Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future

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Overview Video



CSIS and the Strengthening of America project mourn the loss of Senator Warren Rudman, 1930-2012. (photo courtesy of




Former U.S. senators Sam Nunn (D-GA), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Warren Rudman (R-NH), and Evan Bayh (D-IN) have convened a bipartisan group of former senators and representatives to come together for four forums to raise public consciousness of the country’s growing and unsustainable debt. They are calling their effort, Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future.

“We believe that while the worst effects of the national debt are probably long term, there is an urgency to this issue that no longer allows us to kick the can down the road,” said the four former senators in a joint statement.

“Neither party seems willing to address this issue with either common sense or simple arithmetic. There are current members of both parties, however, who understand the stakes and who are willing to work together by putting the country first. We hope to support, strengthen, and help add to that group.”

In the News

Building a better ‘fiscal cliff’

By Pete Domenici and Sam Nunn From the Washington Post Published: October 26

Once Election Day passes, attention will quickly turn to whether and how to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Neither presidential candidate has stepped up to fully embrace the Simpson-Bowles commission’s recommendations. Neither has explicitly rejected them, either. That’s promising because the panel offered a thoughtful, comprehensive plan to stabilize the federal debt over the next decade. A parallel effort by the Bipartisan Policy Center, led by one of us and Alice Rivlin, came to similar conclusions. Read More

Project Partners

The effort is a joint project of the following organizations:

Strengthening of America—Our Children’s Future, is also working closely and coordinating with the Campaign to Fix the Debt (see letter of support), the Comeback America Initiative, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s ongoing efforts to call attention to the fiscal challenges threatening America’s future.


  1. America’s Long-Term Fiscal Challenge


    Robert Rubin
    Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

    James A. Baker, III 
    Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State
    (via satellite)
  2. The National Security Implications of the Debt and Bipartisan Plans for Addressing the Problem

    Panel 1 Featuring

    Robert Gates
    Former U.S. Secretary of Defense (via Satellite)

    Michael Mullen
    Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
    Panel 2 Featuring:
    Erskine Bowles
    Former White House Chief of Staff; Co-chair, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (via Satellite)

    Pete Domenici
    Former U.S. Senator (R-NM); Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force

    Alan Simpson
    Former U.S. Senator (R-WY); Co-chair, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (via Satellite)

    Alice Rivlin
    Former Director of the White House
    Office of Management and Budget; Co-chair, Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force
  3. Pro-Growth Tax Reform

    Panel 1 Featuring:

    Lawrence H. Summers 
    Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council,
    Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury

    Dr. Martin Feldstein
    Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers,
    Former President of the National Bureau of Economic Research

    PANEL 2 Featuring:

    David M. Cote
    Chairman and CEO of Honeywell

    Alfred P. West
    Chairman of American Business Conference,
    CEO of SEI

    Navin Thukkaram
    COO of Qwiki, Inc.

  4. The Imperative of Entitlement and Health Care Cost Control

    Panel 1 Featuring:

    William H. Frist (R-TN)
    Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader

    Donna Shalala
    Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

    Panel 2 Featuring:

    John B. Taylor
    Former U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs

    Alice Rivlin
    Former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget 

The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee for Strengthening of America includes the following former members of Congress: Howard Baker (R-TN), Bob Bennett (R-UT), David Boren (D-OK), Bill Brock (R-TN), Richard Bryan (D-NV), Mike Castle (R-DE), Jack Danforth (R-MO), Tom Davis (R-VA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mickey Edwards (R-OK), Daniel Evans (R-WA),  Victor Fazio (D-CA), Bill Frenzel (R-MN), Dan Glickman (D-KS), Slade Gorton (R-WA), Bob Graham (D-FL), William Gray (D-PA), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Jane Harman (D-CA), J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA), James Jones (D-OK), Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS), David McCurdy (D-OK), Jim Nussle (R-IA), Tim Penny (D-MN), Chuck Robb (D-VA), Tim Roemer (D-IN), Alan Simpson (R-WY), Charlie Stenholm (D-TX), John Tanner (D-TN), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Tom Tauke (R-IA), John Vincent "Vin" Weber (R-MN), and Tim Wirth (D-CO).

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