Pelosi Remarks at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting


Des Moines, Iowa – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today at the National Governors Association 2016 Summer Meeting.  Below are the Leader’s remarks followed by the question and answer session:

“Good afternoon, everyone.  It is lovely to be here in the heartland of America.  What a beautiful place to be in Iowa.  Is this the end of the presidential or the beginning of the next presidential?  I don’t know, Governor Branstad, what do you think?  Never stops. It’s a constant.

“I was coming here from Omaha and it was so beautiful, sad, but sadly beautiful to see the signs of reverence, flags flying at half-staff along the way, and then coming by the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.  And ever to be grateful for how fortunate we are to have those who would be so courageous both globally and at home to make us the home of the brave and the land of the free.  And so it is wonderful to be here.  Governor [Branstad], thank you, again and again, for your hospitality and your leadership.

“[Governor] Terry McAuliffe, thank you for your generous introduction.  I will accept your words; they were compliments to me on behalf of all our colleagues in Congress with the courage to go forward on this legislation, and, of course, the great leadership of President Barack Obama.  I congratulate you and Governor Sandoval for your new leadership, stepping into the chairmanship in about 45 minutes or is it just as long as I speak?  As long as I speak.

“Again, Governor Herbert, thank you for your tremendous leadership.  I remember when you came in with Governor McAuliffe to my office and talked about how we could work together, federal and state, bipartisan, nonpartisan cooperation.  And I thank all of you and Governor Herbert for his leadership on ESEA legislation for education on fast track.  There were two things you mentioned that they are law.  Thank you for making all of that happen.  And to the staff, I also thank the staff for the hospitality extended to me here.

“We may not agree on everything, but I think we agree on one thing: the leadership and dynamism of America’s governors are one of the greatest resources of America’s democracy.  Do you not agree?

[Applause]

“That is an applause line.

[Applause]

“I feel very honored to be invited by the great Governor Terry McAuliffe to be here – or to be introduced by a great governor.  As he said, we go back a long way.  He was practically like a teenager when we were all working, had been working for a long time in politics.  But I am so proud of his leadership in the State of Virginia: creating jobs, improving education, and in so many ways making a big difference.  And I know part of the strength he draws, in experience, he brings is what he draws from so many of you.  So, thank you for being such a great leader, Terry McAuliffe.

“Again, we may not agree on every subject, we are united in a common purpose, and that is a purpose encapsulated in Gov. Herbert’s theme, ‘Finding Solutions, Improving Lives’. We know that a strong state-federal partnership is essential to creating durable and meaningful solutions facing our nation today. I know we have a time limit, so I’m going to try to stick to my notes.

“We are more successful when we draw on the best practices that flow from states: the great laboratories of our democracies.  That’s an applause line, too.

[Applause]

“As we discussed state-federal relationships and partnerships, I want to acknowledge some of the subjects of your meeting.  Thank you, Gov. Branstad for your focus on food and agriculture and biofuels, a priority that [Iowa] has taken the lead on.  I am reminded that, when I was Speaker of the House, we gave the Congressional Gold Medal to Norman Borlaug.   President George W. Bush came and honored us by making the presentation, and that was one of the days when we recognize the greatness of this state to feeding the world.  It was an honor for you to join us when we unveiled Dr. Borlaug’s statue a few years later in Statuary Hall.

“As you may recall, we discussed our shared support for the renewable energy standard – we still do; there we go – and understanding the relationship between food, agricultural and biofuels.  I know that has been a part of yours, and I hope to read whatever is allowed for me to read to have the benefit of your thinking.  I’m, of course, grateful for another great governor from Iowa, who has been a leader on these issues, Sec. Vilsack.  So Iowa has been very generous to our country in all these respects.

“I know you talked about opioids, and I just want to say this.  I thank all of you for your leadership on this subject, but just to put what happened in perspective.  This was a good bill.  It was bipartisan, as it has been mentioned.  It has good policy in it, but we really need the money right now.  In fact, we have needed it for a while.  We did a budget agreement last year.  And, in fact, when we do our appropriations for the following year, there are priorities that are established, a cap that is placed there.  But, at that time, we did not realize we would need $1.1 billion for opioids, $1.9 billion for Zika, or hundreds of millions of dollars for Flint.

“In the course of time when these unusual emergencies occur, they are emergency spending.  So, it has been over four months, well over four months, since the President asked for the Zika money and a long time since he asked for the opioid money.  So, our disappointment almost to the point of not voting for the bill was it’s interesting policy – it’s good, it’s bipartisan, but it does not have the money, and it will take months to get the money.  And why should that be?  And then, when we get the money, it will be in a budget that’s a lamb-eat-lamb budget: everything in there is about education, it’s about all the priorities that are necessities, that are investments that actually grow our country, create jobs and reduce the deficit.  So, we have to compete for the money, and I just don’t think that we should.

“So, hopefully we can all weigh in so that at some point, much sooner than the appropriations process, we can have this emergency funding – even if we have to pay for it not as an emergency that we would appropriate it immediately even if we have to fight over where the money comes from, but not to kick the can down the road.

“So, Congress has refused to provide the robust emergency resources urgently needed.  Governors of both parties have been some of the most powerful voices for the need for Congress to act on these public crises.  You know, Governor, the need in Puerto Rico for the Zika funding.  It is long, long, long overdue. How could it be?  Your continued leadership, of all of you, and advocacy for meaningful funding to fight Zika and opioids will make a critical difference when Congress returns.  Funding is very, very long overdue, and I just don’t know why.

“Your agenda here – going onto some other subjects you’ve talked about – is an agenda of the future, and I salute you for that.  And much of the future will depend on our ability to take bold action today to ensure that our nation leads in innovation in this century.  We must ensure that American workers, American products and American ideas remain number one in the global economy.

“I want to just tell you for a moment, and then spring from it, about the Innovation Agenda that we put together – well, we started it 11 years ago, presented it 10 years ago.  It is called the Innovation Agenda.  We went all over the country in a nonpartisan way, academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, union members, students, every aspect of an economy and a society saying: give us your priorities how to keep America number one.  From that, we passed the groundbreaking COMPETES Act that created the ARPA-E initiative to power high-risk, high-reward clean energy research and technological development.  We invested in STEM, which you all do – now we call it STEAM, we’ve added the ‘A’ of the arts – K through 12, community colleges – making college more affordable for all students, providing the largest college aid for G.I. since the G.I. Bill.  We expanded broadband across rural areas, strengthened initiatives of the department of agricultural and commerce and we modernized SBI, our Small Business Investment and other small business initiatives.

“I tell you that because it made a tremendous difference, but – you know it’s – 10 years have gone by and the world has changed after the first Innovation Agenda.  Ten years later, we must take inventory of what is needed for innovators to thrive.  The progress of cloud computing, data storage, again, more broadband technology, smartphones and precision medicine over the past decade have put new possibilities within our grasp.  We must seize the full potential of innovation and technology for all of America’s families and communities.  This Spring we’ve, again, initiated Innovation Agenda 2.0, convening dozens of listening sessions all over the country – dozens to solicit – in Virginia, I could go around and tell you the states we have been in.

“As we did in 2015, we listened to all the folks – experts, academics, etc. – and today, I want to give you an introduction of what we heard and confirmed to invite your views on – I want to invite your views on how we can work together at the local, state and federal level to keep America number one.  It all is predicated on the idea that everything starts in the classroom.  Right, Governor Malloy? Innovation begins in the classroom.  Education is the greatest investment a family or a nation can make in its children.

“And thank you, Governors.  Again, I thank Governor Herbert.  I thank you all for your leadership [in] helping Congress pass the Every Student Succeeds Act – very important.  As we talk about investing in education, remember this – this is a fact – you might think some of this is opinion.  This is a fact: nothing brings more money to the Treasury to reduce the deficit more than educating the American people – early childhood, K through 12, higher education, post-grad – lifetime learning for our workers.  That’s why all of that is so important.  And again, we must make college more affordable, reducing the burden of debt, strengthening our promise for world class education, once again, for our veterans.

