Yesterday at the Nixon Library I was reunited with my old congressional colleague, now Ohio Governor John Kasich, when I was invited to introduce him for his speech (and later book signing). It was the first time that John and I have seen each other since we both left Congress in 2001.
The gavel we are holding is from my collection. It was the gavel used by me to preside over the House of Representatives (as Speaker Pro Tem) on May 21, 1997 during debate and vote on the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. Speaker Newt Gingrich later signed and presented the gavel to me.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee in 1997, John was the author of that historic bill, which gave America's her first balanced federal budget in thirty years. I feared that I might have to pry it loose from John's hand to get it back! I would not have faulted him if he had thought--correctly--that the gavel rightfully should have belonged to him.
Photos courtesy of Christine Rogan's iphone....