PROCEEDINGS OF FORMER MEMBERS PROGRAM
(House of Representatives - September 27, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 155 (Wednesday, September 27, 2017)]
[Pages H7575-H7585]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                 PROCEEDINGS OF FORMER MEMBERS PROGRAM

  The proceedings held before the House convened for legislative 
business are as follows:


  United States Association of Former Members of Congress 2017 Annual 
                           Report to Congress

  The meeting was called to order by the Honorable Martin Frost, vice 
president of the United States Association of Former Members of 
Congress, at 8 a.m.

                                 prayer

  The Chaplain, the Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, offered the following 
prayer:
  Lord God of history, we thank You for this day when former Members 
return to Congress to continue in a less official manner their service 
to our Nation and to this noble institution.
  May their presence here bring a moment of pause where current Members 
consider the profiles they now form for future generations of 
Americans.
  May all former Members be rewarded for their contributions to this 
constitutional Republic and continue to work and pray that the goodness 
and justice of this beloved country be proclaimed to the nations.
  Bless all former Members who have died since last year's meeting, 33 
in all. May their families and their constituents be comforted during a 
time of mourning and forever know our gratitude for the sacrifices made 
in service to the House.
  Finally, bless those here gathered that they might bring joy and hope 
to the present age and supportive companionship to one another. 
Together, we call upon Your Holy Name now and forever.
  Amen.


                          Pledge of Allegiance

  The Honorable Martin Frost led the Pledge of Allegiance as follows:

       I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of 
     America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation 
     under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

  Mr. FROST. The Chair now recognizes the president of the United 
States Association of Former Members of Congress, the Honorable Cliff 
Stearns from Florida, to address the Members.
  Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Speaker and Father, thank you for those very welcome 
comments. I think all of us, when we come on the House floor, we feel 
keenly the fact of this beloved country and how much we respect our 
positions as former Members of Congress.
  Thank you, Martin. It is always a distinct privilege to be back in 
this revered Chamber and to see so many of my good friends and former 
colleagues here. On behalf of the United States Association of Former 
Members of Congress, I appreciate the Speaker's invitation to return to 
this wonderful place and to present to the Congress

[[Page H7576]]

Former Members of Congress' 47th annual report.
  I will be joined by some of our colleagues in reporting on the 
activities, finances, and projects of our organization since our last 
report a little over a year ago. But first I would like to ask the 
Clerk to call the roll.
  The Clerk called the roll and the following former Members answered 
``present'':
  Mr. Alexander of Arkansas
  Mr. Baird of Washington
  Ms. Christensen of the Virgin Islands
  Mr. Coyne of Pennsylvania
  Mr. DioGuardi of New York
  Mr. Edwards of Texas
  Mr. Frost of Texas
  Mr. Gerlach of Pennsylvania
  Mr. Glickman of Kansas
  Mr. Hertel of Michigan
  Mr. Hochbrueckner of New York
  Mr. Horsford of Nevada
  Mr. Konnyu of California
  Mr. Lancaster of North Carolina
  Mr. Lungren of California
  Mr. Maffei of New York
  Ms. Morella of Maryland
  Mr. Rahall of West Virginia
  Mr. Roth of Wisconsin
  Mr. Sarasin of Connecticut
  Mr. Sarpalius of Texas
  Mr. Skaggs of Colorado
  Mr. Slattery of Kansas
  Mr. Stearns of Florida
  Mr. Tanner of Tennessee
  Mr. Turner of Texas
  Mr. Walsh of New York
  Mr. Weller of Illinois
  Mr. Zeliff of New Hampshire
  Mr. FROST. The Chair announces that 29 former Members of Congress 
have responded to their names.
  Mr. STEARNS. Mr. Frost, thank you very much, and I would also 
indicate the former members of the European Union are all accounted for 
and present here, and we welcome all of them here especially.
  I want to thank all of you for joining us today. As I prepare for 
today's report, I want to give you a little quote from Aristotle that 
goes back 2,500 years. He was asked: What would be the best form of 
life one could live? He replied that ``the best form of life, the 
Eudaimonia outcome, given all that, would be the life of the good 
lawgiver.''
  He didn't mention the richest person, nor the most spiritual man, but 
the legislator. For all of us, service in this remarkable building was 
the pinnacle of our professional lives, and I am very proud that 
through the Former Members of Congress we can continue, in a very small 
measure, the public service that brought us here to Congress in the 
first place.
  My colleagues, our Association was chartered by Congress, and one 
requirement of that congressional charter is for us to report once a 
year to Congress about our activities.
  Incidentally, in 2016, there were approximately 1.8 million not-for-
profit organizations in the United States. Of that number, right around 
100 are congressionally chartered, and those include such outstanding 
organizations as the USO and the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. Former 
Members of Congress, therefore, is in very exclusive and prestigious 
company, and we take the mandate that comes with being congressionally 
chartered very seriously.
  Our Association was founded in 1970 and chartered by Congress in 
1983. It is a bipartisan, nonprofit, voluntary alliance of former 
United States Senators and Members of Congress standing for America's 
constitutional system, which vests authority in the people through 
their elected offices.
  We work together to strengthen Congress in the conduct of its 
constitutional responsibility through promoting a collaborative 
approach to policymaking. We seek to deepen the understanding of our 
democratic system, domestically and internationally, and to encourage 
the citizenry through civic education about Congress and the importance 
of public service.
  We are successful because Democrats and Republicans work together in 
a partnership for all of our programs and our many projects, including 
participation with current Members of Congress.
  We are so proud to have been chartered by Congress, and we are 
equally proud that absolutely no taxpayer dollar is earmarked or 
expended to make all of our programs possible. Everything we do, and 
you will hear about many of our activities in a short while, is 
financed via grants and sponsors, our membership dues, and our annual 
fundraising gala. Our finances are sound, our projects are fully 
funded, and our most recent annual audit by an outside accountant 
confirmed that we are running the Former Members of Congress in a very 
fiscally sound, responsible, and transparent manner.
  We are successful because former Senators and Representatives come 
together, across party lines, for the good of our organization. They 
all believe in our mission, and they continue to have the public 
servant's spirit at heart.
  Former Members of Congress, in 2016, donated over 6,500 hours of 
energy, wisdom, mentoring, and expertise. All of these activities were 
donated pro bono. No former Member received any kind of honorarium to 
go on a Congress to Campus visit or participate in any Former Members 
of Congress' programs. Your only remuneration is the knowledge that you 
are giving back, that serving in Congress was a unique privilege, and 
that it comes with a mandate to teach the next generation.
  Before I report on specific activities, as your Association's 
president, I want to thank all the Members who have contributed their 
time and expertise to make our organization such a success. So on 
behalf of the Former Members of Congress, thank you wholeheartedly for 
your participation.
  Many of you have joined us for several years on this occasion. There 
will be numerous programs and projects which, by now, you have become 
quite familiar with. This is a sign of the Former Members of Congress' 
stability and purpose. We are extremely proud of our 50-year history of 
creating lasting and impactful programs that teach about Congress and 
representative government, and our ability to take longstanding 
projects and expand them and improve upon them.
  In addition to hearing about programs we have conducted for many 
years, you will hear from us about a new vision we have for this 
organization. For over a year now, our Association has engaged in a 
very detailed, in-depth strategic planning process which has set us off 
for a very exciting path.
  This process was led by a strategic planning professional who has 
worked in this field for decades, has written extensively on management 
and organizational success, and has served clients, including many 
Fortune 100 companies. His name is Mark Sobol, and he made the service 
of his company, Longwave Partners, available to us pro bono, because he 
so strongly believes in our former Members organization, that it can 
play an integral and impactful role in reconnecting citizens with their 
government, and also showcasing that public servants, no matter what 
the party label is, are eager to work together for the good of this 
country.
  Our work with Mark and Longwave included our board of directors, 
countless former Members of Congress, our excellent staff, and numerous 
other stakeholders. It resulted in a vision for Former Members of 
Congress that outlines the next 3 to 5 years and has, as its core, four 
strategic principles: We will provide forums for dialogue that will 
strengthen bipartisan relationships here on Capitol Hill; we will 
become recognized nationwide as an unparalleled resource for the United 
States Congress; we will be a champion for public service and an 
advocate on behalf of Congress; and we will create internal mechanisms 
for maximum impact.
  Sincerely, I want to thank Mark for his invaluable leadership on this 
transitional, transformative undertaking, and I also want to thank my 
colleagues for being so engaged in this exciting progress.
  I include the Former Members of Congress' strategic plan for the 
Record.

