September 27, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 155 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
PROCEEDINGS OF FORMER MEMBERS PROGRAM; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 155
(House of Representatives - September 27, 2017)
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[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. ____________________