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The Mass Media

JFK Library to host two panels on Congressional reform

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The JFK Library

On March 26 the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will host two panels on congressional reform. The panels were created by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and the Commission on Political Reform (CPR) in partnership with USA Today, The Edward M. Kennedy Institute, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
The commission will be discussing a series of national conversations on American unity to identify achievable reforms to effectively solve congressional gridlock and how to alleviate dysfunction in the electoral system. There will be a plethora of panelists and the Director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, Trey Grayson, and USA Today Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Page, will serve as moderators. This event is open to students so long as they register before it reaches maximum capacity.
From one to two pm the discussion topic will be “The White House and Congress: How to Get Things Done.” This panel will focus on the experiences of former members serving the administration and former White House chiefs of staff. The speakers included in this panel are Josh Bolten, Andy Card, Charles Gonzalez, Trent Lott, Mack McLarty, and John H. Sununu. They will discuss their approaches concerning the efficiency of the administration and Congress and recommend methods to increase productivity.
The moderator for the first panel will be Trey Grayson. Before serving in his current role as Director of the Harvard Institute of Politics, he served six years on the IOP’s Senior advisory committee. Grayson is notable for his expertise concerning civic education, political beliefs on the Millenials, civility in politics and governing and election administration.
“I’m a big believer in not only exposing students to important issues but also engaging them, and I believe there is no better way to do that than have events like this take place on college campuses,” said Grayson. “A lot of the issues that will be discussed are long term issues and the college students are going to be the ones who are going to be impacted later on throughout their lives by the decisions that are made now. The goal of our panel is getting Congress to be more functional.”
He added, “we of course know that people will still disagree with one another and continue to foster opposing ideas and approaches, but we are trying to propose methods.”
Grayson also exhibited his enthusiasm when he said that “this will be a really extraordinary panel, with four former White House Chief’s of Staff, and several congressional leaders. The chance to have all of them together and having the opportunity to drive the conversation, to draw out some potential solutions, is really exciting. You know, this is an event I would be excited to just attend, let alone moderate.”
Following the panel moderated by Grayson, the next panel from two fifteen to four pm will be “National Conversation on American Unity.” This panel will include former elected officials and leaders — all of whom are participants of CPR– and a conversation on congressional gridlock. The speakers included in this panel are Robert Bennet, Henrey Bonilla, Rev. Floyd H. Flake, Dan Glickman, Victoria Kennedy, David McIntosh, and Olympia Snowe. USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief, Susan Page, will be moderating this panel and will incorporate questions from the audience as well as from Twitter.
This event is open to students and the public through registration on a first come first serve basis. University of Massachusetts Boston students are advised to check their student email accounts for an email that contains a link to register and the general public can contact the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum for further details.