The Moment of Truth: Confronting Issues in America

2011 National Conference & North American Summit

The Moment of Truth: Confronting Issues in America
October 20, 2011

From his recent vantage point as the co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Alan Simpson provided his candid take on the hard and tough decisions that lie ahead for America’s leaders in restoring fiscal restraint to the domestic agenda. With his trademark candor and wit, Simpson provided insights on what’s going on in Congress and possible sensible policy options for reforming entitlements, immigration, taxes and balancing the national budget. Always unafraid to speak his mind and a favorite of the political media due to his humor and honesty, Simpson also set his sights on politics in America and the latest news from the 2012 campaign trail.

Alan Simpson, Former U.S. Senator, Co-Chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
A member of a political family ­– his father served both as Governor of Wyoming from 1954 to 1958, and as United States Senator from Wyoming from 1962 to 1966 – Simson chose to follow in his father's footsteps and began his own political career in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming state legislature as a state representative of his native Park County. He served for the next 13 years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader and Speaker Pro-Tem.

In 1978, Simpson ran for, and was elected to, the United States Senate. After a successful first term, he was re-elected in 1984 with 78% of the vote and then again in 1990 to a third term with 65% of the vote. Following his first term in the Senate, Al was elected by his peers to the position of the Assistant Majority Leader in 1984 – and served in that capacity until 1994. He completed his final term on January 3, 1997.

From January of 1997 until June of 2000, Simpson was a Visiting Lecturer and for 2 years, the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. During the Fall of 2000 he returned to his Alma Mater, the University of Wyoming, as a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department and continues to part time-team teach a class with his brother, Peter.

In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Simpson to co-chair the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with co-chair Erskin Bowles.