      The United States Association of Former Members of Congress

  (Cliff Stearns, President; Martin Frost, Vice President; Tim Petri, 
 Secretary; Karen Thurman, Treasurer; Barbara Kennelly, Past President)


                              introduction

       We are engaged in a strategic planning process to deepen 
     the impact and shape of the future of the US Association of 
     Former Members of Congress--FMC. We continue to believe that 
     the current political climate and dysfunction is preventing 
     Congress from functioning at its highest possible level. This 
     condition has compelled FMC, a Congressionally chartered 
     501(c)(3) non-profit, to reevaluate its mission and identify 
     those opportunities that will deepen the positive 
     contribution we are making toward a more civil

[[Page H7577]]

     and productive political discourse in our nation.
       With the input of a bipartisan group of more than twenty 
     former Members over the summer, as well as staff and 
     ``friends of FMC'', we convened meetings in the fall of 2016 
     and early January 2017 to create a mission and strategic 
     themes for FMC that would serve us and our country well into 
     the future. Since that time, we have assembled staff to build 
     the comprehensive strategic plan we will deploy this year and 
     beyond.
       Ahead, are the results-to-date of our collective efforts.


                           Mission Statement

       FMC is a bipartisan, nonprofit, voluntary alliance of 
     former Unites States Senators and Representatives, standing 
     for America's Constitutional system, which vests authority in 
     the people through their elected representatives.
       FMC: Working to strengthen the Congress in the conduct of 
     its Constitutional responsibility through promoting a 
     collaborative approach to policy making.
       FMC: Seeking to deepen the understanding of our democratic 
     system, domestically and internationally, and to encourage 
     the citizenry through civic education about Congress and 
     public service.


 The 9 Strategic Themes Developed by Board of Directors, Senior Staff 
                         and Other Stakeholders

       1) Embrace the whole ``Congressional Family''
       2) Collaborative Partnerships
       3) Community Outreach and Programming
       4) Showcase Good Governance
       5) Build our Brand
       6) Elevate and Enhance Media Presence
       7) Working Together for Congressional Success
       8) Celebrate Bipartisanship
       9) Build Bipartisan Relationships


  The 4 Core Strategies Developed by Staff to Translate FMC's Mission 
                              into Action

       1) Provide forums for dialogue that build and strengthen 
     relationships in support of a healthy representative 
     democracy.
       2) Elevate and streamline our brand so that our accumulated 
     wisdom and convening power is recognized as a reputable and 
     unparalleled resource on the U.S. Congress.
       3) Be a champion for public service that is based on 
     respect and collaboration.
       4) Develop FMC for maximum impact and efficiency.


Core Strategy 1: provide forums for dialogue that build and strengthen 
     relationships in support of a healthy representative democracy

       Purpose: Strengthen and expand existing programs that build 
     across-the-aisle relationships for current Members of 
     Congress as well as Congressional staff; showcase good 
     governance that is based upon bipartisanship and civility; 
     reconnect citizens with their representative democracy by 
     bringing Congress back into the community.
       Specific Actions:
       A. Programming. Redefine programming portfolios to fall 
     into easily recognizable categories, for example group all 
     exchange programs, group all Capitol Hill programs, group all 
     non-DC programs rather than current labels.
       1) Build partnerships with like-minded organizations that 
     offer programs which align with FMC's mission.
       2) Identify vital themes and streamline programming into 
     consistent and recognizable groups and develop cohesive 
     schedule of events
       3) Streamline staff responsibilities and portfolios to 
     group programs in a more coherent way.
       4) Expand Congress to Campus model to other constituencies 
     by marketing events better, incorporating social media and 
     modern technology such as an updated website, and using 
     modern technology to keep constituencies involved.
       5) Make more concerted effort to have Statesmanship Awards 
     Dinner celebrate true bipartisanship and build coherent year-
     round programming around event theme.
       6) Increase public service element of annual and regional 
     meetings by incorporating FMC programming and telling FMC's 
     story to our own membership in a more compelling and cohesive 
     way, which will also aid in recruiting FMCs to be more 
     active.
       7) Expand programming impact and ability to keep 
     constituents involved following a program by building a 
     cohesive schedule of events so that participants from one 
     event can continue their interaction with former Members via 
     a follow up event, for example a Congress to Campus visit is 
     followed up by a webinar.
       8) Find ways to incorporate technology into every aspect of 
     FMC events, from marketing to registration, from tweets 
     during event to creating platforms for follow up.
       B. Regional Outreach. Develop a comprehensive plan for 
     regional outreach to reach new constituencies.
       1) Increase regional outreach based on FMC's themes, for 
     example bipartisanship or civics, and involve local media.
       2) Incorporate as many FMC constituencies as possible into 
     a regional program, for example by combining a Congress to 
     Campus visit with a Congressional staff delegation, all 
     involving local former Members.
       C. Social Fabric. Broaden and enhance social activities to 
     create relationships
       1) Identify and create new forums by building 
     collaborations and partnerships.
       2) Enhance FMC presence by creating unique and inclusive 
     events on Capitol Hill and at non-Congressional venues.
       3) Bring together the different members of the 
     ``Congressional Family'': former Members, current Members, 
     Congressional staff, FMC partners, etc.


     core strategy 2: elevate and streamline our brand so that our 
accumulated wisdom and convening power is recognized as a reputable and 
               unparalleled resource on the U.S. congress

       Purpose: Vastly expand our reach and our impact; be an 
     advocate on behalf of the Congress and on behalf of the value 
     of public service; unify our leadership, membership and staff 
     behind FMC's core message.
       Specific Actions:
       A. Brand Identity. Unify and elevate FMC brand and 
     marketing materials, both internal and external.
       1) Decide whether ``FMC'' accurately describes the work of 
     FMC.
       2) Create consistent, unified visual brand for all FMC 
     artwork, logos, letterhead, etc.
       3) Create unified message and train everyone, including 
     board and staff, to communicate the same points about FMC.
       4) Develop cohesive schedule of events with same themes 
     across programming.
       B. Website. Have a more modern, dynamic and interactive 
     site that better tells our story and is a more effective tool 
     for staff.
       1) Redesign current site.
       2) Drive social media traffic to website and vice versa.
       3) Make better use of partners and like-minded entities to 
     expand outreach via social media and advertise FMC 
     capabilities and programming.
       C. Media. Build relationships with the media.
       1) When appropriate, invite media to FMC events.
       2) Train and deploy FMC board and senior staff to be issue 
     experts and a resource for national, regional, and local 
     media, while also telling FMC's compelling story.


  core strategy 3: be a champion for public service that is based on 
                       respect and collaboration

       Purpose: Celebrate bipartisanship that is the unifying 
     driving force behind FMC's success; provide opportunities for 
     an expanded number of former Senators and Representatives to 
     continue their service to country via FMC programs; 
     demonstrate the power of civility.
       Specific Actions:
       A. Involvement. Create a call-to-action on a national and 
     regional basis to expand the present number of actively 
     involved former Members, and create a pool of engaged Members 
     in all regions of the country.
       1) Focus on civic education to create a call-to-action that 
     is regional and happens at the state level; raise Members' 
     engagement in FMC by giving them a real issue with real 
     action items and real deliverables that can be applied across 
     the country.
       2) Organize regional meetings to gather former Members who 
     are no longer in DC, engage them in FMC as an organization, 
     educate them on FMC projects, issue call-to-action on civic 
     education, and use these relationships to build a more 
     actively involved membership in all regions of the country.
       3) Give broader group of engaged stakeholders an 
     opportunity to benefit the organization by expanding notion 
     of ``Congressional Family'' to also include current Members, 
     current senior staff, former senior staff, etc. via 
     partnerships and collaborative efforts across the country.
       B. Recruitment. Expand the number of former Members of 
     Congress, both in the Washington, DC area and in all other 
     parts of the country, who actively participate in the call-
     to-action through FMC programming and are willing to donate 
     their time, expertise, leadership and funding to FMC.
       1) Increase the degree of former Senator participation and 
     active engagement.
       2) Make recruitment a core element of all regional meetings 
     as well as the DC-based annual meeting, utilizing these 
     gatherings to focus much more on FMC's programming and the 
     need for membership support.
       3) Showcase success by highlighting the impact specific 
     former Members have made by participating actively in FMC 
     programming.
       4) Create regional hubs across the country where fully 
     engaged FMC members can take a leadership role to recruit 
     former colleagues in the area.


     Core Strategy 4: Develop FMC for maximum impact and efficiency

       Purpose: Streamline all of FMC's resources--staff, funding, 
     leadership--for greater impact; modernize programs and 
     processes to capitalize on new technology, thus expanding our 
     impact, but expending fewer of FMC's limited resources.
       Specific Actions:
       A. Short-term resources. Refine our notion of where we 
     spend our time and money in the short-term:
       1) Develop a strategy specific to Congress to Campus visits 
     that envisions an increased number of visits, a Steering 
     Committee composed of FMC board members, and additional 
     funding via a corporate or foundation sponsor.
       2) Decline participating in projects by outside 
     organizations if project does not meet the following test: 
     Does the project further FMC's mission? If no, decline. If 
     yes, will we be compensated for FMC staff time and any other 
     costs?
       a. If yes, proceed only if staff time is available.

