Bipartisan Policy Center
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|Type||Public policy think tank|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Mission||Driving principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue.|
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that "drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue". It considers itself a think tank characterized by "politically balanced policy making with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach". The Center was founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George J. Mitchell.
BPC currently has projects focused on economic policy, energy, health care and nutrition, housing, national security, and transportation. Actively promoting bipartisanship, BPC hosts events like "Bridge-Builder Breakfasts", political summits, and policy discussions to foster an ongoing conversation about how to overcome political divides.
Jason Grumet serves as president of BPC. Prior to helping found the organization in 2007, Grumet directed the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP). He was also an adviser on energy and the environment for the successful 2008 presidential campaign of then Senator Barack Obama.
- 1 History
- 2 Policy programs and projects
- 2.1 Economic Policy Program
- 2.2 Energy and infrastructure program
- 2.3 Governance program
- 2.4 Health program
- 2.5 National Security Program
- 3 Annual Political Summit
- 4 Senior Fellows
- 5 Governors' Council
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
While BPC was formally launched in March 2007, the organization’s roots trace back to 2002, when the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP), predecessor to BPC's current Energy Project, was founded.
On June 17, 2009, BPC's "Leaders' Project on the State of American Health Care" (now an inactive project) released a report, Crossing Our Lines: Working Together to Reform the U.S. Health System'] The report, which came at the height of the health care reform debate in the United States, laid out plans to help states establish insurance exchanges and lower costs. Former Senate Majority Leaders and BPC Co-Founders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, and Bob Dole crafted the report.
On February 16, 2010, BPC hosted "Cyber ShockWave", a simulated cyber attack on the United States. The simulation, which was moderated by Wolf Blitzer and broadcast as a special on CNN, provided a look at how the government would respond to a large-scale cyber crisis affecting much of the nation. The simulation was created by former CIA Director General Michael Hayden (general) and BPC's National Security Preparedness Group, led by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission, Governor Thomas Kean and Congressman Lee H. Hamilton.
Former senior administration officials and national security experts participating in the event included: Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff as National Security Advisor; Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte as Secretary of State; White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend as Secretary of Homeland Security; Director of Central Intelligence John E. McLaughlin as Director of National Intelligence; Senator Bennett Johnston as Secretary of Energy; Director of the National Economic Council Stephen Friedman (PFIAB) as Secretary of Treasury; Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick as Attorney General, White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart as Counselor to the President; General Counsel of the National Security Agency Stewart Baker as Cyber Coordinator; and Deputy Commander U.S. European Command Charles F. Wald as Secretary of Defense. BPC released a report summarizing the findings and recommendations from the simulation.
On June 16, 2010, in conjunction with the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, BPC hosted a day-long conference entitled, "Breaking the Stalemate: Renewing a Bipartisan Dialogue", at the National Archives. Participants included Senator Ron Wyden, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, BPC Senior Fellow and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, former Minority Leader Bob Michel, and former Representative Martin Frost.
On November 17, 2010, BPC's "Debt Reduction Task Force" released its report, Restoring America's Future, in an effort to influence the debate over the national debt. The Task Force, led by former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici and former White House Budget Director and Federal Reserve Vice Chair Alice Rivlin, was a bipartisan group of former White House and Cabinet officials, Senate and House members, governors and mayors, and business and labor leaders. Their report was released two weeks prior to that of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
On May 11, 2011, former President of Colombia Álvaro Uribe spoke at BPC during an event to release a new report, Stabilizing Fragile States, by BPC's National Security Project. He highlighted his administration's efforts to reform the country's security services to combat extremist groups and gain the trust of the citizenry.
On May 23, 2011, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called for a balanced approach to deficit reduction in a speech at BPC. Hoyer said that both the White House's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and BPC's Debt Reduction Task Force "place a high priority on fairness, and strike a...more even balance between cutting spending and raising revenue."
On October 26, 2011, BPC launched the Housing Commission, a bipartisan effort led by Kit Bond, Henry Cisneros, Mel Martinez, and George J. Mitchell. The Commission will draft recommendations to reform the nation’s housing policy, including views on the most effective role of the federal government in helping to shape the nation’s future housing landscape.
