Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center is excited to announce our first American Congressional Exchange trip of 2021, featuring Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), in West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District from May 20-22.
“The American Congressional Exchange is exactly what Congress, and the country, needs right now,” said John Richter, director of BPC’s Congress Project. “More than ever, with the partisan polarization we are witnessing and despite disparities and regional differences, it is important to remember there is more that we share as Americans than divides us. These trips not only develop trust between members of opposite parties, but they help to understand the concerns and motivations each have for fighting for what they believe in—and ideally find common ground for future collaboration. I want to thank Reps. McKinley and Tonko for participating, and I look forward to a great weekend in the Mountain State.”
“As a seventh generation West Virginian, it is always rewarding to show others the place I love and help them understand my passion for the people who live here,” Rep. McKinley stated. “West Virginia is part of the backbone that helps power this great nation and has helped make America what it is today. As we look to the future, it is vital to our families, our schools, and our economy that Congress doesn’t overlook Appalachia. I am proud to welcome Paul Tonko to the 1st District and am hopeful we can continue to work together to develop bipartisan solutions to address the challenges facing West Virginia and the entire country.”
“Building strong relationships that go beyond politics has always been the secret to my success as a public servant,” Rep. Tonko said. “It’s one of the reasons the Lugar Center named me as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress last term, and why at least a dozen bipartisan bills that I wrote have been signed into law just in the last two years. In many cases, these laws advanced—and improved—with the support of my friend Congressman McKinley, who has partnered with me time and time again on issues from clean energy to heritage areas to mental health and addiction. I look forward to traveling to his district to see firsthand the joys and challenges facing his constituents—many of which we share in New York’s Capital Region. After all, the ties that bind us are ever stronger than those that divide us.”
In addition to Reps. Mckinely and Tonko, BPC President Jason Grumet will be attending the trip.
BPC developed ACE to build better relationships and bipartisanship in Congress away from the crucible of Washington, D.C. Our experience bears out the importance of personal interaction outside of the negotiating rooms of the Capitol.
For any questions, or to speak with BPC leadership please contact Kyle Fischer.