[[Page H7578]]

       b. If no, is the project's purpose or potential for future 
     FMC impact worth expending our own resources? If no, decline.
       3) Communicate to outside groups that there is limited 
     opportunity for short notice and ad hoc programming (it will 
     emerge clearly after a 12 to 18-month calendar of events is 
     created which time windows lend themselves for additional 
     programming, and which do not).
       4) Streamline program implementation procedures and create 
     templates to eliminate redundancies across the organization.
       B. Long-term resources. Refine our notion of where we spend 
     our time and money in the long-term:
       1) Examine benefit of hosting charitable golf tournament.
       2) Examine benefit of hosting Life After Congress Seminar.
       3) Eliminate current model of Congress Bundestag Seminar.
       C. Organize. Create more effective and cohesive procedures:
       1) Group programming into themes.
       2) Streamline staff portfolios.
       3) Elevate impact of board of directors.
       4) Expand notion of ``Congressional Family'' and outside 
     stakeholders.
       5) Develop long-range calendar to implement cohesive 
     message and common themes.
       D. Review and Evaluate. Install an annual review process to 
     evaluate implementation of this plan and whether the plan's 
     objectives continue to be core strategies for FMC.


                            Plan Commentary

       With current staffing and budget levels, we can:
       A. Develop an across-the-organization unified visual brand 
     to incorporate logo/look/marketing materials.
       B. Via SKDKnickerbocker contract:
       1) Develop consistent branding message.
       2) Train board members and staff to communicate consistent 
     message and deploy trained spokespersons to interact with 
     local and national media outlets.
       3) Develop social media strategy.
       With additional funding, we can:
       A. Redesign website.
       B. Hire senior staff member as Director of Development to 
     free other staff up for program creation and implementation 
     instead of fundraising.
       C. Develop recruitment strategy to incorporate regional 
     outreach, DC-based former Member outreach, and marketing 
     materials.
       D. Develop new programs that are mission-specific, 
     incorporate multiple themes we aim to address during a given 
     year, can serve as a recruitment tool to bring additional 
     former Members into the fold, and take advantage of the 
     resources like-minded organizations offer via partnerships 
     and collaboration; new projects could include:
       1) Case studies of legislation that showcase across-the-
     aisle collaboration and resulted in high positive impact for 
     the nation.
       2) A national theme--civic education--that can be 
     implemented regionally, thus creating a call-to-action and a 
     common project for former Members and other stakeholders 
     across the nation.
       3) Programming focused on advocating on behalf of Congress 
     and current Members, for example highlighting the need for 
     Congressional Reform or shining a spotlight on the tremendous 
     fundraising demands put on current Members.
       4) Social events and travel for current Members and senior 
     Congressional staff to build bipartisan relationships.
       E. Hire junior staff member to assist with additional 
     programming as well as support senior staff that service the 
     needs of partners and collaborative projects.
       F. Organize regional activities to recruit FMCs and to 
     broaden the organization's national footprint/impact.
       G. Offer additional programming in DC to build across-the-
     aisle relationships for current Members and senior 
     Congressional staff.
       H. Purchase hardware and software to make much better use 
     of technology, for example to offer webinars, webcasts and 
     podcasts; this could be an option for academic institutions 
     (colleges, community colleges, high schools) to participate 
     in a condensed Congress to Campus experience without the cost 
     of travel or an administrative fee.


            Crosscutting Themes for Strategy Implementation

       Communicate cohesive message.
       A. Develop across-the-organization look.
       B. Train staff and board to communicate unified message.
       Create a stronger media presence by redesigning website and 
     social media strategy.
       A. Take advantage of technology to tell more compelling and 
     interactive story.
       B. Use technology to engage membership and program 
     participants before, during and after an FMC event.
       C. Make use of the SKDKnickerbocker opportunity.
       Develop cohesion across the organization.
       A. Sync programs into cohesive themes.
       B. Sync long-range calendar of events.
       C. Redefine staff portfolios.
       D. Redefine deliverables and expectations of board of 
     directors.
       Build partnerships and opportunities for collaboration.
       A. Expand successful programs to new venues.
       B. Expand internal definition of ``Congressional Family'' 
     and FMC stakeholders.
       C. Build FMC footprint that goes beyond DC.
       D. Serve partners by offering FMC as a resource, and take 
     advantage of partners to utilize their projects to further 
     FMC's mission.
       Elevate FMC from a DC organization to a national 
     organization.
       A. Recruit former Members from all parts of the country to 
     support the organization's mission and diverse range of 
     programs.
       B. Bring broad range of FMC programming together for a 
     regional project.
       C. Empower regional stakeholders--former Members, local 
     media, local Congressional staff, etc.--to take advantage of 
     FMC as a resource.

  Mr. STEARNS. Already, this work has had a tremendously positive 
impact on us. I am extremely pleased to announce that, since our last 
meeting, as a direct result of our strategic plan, we have secured 
three new grants: the Democracy Fund; the Hewlett-Packard Foundation's 
Madison Initiative; and just last week, the Japan-U.S. Friendship 
Commission. These outstanding sponsors join our long-term partners with 
whom we have worked for many years, including the Stennis Center for 
Public Service Leadership, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, and The 
German Marshall Fund of the United States.
  In addition to this fundraising success, or more accurately because 
of it, we have added four additional staff members to the Former 
Members of Congress team, many of whom you will meet throughout the 
day.
  We have also launched a new program aimed at connecting, on a 
bipartisan basis, current district directors from throughout the 
country with each other to work together on specific issues and benefit 
from hearing each other's best practices.
  As you know quite well, district directors are at the very forefront 
of our representative democracy and tend to be the first interaction 
between a constituent and his or her Member. The district director 
functions as a mediator, bridging the gap between the national policy 
and the district's interest. But the very nature of being in the 
district means that the congressional professionals do not have the 
same opportunity their colleagues in D.C. have: to get to know their 
counterparts in other offices, to work collaboratively on issues of 
common concern, and to build a network of contacts among their peers.
  Thanks to expanding on existing grants and winning new foundation 
support, we have conducted a number of district director specific staff 
delegation trips and now have brought together, under one umbrella, 
dozens of district directors from all parts of the country and, of 
course, on both sides of the political aisle. District director study 
tours provide an exciting opportunity to build bipartisan 
relationships, share best practices, and, with the international 
travel, build transatlantic relationships.
  In March, a bipartisan group of 10 district directors from around the 
country traveled to Stuttgart, Germany, to study security issues, dual 
vocational education and apprenticeships, trade, and foreign 
investments.
  In April, a bipartisan group of six district directors traveled to 
Houston to learn about the energy industry and workforce development.
  In June, a bipartisan group of six district directors went to Boston 
and focused on the tech industry and education.
  This October, another bipartisan group of six district directors will 
be going to Iceland to focus on alternative energy, the environment, 
and natural resources.
  After all these trips, we can confirm that district directors greatly 
appreciated and found immense value in the opportunity to not only 
learn about the organized topic but to share the experience with other 
district directors, particularly from the other side of the aisle.
   One statement heard again and again, ``I have that same issue, what 
did you do about it?'' These district directors through FMC have a 
chance to really bond, regardless of what party, where in the country 
they are from or what the demographics of their constituency is.
  For 2018, we already have confirmed another district director trip to 
Germany and to Japan. We also plan for other activities to engage 
district directors, including possibly two more domestic trips and 
invitations to all Former Members of Congress regional meetings.
  Regional meetings are another outgrowth of our strategic plan. One 
clear refrain of the strategic planning sessions that we had that 
resonated loud

[[Page H7579]]

