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Henry Clay Center Hosts Congressmen for Bipartisan Evening

July 3, 2018 – Lexington, KY

Together with the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship was pleased to host US Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA 20) and US Representative Andy Barr (R-KY 06) for an evening of bipartisan conversation on June 22nd. The two Congressmen offered insights into the state of the current political climate and factors that are driving polarized politics today.

While acknowledging the partisan pressures unique to each of their party affiliations, Reps. Panetta and Barr also emphasized overlapping interest areas in each of their districts, as well as bipartisan Congressional initiatives like the Problem Solvers Caucus and Tuesday Bipartisan Breakfast Group of which they are a part. The Congressmen were also given an opportunity to engage in a Q&A session with attendees.

The event was part of the American Congressional Exchange (ACE) Program, a new initiative from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Founded on precepts of mutual understanding, listening, and shared experience base on personal interaction, the ACE Program allows Members of Congress to visit a Member of the opposite party in that Member’s district. That Member then reciprocates by a return visit to the other Member’s district.

        

The visit was the first leg in such an exchange between Congressmen Barr and Panetta, who spent the weekend in Kentucky’s 6th district. In addition to the bipartisan evening hosted by BPC and the Henry Clay Center, the Congressmen visited representatives of Kentucky industries and culture, including Three Chimneys Farm, Woodford Reserve Distillery and the BGAD Joint Munitions Command. Representatives from the Bipartisan Policy Center hope a reciprocal exchange can take place later on in the year.

The exchange is designed to “provide opportunities for Members to learn about issues from a different perspective, create conditions for intentional negotiation and compromise, and to build new connections, trust, relationships, and friendship.” The ACE program highlights the importance of interpersonal relationships and understanding in creating conditions for compromise. More information about the Bipartisan Policy Center and the ACE initiative can be found here.