The Concord Coalition this week recognized Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) for their leadership of the "Gang of Six" in the search for bipartisan fiscal reform.
Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), a member of Concord's board of directors, presented Chambliss and Warner with the 2011 Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award at the organization’s annual dinner Wednesday night in Washington.
Nunn praised both senators for their political courage, noting that each had incurred the wrath of some party colleagues for championing reform efforts that would protect the country. Chambliss called this “the issue of our lifetime” and Warner emphasized that the American public had the right to expect responsible corrective measures from their elected officials.
Concord’s 18th Annual Economic Patriots Dinner also featured a panel discussion on the fiscal, economic and demographic challenges facing the country. The topics included the prospects for the special congressional committee on deficit reduction, which faces a Nov. 23 deadline to submit its recommendations to Congress.
Panel members expressed varying degrees of optimism or pessimism about the likelihood of effective action before the 2012 elections. There was substantial agreement, however, that Congress needed to go well beyond the special committee’s assigned $1.5 trillion goal.
Panel members were Warner, Chambliss, former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-In.), Brookings Senior Fellow Alice Rivlin, Comeback American Initiative CEO David Walker and Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert Bixby. The panel moderator was Candy Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent.
A video of the award presentation and panel discussion will be posted here as soon as it is available.