Today, Bill Gates addressed the first bi-partisan meeting of the Freshman Class. Gates and his wife Melinda co-chair the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where they work to expand opportunity to the world's most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. The luncheon was hosted by Republican Freshman Class President Luke Messer and Democrat Freshman Class Co-Presidents Rep. Matt Cartwright and Rep. Joaquin Castro.
"It was an honor to talk to new legislators about the enduring commitment our country has shown to improving the health of the poorest people around the world over the past 15 years," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "American tax payers can be proud that our representatives have put aside politics in an effort to work together for the greater good."
"Whether in business or his philanthropic efforts, Bill Gates is a model of what can be accomplished with strong leadership focused on measured results," said Rep. Luke Messer. "Hearing from Mr. Gates was a great opportunity for this newly elected group of leaders who are eager to make a difference. Working together, I am convinced the freshman class can contribute to the national debate."
"Mr. Gates' view that we must do the most good we can as efficiently, and directly, as possible borrows from the best parts of our Democratic and Republican values, and his desire to alleviate suffering transcends party lines," said Rep. Matt Cartwright. "I look forward to working closely with my freshman members--Republicans and Democrats alike--to set the clear goals and bring about the positive, measurable change that Mr. Gates spoke so eloquently about."
"I truly believe that our freshman class came to Washington ready to take on the big issues of the day and move our country forward," said Rep. Joaquin Castro. "After two months in office, many of us have crossed party lines in an effort to do what is best for the country. As we came together to listen to a man whose organization is dedicated to improving people's lives, I was encouraged to continue working with all of my colleagues to put Americans first."
The luncheon was attended by over 60 of the 84 freshman members of Congress and is the first of several bi-partisan events of the freshman class.