In October 2011, an 18-member panel convened by the Center issued a report urging immediate researching and testing of geoengineering ideas in case "the climate system reaches a 'tipping point' and swift remedial action is required" regarding climate change mitigation of global warming.
On March 21, 2012, BPC hosted "A Century of Service" at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The event was a tribute to BPC founders and former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker and Bob Dole. Speakers included Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senators Pat Roberts and Lamar Alexander. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a BPC founder, and former Leaders Trent Lott and Bill Frist, both BPC Senior Fellows, also made remarks. To highlight the accomplishments and contributions of the honorees, BPC unveiled two short films that offer a glimpse into the respective careers of Baker and Dole.
Policy programs and projects
Economic Policy Program
Economic Policy Project (EPP)
In April 2011, the Economic Policy Project (EPP) released a federal budget enforcement mechanism called "Save-as-you-Go" or SAVEGO. The plan is modeled on various legislative efforts of the 1980s and 1990s, including PAYGO, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget Act, and the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990.
In June 2011, amid ongoing negotiations on a debt reduction deal between the US Congress and the White House, EPP released their Debt Limit Analysis, which provided a look at the consequences of a delay in raising the debt ceiling and the economic uncertainty that would ensue if the United States Department of the Treasury was forced to prioritize spending. BPC's analysis revealed that at some point in early August 2011, unless the debt ceiling was raised, the federal government would have been unable to meet all of its spending obligations. After that date, federal spending would have been reduced by as much as 44% for the remainder of August. Many media outlets, including USA Today, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NPR, The Los Angeles Times, and MSNBC, cited the analysis in news and opinion articles.
Restoring America's Future
The Debt Reduction Task Force (DRTF) is co-chaired by former Senator Pete V. Domenici and former OMB and CBO Director Dr. Alice Rivlin. The task force staff is led by Senior Director Steve Bell, former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee under Pete Domenici.
DTRF's November 2010 report analyzed the entire federal budget in detail and presented specific policy changes to stabilize the nation's projected debt, which were formally presented to Congress through a variety of hearings and meetings. The report received widespread attention and established BPC as one of the major voices in the national debate over America’s fiscal future.
The Debt Reduction Task Force released its report Restoring America's Future report on November 17, 2010. The group was led by Co-Chairs Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin. The Task Force's members were Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition, former Michigan Governor James Blanchard, former Chief of Staff to Bob Dole and Secretary of the Senate Sheila Burke, Leonard Burman of the Urban Institute and the Tax Policy Center, Deloitte Vice Chairman Robert N. Campbell III, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, former United States Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee G. William Hoagland, former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, Karen Kerrigan of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Donald B. Marron Jr. of the Tax Policy Center, former president of the American Federation of Teachers Edward J. McElroy, Joe Minarik of the Committee for Economic Development, former National Urban League president and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, former AARP CEO William D. Novelli, and former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams.
The plan reduces and stabilizes the debt at 60 percent of the economy, freezes discretionary spending, ends tax deductions, and raises new taxes. Federal tax revenue would rise to 23.1 percent of GDP by 2035 and the tax code would be simplified to two brackets, with rates of 15 and 27 percent. Defense spending would shrink to 2.4 percent of GDP and spending on health and Social Security programs would be held at 15.4 percent of GDP in 2035. The plan maintains the traditional Medicare program and introduces a market-based premium support alternative.
The housing finance system played a significant role in the recent U.S. financial crisis and the resulting economic recession. This fragile infrastructure, along with continuing market affordability challenges, impedes a robust economic recovery. The Housing Commission, launched in October 2011, aims to reform the nation’s housing policy by reexamining the role of the federal government in helping to shape the nation’s future housing landscape. Led by former U.S. Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez, also a former U.S. Senator, former U.S. Senator Kit Bond and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and BPC Co-Founder George Mitchell, the Commission plans to put forth a package of policy recommendations for consideration by the administration and Congress in early 2013.
