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Association of Former Members of Congress

FMC, the Association of Former Members of Congress is a bipartisan, nonprofit, voluntary alliance of former United States Senators and Representatives, standing for America's Constitutional system. FMC works to strengthen the Congress in the conduct of its Constitutional responsibility through promoting a collaborative approach to policy making. FMC seeks to deepen the understanding of our democratic system, domestically and internationally, and to engage the citizenry through civic education about Congress and public service. The United States Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC) utilizes the unique skill sets of its 600 members to provide pro bono public service programs and initiatives both at home and abroad. Today, FMC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational, research and social organization with approximately 600 members who represented American citizens in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

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News. Community. Debate. Levers for better democracy.

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Journalism: A Tense Present and Future

Organizer: Association of Former Members of Congress

At a time where international institutions of all kinds are under siege, and behavioral guardrails in politics are disappearing, voters around the world rely on accurate facts to make the decision on who they trust to lead their nations. However, in the United States and abroad, misinformation, social media, and interference by foreign governments is making an informed, engaged electorate harder than ever to maintain. FMC has collected a panel of journalists from across the world to discuss the causes, and solutions, to a crisis of fact around our globe.

The roundtable will be moderated by former U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei, who has a unique outlook on these questions. He has worked as a journalist, as a Congressional staffer in charge of guiding message creation, and as a Member of Congress, who was under the eye of the media all day. The roundtable will address several topics, including coverage of the United States Presidential election, how people around the world view journalism and journalists, and if the industry can increase trust by their consumers.

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Location: Webinar

How to make Congress more Effective: Conversation with Leaders of the House Select Committee on Modernization

Organizer: Association of Former Members of Congress

Chairman Derek Kilmer and Vice Chairman Tom Graves will discuss some of the important work of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the world into a new virtual atmosphere; what will that mean for the future Congress? Congressmen Kilmer and Graves will share their perspectives and highlight some of the key recommendations of the committee. Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty will serve as the moderator of this conversation.

Location: Webinar

Congress
C-SPAN

Texas Republican Ted Cruz reading "Green Eggs and Ham" during a Senate filibuster in 2013.

TV coverage of the Senate may reduce its effectiveness

Televising every moment of the Senate's proceedings is a wonderful monument to government transparency, one that brings corruption-scrubbing sunshine to the self-proclaimed world's greatest deliberative body. Right?

Perhaps, but it's more complicated than that. Newly published research concludes gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress has reduced substantive debate, heightened partisanship and increased the amount of time members spend on posturing and self-promotion.

The report is the second in recent days detailing what's underpinning the dysfunction of the Capitol, at a time when legislative branch weakness is widely viewed among the main threats to democracy. In the other, former members of Congress painted a dire picture of their former workplace, saying it is ill-equipped to rally even in emergencies such as the current coronavirus pandemic and economic collapse.

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Voting Amidst a Pandemic

Organizer: Association of Former Members of Congress

What are our challenges, how are we meeting them, and what needs to happen today nationwide to safeguard the integrity of our election on Nov. 3? This conversation, led by Trevor Potter of the Campaign Legal Center, will feature two current members of Congress from states that conduct their elections using a vote-by-mail system: Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

Location: Webinar

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