tv National Association of Counties Legislative Conference CSPAN March 4, 2019 9:21am-10:39am EST
news. if we turn common sense conservatives out, we can win. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, ted cruz. thank you very much. [applaus [applause] >> and live now for remarks from labor secretary alex acosta, white house counsellor kellyanne conway and iowa republican senator joni ernst who is expected to speak first, they're all at the national association of counties, legislative conference here in washington. this is live coverage on c-span2. >> where she worked to eliminate wasteful government spending and protect taxpayer resources. in 2014, senator ernst was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from iowa and also, became the first female combat veteran
elected to the united states senate. please join me in welcoming senator joni ernst. [applaus [applause] >> oh, good morning, everyone. welcome to washington d.c. yeah, good morning. and thank you. greg, thank you for your kind introduction, as greg said, i am joni ernst and i had the great honor of serving iowans in the united states senate and i'm very happy to be here today with all of you. it's wonderful to have so many county leaders from all over the country here in the same room and i know there are a number of iowans here. where did they go? yay, okay. there's my iowans, great. and i wanted to give them a special shoutout. we were able to visit today
about a number of issues that are very important to all of you. well, many of the folks here from iowa know this. the rest of you may not. i did get my start in politics at the county level and i first ran for county auditor in my home county of montgomery in 2004. i held that position until 2011 when i was elected to the iowa state senate. and much of what i learned and experienced as a county official has informed my work in the united states senate and perhaps most importantly working as a county auditor, gave me a true appreciation for the importance of local control. so many of our state and federal programs are administered or implemented by or in partnership with local governments. local government is truly where the rubber meets the road. and for this reason, when i'm looking at a policy issue here in washington, my first thought
is always, what do the folks on the ground have to say about this particular issue. and i rely on local officials across iowa to give me the information and feedback i need to make informed decisions. i understand not everyone can make it to washington d.c. to meet with me so i've made it a point to visit all of iowa's 99 counties every single year. and that's right, folks, 99 counties every single year. and i'm not the only one that does this. i'm following in the great footsteps of our senior senator chuck grassley who's done the 99 county tour every year for now going on over 38 years. [applause] kudos to senator grassley. i know that president trump also put the premium on input from all of you and i was glad to see him invite every county commissioner and supervisor in the country to the white house over his first two years in office. and if you're familiar with
some of my work in the summit, you'll know that one of my top priorities is to cut bureaucratic red tape and get rid of regulations that don't make sense, yeah, thank you. [applause] >> president trump has been working very hard on this, too. and based on the feedback i receive by folks like you, i led the effort in the senate to crap the burdensome 2015 waters of the u.s. or wotus rule. yes. [applause] probably the number one issue i received feedback on. and while the effort in 2015 was ultimately vetoed by president obama, the epa has recently proposed a rewrite of the rule that i think is reasonable and will provide much needed certainly for our stake holders. i know that your organization found the 2015 rule challenging, and again, i heard manile, many comments on that. and i'm hopeful that the new
iteration of wotus will alleviate the concerns that you had about that difficult rule. because you were in the best position to determine what's working and what isn't, i think it's not only important to listen to you, but also, to empower you. for this reason, i am supportive of policies that delegate as much authority as possible to the state and the local governments. my good friend and colleague, senator chuck grassley, the senior senator from iowa often refers to d.c. as an island surrounded by reality. and congress and federal agencies don't always know what's best for those off the island, and your engagement with us and the valuable input you provide helps bring a much needed dose of reality to this city. to make it easier for our local officials to participate in and
influence the policy-making process, i introduced a bill last congress that would require the headquarters of executive branch agencies to be relocated outside of the washington d.c. metro area. states and cities would be able to compete to become their new homes. this would bring good government jobs to new parts of the country, and i think it would also result in a more sensible policy making and this is something that my iowa folks and i were just talking about behind stage a little bit ago. we would love the opportunity to compete for some of these headquarters and it just makes sense, for example, the usda, the u.s. department of agriculture. i don't know of too many farmers and ranchers here in the u.s. and metro area, it would be great to move out to the states that they actually represent. i'm sure many of you are wondering how you in the dynamic in congress will affect
