an advisory role with the War Powers Act. For that reason alone, the secretary should be greatly detached from his personal interests. The law even stipulates that he must be retired from service for at least 7 years, should his career have lead him to an armed force branch – unless Congress gives him a waiver. He often competes with the Secretary of State over agenda. Especially when the U.S. is embroiled in a big international conflict.

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is key to foreign policy and diplomatic representation of the U.S. worldwide. He’s responsible for the analyses of international events, negotiations and maintaining a positive image of the U.S. abroad along with foreign trade. His work also includes the managements of America’s countless embassies and consulates, and cooperation with international organisations. The position entails significant influence on the priorities of American foreign policy.

Secretary of Education

The Secretary of Education works with a relatively sizeable budget – most of it directed at grants and student loans for tertiary education. The responsibility of his position, however, includes oversight over schooling research programs, financial aid for students in need and equal access to schooling regardless of race or gender. Still, education remains a largely state-based matter, practically eliminating the Department of Education’s ability to determine or regulate curricula. It is also for this reason that the department is considered unneeded by some – mainly Republican lawmakers, intensifying calls for its abolishment, or reorganisation.

Secretary of Labor

The Department of Labor and its secretary are dedicated to advance better employment opportunities and protections for the American workforce. It also protects the interests of retirees and oversees the legality of 401(k) retirement plans, co-funded by employers. The position is not considered to be among the strongest cabinet officials – mainly preceeding over the working conditions of federal employees, where it holds the greatest leverage. It has a moderate budget, but many labor-related issues are relegated to states.

List of federal agencies

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

Directing a primarily advisory body, the agency executive is tasked with technological risk assessment, analysing the effect of scientific inventions on international affairs and advocating for sensible implementations or newly emerging conditions pertaining to scientific advancements into legislation.


Whether you’re an environmentalist organisation or an oil conglomerate, you’re interested in Congress legislation. And your interests must make it into the final bill at all costs! To help you with that, financial assets stand at your disposal. Representatives and senators can invest your donations into advertisements and campaigning, which will raise their public profile. And if you put some wit, intrigue and convincing into the fray, you’ll easily push your demands through without anyone noticing.

Human Rights Watch

Center for Strategic and International Studies



American Civil Liberties Union




Sallie Mae

Heritage Foundation


Without the media, other attendees would have no way of knowing what’s going on in other committees and what plots the other side is embroiled in. You attend committee sessions, talk to Congresspeople, lobbyists and cabinet officials, searching for stories that should be public for all to know.

As a journalist, you wield enviable power: The ability to set the ground and topics you’re interested in, putting the fate of many other Congress members at your fingertips. You could praise a representative or senator, turning them into heroes! Or you could demonise him and watch his career take a deep dive after you find out he conspired with a hostile lobbyist. Affect public opinion and the course of the whole simulation!

Currently, journalist positions are only available at our main event in Pilsen.

CNN: Left Hook

Want more social justice in America? Do you think the Republicans have become a party of right-wing extremists? Join the CNN! Look out for hot takes and stir the pot to give your viewers a proper drama to watch!

Fox News: Right Wing, Right News

Is anyone speaking the truth in crooked Congress? Do you think the Democrats are a pack of neo-Marxist deep state plotters? Then Fox News is for you! And don’t be afraid to add some colour to the public statements of Democrats and unions – just let the American people know who the real extremists are!