and clear was that we need to get outside of Washington more. If we are 
going to be supportive of Congress, we need to make sure we are not a 
voice just heard in D.C.
  Former Members live outside of Washington. Current Members are 
spending much more time in their districts. It is, therefore, critical 
that we participate more outside of D.C. and with the congressional 
staff that is outside.
  Since our last report to Congress, we already have hosted three 
regional meetings, with a fourth one planned for later this year. These 
meetings are a day long and not only provide an opportunity for former 
Members to come together, but we also provide them an opportunity to 
share their knowledge and expertise with the younger generation by 
building into our program outreach to a college campus, or a high 
school, for example.
  We were in Los Angeles late last year and included a meeting with 
UCLA students. In April, we went to Chicago, where a group of former 
Members held a panel for Northwestern students. In July, we visited 
Boston, where a group of former Members and a visiting delegation of 
district directors met with interns in the Massachusetts State House.
  We have a regional meeting in Orlando on the schedule for November 
7th and have arranged for a mini Congress to Campus visit to the 
University of Central Florida. In addition to bringing together former 
Members from the region, we extend invitations to State 
Representatives, district directors, local academics, and others in the 
congressional family.
  We plan to crisscross the country with regional meetings so that we 
can both engage our membership and meet their needs, as well as expand 
our mission to deepen the understanding of our democratic process and 
to engage the citizenry through civic education about Congress and 
public service.
  Our last new development should be highlighted: we are issuing to our 
Members a call to action on the crucially important aspect of civic 
education. We have formed a partnership with the Lou Frey Institute at 
the University of Central Florida. As you are surely aware, civic 
education has been one of the most important issues our dear friend Lou 
Frey has worked on since leaving Congress, and his institute has become 
a leading voice on this topic in my home State of Florida. Included in 
this partnership is the Civic Mission of Schools, which works hand in 
hand with the civic education initiative of Justice Sandra Day 
O'Connor.
  We envision an extremely active role for former Members to play at 
the State level to be an advocate for civic education. Florida, of 
course, is a great example on how civics can be restored if there is a 
bipartisan consensus and commitment to make it happen.
  In addition to this partnership, I am proud to share with you that we 
are in the process of taking our highly successful model of the 
international Congressional Study Groups and translating it for the 
first time to a domestic issue: the Congressional Study Group on 
Civics.
  Our vision is to bring together, under our umbrella, the bipartisan 
congressional family--Republicans and Democrats; former Members and 
current Members; chiefs of staff currently working on the Hill and some 
who left the Hill and are now in communities all over the country; and 
our newest constituency, district directors for current Members--all of 
us working together under the umbrella of the Congressional Study Group 
on Civics to promote civic education and make a better understanding of 
our representative democracy and a much greater knowledge base when it 
comes to Congress and the work of Members of Congress. This new 
undertaking is in the very beginning stages, and I look forward to 
reporting to you next year on our progress.
  One goal of this civic outreach is to remove the stigma that now is 
attached to the word ``politician.'' John Buchan had a quote. He was an 
English scholar; he wrote 42 books; he had numerous publications; he 
was elected to parliament in England at the beginning of the 20th 
century; and he was appointed Governor General of the Assembly in 
Canada by the King.
  This is what he said: ``Public life is regarded as the crown of a 
career, and to young men and women, it is the worthiest of ambitions. 
Politics is still the greatest and most honorable adventure.''
  If our civic education outreach can reintroduce this appreciation of 
public service in this next generation, then we will have succeeded.
  Civic education and this commitment to reaching out to students 
across the country are just two of the reasons we will honor our 
colleague David Skaggs later today. I hope you all will join us during 
our luncheon in David's honor as we recognize his exemplary service to 
this country with our 2017 Distinguished Service Award.
  As many of you know, David was an officer in the Marine Corps in 
Vietnam before seeking public office. He served in the Colorado State 
Legislature and, of course, here in the House of Representatives for 
six terms. He now serves with Martin Frost and Vin Weber on the board 
of the National Endowment for Democracy. He and his lovely wife, Laura, 
will be with us during lunch today.
  Before I yield to David to report on our Congress to Campus and 
Civics projects, I hope all of you will join me in a round of applause 
for our 2017 Distinguished Service honoree, David Skaggs.
  Mr. SKAGGS. Cliff, thank you very, very much for your very kind 
words. I am honored to receive this award. It is especially important 
because it comes from my peers, and I am humbled, given that prior 
recipients of this award included such giants as Amo Houghton and Lee 
Hamilton. My great thanks to you, the Executive Committee, and the 
board of directors.
  I am here to talk a little bit about the Congress to Campus program 
that Cliff has already alluded to. It is our most impactful and 
important domestic program, and I am glad to report on it and also to 
add some thoughts about the state of civic education across America.
  What a year Congress to Campus has had during 2016 and 2017. Under 
this program, bipartisan pairs of former Members visit college campuses 
for several days to speak to students from all disciplines in a variety 
of settings, large and small.
  We have three goals: to promote public service in the next generation 
of Americans, to teach about Congress and the work of a Member of 
Congress in ways that political science doesn't often capture, and to 
engage students in a discussion about the issues of the day.
  The format demonstrates that a Republican and a Democrat can have 
different points of view and opinions but still have a respectful 
debate looking for common ground and a path forward.
  Last fall, during the election season, the Former Members of Congress 
sent teams to 16 campuses. We had an additional 14 visits during the 
spring term. It was the busiest academic year in the 35-year history of 
the program.
  Former Members visited all over the U.S., from the University of 
Maine to Alcorn State in Mississippi and from the Naval Academy to 
Arizona State. There were also four international Congress to Campus 
visits.
  Students come away with a better understanding of how Congress works 
and what the life of a Member of Congress is like. Sixty percent of the 
students report that their opinion of Congress improves after hearing 
from a bipartisan pair of former Members.
  After hearing from such a visit, one student observed that 
Republicans and Democrats aren't completely at odds and that they can 
work together. That is certainly very different than the way the media 
portrays things. Another student came away with a sense of how 
important it was to be involved in public service.
  In 2016, over 50 Members gave their time to speak to almost 7,000 
students, not just at colleges in the Congress to Campus program, but 
also students in high school and middle school. I want to thank my 
colleagues on behalf of the Association for their participation in 
these many visits.

  Special thanks to the Former Members of Congress staff, particularly 
Sharon Witiw, who is here in the Chamber, for nurturing this important 
program, for getting on us to participate and expanding it in 
partnership with our friends at the Stennis Center. We have come a long 
way since the years when a busy Congress to Campus year consisted of 
two or three visits per semester.

[[Page H7580]]

  For these college audiences, we don't talk about how a bill becomes 
law but, rather, examine issues deeply and look into the politics of 
today's Congress. The program is civic education in practice.
  I also need to report that more and more, during these visits, we 
encounter a lack of civic literacy, a lack of basic understanding of 
our Constitution and the structure and practice of American 
representative democracy. It seems to be getting more pronounced every 
year.
  Our Association shares with many others across the country a growing 
concern about the current state of civic knowledge and skill. Just last 
week, the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania found in 
its survey that only a quarter of Americans can name all three branches 
of government and more than a third can't name any of the rights 
protected by the First Amendment.
  Lack of this sort of basic civic knowledge and skills probably has a 
relationship to the current level of distrust in government and 
officeholders. This has led the Association to look for possible 
solutions.
  Building on the civic ed admission of our Congress to Campus program, 
the Association now intends to play a larger role in addressing civic 
illiteracy by reaching younger audiences in middle and secondary 
schools.
  A bipartisan group of our Association came together for strategic 
planning around this mission. Working with the Lou Frey Institute at 
the University of Central Florida, the campaign for the Civic Mission 
of Schools, and Tufts University and facilitated by Pete Weichlein's 
wife--is she here today, Pete? No. Okay.--we developed a plan for how 
former Members could be more actively involved.
  This work has generated some exciting developments. Cliff has already 
shared the idea of a Congressional Study Group on Civics, which we 
intend to have bring together current Members, district directors, and 
chiefs of staff, bring them into our undertaking to advance civic 
learning and practice.
  Last week, the Association participated in a groundbreaking national 
symposium on civics organized by our two partners, the campaign for the 
Civic Mission of Schools and the Lou Frey Institute, where funders and 
many civic organizations exchanged ideas and renewed their commitments 
to improving our common efforts to educate for democracy.
  Pete and I were there and had the privilege, on behalf of our 
Association, to commit us to making civic education the centerpiece of 
the Former Members of Congress' domestic programs, and Pete will be on 
each and all of us to make good on that promise.
  We have a steering committee of former Members committed to the 
effort. My friends and colleagues, George Nethercutt, Jim Gerlach, Bill 
Sarpalius, Tom Coleman, Karen Thurman, Steve Horsford, and Mickey 
Edwards join me on that committee. We will convene soon to discuss what 
former and current Members can do together to make a difference and to 
issue a call to arms to our membership. Consider yourselves forewarned. 
I am looking at you, Dan Glickman.
  By exemplifying bipartisanship and taking advantage of the networks 
we still have, former Members can make a tremendous contribution to 
addressing the core need of American democracy: preparing our young 
people for active citizenship. I look forward to reporting to you again 
next year on our progress.
  More importantly, we need to engage all of you in this effort. Our 
people's lack of understanding of our own system of government has 
become pervasive, and it threatens the Republic. It explains much of 
what ails us politically.
  Cliff, thank you very much for your leadership of the Association and 
for the opportunity to give this report.
  Mr. FROST. Cliff, if we could suspend.
  The Chair recognizes the distinguished Speaker of the House, the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Ryan).
  Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I have never spoken on this mike before, so I 
am going to give it a try. This is literally the first time I have 
spoken from this one.
  Hey, Donna, how are you doing? Good to see you guys.
  Greetings. Good to have you. Not much happening around here, pretty 
easy going, you know, slow moving, nothing controversial whatsoever. It 
is an interesting time, I can tell you that, one of these deals.
  I came here in 1998 with many of you. I see so many familiar faces.
  Good to see you, Dan.
  And I would say what has changed this place in the 19 years I have 
been here is the internet. The internet has changed society. It has 
also changed the way Congress works--some good, some bad, and some in 
between. You are basically out there seeing that.
  All I would ask you to do is, in your walks of life, in your spheres 
of influence, just help explain to the country how this place really, 
actually works. Because you hear sort of the cartoon version of it when 
you turn on TV. It is actually a place where people care, where people 
work hard, where people think, where people study, where people 
interact, and where they get along more often than not and we actually 
get things done.
  At a time where faith in civil society and in our government is not 
very high, we could use a few more ambassadors helping express to the 
country that the foundation here is solid, it is strong, it is 
enduring, and it is going to persist.
  When these microphones are turned off or when the TVs are turned off, 
we all actually get along pretty well. About 80 percent of the things 
that we pass here, just like when you were here, are bipartisan. Now, 
clearly, we are going to have partisanship; clearly, we are going to 
have different viewpoints and passion. But at the end of the day, the 
system is strong; the system is going to work; the institutions are 
here; and the separation of powers is as valid and as potent as it ever 
was before.
  I would just say: Welcome. It is great to see all these familiar 
faces. You look a whole lot happier than you probably did when you were 
here. Whenever I see Members of Congress after they have left, they 
look like they have de-aged like 5 or 10 years, and I think that goes 
for a lot of you.
  I would say this: Help us be ambassadors for this institution, for 
this branch of government, to revive sort of civil respect for what we 
do here. I think we could all use a little bit of that, and it is just 
really nice to see you.
  God bless you.
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, thank you for taking time out of your busy 
schedule. I know that you do have a few things to look after these 
days, and thank you for being here and recognizing the significance of 
this organization.
  Mr. Stearns.
  Mr. STEARNS. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and we are just delighted that 
you took the time to come speak with us.
  David, thank you very much for that excellent report. I very much 
look forward to your remarks during lunch today.
  My colleagues, as all of you know, our most active programming 
involves current Members of Congress from both parties and from both 
Chambers and, of course, our Congressional Study Groups. We conduct 
programs focussing on Europe and Asia. We bring current Members of 
Congress together with their peers and legislatures overseas, and we 
work with our Department of State to talk about representative 
democracy with audiences overseas, also.
  Via the Former Members Association, I have met with numerous groups 
of legislators from other democracies who come to Washington for a 
better understanding of our representative government, our form of 
democracy, and what is going on politically in the United States and on 
Capitol Hill.
  These conversations and meetings are always a two-way street, and I 
learn as much, if not more, from our visitors as they do from me. Our 
Association has a longstanding partnership with a great NGO called 
Legacy International, bringing young professionals from the Middle East 
and North Africa to the United States.
  Our most recent group completed their 6-week D.C. stay earlier in the 
year and was composed of young professionals from Tunisia and Morocco. 
Most of these visitors worked in the NGO sector in their countries, and 
they