what happens on the hill over the next few years. and as all of you know, after two years of unified republican control, we now have a divided congress. and while i'm sure that you will see a lot in the news, of course, about the dysfunction and infighting in washington, what i want you to know and what you should know is that bipartisanship is still alive and well in congress. [applause] we will continue to work together. there's still some things that both sides agree are very important, infrastructure is one of them. in the near future we'll begin work on the next surface transportation bill, the highway bill, and i'm hopeful that talk of a potential infrastructure package heats right back up again. republicans and democrats have some differences on how we pay for infrastructure, and what kind of things might actually qualify in that package, but we
all agree, it is something that needs to be addressed. another area where both sides came together to accomplish a common goal was the passage of the bipartisan farm bill. these programs, like conservation, something that's important to our folks back home in iowa, will now have five years of stability to look forward to, providing much needed certainty and allowing industries to focus on other major issues facing our economy, like trade. last year, the administration successfully renegotiated our free trade agreement with canada and mexico. i hope to see congress swiftly approve this new agreement that will provide certainty to american businesses who export to two of our largest trading partners. i also hope that as the process moves forward, the administration can shift its focus to addressing the looming
steel and aluminum tariffs with mexico and canada and finalizing our negotiations with china. iowans continue to tell me that they are glad that president trump is finally standing up to china, and holding them accountable for their unfair trade practices. there is no denying that these ongoing trade negotiations have been hard on counties across the country, but they give us an opportunity to create new market access for our farmers and manufacturers. i'm encouraged by the recent reports that negotiators have made substantial progress in our trade talks with china. i hope we seize this opportunity and reach a final agreement soon. yeah, thank you. [applause] >> we would love to see this done very, very soon. with new and open markets, america's counties both urban and rural can thrive. so, again, folks, thank you very much for hosting me here this morning.
it's great to have the opportunity to be at this event with you. i want to thank you for all that you do, and to update you on what's going on in washington d.c. so, thank you so much for the opportunity to be here with you. i know i'm always amongst friends when i'm with county officials. so god bless you for the work that you do and god bless these united states of america. thank you very much, have a great time. thank you. [applaus [applause] >> thank you very much, senator. counties play a critical role in fostering conditions for economic growth, including labor market policies and closing the work force skills gap. next we welcome secretary of the united states department of labor, alexander acosta. the son of cuban refugees, senator acosta has held several presidentially appointed rolls
in labor relations and justice. most recent secretary acosta served as the dean of the florida international university college of law. please join me in welcoming the 27th united states secretary of labor, alexander acosta. [applaus [applause] >> good morning. well, thank you, mr. cox for the kind introduction. you know, this is a great time to speak with all of you because our economy is becoming. you all know the statistics, the unemployment rate, the job creation rate. i'm going to share a few different ones with you this morning that i thought that i recently thought were
particularly important. wages are increasing at the fastest rate that we've seen for nearly a decade. but here is the really interesting part. wages for the bottom of individuals increased 6.5% over the past year. that's really incredible. and we've seen all of these new hires, and that's great. 70% of all of those new hires were from outside the labor force for individuals that hadn't been working for even looking for a job that looked at our economy and decided. we want to work and joined the labor force. and here is one other. the wages for individuals who make things, goods producing
industries, those who make things, those who build things, those who construct things, those who manufacture things, for nonsupervisory goods producing employees, increased more than $2500 last year. that makes a big difference to an individual and to a family. now, i wanted to share those with you because i think it reflects the truth about this economy and the truth is that this economy is getting not just more people back to work, but more people back to work that weren't thinking of working before, more people in jobs that are paying better and better. you know, the quid rate is something that we don't talk about much, but it's almost at a record high. the quit rate is the rate
people quit their jobs because they find another and better opportunity. and that's a reflection of this economy. so, what are the challenges? the challenges are preparing individuals and offering them the skills that this economy is looking for. and so, for the first time in history for month after month after month, we've seen something we've never seen before. we've seen more open jobs than individuals looking for jobs. so, i want to talk a little bit about this and a little bit about how we can approach this together. and i say together, because all of you are very much our partners in this. 84% of counties have formed work force training partnerships with local chambers of commerce, city states, state governments. forget not 84%, 100% of counties that have done that. all of you are focused on work force. many of you are part of our
work force boards or chair our work force boards and you understand that work force investment lays the ground for our future. so, what are we doing and how can we partner together? well, the pledge to america's workers brought together business and industry that pledged to reskill upskill, provide opportunities and we have pledges for 6.5 million opportunities. apprenticeships, apprenticeships are another incredibly important approach. you know, as we look out there at this economy, i think we need to take step back and evaluate, what signals do we send to young americans? i was in missouri last week and i was touring an apprenticeship facility for the united brotherhood of carpenters and it was great. and they were getting skills
and they were learning and when they were done with their apprenticesh apprenticeship. there are 15 credits short of a college degree because they had an articulation agreement with their local community college, but here is what i found most impressive about it, they showed me their rate sheets. when young men and women left that apprenticeship program, their lowest starting wage was $28 an hour. [applaus [applause] >> that is a good family sustaining wage. and so, the question is, what signals are we sending to young americans? are we saying, you only have one path to success and all other paths are no good? or are we saying, there are multiple paths? are we saying you can go to college, you can study, you can go be a lawyer or a doctor? now you're going to make a good wage and you're going to have a
lot of debt and it's going to take a while or you can go be an apprentice carpenter and you can go build something, and you won't have student debt and it won't take as as long and you'll also have a good wage. and decide what you love and pursue what you love and choose what you love and what makes you happy because the goal is a family sustaining wage. is that the signal that we're sending in high schools? if it's not, as county officials, as local officials, what should you be doing about that? i think this is so important because we have young americans out there that might not pursue education because they're told it's college or bust. rather than they're told, there are multiple paths to success. and so, apprenticeships are something that we're talking about quite a bit. i'm very proud that since we
started talking about this over the last two years, we have reached almost $500,000 new apprenticeships. [applause] >> and we're in the final process. we have pending at the office of management and budget, common period closed that we provided our comments, of the application industry recognized apprenticeships. we can have industry recognized apprenticeships with the goal of achieving one million new apprentices over the coming year. [applause] >> we've rolled out our apprenticeship.gov website and it has three parts. one is for career seekers, looking for jobs. one is for educators, so they can talk about their programs, and a third is for employers. and there's an artifical intelligence aspect to this
that identifies opportunities for apprentices, and puts them up there. i have a request. when you go back home, look up the apprenticeship.gov website. think about whether there are ways to plug in the opportunities in your town in-- talent into that website so more individuals can see it. now, over the next month, actually this month. we're going to be announcing the grant of 150 million to community colleges, to further support apprenticeships. these grants are a little different. we asked community colleges to find matching partners in the business community. the department of labor has never done that before and so why did we do this? what's more powerful, a community college program unattached to the local
economy? or a community college program with business partners that have put in their dollars into the program so that that community college is providing the skills those businesses need so that those businesses are invested, not just through a membership on a board, but through their dollars in those community college programs, and i bet you that curriculum is focused on the local skills that are required and i bet you that when it comes time, those businesses that invested in those programs are going to hire the individuals that are graduating. and so, those 150 million dollars that are going to be awarded are actually more powerful than that, because it has a one for three match. so, in essence, it's going to be 200 million dollars community colleges to foster these programs. and i'm very--
i should say, rit right now, the second round of grant opportunities, because i'm very excited about the concept of having businesses and community colleges come together in a partnership. it is a win-win. businesses get the skills that they're asking for, they get input into the community college systems, community colleges get financial support and they get insight into the skills that are being required. now, i want to talk about some other challenges to work force. because while we have a very low unemployment rate, our labor force participation should increase. and that's why i said it's so important that 70% of new jobs are going to individuals outside the labor force, individuals that aren't working. and we need to engage those individuals so much more. and so i want to talk a little about individuals that are leaving prison.