“The prospects of big data and information technology have put us all on the doorstep of tremendous advances and again, all this has begun in the classroom.  But, for everyone to participate in it, they must be educated to it in the classroom – big data, information technology is a solution to every challenge that we all face: national security, homeland security, clean energy, transportation, agriculture and food, smart cities and housing, education and diversity, any subject you can name.  We are in a new and different place because of information technology and the cloud and the big data.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you Governors for advancing computer science education, because that is essential to our success – and indeed the success of every person and every family in our country to participate in that success.  We are also very proud of President Obama’s ‘Computer Science For All initiative’ proposing $4 billion for states to increase access to K through 12 computer services – and computer science and computer science.

“We must again – I keep making this point – be inclusive.  We must be sure that every community and every child has access to high-speed access on broadband and the digital literacy necessary to participate in this progress.  You know we have an opportunity gap in our country, some of it springs from an education gap and it will never be solved until we address the education gap, but the education gap is definitely affected by the technology gap, the digital divide, and we have to reduce that in order to not only have people reach their aspirations but to keep America number one.

“As we embrace the transformational power of information technology, we must also keep a sharp focus on the issues of privacy and cybersecurity.  Two of my credentials, one, I am an appropriator, so I understand that culture when I talked earlier about the money coming from here and there, and I am also the longest serving person on the Intelligence Committee in our country.  And so I am very concerned about the cybersecurity issue.  I thank you, Governor McAuliffe, for putting this issue front and center with your upcoming DGA Chairmanship.  Are we ready for that?

“We must give priority, serious investments, energy, research and engage in public-private partnerships to build America’s infrastructure.  Building America’s infrastructure – it has never been a partisan issue, recently somewhat, but it doesn’t have to be a partisan issue.  You know better than anybody the deficit that is there and the trillions of dollars, the opportunity that is there to build infrastructure, to create mobility, to move people to and from work, to and from home, school and the rest, product to and from market where time makes a difference, especially in agricultural products, and this infrastructure will create jobs from day one because of the construction that is necessary.  We must have a tax credit to incentivize and enable the creation and deployment of cleaner, more efficient energy technologies.  We must establish innovation hubs.  And this is really important.  I want to hear your views when we have a chance to chat.  In every region of the country, some of it just gravitates.  There has to be a decision made to have them in every region of the country.  Lastly, we must confront the obstacles facing enterprising Americans who want to take a chance on an idea, an innovation, a new business but they are curtailed by a lack of funding or whatever it is, there is a path to take them out of that valley and have them skip over it.  Working together as strong state and federal partners, we can ensure that America remains the global superpower of innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We have a proud heritage as Americans – mentioned some of it earlier today – our sense of community and our obligations to our troops.  I always think of the vision of our Founders, that we must – that we are very blessed with the sacrifice of our troops, that we are grateful for forever and the aspirations of our children.  We have a proud heritage, a heritage which has always focused boldly on the future.  It is in that proud tradition that President Kennedy challenged our nation to go to the moon more than 50 years ago.  I know you know all about that or maybe you weren’t born, but you have read about it.  For me, it was my youth; for you, it’s history.  And he said this at the time, which applies, ‘The vows of this nation can only be fulfilled if we in this nation are first, and therefore, we intend to be first.’  In short, he said, ‘Our leadership in science and industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others all require us to make this effort.’  That is what he said.

“I say from the declaration of our Founders to humanity’s first step on the moon to the present day, America has shown the world what it means to innovate, to lead, to be first.  I thank you all for your leadership in this regard, and I thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts with you this afternoon.  Thank you so much.”

***

Leader Pelosi.  My understanding is that we have some questions now or do I go too far into the next Administration of the Governors’ Association?

Gov. McAuliffe.  Well, thank you, Leader Pelosi.  I think we have time for a couple of questions.  I know Gov. Herbert has indicated he has the first question.

