The Bipartisan Policy Center is excited to announce the first-ever Congressional Patriot Award, which will be presented in an inaugural event at the Library of Congress in March.
The Congressional Patriot Award will be a biennial recognition given to two current or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives—one Democrat and one Republican—who have performed patriotic deeds worthy of remembrance. Recipients will have demonstrated the immeasurable value of placing the interests and goals of the nation above all other interests in a manner that brings credibility and honor to the institution of Congress.
A bipartisan committee comprised of four of the BPC’s Commission on Political Reform co-chairs—former Senate Majority Leaders Trent Lott and Tom Daschle; former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman; and former Senator Olympia Snowe—have agreed upon Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and John Lewis (D-GA) as the first recipients of the Award.
Johnson is a true American hero whose extraordinary selflessness and sacrifice on behalf of our nation is epitomized by his service as a decorated combat veteran, during which he endured nearly seven years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Following his remarkable military career, Johnson was a member of the Texas House of Representatives and has served in Congress for more than 24 years—where he has been recognized by his peers as the “most admired” Republican member of the House.
Lewis is an icon of the civil rights movement whose immeasurable courage and contributions in the cause of human rights and civil liberties are legendary. After his membership on the Atlanta City Council, he was elected as U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District in 1987. He is universally respected for his principled service and moral conviction, and has been called “the conscience of the U.S. Congress.”