Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Congressman Amo Houghton (R-NY) spoke to a full house in the Geneva Room of the library on Monday evening. As part of the President’s Forum Series, the two distinguished legislators offered the audience, both in the auditorium and listening on WEOS FM 89.7, a “Window on Washington.”
In opening remarks, Reed noted that the country faces many challenges both at home and abroad, but expressed his belief that despite the challenges our system of representative government works and obstacles will be overcome.
Houghton expressed his concern that as policy makers they tend to get involved in the nitty-gritty details of government but noted that as important if not more so was the need to step back and make sure the government was heading in the right direction—keeping the balance. He added praise for the liberally educated, as they are the ones who can grapple with ambiguity.
After opening remarks by both men, President Gearan moderated a question and answer period. Members of the audience asked several questions, mostly focused on foreign affairs—the war in Iraq and terrorism, but also about homeland security and federal spending. The legislators openly discussed all the issues and offered considered responses.