On Wednesday, September 19 at 3 pm ET, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx), a leader in Congress on foreign affairs and Burma, will have the honor of being a featured speaker at the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for recently released Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leader of Burma's democracy movement Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Crowley spearheaded legislation awarding Daw Suu Kyi with the Congressional Gold Medal -- the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Congress.
"The fact that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will stand in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol to receive the highest award Congress can give is just incredible. What she has done in Burma -- the patience she has shown, her perseverance, her fortitude, are remarkable. This is a very exciting moment in history and I am looking forward to welcoming her to the United States and joining my colleagues in awarding her this much-deserved honor," said Rep. Crowley.
The ceremony, to be held in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, will include remarks from House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and John McCain, and U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo. Rep. Manzullo is the co-author of the legislation honoring Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with Crowley. Former First Lady Laura Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also speak during the event.
In January 2012, Crowley became the first member of the House to officially travel to Burma in over 12 years. In addition to leading the effort to award Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with the Congressional Gold Medal, Crowley is also the author of legislation to renew the ban on all imports from Burma contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, and spearheaded the effort to strengthen sanctions on Burma's military leaders through the Block Burmese JADE Act.
Congressman Crowley is a seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and is a chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives.