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A Tribute to Alice Rivlin

Washington, D.C.– Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet issued the following statement on the passing of Alice M. Rivlin:

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend Alice Rivlin. For nearly 10 years, Alice played a pivotal role in the life of our organization. From fiscal policy to health care policy, she was a fierce advocate for finding bipartisan solutions to our nation’s toughest challenges. A policy discussion rarely ended without one more thoughtful question or recommendation from Alice who cared deeply about the impact of the policies we were debating. She always placed the interests and goals of the nation above all else and was an honorable public servant through and through. It was an honor to award Dr. Rivlin BPC’s 2019 Patriot Award, which acknowledges leaders who have performed public service and patriotic deeds worthy of remembrance.

“In 2010, Alice jointly chaired BPC’s Debt Reduction Task Force with former Sen. Pete Domenici and argued that healthcare and revenues are the two essential pieces for solving the debt puzzle. At the time, several senators on both sides of the aisle declared that the bipartisan Domenici-Rivlin plan, Restoring America’s Future, was the best comprehensive framework for accomplishing that goal. In 2011, she urged Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to ‘go big’ on debt reduction. Always a staunch budgeteer, she and Senator Pete worked with BPC’s senior vice president Bill Hoagland to author a report on creating a new framework for improving the congressional budget process.

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“Alice strongly supported BPC’s belief that nothing can be accomplished without negotiation and compromise, between both houses of Congress, across party lines, and with the president.

“Health care reform was another policy area where Alice was a passionate leader. She was a vociferous advocate for moving America’s whole health delivery system toward high-quality, more cost-effective delivery of care. Her deep knowledge of this complex issue was tapped to craft a series of BPC reports on delivery system reform. She also worked on recommendations to improve the financing and delivery of long-term care with co-chairs former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, M.D., and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

“In 2017, Alice joined BPC’s Future of Health Care Initiative that is currently working on a package of proposals to help refocus the on-going debate around reforming Medicare, Medicaid, and stabilizing the private insurance market.

“As an economist, author, professor at Harvard, George Mason, and Georgetown Universities, and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Alice brought enormous credibility and honor to our government institutions. She broke ceilings before that phrase was even coined. Alice was the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1975 to 1983 and the first woman to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1996. She also served as vice-chair of the Federal Reserve from 1996 to 1999.

“Alice was a shining example of civility, grace and substance and brought those qualities in abundance to every project she worked on for BPC. Her insight and experiences were invaluable to our work.

“It was truly a privilege to know and work closely with Alice. BPC is very grateful to have had her thoughtful consensus-minded voice, strong intellect, quick wit, and bright smile at our policy tables for so many years.

“We will miss her greatly. Our hearts go out to her family.”