[[Page H7581]]

came to the United States to learn about the interaction between 
government and the nongovernmental sector. It is truly a very enriching 
cross-cultural dialogue, and I am very pleased that FMC offers this 
opportunity to our Members and to their visitors.
  As I stated earlier, the main international activity of our 
Association is housed with the Congressional Study Groups on Japan, 
Germany, and Europe. These are our programs that involve current 
Members of Congress as well as current senior congressional staff.
  I now invite my good friend and predecessor, Connie Morella of 
Maryland, to report on this aspect of our international work.
  Ms. MORELLA. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Cliff, for the 
introduction and all of your comments, and particularly for your 
leadership of Former Members of Congress during this year. You have 
done a superlative job.
  Well, as you know, Former Members of Congress works with all Members 
of the congressional family. Our network also includes current Members 
of Congress and their senior staff to promote a collaborative, 
bipartisan, and effective approach to policymaking both at home and 
abroad.
  Our flagship programs for our colleagues who are still in office are 
the Congressional Study Groups on Germany, Japan, and Europe. The 
Congressional Study Groups are independent, bipartisan legislative 
exchanges that strive to create better understanding and cooperation 
between the United States and our most important strategic and economic 
partners abroad.
  Each study group has a membership roster of between 75 and 125 
Members of Congress, and it is led by a bipartisan, bicameral pair of 
co-chairs who are currently in Congress. Our model celebrates active 
discussions among all participants, avoiding lengthy speeches or formal 
presentations, in order to create an atmosphere that promotes personal 
connections. We believe that the network of peers created via our 
programs have acted to renew and expand areas of mutual cooperation, 
especially in times of transition.
  The Congressional Study Groups are not the only programs dedicated to 
this mission, but they are unique in their year-round outreach to 
Capitol Hill. Unlike other formats, we provide long-lasting staff 
support and maintain a well-respected reputation as independent and 
non-advocacy. As a result, our network attracts a large, diverse group 
of legislators and policymakers who are committed to international 
dialogue. What is most important for us is that they join the 
discussion.
  A few highlights from the 114th Congress:
  We hosted 62 roundtables in Washington, D.C., which are the 
foundation of our programming. Maintaining a year-round outreach 
ensures that we are developing meaningful relationships instead of 
having occasional encounters.
  108 Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate and 204 
senior congressional staffers participated in at least one of those 
roundtables; most participated in multiple programs.
  We also organized 12 study tours abroad for Members of Congress and 
senior congressional staff because we know that immersive travel 
experiences have immense value.
  Each trip is an opportunity for mutual learning and sharing, as well 
as forming bonds, with meeting partners and within the bipartisan 
delegation itself, and we know that is important.
  Already, our programming calendar in the 115th Congress has been 
busy. In the first 6 months of 2017, we have organized three study 
tours for Members of Congress and three study tours for senior 
congressional staff.
  Our roundtables on Capitol Hill also recently welcomed several senior 
officials, including the German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs 
and Energy, the chairman and CEO of Lufthansa, and a high-level 
delegation from the Japanese Diet.
  I would like to acknowledge the service of all of our co-chairs for 
their hard work and dedication to these critical programs. Our co-
chairs are true leaders, who not only serve in their role as official 
Study Group leaders, but are also called on by various embassies and 
outside organizations to speak on panels, attend roundtables, and meet 
with countries who have visiting delegations.
  The Congressional Study Group on Germany is led by Senator Jeanne 
Shaheen, Representative Charlie Dent, and Representative Ted Deutch. We 
thank the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for his service as a Senate 
co-chair until February 2017.
  The Congressional Study Group on Japan is led by Senator Mazie K. 
Hirono, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Representative Diana DeGette, and 
Representative Billy Long.
  The Congressional Study Group on Europe is led by Senator John 
Boozman, Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Jeff Fortenberry, and 
Representative Peter Welch. We very much appreciate all their efforts 
in leadership.
  I also want to mention that our work is not limited to the three main 
Study Groups on Germany, Japan, and Europe. For example, over the past 
6 months, we have put a lot of energy into bringing Korea-focused 
programming to Capitol Hill. I don't have to tell you how important our 
relationship with South Korea is, and the many security and trade 
issues that shape this part of the world.
  We, therefore, in addition to our ongoing focus on China, have 
commenced programming on Korea. We are very fortunate to have former 
Member Jay Kim chair this effort in Korea itself, and his leadership 
already has resulted in a number of incredibly informative Capitol Hill 
programs involving former and current Members.
  The work of the Congressional Study Groups is complemented by our 
Diplomatic Advisory Council. Initially focused on European nations, the 
Diplomatic Advisory Council is now comprised of approximately 30 
ambassadors from four continents who advise and participate in our 
programming. Their interest and commitment to multilateral dialogues is 
a very valuable addition to the Congressional Study Groups and provides 
a valuable outreach beyond our three Study Groups.
  At the beginning of the 114th Congress, we also formed the 
Congressional Staff Advisory Council. As former Members of Congress, we 
know the value of good staff. I always say my rock and my staff, they 
support me. The Staff Advisory Council formally recognizes the mutually 
beneficial relationships we have in offices across Capitol Hill. We are 
as grateful for the staff who participate in and support our group 
programming as we are for the Members of Congress.
  Finally, I would like to add a thanks to those individuals, 
organizations, and corporations whose patronage makes our work 
possible. In particular, I would like to recognize Ambassador Jim 
Zumwalt and Ms. Junko Chano of Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, Dr. Karen 
Donfried and Reta Jo Lewis of The German Marshall Fund of the United 
States, and Ms. Paige Cottingham-Streater of the Japanese-U.S. 
Friendship Committee for their tremendous support as institutional 
funders of the Congressional Study Groups in 2017.
  Companies that belong to the 2017 Business Advisory Councils are: 
Allianz, All Nippon Airways, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BASF, B. 
Braun Medical, Central Japan Railway Company, Cheniere Energy, Daimler, 
Deutsche Telekom, DHL, Evonik Corporation, Fresenius Medical Care North 
America, Fresenius SE, Hitachi, Honda, Lockheed Martin, Lufthansa 
German Airlines, Marubeni America Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation 
(Americas), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Mitsui, Nissan, 
Panasonic, RatnerPrestia, the Representative of German Industry and 
Trade, Sojitz, Toyota Motor North America, UPS, and Volkswagen of 
America.
  Because of their financial support, our activities not only help to 
build vital bilateral relationships between legislatures, but also 
build bipartisan relationships within our own Congress. Mutual 
understanding and shared experiences among legislators are crucial, as 
you know, to solving pressing problems, whether at home or abroad.
  As former Members of Congress, we are proud to bring the important 
services provided by the Congressional Study Groups to our colleagues 
who are still in office, and are proud to play an active role in our 
continued international outreach.
  So I want to thank you, Cliff. I want to thank all of the Members who 
are here. Continuing these very important programs is important, and we 
thank you for that.
  Mr. FROST. Thank you, Connie.
  Mr. Stearns.
  Mr. STEARNS. Thank you, Connie, very much for that report, and thank