Energy and infrastructure program
The Energy Project was launched in April 2011. The project is led by Co-Chairs Byron Dorgan, James L. Jones, Trent Lott, and William K. Reilly. Margot Anderson, previously of the United States Department of Energy, serves as project director. The Energy Project, which evolved from the structure of the National Commission on Energy Policy, focuses on energy security, supply, reliability, cost and sustainability. The project's membership includes energy industry CEOs, top NGO and labor officials, and senior former political figures from both major parties.
To date, the project has released reports on regulation ("Environmental Regulation and Electric System Reliability"), renewable subsidies ("Reassessing Renewable Energy Subsidies: Issue Brief"), and natural gas ("Task Force on Ensuring Stable Natural Gas Markets").
In December 2012, the Energy Project plans to issue a report on Energy Opportunities for the President and New Congress.
The American Energy Innovation Council, launched in June 2010, is co-staffed by BPC and the ClimateWorks Foundation. AEIC is a group of business leaders who promote a more vigorous public and private sector commitment to energy technology innovation. The group, led by Chad Holliday, Norman R. Augustine, Ursula Burns, John Doerr, Bill Gates, Jeff Immelt, and Tim Solso, released a report, A Business Plan for America's Energy Future, outlining actionable steps to boost the nation's technology potential.
National Transportation Policy Project (NTPP)
NTPP was launched in February 2008 with the aim of bringing new approaches and fresh thinking to transportation issues. The project is led by former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, former Representative Sherwood Boehlert, former Senator Slade Gorton, and former Representative Martin Sabo.
The first phase of the project's work resulted in a report, Performance Driven: A New Vision for U.S. Transportation Policy, proposing a variety of ideas and recommendations for reforming transportation policy. The report addresses both a long-term vision for transportation policy as well as a number of ideas and reforms that can be incorporated in a future authorization bill. In the report, NTPP calls for adequate and targeted investment in transportation infrastructure, ensuring that any expenditure sets out to achieve maximum returns and benefits in terms of national economic, energy, safety, and environmental goals.
On June 23, 2010, NTPP released a report, Transitioning to Performance-Based Federal Surface Transportation Policy, based on insights gleaned from a BPC-sponsored workshop led by national experts, congressional staff, and administration officials. The project hosted briefings for the administration and members of Congress and their staff to educate them on the report's findings.
On January 21, 2011, NTPP members Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Martin Wachs called on the White House and Congress to change their approach to transportation policy saying that "the nation can no longer afford to support poorly targeted investments when the needs are so great and public resources are so constrained". The report Strengthening Connections Between Transportation Investments and Economic Growth, outlines three specific policy changes the White House and Congress can make to ensure that scarce public dollars are spent wisely and, at the same time, create employment opportunities in the short term and contribute to the nation’s economic recovery in the long term.
On June 16, 2011, NTPP released Performance Driven: Achieving Wiser Investment in Transportation, a report that lays out near-term actions that can be taken to restructure the nation's surface transportation program. The recommended framework would streamline and consolidate over 100 existing transportation programs into 10 core programs, make transportation spending more sustainable by authorizing a program at existing revenue levels, and begin the transition to a performance-based system that is better able to leverage non-federal resources. The focus of the plan is to reform, consolidate and scale back the existing federal transportation program and make it targeted toward a set of specific national goals, including economic growth, national connectivity, metropolitan accessibility, energy security and environmental protection, and safety.
Launched in November 2010, the Democracy Project is a bipartisan initiative that analyzes and advocates for improvements to America's democratic institutions. Co-chaired by BPC Senior Fellow Dan Glickman, Dirk Kempthorne, and Steve Case, the Democracy Project focuses on two issue areas for reform: strengthening civil discourse in government, and Congressional redistricting or reapportionment. The project highlights potential infrastructure changes that promote a more efficient and effective government and issues recommendations with the aim of improving the national debate. The Democracy Project's Advisory Committee consists of government, business, civic, military, and academic leaders. John Fortier, a political scientist and former research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, serves as project director.
