Conrad to accept first-ever Fi$cy Award on Wednesday

Flickertales from the Hill, By Kristen M. Daum

FARGO – Senate Budget Committee Chairman and North Dakota Democrat Kent Conrad will be honored with a Fi$cy Award tomorrow for work he did during the 2010 fiscal year “to promote fiscal discipline and leadership to restore fiscal health.”

Conrad, along with fellow recipients Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, will accept the award during an event Wednesday at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The men were chosen by an awards committee comprised of members from the Comeback America Initiative, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and the Concord Coalition – organizations that emphasize fiscal responsibility.

2011 is the inaugural year for the non-partisan award, which is meant to honor three elected officials – two federal, one state/local – who demonstrate leadership in promoting fiscal responsibility and government accountability.

Here’s what the awards committee said about Conrad, who’s known for his expertise on fiscal policy and budgetary matters:

Senator Kent Conrad has dedicated his life to serving the people of North Dakota, starting with his six years as North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner before his successful 1986 bid for the U.S. Senate. North Dakotans have sent Senator Conrad to represent them in Washington, D.C. in five successive elections.

His public service to North Dakota and the nation has won him acclaim for his effectiveness and budget acumen. Time magazine featured Senator Conrad as one of “America’s Ten Best Senators,” The American magazine ranked him as one of “10 Most Economically Literate Members of Congress,” and the Bismarck Tribune called Senator Conrad “the most influential senator North Dakota has ever produced.”

A fifth-generation North Dakotan, Senator Conrad was born in Bismarck and attended Roosevelt Elementary and Hughes Junior High. After serving as the North Dakota Tax Commissioner for six years, he was elected to the United States Senate on a platform of “Yes, We Can!” optimism and a common sense approach to federal policy.

During his 20-plus years as an advocate for North Dakota in Washington, D.C. Senator Conrad helped write the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills, wrote health care policy that ensured continued access to hospitals in rural areas, and fought unfair trade practices that hurt North Dakota’s economy. He has introduced comprehensive energy legislation that would make the United States more energy independent.

Senator Conrad has bipartisan respect as an expert on federal budget matters and is considered a leading Congressional “deficit hawk.” With the Democrats winning the majority in the Senate in November 2006, Senator Conrad is now the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.