Gov. Herbert.  Thank you, Leader Pelosi.  We are honored to have you here with us.

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you, Governor.

Gov. Herbert.  Thank you for your invitation to come and work with you and we appreciate the opportunity – Terry and I – to meet with you.  We have been working very well as a bipartisan organization.

Leader Pelosi.  Wonderful.

Gov. Herbert.  We think we are a good example of bipartisanship here at the Governors [Association].  And you mentioned a couple of areas where we have been successful, the Every Student Succeeds Act, very bipartisan; the transportation FAST Act, and we have a long history of that.  We go back to President Bill Clinton’s Administration, and we had Welfare Reform that came out of Wisconsin, Michigan and Utah, and helped us as a country, I think have some significant ‘M.O.s’ there.

My question to you is: what do you see in the next Congress – what are the areas of bipartisan concern that we, the governors, can get involved with and help you in the Congress to get some things done in this next upcoming Congress?

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you, Governor.  In terms of what are the possibilities in terms of our working together next Congress, I always come back to infrastructure because no matter what we have done, and we have done some good things, we need to do more.  And a lot of it is predicated on the fact that science and technology are moving so quickly.

As I said before, it has never been a partisan issue, so we are trained to think in a way of nonpartisanship.  What we would like to do is actually have nonpartisanship in the suggestions that come in.  That’s how we used to do it.  We would say: if you want to compete – well, that was in the days of earmarks and we don’t have it anymore – but if you want to have your initiatives included in legislation, show the nonpartisan aspect of it in your community, what the engineering and technological support is for it, and what is its impact regionally, regionally, not just ‘I want mine for my county and I want mine for my county,’ but what is the impact regionally?  So, this is nonpartisan and it also crosses regional, political – when I say political I mean county, state, city, whatever distinctions.  So, I think that is an endless opportunity.

Tied to that, related to that, is the Tax Reform, because, as you know, that first of all, we want to reform the tax code.  We want to simplify it, make it fair, make it do the job it sets out to do and there are certain aspects of it like Build America Bonds, which were very helpful in our building infrastructure in our country, some of it springing from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.  But also, I know a subject of concern to you is the tax deductibility of bonds and how bonds are treated, so infrastructure and tax reform – abut.  We can do them piecemeal – you know, we can do one and then [the other], but if we could do it comprehensively and in a nonpartisan way, which I think we should be able to do.

Again, talking about what we could do – I hope it won’t take until the next Congress – but we have the e-fairness legislation, which you all come to see me, the mayors come to see us, and the rest.  There is a bill, the Chaffetz bill, which would say: where you purchase something – where it is delivered is where you pay the tax.  [Congressman] Chaffetz is a Republican chairman of one of the committees.  We all support his initiative.  I was trying to get it in the Omnibus bill last December but the chairman of the committee had a different bill, that would be the Judiciary Committee.  So, we are continuing to make that fight, but our support for that is totally nonpartisan.  We rejoice in the fact that we could do that.

So how are some of the things we are doing affecting you in terms of building infrastructure, how do you pay for it, and by the way, how do our decisions at the tax code level affect your ability to collect taxes from Internet sales and the rest?  I think there are plenty of opportunities, and you may have some suggestions, again, continuing on the education path and as I have mentioned again and again on the infrastructure path – especially now that we know we have to do things in a way that is greener if are going to be number one, if are going to keep the air clean, if we are going to recognize the connection between agriculture, energy, and the rest.

So, we have tremendous opportunities.  And I come right back to what I said earlier: information technology, big data, just subject every challenge that we face to what that computation and that speed and the rest can make a tremendous, tremendous difference.  So, I think that will sort of melt away some of the partisanship, because what we’re talking about is not partisan.  None of this has any ideological bent, right?  We all want to take advantage of what science and technology can offer to help solve our problems.  If you have any suggestions, priorities – again, you brought your priorities before, education and transportation, and you got those done.  Thank you, Governor.

Gov. McAuliffe.  Thank you.  Gov. Branstad?