The Health Project, launched in January 2011, is headed by Co-Leaders Tom Daschle, Bill Frist, Ted Strickland, and Mike Rounds. Julie Barnes, former acting director of the Healthy Policy Program at the New America Foundation, is the director of the project. In response to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, BPC turned to developing a bipartisan approach to help states meet their ongoing budgetary, demographic, and health reform challenges. The Health Project focuses on four major areas of health reform policy: insurance reform and exchange development, implementation and innovation; options for state flexibility in the management and financing of Medicaid programs; the coordination and most effective use of information technology as a critically important tool for success in every aspect of health care delivery and financing; and the issues confronting the health professional workforce and how best to respond to these challenges.
The Prevention Initiative (formerly the Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative) was formed in March 2011 to help enhance physical activity and nutritional opportunities for all Americans. The Initiative brings together key experts, policy makers, and stakeholders to identify opportunities for action on these issues. Led by BPC Senior Fellow and former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, former Utah Governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, former Health and Human Services Secretary and University of Miami President Donna Shalala, and former Agriculture Secretary and UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman, the Initiative focuses on four priority areas: creating healthy institutions, training health professionals in nutrition and physical activity, demonstrating the value of prevention, and aligning federal food and farm policy.
In June 2012, the Initiative released its seminal report, Lots to Lose: How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future. Since then, the group has held events and published white papers on Training Doctors for Prevention-Oriented Care, and A Prevention Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care in America.
Lisel Loy directs the Prevention Initiative and Robin Schepper, former executive director of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, serves as a Senior Advisor.
National Security Program
Foreign Policy Project
The Foreign Policy Project (FPP) develops policy recommendations for pressing foreign policy issues by collaborating with respected civilian and military experts from the right and the left. FPP initiatives range in focus from determining appropriate policy responses to specific international situations to considering more broadly the shape and direction of global politics in the 21st century. FPP monitors national security and diplomatic challenges facing the U.S. and conducts research and analysis to support the development of concrete proposals for new policy structures, tools, and systems that can help the U.S. achieve its immediate and long-term foreign policy goals. The project is headed by Co-Leaders Gregory G. Johnson, Charles Robb, and Charles Wald. Michael Makovsky, who worked as special assistant for Iraqi energy policy in the Washington office of the Coalition Provisional Authority, serves as FPP's project director.
The project is divided into four initiatives: the Iran Initiative, the Russia Initiative, the Stabilizing Fragile States Initiative and the Strategic Public Diplomacy Initiative.
In June 2010, the Iran Initiative published its third report on Iran's theorized nuclear weapons program, Meeting the Challenge: When Time Runs Out. The report highlighted the immediate need for the U.S. to halt Iran's rapid progress toward nuclear weapons capability and laid out the dangers of alternative outcomes. It supported the U.S.‑led diplomatic outreach and sanctions against Iran, but recommended a more comprehensive triple-track approach involving the simultaneous pursuit of diplomacy, sanctions, and visible, credible preparations for U.S. military action.
The Russia Initiative is headed by Donald Evans, former United States secretary of commerce, and FPP Co-Leader Charles Robb. The initiative works to develop a cohesive U.S. strategy toward Russia that better advances U.S. security and economic interests while fostering better cooperation between the two countries. The project offers ways to construct an improved bilateral relationship in the energy, business, trade and investment sectors.
The Stabilizing Fragile States Initiative develops proposals for U.S. action to prevent failing states. The initiative is led by Paula Dobriansky, former under secretary of state for global affairs, and FPP Co-Leader Gregory Johnson. In March 2011, responding to growing unrest in the region, the initiative released Fragility and Extremism in Yemen, a case study that detailed the underlying causes of increasing insecurity and radicalism in Yemen, and showed why the United States should build security and governing capacities and encourage civic resilience in fragile states.
The Strategic Public Diplomacy Initiative is an effort to develop a framework for a modern public diplomacy strategy that is technologically savvy, leverages the potential of the private sector, and is tightly coordinated with U.S. national security goals. Led by James K. Glassman, former under secretary of state for public diplomacy, and BPC Senior Fellow Dan Glickman, the initiative will look at how the U.S. should conduct public diplomacy around the globe, specifically toward countries with Muslim majorities, while leveraging new media opportunities.