[[Page H7582]]

you also for the continued leadership that you have provided for the 
former Members of Congress. Your counsel is always appreciated and is 
invaluable.
  I now will lead to another former president of our Association, 
Dennis Hertel of Michigan. Dennis, along with former Member Ken Kramer, 
has been the driving force behind a program that is incredibly near and 
dear to our hearts: our efforts to help severely wounded veterans 
returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
  We do so via our annual charity golf tournament called The Members--
to avoid any confusion with The Masters--and we really have had a 
tremendous impact.
  Dennis.
  Mr. HERTEL. Thank you, Cliff.
  Let me associate myself with Connie Morella's remarks. Your 
leadership of FMC has been exemplary, and your report today is a 
tribute to our great energy and commitment. On behalf of our 
Association, thank you very much, Connie.
  I want to thank Speaker Ryan for what he said today about coming to 
visit us, but also talking about our being ambassadors to the Nation. I 
think we are, not only the Nation, but worldwide, about the Congress 
and how proud we are of the Congress and the democracy that we have 
here, and even with our great differences in today's world, how we 
carry on and represent the people and commend the Congress for doing 
so.
  I am tremendously pleased to share with our colleagues an update on 
our charitable golf tournament. As Cliff mentioned, I, along with Ken 
Kramer, co-chair the event, which is now in its 11th year.
  Back in 2006, we had low attendance. It was just a competitive match 
that we had between Republicans and Democrats out at Andrews Air Force 
Base and very private. We were dwindling in our attendance, and we 
thought maybe we could change this and make it into something effective 
for the community.
  We were able to transform it into something that was fun but also, 
more importantly, inspirational, where the focus was not just on your 
golfing ability. I am the example. I am not a golfer. I have co-chaired 
this for 10 years with Ken now, but I am the worst duffer you could 
have out there, yet the Democrats still won even with me on their team 
this year.
  It has become successful. As of today, the tournament has raised 
almost $1.3 million to help veterans and their families deal with 
injuries sustained during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
  The two beneficiaries of the money raised, Warfighters Sports, a 
division of Disabled Sports USA who helps with 120 different sports for 
their members across this Nation who have been injured in defending our 
country, and Tee it Up for the Troops, are two outstanding 
organizations that use adaptive sports as a way for severely wounded 
veterans to reengage with their families and communities and get a bit 
of their prewar activity back into their lives. These guys go skiing, 
they go mountain climbing, horseback riding. You name it, they do it. 
We are so proud of the men and women and what they have accomplished.
  We are proud that for the last 3 years, we have shared this honor of 
co-chairing the tournament with Congressman Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, 
who I am sorry to see is retiring now--he has just been an excellent 
chairman and a great friend to all of us all these years--and 
Congressman Gene Green of Texas, who has just been an outstanding 
leader and is going to continue with us, I hope. He is just so 
enthusiastic in getting Members out there.
  They are the ones who recruit the current Members of Congress, and 
they bug them and hassle them every week to get them out to our 
tournament. We have had more people, more Members at our tournament 
than other golf tournaments. There are so many different tournaments 
here in Washington that have Members play, but we have had the greatest 
turnout over the years.
  It is unlike any other golf tournament. There is still a little 
friendly competition. As I said, the Democrats won this year. I can't 
say that enough, because we lost for the past 7 years prior. And, you 
know, Republicans belong to more country clubs than Democrats, anyway. 
I think they have more experience.
  More importantly, we have had over 30 wounded veterans play this last 
year, and every year in our tournament, so many wounded veterans, and 
it is just inspirational.
  I played with a veteran from Michigan, a young man who had been in 
Afghanistan 2 weeks on the Army police force there, and lost his leg in 
a bomb explosion. And he was out there playing golf. Just an 
outstanding golfer, outstanding American, and to share that day with 
him has just been an honor for all of us.
  So we are already working now on the tournament for next year. It 
will be April of next year. We hope we get more former Members out. As 
I have said, we have done really well with current Members of Congress, 
but what we need is to get more former Members out. It doesn't matter 
our age or our ability. Even if you can just come out for the day and 
spend it with the veterans, you know, watching the match and having 
lunch and dinner and breakfast with the Members and, more importantly, 
the veterans, that is really worthwhile. If you bring your family out 
there too for a while, that is fine too. It is always at the Army and 
Navy Club, so it is convenient.
  We finish early. We start early. We start at 8 and we finish about 4 
in the afternoon, so we leave before the rush hour traffic so the 
Members can get back here for a vote. So we would love to have you come 
out even for a few hours if you have the time.
  Ken Kramer, Pete Weichlein and I back in 2006 wondered whether we 
could change our existing tournament to something more meaningful, and 
decided to transform the golf event from a highly competitive Members 
only tournament to a fun and inspirational fundraiser, where the focus 
was not on your golfing ability, but rather on coming together, on a 
bipartisan basis, former and current Members alike, for a great cause. 
I think I can speak for Ken and Pete when I say that we have succeeded 
beyond our wildest dreams. As of today the tournament has raised almost 
$1.3 million to help veterans and their families deal with injuries 
sustained during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The two beneficiaries 
of the money raised, Warfighters Sports, a division of Disabled Sports 
USA, and Tee it Up for the Troops are two outstanding organizations 
that use adaptive sports as a way for severely wounded warriors to re-
engage with their families and communities and get a bit of their pre-
war activity back into their lives.
  Both Ken Kramer and I have had the honor to be cochair of this 
tournament for the past 10 years, and we are proud that the last three 
years we have shared this honor with Congressman Jimmy Duncan of 
Tennessee and Congressman Gene Green of Texas. Jimmy and Gene are 
instrumental in recruiting current Members to the tournament. This 
tournament is unlike any other golf tournament. Although there still is 
a little friendly competition with the Speakers Cup, which the 
Democrats won this year after several years of losing to the 
Republicans, the day is all about the vets. Over 30 wounded veterans 
played in the tournament. It is quite amazing to see a wounded warrior, 
for example, someone who has lost a leg, drive the ball like a pro, 
out-shooting everyone in the foursome, or be inspired with stories of 
the courage you hear while playing a round of golf with a warrior 
suffering from traumatic brain injury. The tournament we hosted earlier 
this year was our most successful yet, with the greatest number of 
players and the largest dollar amount raised, and we already are 
working on the next tournament in April 2018.
  Before I yield the floor back to Cliff, let me thank him and Martin 
Frost for their incredible leadership on our annual gala event, the 
Statesmanship Awards Dinner. Cliff is FMC's president and Martin is the 
event's chairman. They work tirelessly on making the dinner a signature 
event here in D.C., and, more importantly, a huge successful evening 
for all of us.
  As you all know, we do not receive any funding from Congress, as 
Cliff pointed out again this morning. Not a single taxpayer dollar is 
earmarked for any of our programs, which, in my opinion, is exactly the 
way it should be. We are independent, we raise our own money, and our 
former Members donate their time pro bono for all the different 
programs that we have. As Cliff went over, we had former Members donate 
to us an astounding 6,500 hours of pro bono public service, even 
without the need to cover an honorarium. Running all of our outstanding 
programs does cost a lot of money and staff time. Therefore, in 
addition to

[[Page H7583]]

foundation grants, the Statesmanship Awards Dinner is an incredibly 
important piece of FMC's budgetary puzzle.
  Over the years, I have heard so many of our former Members talk about 
how much they appreciate our staff and how wonderful our staff is and 
how they accomplish what would take ten-fold another staff to do. We 
think it is the best staff in Washington. That is saying a lot, 
considering all the other competitive nonprofits that are successful 
here in Washington.
  So the way that we can show our appreciation for the staff and what 
they have accomplished and what they are doing for us and what they are 
doing for our country is this dinner. That is the one thing that we can 
all demonstrate our support at, because it pays their salaries. So if 
you appreciate what they do and you think they deserve a bonus, the 
best way to help them and to improve our Association is to help us sell 
tickets for this dinner.
  Under Martin Frost's chairmanship this last year, our 20th annual 
dinner, we had the most successful event ever. It was getting to be 
kind of the same old thing, and Pete Weichlein, our executive director 
who spearheaded this effort, said let's change it up, let's move it to 
the Mellon Auditorium, which has been a tremendous, majestic setting, 
and let's have some outside awardees that we honor too. Let's not just 
have a boring program where we have people get up and receive an award 
and give a thank-you speech and then take pictures. Let's have a panel 
discussion instead so we can involve the audience and take some 
questions and we all stay awake and people don't sneak out early, 
because it is interesting to hear that panel discussion.
  That is what Pete Weichlein has created now, and I think it is those 
two decisions that we now have the signature event here in Washington. 
We have something that we are proud of where we see more and more 
people come, more and more active Members come, people from the 
administration, past Members come. The Speaker has been supportive, the 
majority leader, minority leaders have been supportive in so many ways. 
I just think it is a way that we get to talk about what we do to a 
broader audience, and for them actually to say thank you to us by 
coming to that dinner.
  We now have a dinner that has become a signature event here in D.C., 
a classy and substantive evening of which all of us can be very proud. 
The only thing missing is to make it a black-tie evening, and maybe 
that is something we can consider for the future. It is that 
sophisticated an event.
  So Martin and Cliff have already put things in place to make the 2018 
dinner even more outstanding. They should be commended for their 
efforts. I, along with the other former Members serving on the event's 
steering committee, are committed to helping them. I hope all the 
former Members here today will take a closer look at the dinner and 
decide to become more involved.
  We are recognizing via this dinner the tremendous power of 
bipartisanship, something that Speaker Ryan talked about that is so 
important to all of us, and it really is exemplified in that dinner 
every year by the awards that we give, by the discussion we have, and 
by the people that attend.
  So this year we are going to be honoring as honorees Senators Lamar 
Alexander and Patty Murray, along with House Members Diana DeGette and, 
my good friend, Fred Upton from Michigan. We will host a conversation 
of our honorees on stage again so that those in attendance can hear 
about their success reaching across the political aisle and working 
together for the good of the country. They are able to tell stories 
about exactly how they accomplish things and what they did and the kind 
of personal relationships that they have and why that makes a 
difference, the kind of thing that we know about, that we want to reach 
the larger world so that they understand that things are done by 
individuals working together, and not by speeches and by fundraising 
alone, but by Members of Congress being effective and caring about 
moving the ball forward.
  The 21st Annual Statesmanship Awards Dinner is one of the most 
impressive in town. You will not regret becoming involved. You will see 
more of your former colleagues from both the House and the Senate, as 
well as ambassadors. Connie Morella has brought more ambassadors to 
that dinner and more administration officials and former officials than 
ever before.
  I am thinking of Speaker Ryan. A lot of us served with his former 
boss, Jack Kemp. Jack Kemp was in the Reagan administration and was 
such a leader. It just flows down from people who have served before 
carrying that torch forward, and I think Speaker Ryan is a great 
example of that. So the dinner exemplifies that, and it has become an 
increasingly impressive event, showcasing our Association.
  I hope all of you will join Martin and all the hard work he is doing. 
He will push us. He is really good at pushing us. He did that when he 
did it for the Democrats. He is a fundraiser. Now he does it, very 
importantly, for our Association. We would like that muscle to be used 
in a bipartisan way now.
  Cliff's leadership is outstanding across the board and tireless. So 
thank you very much. We are looking forward to a great dinner in 2018.
  Mr. FROST. Thank you, Dennis.
  We are now going to recognize Cliff again. As part of this meeting, 
we have to conduct some formal business, which is to reconstitute our 
board, to continue our officers. Cliff has some remarks about staff 
also, but this is the actual business part of the meeting that we are 
required to conduct.
  Cliff.
  Mr. STEARNS. Martin, thank you for that overview.
  And, Dennis, thank you very much for that very impressive report. We 
appreciate your leadership. You and Ken have given so much over the 
years for this golf tournament. I can only echo your remarks about the 
Statesmanship Awards Dinner, which will be held next year on March 21.
  All the programs we have described, of course, require both 
leadership and staff to implement. Our Association is blessed to have 
top people in both categories. I simply want to take this opportunity 
to thank our board of directors--over 30 former Members of Congress 
divided equally between the parties--for their active advice and 
counsel, and I really sincerely appreciate it.
  I also want to thank the many partners and supporters we have to make 
our programs possible. We are truly lucky to have assembled a group of 
corporations and foundations that believe in our work and make our 
success possible, and we very much value our partnership with them.
  Also, I would be remiss if I did not thank the other members of our 
Association's executive committee: our vice president, Martin Frost; 
our secretary, Tom Petri; our treasurer, Karen Thurman; and our past 
president, Barbara Kennelly.
  You have all made this Association a much stronger organization and 
much better than it was before, and I thank you, of course, for your 
time and energy.
  To administer all these programs takes a staff of dedicated and 
enthusiastic professionals. It is just amazing to me how much we get 
done with just a relatively small staff, and it is a testament to their 
dedication and their capabilities how successful we have been because 
of this.
  Andy Shoenig and Rachel Haas left the Former Members of Congress 
after many years of tremendous service, and we wish them both all the 
best as they pursue their new opportunities. Andy is earning his 
master's degree at the University of North Carolina, and Rachel found a 
great new position with a firm much closer to home, though I am very 
glad to see that she is with us this morning.
  As I mentioned earlier, we have added four new staff members, and I 
hope that throughout the day you will have an opportunity to meet them. 
They are: Alia Diamond, who is working on our communications; Kathy 
Hunter, helping us with development and membership; Patrick Egenhofer, 
focused on the Congressional Study Group on Germany and some of our 
domestic programs; and Paul Kincaid, who is our brand-new director of 
Congressional Outreach, and his first day is today. We welcome all of 
you.
  The rest of our team that you have had a chance to work with over the 
years are, and let me simply mention their names.
  Alexis Terai, who is part of our international team and runs our 
Congressional Study Group on Japan. She is fluent in Japanese, was 
educated in the United States and abroad, and has been

[[Page H7584]]

the key component to making our Study Group on Japan the largest and 
most active international exchange we offer to current Members of 
Congress.
  Lorraine Harbison is our International Programs Manager with main 
focus on the European Program. In addition, she makes the Diplomatic 
Advisory Council such a great success and has grown it from just a 
handful of embassies to now over four dozen actively participating 
Ambassadors.
  Sharon Witiw is our director of community outreach and oversees the 
smooth separation of projects such as the Congress to Campus program. 
She is also in charge of creating the vision we have for our 
Congressional Study Group on Civics, and you will be hearing from her 
as programming for their projects commences next year.
  Sabine Schleidt is our managing director who spends most of her time 
on the current Member international programs, but also a lot of hours 
on implementing the strategic vision and fundraising goals of our 
Association. With our new hire of Paul Kincaid as director of 
congressional outreach, Sabine's role will be much more focused on 
development, strategy, and engaging our membership. She joined our 
organization over 6 years ago, and, thanks to her creativity and her 
simply can-do attitude, we have grown tremendously under her 
leadership.
  And lastly, Pete Weichlein is our chief executive officer, who has 
been with the Association for over 18 years, first as a program 
director, then as international program director, and, since 2003, as 
our CEO. When you think about that, when he became the CEO, the Former 
Members of Congress was in a dire financial situation, and, over the 
years, he has taken this organization with his leadership to new 
heights, and I think all of us really appreciate his efforts.
  So all of you, if you would, please give an outstanding group of 
professionals a big round of applause.
  Hoorah, hoorah, hoorah.
  I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome to Washington a 
large delegation of former members of the European Parliament. As you 
know, we have two incredibly meaningful and active global partnerships, 
with our colleagues in Ottawa and our colleagues in Brussels. We often 
coordinate programs, particularly democracy-strengthening projects, and 
we exchange best practices. We are so thrilled to have them with us 
today on the House floor. They are led by their president of the 
Association of Former Members of the European Parliament, the Honorable 
Enrique Baron Crespo. Thank you so much for coming, and we appreciate 
your attendance.
  Every year at our annual meeting, we ask the membership to elect new 
officers and board members. I, therefore, now will read to you the 
names of our candidates for board members and officers. They are 
running unopposed; and I, therefore, will ask for a simple ``yea'' or 
``nay'' as I present to you the list of candidates as our slate.
  For the Association's board of directors, the candidates are:
  Jim Coyne of Pennsylvania
  Byron Dorgan of North Dakota
  Steve Horsford of Nevada
  Ken Kramer of Colorado
  Jim Matheson of Utah
  Jim Moran of Virginia
  Karen Thurman of Florida
  Ed Whitfield of Kentucky
  All in favor of electing these eight former Members to our board of 
directors, please say ``yea.'' Any opposed? Hearing no opposition, the 
slate has been elected by the membership.
  Next, we will elect our executive committee. As president, I serve a 
2-year term, which will end in 2018. However, the other three elected 
members of the executive board are up for re-election to a 1-year term. 
The candidates for our executive committee are:
  Martin Frost of Texas for vice president
  Tom Petri of Wisconsin for secretary
  Karen Thurman of Florida for treasurer
  All in favor of electing these three former Members to our executive 
committee say ``yea.'' Any opposed? Hearing no opposition, the slate 
has been elected by the membership. The executive committee is 
completed by Barbara Kennelly, who is an unelected officer in 
her capacity as immediate past president. Thank you.