Gov. Branstad.  First of all, I want to thank you for the role you played in honoring Dr. Borlaug.

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you.

Gov. Branstad.  It was one of the highlights for me to be there when that statue of Dr. Borlaug was unveiled in Statuary Hall.  And also your support for renewable energy, which is very near and dear to my heart and the people of Iowa appreciate that.  And to some degree, you have already touched on this, but Tax Reform, comprehensive federal tax reform is an important issue and it obviously of affects us because – and you talk about this a little bit – that tax deductibility of state and local bonds.  We are concerned that the Congress in doing comprehensive tax reform recognize the important role of governors and the states have in terms of controlling our own state tax authority and not being preempted.  So, I would just ask you to see what you can do to make sure that, first of all, that we do see comprehensive tax reform and that we do it in such a way that it does not curtail the state’s ability to meet our obligations.

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you, Governor.  I look forward to working with you on that.  One of the things that is out there is to have a limit on what you can deduct.  And when they have a limit on the deduction, that has an impact on the state and local bond part of it.  So let’s continue to work together because you know, it is one of those things about the tax code.  There is probably nothing that arouses more comment, shall I say, than when we go to do that.  And it has an impact as we know.

And I want to congratulate you because the reason we were able to do Norman Borlaug’s statue was an act of the legislature of Iowa, because that is a decision of the state as to whose statue will be in Statuary Hall.  I would like to take a little credit for being Speaker when we gave the Gold Medal to Norman Borlaug.  He was still alive then, too.  I was beautiful.  What a great man.

Gov. Branstad.  Last night we had an event at the Borlaug World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.  If you get a chance before you leave Des Moines, they converted the old main library here in Des Moines to the Hall of Laureates.  We had [President] Xi Jinping there when he visited and 2012.  And they spent over $30 million to restore and renovate it.  Anyway, it’s one of the wonderful things going on in Des Moines and that along with the Papa John sculpture garden.  We hope you will get a chance to see those before you leave town.

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you.  I hope to and if not, I’ll be back.  But let me say: thank you, Iowa.  Thank you, all.  Because what Dr. Borlaug did was Biblical: to feed the hungry and the world through science in a new and different way.  So beautiful.   Thank you.

Gov. McAuliffe.  Gov. Malloy?

Gov. Malloy.  Thank you.  It is great to see you again.

Leader Pelosi.  Lovely to see you, Gov. Malloy.

Gov. Malloy.  It is always great to be with you and fun to be with you.  So, I just want to say that.  You touched on a number of subjects, not the least of which is the opioid situation, and I know you understand this that that money is necessary today, not tomorrow.  In fact, we’re way behind where we need to be in this fight against opioid abuse.  A person dying every 20 minutes in the United States as a result of overdosing on opioids, and the problem is getting bigger as fentanyl is being introduced on a broader basis and used as a substitute for opioids.  So anything you can do to further that.  And I agree with you.  This is an emergency as epic as a great flood or a great forest fire or great damage to infrastructure that might be caused by some other means, and so anything you can do, we would greatly appreciate it.  I know you get it.  So, we just need your help and you’re pushing.  And you’re right: don’t stop.

On the transportation side, that was my question that they assigned me, so you and I made the point.  So let me just get to transportation.  One of the outstanding issues on transportation is that we have a five-year plan that was longer than many thought it would be, but only funded for three years.  Can you comment on where we go from here?

Leader Pelosi.  I think we have to think in the bigger way.  We really do.  We had to accept what we had to accept there.  But when you are talking about the infrastructure that we are talking about, the short fuse – it does not work.  These projects take a long time and we have to know that there is something after because every project is not just an end in itself.  It’s part of a regional plan.  And so, I think it would never be too soon for us to start working again on an infrastructure bill.  We talk about infrastructure and people think transportation all the time, and that’s really important, whether we’re talking about roads, bridges, high-speed rail, mass transit and the rest.  And that’s essential.  It is very important.  But we are also talking water.  Some of the water systems are over 100 years old.  They are made of brick and wood – that’s not even hygienic.  I mean, from a health standpoint, they need to be changed.  So much from when I first came to Congress and we were doing our transportation bills, now it is about broadband and the technology, the infrastructure to enable us to have a broadband for the future.  So, it is not just about what our immediate needs are in terms of transportation one way or another.  It is about, again, water systems, broadband, and so much more.  So, the opportunity – let me take it away from just strictly several federal and local expenses.