Homeland Security Project
The Homeland Security Project (HSP), co-chaired by Congressman Lee H. Hamilton and Governor Thomas Kean, is the successor to the 9/11 Commission. Its mission is to be a bipartisan voice on homeland and national security issues. "With the terrorist threat to the U.S. more complex and diverse than at any time in the last decade, HSP works to foster public discourse, provide expert analysis, and develop proactive policy solutions on how best to respond." The project will continue to monitor the implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations and develop solutions to respond to both emerging and evolving threats.
On April 6, 2010, HSP hosted a day-long conference, "The State of Intelligence Reform", marking the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Speakers, who included then-Representative Jane Harman, former CIA Director General Michael Hayden, and then-DNI Dennis C. Blair, assessed the progress that has been made in reforming the intelligence community since 9/11. On October 6, 2010, HSP held a follow-on event that focused on reform of the domestic intelligence agencies. The conference brought together FBI Director Robert Mueller, Representative Mike Rogers (Michigan politician), former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and others for a dialogue about how to ensure the U.S. intelligence agencies have the best information available to aid them in the fight against terrorism.
Assessing the Terrorist Threat, authored by project members Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman, explores the development of homegrown networks and the increasingly diverse and decentralized nature of terrorism. The report was released by project co-chairs Hamilton and Kean at a major press conference on September 10, 2010. Preventing Violent Radicalization in America, a follow-up to Assessing the Terrorist Threat, was released on June 23, 2011. The report, written by Peter R. Neumann of The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College London, provides guidance on ongoing efforts aimed at developing a coherent approach towards domestic counter-radicalization.
In the wake of the attempted Christmas Day 2010 bombing attempt (Northwest Airlines Flight 253), Hamilton and Kean provided testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Homeland Security about ongoing reform efforts in the intelligence community.
On August 31, 2011, HSP released their Tenth Anniversary Report Card: The Status of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations. During a press conference to report their findings, Commission Co-Chairs Kean and Hamilton, along with Commission members Fred Fielding, Senator Slade Gorton, Secretary John Lehman and Governor James R. Thompson, cited nine of the 41 Commission recommendations that have not been sufficiently implemented in the decade since the attacks.
Annual Political Summit
Since 2009, BPC has brought together Democratic and Republican political strategists for its annual political summit at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Hosted by James Carville and Mary Matalin, the summit creates a forum to exchange ideas on how the two parties can effectively work together to tackle the problems facing the nation.
The 2010 summit kicked off with the release of the first independent post-election poll to gauge voters' attitudes and the challenges facing the next Congress. The bipartisan survey, conducted by Republicans Ed Gillespie and Whit Ayres and Democrat Stan Greenberg, highlighted voters frustration with the current partisan tone in Washington, D.C. and the important role independents played in driving the election’s outcome.
In 2011, co-hosts Carville and Matalin welcomed a cast of newsmakers and politicos, including John Avlon, Greenberg, Karen Hughes, Walter Isaacson, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Melissa Harris-Perry, Richard Wolffe, BPC Senior Fellows Senators Bob Bennett, Trent Lott, Secretary Dan Glickman and many more.
- Bob Bennett (politician), former U.S. Senator from Utah
- Pete Domenici, former U.S. Senator from New Mexico
- Byron Dorgan, former U.S. Senator from North Dakota
- Bill Frist, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee and Senate Majority Leader
- Dan Glickman, former United States Secretary of Agriculture
- James L. Jones, former National Security Advisor and Supreme Allied Commander Europe
- Trent Lott, former U.S. Senator from Mississippi and Senate Majority Leader
- Olympia Snowe, former U.S. Senator from Maine
- Tommy Thompson, former U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary and four-term Governor of Wisconsin
- Phil Bredesen, former Governor of Tennessee
- Jim Douglas, former Governor of Vermont
- Brad Henry, former Governor of Oklahoma
- Linda Lingle, former Governor of Hawaii
- Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia
- Mike Rounds, former Governor of South Dakota
- Ted Strickland, former Governor of Ohio
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