  Mr. FROST. Mr. Stearns, if you would suspend for just a moment, we 
are honored to have with us the distinguished Democratic whip, the 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer).
  Mr. HOYER. President Stearns and Vice President Frost, and Tom, who 
is going to tell you what to do, welcome back; although, I see a lot of 
you, from time to time, as you walk the halls and remind us of the good 
old days.
  We have had quite a session so far, as I think you have noticed. You 
heard me talk before, and I am sure you have made this recognition 
already, we lost one of the great Americans with whom many of us have 
served, Bob Michel. Bob Michel passed away. Bob Dole is still with us, 
still with a great sense of humor, and, frankly, I miss those two 
Republicans dearly, and I miss a lot of you as well.
  We can remember when we were much more collegial than we now find 
ourselves. We saw an election in Alabama which does not bode well for 
future collegiality in the United States Senate, I think. We will see 
what happens in that election. Obviously, that was the primary. We will 
see what happens in the general.
  I think all of us have a responsibility to talk about the Congress 
that we have served in over the years. This is my 36th year in the 
Congress. I don't know that any of you served that long, and some 
people are asking why I am serving that long.
  Nick Rahall, how many years did you serve?
  Mr. RAHALL. Thirty-eight.
  Mr. HOYER. Thirty-eight. So I have to run one more time at least. 
Right, Nick?
  But in any event, I like to be with each of you every year that you 
come back here. As I say, I see some of you. And the Historical Society 
obviously does a wonderful job. I think that when I see you and we say 
``hello'' to one another, it is in a different context in which we meet 
as people who have participated in a very important and historic way, 
have worked together, have respected the institution, have respected 
the process of the institution, and have differed, obviously, but, 
nevertheless, were able to come to a place where we agreed to disagree 
and to at least act on that on which we could agree.
  I think that was very important for our country. As I have said 
before, and as you know, I continue to be very concerned about what we 
project to the country. The Congress now has single-digit approval. 
They don't believe the board of directors of the United States of 
America is working, and I think that is of great concern to all of us 
as citizens, as Americans, that we can't be successful as a nation if 
we have so little respect from the people who we represent, or 
confidence that we are doing the work that they want done.
  I try to convey to them, and I want to tell you, as you know, the 
majority leader, Kevin McCarthy from California, and I get along well. 
We don't always agree, obviously. Roy Blunt, who is one of my best 
friends, as I think some of you know, is now a Senator from Missouri 
but was the minority whip, and was the acting minority leader and 
minority whip for a period of time. He likes to say, ``Connie, Steny 
and I always agree when there are at least 420 other people voting the 
same way,'' which is to say unanimous consent essentially we agree.
  Roy and I didn't agree, but when we agreed, we made things happen in 
a bipartisan way. Kevin McCarthy and I do the same--not as often 
because we are more polarized than when most of you served in this 
Congress. When you served in this Congress, you remember, there were 
real confrontations. Some of us served in the Gingrich years, and they 
were pretty tough years, but even in those times when you served, there 
was an ability, I think, to work more closely together than now exists.
  John Boehner is not in the Congress because he wanted to work 
together, and we did on some very significant things. And John finally 
said: Look, if I can't get 218 on my side, I am not sure I want to be 
Speaker. He wasn't pushed out. People who say John Boehner was pushed 
out are wrong. John Boehner decided to leave. He wasn't pushed out. He 
would have had the majority of support on his side of the aisle all the 
time. There was no doubt about that.

[[Page H7585]]

  But I think John just got frustrated about his inability to galvanize 
a majority. I think Mitch McConnell probably empathizes a lot with John 
Boehner right now. Probably all of you think so as well.
  But I like to come here, and I thank you for staying engaged, staying 
involved--raising the institution, as opposed to the partisanship, but 
the institution and what its role is in our democracy.
  People talk about: Every 2 years, you really ought to change that. I 
am not sure that we ought to change it. The Founding Fathers were 
undoubtedly right, in my opinion. Does it cause us problems? Yes, it 
does. I tell my colleagues on my side: You cannot solve America's 
problems in 24-month cycles. What I mean by that, of course, is if all 
we have is thinking that goes from election to election, we won't be 
able to solve America's problems because they are not just subject to a 
24-month solution. We have got to think longer term.
  I am very worried about the debt, as I am sure some of you are, but 
we continue to do either spending or cutting taxes, and both sides that 
do that talk about how we need to balance the budget. We are not there.
  I thank you for staying engaged. I thank you for continuing to 
communicate with the public, with my constituents and your 
constituents, your former constituents, and your broader constituents 
as your fellow American citizens, to try to encourage them. When people 
say: When are you guys going to get together? My response to them is: 
As soon as you do. And they look at me quizzically. I say: As soon as 
you elect, on both sides of the aisle--Nick, have I talked too long? Is 
that my signal? What Nick is saying is: You junior Members need to get 
off the floor.
  Mr. FROST. I would advise Mr. Hoyer that there is no 5-minute rule 
here; however, we do have to vacate the floor in 15 minutes.
  Mr. HOYER. I am about to end.
  My point to you is we need to work together to make sure that our 
citizens do not believe that if you make an agreement with the other 
side you have sold out. I don't care which side you are on. Democracy 
is about compromise. Democracy is about working together. Democracy is 
about the creation of consensus. If we can't do that, we won't succeed 
as a country. Forget about Republicans and Democrats, we won't suceed 
as a country. I know you continue to do that, and, very frankly, 
looking at so many of you with whom I have had the honor and pleasure 
of serving, I know that when you were here, you worked at doing that. 
Thank you.
  Thank you, Mr. Frost.
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Stearns.
  Mr. STEARNS. I just want to thank Mr. Hoyer, the Democratic whip, for 
his kindness in coming by to give his remarks, and we appreciate his 
leadership and serving.
  My colleagues, it is now my sad duty to inform the Congress of those 
former Members and current Members who have passed away since our last 
report.
  As all of you know, at the conclusion of our annual meeting later 
today, we will hold a memorial service in Statutory Hall starting at 6 
p.m., where we will be joined by many of the families, as well as 
current Members of Congress, to pay tribute to the public servants we 
have lost.
  In addition, it is altogether proper to recognize these 
Representatives and Senators this morning here in the Chamber of the 
House of Representatives.
  I ask all of you, including the visitors in the gallery, to now rise 
as I read the names. At the end of the list, we will pay our respects 
to their memory with a moment of silence. We honor these men and women 
for their service to our country. There are 32 names. They are:
  William Armstrong of Colorado
  Bill Barrett of Nebraska
  Anthony Beilenson of California
  Helen Bentley of Maryland
  John Brademas of Indiana
  William Carney of New York
  Eligio ``Kika'' de la Garza of Texas
  Pete Domenici of New Mexico
  Jay Dickey of Arkansas
  Vernon J. Ehlers of Michigan
  Eni F.H. Faleomavaega of American Samoa
  Robert Garcia of New York
  Benjamin A. Gilman of New York
  John Glenn of Ohio
  Ken Hechler of West Virginia
  Lawrence J. Hogan, Sr., of Maryland
  Clyde Holloway of Louisiana
  Bill Hudnut of Indiana
  Raymond P. Kogovsek of Colorado
  Melvin Laird of Wisconsin
  Steven LaTourette of Ohio
  Mike Lowry of Washington
  Dawson Mathis of Georgia
  Robert Michel of Illinois
  Abner Mikva of Illinois
  Robert Morgan of North Carolina
  Ralph Regula of Ohio
  Clint Roberts of South Dakota
  Mark Takai of Hawaii
  Burt Talcott of California
  Ray Thornton of Arkansas
  George Voinovich of Ohio
  We will now have a moment of silence.
  Thank you.
  My colleagues, this concludes the 47th Report to Congress by the 
Association of Former Members of Congress.
  Let me leave you with one final thought as we exit this historic 
Chamber. David Hume, as you know, was a great political philosopher, 
and this is what he said: ``Of all men that distinguish themselves by 
memorable achievements, the first place of honor seems due to 
legislators and founders of states who transmit a system of laws and 
institutions to secure the peace, happiness, and liberty of future 
generations.''
  We thank the Congress, the Speaker, and the minority leader for 
giving us the opportunity to return to this revered and beloved Chamber 
and to report on our Association's activities. We look forward to 
another active and productive year, and I want to thank all of you for 
your attendance. Please join us for coffee and danishes in Room H-122 
as we leave the Capitol.
  God bless America.
  Mr. FROST. The Chair again wishes to thank the former Members of the 
House and Senate for their presence here today.
  Before terminating these proceedings, the Chair would like to invite 
those former Members who did not respond to the roll when it was called 
to give their names to the Reading Clerk for inclusion in the roll.
  I have noticed some of your presence and have handed a revised list 
to the Reading Clerk, but I may have missed a few of you. So, if you 
did not answer the roll, please stop by before you leave.
  Thank you very much.

                          ____________________