the best thing that we -- that you, can do for those individuals is help them find a job. the best thing you can do for the economy is help those individuals become part of an economy rather than rescitivate and the west thing to do for those individuals is give them a stake in the community again because that's the biggest predictor for individuals not riscitivating. we put out 85 million in reentry grants and we're going to be doing a second round. later this march we're going to have a conference where we're going to invite reentry organizations for washington and we want to provide them with information about all the opportunities that are available federally, to get
support and to get assistance. this is so important. and one note on this, you know, i was visiting a prison and it had a culinary program and i thought that was great. and i asked, what's the biggest obstacle when you leave to finding a job? and in this particular state, now, i'm going to talk about licensing in a minute, chef had to be licensed. and if you had a felony, you couldn't get that license. when you go back home think hard, and i know it's very difficult, and i know there are a lot of local interests, but think hard. does every license that excludes a felon really need to exclude that felon? is it really the case that
someone that doesn't have-- that has a record can't install fire alarms? or can't be a chef? is the best thing for society to exclude individuals from job opportunities? there's another national work force challenge that i want to talk about and that is opioid abuse. you know, princeton fell lo he -- fello o w alan krueger, he word for president obama, he did a survey, 47%, almost half of prime age men who are not in the labor force, took a pain killer not last month, not last week, but yesterday. 47% of men 25 to 54 not in the
labor force took a pain killer yesterday. and the follow-up question, was it a prescription pain killer? and about a third said, yes so a third of men not working took a prescription pain killer yesterday. that's a problem, folks. that's a real problem, not just for those individuals, but for our economy. and so we have to work together on this opioid issue. it is so important. the department of labor is sponsoring some pilot programs, when individuals go into treatment facilities, treatment can often take months. what are they doing while they're being treated. are they watching television? or are they preparing for the
next phase of their life? so what the department of labor is doing is providing funding for work force training while someone's undergoing treatment. because that's -- [applaus [applause] >> at the end of treatment, if someone does not have a job, again, what are the chances that they're going to go right back into their former life style? i also want to talk about a second program that i saw and i thought it was so interesting. and this was in belden, indiana. belden works with employees -- this was a tour that i took in indiana. belden works with employees that tested positive and they're able to do this because of a unique law in indiana. see, in indiana, if you test positive and you undergo
certain steps, like this pathway to employment that i'm going to talk about, there is a liability shield against the employer if something goes wrong and so the employers incentivize to do this. and so, this is what the pathway to employment is about. if a potential employee is denied employment, failed a drug test. they have a chance to participate in a personalized rehab program. they go in, they get assessed, and if there's a likelihood of rehabilitation, they can keep their job. they might be transferred to a different job category within the employer, but they can stay working. so long as they stay in treatment and they stay clean. so, i met this gentleman, he'd been working for about 15 years. then he went on drugs, and i asked him why.
his daughter had been arrested and went to jail. pretty tough. here is the question. is he better off continuing to work so long as he stays in treatment and stays clean in or is he better off being fired? and going home and going into a negative feedback loop where he's like, i don't have a job. my daughter is in jail, what's the point? taking more drugs, and then getting more depressed? the fact that in indiana there are mechanisms, legal mechanisms to keep people in their jobs is a very, very good thing. and i'd ask when you go back home to think about that and think about what all of you could do so that you incentivize employers where appropriate to keep individuals
employed because people do make mistakes. mistakes. but when they've made a mistake, keeping that attachment to the work force is critical because once they leave that work force, it's really, really hard to reengage. now, let me talk about occupational licensing. there's once a time when only one in 20 jobs required a license. now there are different measures, some say one in three, some say one in four. some say one in five jobs require a license. so whether it's 20, 25, or 30%, that is way, way, way too many jobs that require licenses. i was in one state where the license to install fire alarms was more expensive than the
license to practice as a lawyer. think about that. you are-- not you all, but the system is imposing financial burdens 0 often on those who can least afford them. the city recently came up with a license for dog walking. [laughter] >> not for baby-sitting, that's okay. but dog walking needs a license. and so the federal reserve has estimated -- the federal reserve study out of minneapolis 1.4 million aren't working because of that. another study says 1.9 million, and one estimated 3 million. this is a very hard issue because at the local level, it's very difficult to license and i fully acknowledge that. but it's also an incredibly important issue for work force.
and one of the reasons why is because it discourage people to move into your counties and states. geographic mobility, which in our society should be at an all-time high is actually pretty darn low and it's low because when individuals are thinking should i move, one of the questions is, how hard is it to get a job and get a state-- how hard is it to relicense? now, he want to talk about that issue in particular, in one context, and i think that this is such an easy, but such an easy answer here, that there's a reason why every state shouldn't take acti action-- why every state should take action. i want to talk about that in terms of military spouses context. [applause] >> there are a few of you who know about this.
