At a time when gridlock on Capitol Hill has replaced consensus, and public approval of Congress has reached historic lows, former Rep. David Skaggs (D-Colo.) and his wife Laura have established a new award. The Madison Prize for Constitutional Excellence will recognize and reward legislators who persist in striving for bipartisanship, cooperation, and, in the words of James Madison, a spirit of public service that transcends “faction.”

The Madison Prize for Constitutional Excellence, endowed by Rep. and Mrs. Skaggs in partnership with American University’s School of Public Affairs, will be awarded after each biennial Congress to recognize one Member (a U.S. Representative or Senator) from each major political party (or an Independent who caucuses with one of the parties).

Former Rep. David Skaggs and former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.), are available for individual or joint interviews to discuss the importance of the bipartisan cooperation emphasized in this effort.

“The only way our political system can work to solve problems is through negotiation and compromise,” said Skaggs. “The Madison Prizes will honor Members of Congress who recognize that and will, Laura and I hope, encourage them.”

“The Madison Prizes project speaks to the crying hunger these days for some sign that Members of Congress are willing to compromise in the national interest,” said former Rep. Mickey Edwards.

The award will recognize legislators who exemplify respect for the constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities of Congress, the need for compromise in a democratic society, and the republican spirit that Madison expressed in Federalist 10.

The Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at AU’s School of Public Affairs will manage the prize selection process. The first awards to be presented in early 2019 to honor deserving Members from the 115th Congress.

To speak with former Rep. David Skaggs and former Rep. Mickey Edwards, or to learn more about this important initiative, please contact AU Media.