FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- SEPTEMBER 11, 1997
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives took action on Friday, September 5 which will result in the bestowing of the Congressional Gold Medal upon the leader of three hundred million Orthodox Christians world-wide, including five million in the United States, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. This historic award, which is the highest civilian honor the Congress can give, was first bestowed upon George Washington in 1776. Since that time, it has been very selectively awarded to significant people, including Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill.
Remarkably, on the very day that this congressional action was taken for the Ecumenical Patriarch, another major religious figure who is a Congressional Gold Medal recipient, Mother Teresa, passed away. Only four religious figures have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in the history of the United States.
The 57-year-old Patriarch, who speaks seven languages, will receive the Congressional Gold Medal during his historic visit to the U.S. in October and November of this year. He will visit Washington, D.C., where he will meet with President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Speaker Newt Gingrich, and other national leaders. He will also visit Americans from all walks of life in 15 other cities across the nation.
Congressman Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) has introduced legislation which will close to the public the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building and reserve it for the Patriarch's Congressional visit. The enactment of Bilirakis' legislation is expected.
On Friday, September 5, both the House and Senate reached the threshold for moving such special legislation -- securing at least 290 members of Congress as cosponsors of the bill in the House and at least 40 cosponsors in the Senate. The number who have indicated that they are cosponsors has now risen to a recent record-setting 332 in the House and 46 in the Senate. The prime sponsors of the legislation are the chairmen and ranking minority members of the pertinent committees in the Senate and House -- Senators Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Congressmen Jim Leach (R-IA) and Henry Gonzalez (D-TX), respectively.
Andrew E. Manatos, the private sector lay chairman of the national Patriarchal Gold Medal project and president of the Manatos & Manatos public relations company in Washington, D.C. said, "Everyone who has had some exposure to the Ecumenical Patriarch and what he has done and continues to do for humankind, is drawn to him and to his powerful message. His work of reconciliation among all peoples and religions leads many to believe that he will achieve his dream of a new millennium of peace in an environmentally-sound world."
"We would like to thank the many hundreds of Greek-American leaders across the country who responded to the call to urge their representatives in Washington, D.C. to cosponsor this important bill, as well as our friends on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. who helped secure cosponsors," said Manatos.
Below is the list of members of Congress and senators who have indicated that they have cosponsored this legislation. For more information, please contact Mike Manatos at (202) 393-7790.
[As of 9/10/97] [TOTAL HOUSE COSPONSORS: 332 ]
Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) Gary Ackerman (D-NY) Rob Andrews (D-NJ) Spencer Bachus (R-AL) Richard Baker (R-LA) John Baldacci (D-ME) James Barcia (D-MI) Thomas Barrett (D-WI) Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) Charles Bass (R-NH) Herbert Bateman (R-VA) Ken Bentsen (D-TX) Xavier Becerra (D-CA) Doug Bereuter (R-NE) Howard Berman (D-CA) Brian Bilbray (R-CA) Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) Sanford Bishop (D-GA) Rod Blagojevich (D-IL) Thomas Bliley (R-VA) Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) John Boehner (R-OH) Henry Bonilla (R-TX) David Bonior (R-MI) Sonny Bono (R-CA) Robert Borski (D-PA) Rick Boucher (D-VA) Allen Boyd (D-FL) Corrine Brown (D-FL) George Brown (D-CA) Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Richard Burr (R-NC) Dan Burton (R-IN) Sonny Callahan (R-AL) Ken Calvert (R-CA) Tom Campbell (R-CA) Charles Canady (R-FL) Chris Cannon (R-UT) Walter Capps (D-CA) Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) Julia Carson (D-CA) Steve Chabot (R-OH) William Clay (D-MO) Eva Clayton (D-NC) Bob Clement (D-TN) James Clyburn (D-SD) Howard Coble (R-NC) Tom Coburn (R-OK) Gary Condit (D-CA) John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) Merrill Cook (R-UT) John Cooksey (R-LA) Jerry Costello (D-IL) Chris Cox (R-CA) William Coyne (D-PA) Robert Cramer (D-AL) Philip Crane (R-IL) Michael Crapo (R-ID) Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Randy Cunningham (R-CA) Pat Danner (D-MO) Danny Davis (D-IL) Jim Davis (D-FL) Thomas Davis (R-VA) Nathan Deal (R-GA) Peter DeFazio (D-OR) Diana DeGette (D-CO) Bill Delahunt (D-MA) Rosa Delauro (D-CT) Tom Delay (R-TX) Ronald Dellums (D-CA) Peter Deutsch (D-FL) Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) Jay Dickey (R-AK) Norm Dicks (D-WA) John Dingell (D-MI) Julian Dixon (D-CA) Calvin Dooley (D-CA) John Doolittle (R-CA) Mike Doyle (D-PA) David Dreier (R-CA) John Duncan (R-TN) Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) Chet Edwards (D-TX) Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) Robert Ehrlich (R-MO) Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) Eliot Engel (D-NY) Philip English (R-PA) John Ensign (R-NV) Anna Eshoo (D-CA) Lane Evans (D-IL) Terry Everett (AL-R) Tom Ewing ((R-IL) Sam Farr (D-CA) Chaka Fattah (D-PA) Harris Fawell (R-IL) Vic Fazio (D-CA) Bob Filner (D-CA) Mark Foley (R-FL) Thomas Foglietta (D-PA) Mike Forbes (R-NY) Harold Ford (D-TN) Tillie Fowler (R-FL) Jon Fox (R-PA) Barney Frank (D-MA) Bob Franks (R-NJ) R. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) Martin Frost (D-TX) Elizabeth Furse (D-OR) Elton Gallegly (R-CA) Sam Gejdenson (D-CT) George Gekas (R-PA) Richard Gephardt (D-MO) James Gibbons (R-NY) Ben Gilman (R-NY) Newt Gingrich (R-GA) Bill Goodling ((R-PA) Henry Gonzalez (D-TX) Virgil Goode Jr. (D-VA) Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Bart Gordon (D-TN) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Kay Granger (R-TX) Gene Green (D-TX) Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) Ralph Hall (D-TX) Tony Hall (D-OH) Lee Hamilton (D-IN) James Hansen (R-UT) Jane Harman (D-CA) Dennis Hastert (R-IL) Alcee Hastings (D-FL) J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) Joel Hefley (R-CO) Bill Hefner (D-NC) Wally Herger (R-CA) Rick Hill (R-MT) Earl Hilliard (D-Al) Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) David Hobson (R-OH) Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) Tim Holden (D-PA) Darlene Hooley (D-OR) Steve Horn (R-CA) Amo Houghton (R-NY) Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) Henry Hyde (R-IL) Bob Inglis (R-SC) Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) William Jefferson (D-LA) William Jenkins (R-TN) Eddie B. Johnson (D-TX) Jay Johnson (R-CT) Nancy Johnson (R-CT) Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Sue Kelly (R-NY) Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) Barbara Kennelly (D-CT) Dale Kildee (D-MI) Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) Jay Kim (R-CA) Peter King (R-NY) Jack Kingston (R-GA) Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) Gerald Kleczka (D-WI) Ron Klink (D-PA) Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) John LaFalce (D-NY) Ray LaHood (R-IL) Nicholas Lampson (D-TX) Tom Lantos (D-CA) Steven LaTourette (R-OH) Rick Lazio (R-NY) Jim Leach (R-IA) Shela Jackson Lee (D-TX) Sander Levin (D-MI) Jerry Lewis (R-CA) John Lewis (D-GA) William Lipinski (D-IL) Bob Livingston (R-LA) Frank LoBiondo (R-IN) Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Nita Lowey (D-NY) Frank Lucas (R-OK) Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) James Maloney (D-CT) Thomas Manton (D-NY) Donald Manzullo (R-IL) Edward Markey (D-MA) Matthew Martinez (D-CA) Frank Mascara (D-PA) Robert Matsui (D-CA) Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) Karen McCarthy (D-MO) Bill McCollum (R-FL) Jim McCrery (R-LA) Joseph McDade (R-PA) James McGovern (D-MA) Paul McHale (D-PA) John McHugh (R-NY) Scott McInnis (R-CO) David McIntosh (R-IN) Howard McKeon (R-CA) Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) Michael McNulty (D-NY) Marty Meehan (D-MA) Carrie Meek (D-FL) Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Jack Metcalf (R-WA) John Mica (R-FL) J. Millender-McDonald (D-CA) Dan Miller (R-FL) George Miller (D-CA) Patsy Mink (D-HI) Joe Moakley (D-MA) Alan Mollohan (D-WV) James Moran (D-VA) Connie Morella (R-MD) John Murtha (D-PA) Sue Myrick (R-NC) Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Richard Neal (D-MA) George Nethercutt (R-WA) Bob Ney (R-OH) Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) James Oberstar (D-MN) John Olver (D-MA) Mike Oxley (R-OH) Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Michael Pappas (R-NJ) Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) Donald Payne (D-NJ) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) John Peterson (R-PA) Thomas Petri (R-WI) Chip Pickering (R-MS) Owen Pickett (D-VA) Joseph Pitts (R-PA) Richard Pombo (R-CA) John Porter (R-IL) Glenn Poshard (D-IL) Deborah Pryce (R-OH) Jack Quinn (R-NY) George Radanovich (R-CA) Nick Rahall (D-WV) Jim Ramstad (R-MN) Charles Rangel (D-NY) Sylvestre Reyes (D-TX) Frank Riggs (R-CA) Bob Riley (R-AL) Lynn Rivers (D-MI) Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) Steve Rothman (D-NJ) Marge Roukema (R-NJ) Edward Royce (R-CA) Bobby Rush (D-IL) Jim Ryun (R-KS) Martin Sabo (D-MN) Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) Bernard Sanders (I-VT) Mark Sanford (R-SC) Thomas Sawyer (D-OH) Jim Saxton (R-NJ) Joe Scarborough (R-FL) Robert Schaffer (R-CO) Steven Schiff (R-NM) Charles Schumer (D-NY) Robert Scott (D-VA) J. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) Pete Sessions (R-TX) John Shadegg (R-AZ) E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-FL) Christopher Shays (CT) Brad Sherman (D-CA) John Shimkus (R-IL) Joe Skeen (R-NM) Louise Slaughter (D-NY) Adam Smith (D-WA) Chris Smith (R-NJ) Victor Snyder (D-AR) Gerald Solomon (R-NY) Mark Souder (R-IN) Floyd Spence (R-SC) John Spratt (D-SC) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Fortney Stark (D-CA) Cliff Stearns (R-FL) Louis Stokes (D-OH) Bart Stupak (D-MI) John Sunnunu (R-NH) James Talent (R-MO) Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) W.J. Tauzin (R-LA) Charles Taylor (D-MS) Gene Taylor (R-NC) Bill Thomas (R-CA) Bennie Thompson (D-MS) John Thune (R-SD) Karen Thurman (D-FL) Todd Tiahrt (R-KA) John Tierney (D-MA) Esteban Torres (D-CA) Edolphus Towns (D-NY) James Traficant (D-OH) Frederick Upton (R-MI) Bruce Vento (D-MN) Peter Visclosky (D-IN) James Walsh (R-NY) Maxine Waters (D-CA) Wes Watkins (R-OK) J.C. Watts (R-OK) Henry Waxman (D-CA) Curt Weldon (R-PA) David Weldon (R-FL) Jerry Weller (R-IL) Robert Wexler (D-FL) Robert Weygand (D-RI) Robert Wise (D-WV) Frank Wolf (R-VA) Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) Albert Wynn (D-MD) Bill Young (R-FL)
[As of 9/10/97] [TOTAL SENATE COSPONSORS: 46 ]
Spencer Abraham (R-MI) Max Baucus (D-MT) Joseph Biden (D-DE) Barbara Boxer (D-CA) John Breaux (D-LA) Sam Brownback (R-KS) Richard Bryan (D-NV) Dale Bumpers (D-AR) Susan Collins (R-ME) Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) Tom Daschle (D-SD) Mike DeWine (R-OH) Christopher Dodd (D-CT) Richard Durbin (D-IL) Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Wendel Ford (D-KY) Bob Graham (R-FL) Charles Grassley (R-IA) Judd Gregg (R-NH) Tom Harkin (D-IA) Ernest Hollings (D-SC) Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) Daniel Inouye (D-HI) Tim Johnson (D-SD) Ted Kennedy (D-MA) John Kerry (D-MA) Herbert Kohl (D-WI) Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) Carl Levin (D-MI) Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) Richard Lugar (R-IN) Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) Daniel Moynihan (D-NY) Jack Reed (D-RI) Harry Reid (D-NV) Charles Robb (D-VA) William Roth (R-DE) Rick Santorum (R-PA) Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) Olympia Snowe (R-ME) Arlen Specter (R-PA) Craig Thomas (R-WY) Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) John Warner (R-VA) Paul Wellstone (D-MN) Ron Wyden (D-OR)