our men and women serve our nation and defend each and every one of us. and often, typically, we recruited them as an individual and along the line, they got married and started a family. and so the military is having a little difficulty retaining these families and i say retaining the family because you can recruit an individual, but you retain a family. and these are high skilled individuals. and i think military spousal license is one of the reasons why. so i want to tell you a story about a military spouse who is providing health coaching for nearly four years in one state. and then the military service person was transferred to another air force base and continued to provide health coaching on-line to former
clients until the spouse got a cease and desist because the dietician in the new state was complaining that this person was practicing without a license in that new state. so you move to a new state. you continue to communicate with your former clients, you continue to do what was perfectly legal. what was your job, what was your career, but this new state tells you stop your career. you may be married to someone who is serving the nation, but the nation does not want you to practice your career. her name is heather and the story is not unique. it happens to tens of thousands of military spouses every year.
i met an attorney who ended up getting a job at a supermarket because of a licensing issue. we could call in for story after story after story. this just isn't right. and so, if you take on licensing first, i would say if licenses aren't necessary, eliminate them. [applause] and if you can't do that politically, at least, at least focus on military spouses. it's not that hard to say if a military spouse is domiciled in our state because the military service member is there on orders, they can continue their
career so long as they're licensed in their home state and so long as there is no disciplinary action against them. [applause] i don't know how folks can be against that. these are individuals that are serving our nation and the spouse is serving right alongside them and should not have to sacrifice his or her career. [applause] let me wrap up by just saying, as a general approach, one size does not fit all. we believe very much in the importance of having flexibility and variability. and so, across our programs to the extent that the department
of labor has flexibility, to the extent that the department of labor has project authority, we welcome the opportunity to work with each and every one of you for outside the box programming. we have granted almost every waiver that we have been asked for. because one size does not fit all. new york is different than iowa which is different than texas and california and alaska. and so, if the governors want to change things up a little bit, ask for the waiver. if work force boards want flexibility, ask for wavers. we can't do this at the federal level. work force education has to happen at the local level. and to the extent that we have flexibility and authority, we will push it out to all of you.
[applaus [applause] >> we trust you. you have every incentive to do what is right for your community and you know what is right much better than we do. and so, i thank you for your efforts. all of those individuals looking for jobs and holding jobs, thank you for your efforts. and as you go back home, please, two things, think about how to better empower local educators to realize there are multiple paths to success. we need to stop thinking that there are only certain jobs because every job can lead to success if folks love it and if it provides a family sustaining
wage. and secondly, think about military spouses, what's happening to them is wrong. thank you for all of your efforts. [applaus [applause] >> thank you, secretary acosta, we appreciate your presence here today. today we're announcing a new partnership with the national sheriff's association. i'd like to invite jonathan thompson, who is the executive director of the national sheriff's association to join me on the stage. as we announce a new task force to address one of the greatest challenges facing county government. as county leaders, we focus on solutions, this task force will examine the medicaid inmate exclusion policy, which strips federal health and veterans
benefits from individuals of upon admission to jail, not upon conviction. terminating federal benefits from those who are presumed innocent as a violation of their constitutional rights. [applaus [applause]... of incarceration. our task force will study this serious problem and offer solutions and policy recommendations to congress, and the administration. this is the right thing to do. we are pleased to name the members of this task force.
you can see the names of those individuals on the screen behind me. they have a big job in front of them and i know they are up to the task that is being presented to them. we think these calculators including sheriff's, prosecutors, and behavioral health experts, and we hope you all will join us at our policy briefing tomorrow afternoon on capitol hill. and we look forward to working with jonathan in the national sheriffs association in the months ahead. jonathan, i want to give you an opportunity to say a few words. [applause] >> good morning. good morning. >> good morning. >> that's the county associations i know. we have a crisis confronting us. i don't need to repeat the numbers on a do need to make a couple of observations. every day in this country more
than 300,000 individuals are in our jails, in your jails, for one reason only. because they are mentally ill. that illness caused them or their communities harm, because of no other reason than they have an illness. today as we sit here our federal government has an obligation to its part of the moral and social code we must share. to me, a father of two children that have mental illnesses, we can't do this alone. we cannot arrest our way out of the opioid crisis, and we certainly can't arrest our way out of the mental illness crisis facing this country.
