2016 British American Parliamentary Group (BAPG) – A Project for the United Kingdom

Scottish MP Angela Crawley (right) and Representative Scott Peters (Democrat - California, 52nd District) (center-right) experiencing LGBT pride San Diego

The 2016 iteration of the British American Parliamentary Group (BAPG) welcomed four Conservative Party Members of Parliament (MP), two Labour Party MP's, and two Scottish National Party MP's to the U.S. for an engaging professional exchange program and individual constituency visits with the following Congressional members:

The MP's began their program with a week in Washington during which they learned about the U.S. federalist system of government, discussed issues of mutual interest with representatives from the State Department, and heard Ambassador Tim Roemer speak about his experiences as both Ambassador to India and a six-term U.S. Congressman representing Indiana's 3rd Congressional District. Due to circumstances at home brought on by the Brexit vote and the recent assumption of power by Prime Minister Theresa May (and former 2004 BAPG participant), the MP's were not able to meet with the British Ambassador to the U.S. as former BAPG participants had previously done. On the following day, appointments were set for the MP's to meet with officials at the Department of Defense, staff from both the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office, and several Congressional members including Rep. Steve Pearce (Republican - New Mexico, 2nd District), Rep. Brendan Boyle (Democrat - Pennsylvania, 13th District), and Rep. André Carson (Democrat - Indiana, 7th District).

After a self-guided tour of the White House, the MP's departed Washington and traveled to their respective Congressional hosts' districts, which included Lincoln, NE; Pleasanton, CA; San Diego, CA; Panorama City, CA; Chattanooga, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Huntsville, AL; and Choctaw, OK. The constituency visits allowed them to gain first-hand knowledge of the diversity of the U.S. and see U.S. politics enacted at the local level. Activities of note included being awarded honorary citizenship and attending a local antique show in Lincoln; dining at a Women's Pride Brunch with local leaders before marching in San Diego; and being interviewed by Main Street Radio KOSU in Oklahoma City.

Following a weekend of activities with their congressional counterparts, the MP's regrouped for their final stop in Boston, MA. Professional appointments were confirmed with President of the Massachusetts State Senate Stan Rosenberg, Taubman Center for State and Local Governance Director Dr. Jeffrey Liebman, and a representative from Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (Democrat - Massachusetts) office. Their program came to a conclusion shortly after on Tuesday evening.

Sponsors

International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State

Project summary

2016 British American Parliamentary Group (BAPG) – A Project for the United Kingdom | July 2016
Number of Visitors: 8
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: United Kingdom
Impact Areas: Governance and Transparency
Program Areas: Exchanges
Partners: NGOs, Private Sector, Public Sector