Leftist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham are going to be center staging the first in a brand new series of televised debates on their policies.
The debate between Sanders and Graham has been scheduled for June 13th and will be held in a full-scale replica of the Senate Floor built at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. The entir event will also be teelvised and live-streamed on the “Fox Nation” streaming platform from Fox News, and hosted by their anchor Bret Baier. This debate is going to be the first in a series of three scheduled to take place throughout the summer and fall as a joint venture between the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, and the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation.
“Dating back to the 19th century, the U.S. Senate has often been referred to as ‘the world’s greatest deliberative body,’” stated the hosting groups in a released joint statement early Wednesday as an announcement to the series. “Building upon that tradition of often fierce partisan debate on pressing issues facing the nation, a diverse new coalition—the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and the Bipartisan Policy Center—is launching a series of Oxford-style debates between leading U.S. senators.”
“The goal of The Senate Project™ debate series is to reintroduce the culture of compromise that has been the essence of the Senate since it was conceived in 1789 and to inspire policymakers to work towards the example set by Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Ted Kennedy for bipartisan bridge-building,” read the statement. “While this debate series will showcase sharp political disagreements, it will also foster areas of common purpose moving forward.”
It was reported by The Hill that the project was originally the idea of former Democratic South Dakota Senator and Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The outlet stated that Daschle is “hoping to rekindle the Senate’s tradition of debate and collegiality,” which many other Senators think has been lost over the past few years.
“Sen. Daschle was the catalyst,” stated Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet, as reported by The Hill. “He is on the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. He is also one of the founders of BPC. We’ve all been lamenting the loss of the constructive collision of ideas that has long been the basis of effective democracy.”
Former Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy, who currently holds a seat on the board of directors for the Edward Kennedy Institute, also gave credit to Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd for assisting in the creation of this new debate series.
The debates are planned to be one hour long, and the topics of them will be announced exactly one week before the debate itself. The second of these debates is slated to be hosted by the BPC, and will be held on the George Washington University campus in July.
The third one, which will be hosted by the Orrin Hatch Foundation, will be out in Utah at some point this fall. All three are going to be Oxford-style debates in which both sides issue long, in-depth statements over a single questions and then give rebuttals to each other.