[applause] asking sheriff's, jail administrator, account executives, county board members, commissioners, city councils to carry this burden is unconscionable. this is our humanitarian obligation. we must treat these people with dignity. we must treat them with respect. but please, please, stop putting them in jails. put them where they belong. [applause] tomorrow, you get to talk to congress about it. share those personal stories that you have, because you do have them. tell them about the 17-year-old who woke up one day because he had schizophrenia and couldn't
control his rage. tell them about the 35-year-old with ptsd who did nothing more than decide that it was so hot out he had to take his clothes off to stay cool. tell them about those family members that you probably have or know about. who are in there in your custody now, or in the sheriff's custody. we cannot, we cannot do this anymore. the most civilized nation in the world is locking up people for one reason, because they are mentally ill or addicted to a drug. ladies and gentlemen, together we can fix this crisis. i ask you, i call upon you, i implore you, help us fix this problem. thank you. god bless you all. [applause] >> jonathan, we thank you and
the national sheriffs' association for being a partner with naco of the three very important issue. while we're waiting for next guest speaker, i'm supposed to do a little song and dance i guess. what i'm going to do this kind of explain my presidential initiative, which is connecting the unconnected. and have got to the point where i kind of felt this would be really an opportunity to build on roy charles brooks initiative last year, serving the underserved is a particular focus on childhood poverty. we've been blessed. we had a united way that ran our information and referral line for good number of years and they decide they want to get in focusing on other areas. we were kind of force to put together a separate 501(c)(3) and we did that in 2005. it was about the same time the 211 phone number was, together and kudos to atlanta for being the founder i think with the first one implemented 211 phone
line. and we have had a very robust 211 phone system or a couple of years. we had fires in 2007 but we rolled 211 internet only being the typical health and human services information but we also used it for disaster. we decided to use it for disaster information, non-emergency disaster information. a couple of months after we decided to do that we had very bad fires in 2007. they handled when hundred 60,000 calls in the space of six days, getting people information on whether they need to boil water, whether they could get back to their homes, if roads were open, where they could go to family assistance centers. we realized there so much more that can be done with 211 that just having it for health and human services information. so over the last few years we've added come having people report graffiti. you actually can take information when they call 211
san diego. we blew all the silos away and now to win one in san diego when somebody calls the operators that a been significantly trained will actually deal with real people that have real problems. and we focus on giving them the real solutions. and it has just been one of the most i think transformational experiences i've had. they are handling about 500,000 calls and e-mails that are coming in, online services that they have come and it has just made all the difference in the world. one of the funny things as they sign people up for food stamps, and actually get reimbursed by the department of agriculture. that's one of the many ways that we find 211 in san diego. i wanted to take that opportunity to just explain the genesis of my presidential initiative, now it's my honor to introduce our next guest speaker, kellyanne conway, who serves as special assistant to
the president and senior counselor. she has led some of the administrations most high profile and impactful initiatives. kellyanne will give us a a look inside some of the administration's efforts over the past two years, and some of their biggest accomplishments. please join me in welcoming kellyanne conway. [applause] >> good morning. thank you for having me. >> kellyanne, we're so delighted to have you as a part of our proceedings this morning. you know, i have to tell you. i don't think i've ever seen any presidential administration open the door more for access to local government than the trump administration has done. i know that over the last -- [applause] i know that over the last year, i think your something like 35
different forums where you literally invited every county elected official in america to come in and meet with the presidents administration, with cabinet secretaries, with speakers that just have tremendous information to share and in no, i think i was a part of the last delegation that came in. i know you are a big part of a lot of those efforts and a lot of those meetings. california, alaska and hawaii i think was the last when the came in october and we were honored to have the president himself come in and talk to us for about 20 minutes. but tell me, what has been the feedback from the administration, the cabinet secretary and the others who have had a chance to meet with county officials? what has is meant to the administration? >> thank you so much for having me today, and to everybody at
naco, to have the actor conference. we could not do what we do and who we are literally without the input and insight, information and villages the individual participation from our local elected officials. an and nonelected officials. why is that? because much like everything to president trump, it all begins at the grassroots level. he's been a chief executive his entire career obviously at the trump organization, a successful developer and builder, chief executive on tv. he would like me to remind you also at the apprentice and a chief executive of the united states. but at the executive level he's always been very natural for him to rely upon different individuals and organizations throughout his structure to make sure he's provided with information and the issues and the input. and he's very good i think about
