The Breakdown in Congressional Governing Norms, and Impediments to Serving the Public Interest.

© Western New Mexico University

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Date(s) - 03/31/2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Global Resource Center auditorium
W 12th St - Silver City, NM

Title: “The Breakdown in Congressional Governing Norms, and Impediments to Serving the Public Interest.”

Speaker: Jeff Bingaman

Date and Time: Friday, March 31, 2023 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.


Location: Global Resource Center Auditorium at Western New Mexico University

Description: The talk will be based on the points made in his book, Breakdown: Lessons for a Congress in Crisis, published in 2022.  Bingaman will review the way Congress functions, and changes for the worse that he observed during his 30 years in the Senate.  He will also discuss eight of the major challenges Congress faced during that period, and the obstacles it encountered.

Sponsor: Western New Mexico University in conjunction with the 2023 New Mexico History Conference in Silver City.

Jeff Bingaman Biography: Jeff Bingaman was born on October 3, 1943. He grew up in the southwestern New Mexico community of Silver City. His father was a chemistry professor and chair of the science department at Western New Mexico University. His mother taught in the public schools. After graduating from Western (now Silver) High School in 1961, Jeff attended Harvard College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government in 1965. He then entered Stanford Law School where he met, and later married, fellow law student Anne Kovacovich. Upon earning his law degree from Stanford in 1968, Jeff and Anne returned to New Mexico. They have one son, John. After law school, Jeff spent one year as a New Mexico Assistant Attorney General and eight years in private law practice in Santa Fe. He ran for Attorney General of New Mexico in 1978 and served four years in that position. In 1982 voters elected him to the United States Senate. At the end of his fifth term, he chose not to seek re-election and completed his service in the Senate on January 3, 2013. At the time of his retirement from the Senate, he was chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He also served on the Finance Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.  Beginning In April 2013, he spent a year as a Distinguished Fellow with the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford Law School.  In 2015, he taught a seminar on the functioning of Congress in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. In 2022, the University of New Mexico Press published his book, Breakdown: Lessons for a Congress in Crisis.  Jeff and his wife Anne live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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