I have been told by some investors and the rest, major-league investors, that the biggest emerging market in the world is building the infrastructure in the United States.  There is so much need, over $2 trillion – some may say $3 trillion – by the American Society of Engineers.  Perhaps, it’s in the trillions of dollars, so we have to divide – there is never going to be enough appropriated dollars, even public-private, state-federal match to meet the challenges that we face, so we have to be thinking creatively in how we do public-private partnerships, how we perhaps have an infrastructure bank to leverage the dollars that we can invest to attract other dollars to get the job done.  So this really challenges our imagination, and again it’s related to the tax code as well.

Some had suggested repatriation of funds to come home at a reduced tax rate to be used for the infrastructure bank in order to facilitate the investment that we need to make.  So again, it is not to be limited.  We have to think much more creatively about bonding, about investment, public-private partnership, how we use resources that might not readily be available but for that purpose would be.

Gov. Malloy.  Let me just say that there is bipartisan testament to the need on the transportation side.  Every round is heavily competed for by every state in the nation.  We have everyone on record saying that we need help in building the transportation infrastructure that will allow us to compete with Europe and Asia.  So, any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Leader Pelosi.  I thank you, and I welcome any suggestions you may have on the Innovation Agenda, on the infrastructure – and they are all related.

But, coming from where I do in northern California and seeing this all over the country – I’m telling you – we have a new, fresh way of looking at all of these things through the eyes of information technology and big data, and again, it is all of the things we want it to be in terms of mobility and cleaning the air and the rest.  But from day one: their jobs, their jobs, and we need the education to be commensurate with it, and we need the investments we make in education to be aligned with what the job market needs so that at the same time, we are lifting everyone up in our society.

Gov. McAuliffe.  I think we have time for two more questions.  My question is related to cybersecurity.  Obviously, it is a big issue for all of us at the federal level, at the state level.  We have so much data at the state level.  We are all being attacked.  How do you see a framework we could put together, where the federal government works with the states to make sure we’re included as we move forward on this?

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you for your leadership on this subject, and thank you for your question.  We have put out resources to the states for cybersecurity, for homeland security.  I think it would be important – I know it would be important for us to work together because some states just take the resources, but they don’t have cybersecurity as a priority in how they allocate their resources.  So perhaps, we can work together to figure out how to put forth some formula with flexibility, of course, that says you really have to be investing in this.  And again, the technology, advancing the way it is will facilitate some of that.  So it is not a drag on the homeland security but an enhancement.

The provisions that we have now in the law – and I know you are familiar with them – I think could use some, shall we say, just sitting down and going over them and saying what actually works best so that states know that these resources are for this purpose and the federal government knows what the states need.

Again, in the intelligence world, we always talk about needs and leads.  What do we need to protect the American people?  You may know something – if we tell you what we think you should do, you may have a lead that is better.  So I’m not absolutely assured, and maybe you are, that communication has been what it needs to be to make sure that you get sufficient fund but that those funds do not ignore the cyber piece of homeland security.

We are all vulnerable.  It is a tremendous security exposure that we have and I know that the states, in your great laboratories of democracy – privacy – it’s been since the beginning of our country.  Privacy and security – how do you balance them?  And that is the job that you have right on the frontline in your states.

If I just may say on that score, I have always, again, as an intelligence person, always talked about that balance.  Benjamin Franklin said, ‘If you don’t have both, you don’t have either’ – security and civil liberties, privacy, but I think right now a third piece has entered into that, and that is security, privacy civil liberties and American brand name.  I don’t mean: just so we can sell American products overseas, but I mean that we must sell American products overseas because we have to be the categorical great technology of the world.  If people say, ‘Well I’m not going to buy American because they have a backdoor and all of that,’ then that diminishes our security, so I think we should all just recognize, as we balance the equities, the importance of America prevailing in the world, in terms of who dominates, in terms of technology being sold throughout the world, but again, let us at some point sit together as we did before and talk about the specific language on some of the mandates that go with or don’t go with the cyber security.  But it is a big issue.  It is a gigantic issue, and I thank you for taking it on.

Gov. McAuliffe.  The last question will go to our newest Governor, John Bel Edwards from the great state of Louisiana.

Gov. Edwards.  Now, you did not say I’m the best Governor in the history of Louisiana.

Gov. McAuliffe.  I said the newest.

[Laughter]

Gov. Edwards.  You’re the best in my eyes.

Leader Pelosi.  He will tell you that later.

Gov. Edwards.  Leader Pelosi, thank you for being with us today.

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you Governor, and congratulations to you.

Gov. Edwards.  Consistent with the idea that states are laboratories for democracy, the National Governors Association promotes flexibility, but it seems like often from Congress, we get a one-size-fits-all approach without the flexibility that we would need to be effective laboratories, probably because we can’t be trusted, or that is the sentiment with a lot of folks in Washington and Congress.  And so, how can we move past those trust issues and get to where we can have fair accountability but also get the flexibility that we need to shape these programs the way we think we could deliver the best results?

Leader Pelosi.  So, Terry, this is the newest governor coming on with the most traditional question that governors always ask – about flexibility.  So, you learned very fast, Governor.

Let me just say the balance, again, that needs to be there.  And that is, we write a bill for a purpose.  For example, say Title One for children and economically disadvantaged areas or something like that.  So, you expect that the money that is sent would be for that purpose.  It’s not even a question of trust; it is a question of what is the purpose of the funds that go out.  Can there be more opportunities for waivers adjusting to individual situations and states and the rest?  I think there is an attempt to do that but if you think for a minute that it is about lack of trust than we should address that.  It really is more about: let us address the purpose for which this was legislated and appropriated, if we’re talking about funds and how we can have the judgment, the discretion being used in a way that benefits the children.

I guess with everything that we talk about here, what we want are results.  That is the point.  That is the classic question.  How many times have I been here over time, or have I heard that question?  Clearly, we have not addressed it sufficiently because it continues to raise its head.  But, it is about maintenance of effort, that we don’t want to send money.  Is it going to support something that was there before and not anymore?  In any event, it is a challenge in writing of the bills to determine: what is the purpose?  What are the resources?  And are there other needs that the governors have that we are not addressing that they want the flexibility to go into this pocket?

So again, this is about the state-federal partnership.  And I, again, respect that you are the laboratory of democracy and that great things spring from the states.  Many of the things we have at the federal level started in the states including the Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts.

I want to just acknowledge Gov. [Alejandro García] Padilla for his leadership.  He has so much going on there.  It is so wonderful that you are here, Governor.

Governor Padilla.  Thank you, Leader.  It’s not a question, it’s just that I want to say to my colleagues here and to everybody here what I told you privately: that I thank you for your leadership.

Helping Puerto Rico [move] out of the crisis we inherited.  It’s not a perfect law, but it’s something that we need.  And you have been a great leader.  Puerto Rico appreciates that – your leadership, Nydia Velazquez’s leadership, Pedro Pierluisi’s help.  Paul Ryan helped – so thank you on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico.

And I have to tell my colleagues here that Leader Pelosi and Puerto Rico are great friends so at any time you are in a state of need, you will find her a great friend.  I am a witness of that.

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you, Governor.  We do listen.  So I want you to know, we do listen, and I do listen.

I did enjoy being with all of you today.  Thank you for your leadership and thank you for your bipartisanship, which is very important to our country.

Congratulations and thank you, Gov. Herbert, for your leadership.  Good luck and congratulations to you, Terry McAuliffe.

And now, as I end my remarks, I think the new Chairman should begin, so I’m leaving.  Thank you all very much.