weighing many different opinions and in making decision, executing the decision. this is a way talk to the present. it's wonderfully bring visibility and action was a different issues but we will never, let me be very clear to you, we will never substitute our judgment for yours. the reason is we need to hear, we need you to be a two-way conduit to bring to us what you are hearing and what you're seeing and experiencing at a local lake. and then hearing from us what's happening. a couple of things that have happened, you know, everything from passing the ultimate crisis legislatively and regulation, big bipartisan effort on criminal justice reform, infrastructure has begun and will continue. we hope and expect in a bipartisan way in earnest this very congress this year. also look anything having to do with let's just say the water
resources development act that was signed into law and october. the faa reauthorization and october. so these are things that may be the average american doesn't it doesn't say in local coverage but you know it and you feel it. and i just use that as some examples where we just can't make decisions on high and expect and when to comply with them. we are receiving the input. it took me 50 years to get to my 50th state when a. >> translator: i got -- i been to all 50 now. it took the white house about a year and a half to have all 50 states come in and send the representatives, and it's been an incredible an important part of our own infrastructure, our intelligence information infrastructure. some of the best ideas that we have heard have been the best practices and yes, the challenges, the obstacles and opportunities we have heard from local elected officials. i can think of some right off the bat but we did f-35 events
come all 50 states represented, the president was therefore if you think i think i participated in 27 of them, and the president was, came in at the last one for the crowning achievement. but i'll tell you that as different geographically and demographically and sometimes economically some of the states are, we do hear so many common threads, obstacles and opportunities and we want to continue to hear them. >> one of those, threads was just talked about by secretary acosta and that's the whole opioid crisis better think is affected just about every county across the united states. i know you have played a very significant leading role in the administration's efforts to do with the opioid crisis, including some significant legislative initiatives that have been put in place, regulatory changes to help local and state government officials
address this crisis. can you talk a little bit about these efforts any next steps that you are aware of that you can share with us? >> yes. thank you for helping us to raise awareness, not just about the crisis which you call the crisis next-door with some of the solutions that we are working on together. we refer to the opioid and drug demand drug supply crisis in the white house as the crisis next door. so right off the bat people know a few things. one is it is indiscriminate. it goes across every geographic, demographic and socioeconomic and racial, gender, certainly political lines. and i can't imagine there's a person in here who come from any nook and cranny in this country that has not seen the impact of our modern drug crisis, which experts say is the worst drug crisis in our nation's history. so what is being done about it? well, we had h.r. six last to come signed into law by the president in october and it
really was a great exercise in bipartisan legislative efforts for a couple reasons. one is it was passed on a bipartisan basis. every single democrat who voted, voted in favor of h.r. six. and that includes everything of democratic senator including the ones running for president. so i feel like this is an issue that will continue to hear about at different levels because everybody is already admitted it's a problem. it's a problem that affects everyone in this country and they put their vote and their voice behind that problem, solving a problem. secondly, the h.r. six ended up being a package of different bills that have been out there on different aspects of the open crisis everything from the stop act, for example, which now will require our own u.s. postal service to do what third-party carriers like fedex and dhl already do which is right and the sender, recipient and the contents of the package of every
foreign origin package pick so that should be able to cut down on the number of illicit drug, lethal drug packages that come up their own mail and into our communities. h.r. six also included some great programs like more funding and awareness for the -- our first lady who just went on a tour to talk about are the this initiative which includes the open crisis, you've probably seen one in 100 babies being born every day struggling to take those first breaths. the one of 100 approximates about approximates about 150 a day nationwide. it's about one in ten in some counties that a visit and we for from those legislators right left and center taking of the local number. there's money and there and also workforce development monies at her secretary of labor i mrs. obama but i'm working with him and his team on this issue. the secretary of labor and the
second lady and her surgeon general and i had a wonderful opportunity to go and witness firsthand a great example of an employer of their manufacture, big oil, great example. i know there are others in your own communities of an employer, instead of saying he failed to drug test, you're out of here. you can stay on the job but you must go into treatment and also either be rescaled or take a pause in that job. and then when you're able to reenter the job that's waiting for you because after all the job is the path which recovery along with medication and physical therapies and so many of the other treatment services that are in h.r. six pixel h.r. six came with billions and billions of dollars but if they most individually for you in addition to the money it was a full-spectrum approach on law enforcement interdiction and surveillance, treatment and
recovery, prevention and education. i think what all of you can do which are also due at the federal level is have really robust triple down effort on takeback day. the national takeback day is a last saturday of april and october. we have another one coming up in about six or seven weeks. the three takeback days that it existed in this presidency along with her efforts to make quote everyday takeback day, has netted 3.7 million pounds of pills since we've got you. think about that. just get your head around that. i work in this evident and it's hard for me to get my head to render padgett will be 3.7 million pills i would be impressed. that's a lot of pills. 3.7 million pounds of pills which tells you how much of this unnecessary stuff is in our supply chain. and part of the prevention and education of the national takeback day, a tech companies have been terrific in helping as. ondcp has been terrific. they have od in become overdosed
map, you can see the hot spot in your communities. google, facebook, they been helping us to come up with tools so that you can put in your zip code and find the closest place to bring those drugs, an essence or drugs a prevention education with the consumers, the students in the schools. we spend an awful lot of time and money teaching our kids, , r school students not many different things. getting this into the curriculum or getting a local leader to go in and just talk about the base of their fit not, make sure you know what fentanyl is, make sure you know what naloxone is. fentanyl is instantly for many people. it is being placed into marijuana, cocaine and street drugs. it is the biggest reason that the altered crisis continues to spiral upward in the deaths. and then i would just point out because you may or may not have this in your own communities but increasingly when we travel we see many of our fire stations outfitting themselves as places where they can save a life.
summary is overdosing, safe stations. through four times more likely in some places to respond to a drug overdose then as a fire. what's next? what i call the opioid plus responses are coming up more workforce the velvet, making sure these folks not unlike the criminal justice reform, the first step act, try to get folks who are qualified to reenter them more money for the drug court program, the drug-free committees program. we have the highest number and most money ever awarded. also i would say the veterans for peace can working very closely with the v.a. because in a rush to make sure our veterans have everything they need or handing them to bolsa pills for noncombat related injuries, and it's tomorrow the president will sign an executive order on suicide prevention for veterans and this is a piece of that as well. again working with you and your communities, we've learned, i've learned 98% of what i've learned
about the opioid and drug crisis from you. not from the federal government. we are here to help and the response. i hope i can respond but that whole of government response is a vertical whole of government. it is federal, state and local but the whole of government responsibility needs to treat the whole person. >> you kind of made reference to criminal justice reform and that's the next and want to get into. obviously there's been success with the number of packages including county priorities and reauthorizing the second chance act. counties as you will now play a very significant role in criminal justice. we own 91% use jails with over 10 million inmates every year and many of our jails continue to struggle with individuals mental health and substance abuse disorders and frequent recidivism. i know in our county in san diego and probably most county jails across the united states, our jails unfortunately are the largest provider of mental health services in addition to many of the things.
but could you tell us about the white house work on this issue and what are some of the big achievements that we've seen so far from the administration's perspective? >> thank you, very much for point that out, and i have this very conversation with your supervisor actually from your county not to undergo on these two issues. the first step act, another great bipartisan accomplishment, both republicans and democrats anything more importantly people from all across the country came into the oval office to watch the signing of legislation. so local leaders who have been working on this for years, sort of people in the criminal justice space, the health community, , those who are about to benefit from this and one of the first ladies guess was matthew charles, probably one of the first, among the most visible now beneficiaries would be the word of the first step act. i think it's very important to recognize what measures like to provide them with the don't provide. it is not a give get out of jail
free card frenulum. this is when people pay their debt to society and are determined to be ready for reentry. it is giving them an opportunity. this is something that had been attempted and talked about for many, many years and think it's a good example of will. putting the politics aside and wondering who's going to win and seen that many people who deserve to win-win-win. but we know it is on your shoulders to execute now on measures like the first that i, the criminal justice reform, the opioid legislation and we here to support those efforts. i think that the workforce development piece of criminal justice form, the mental health these is what samhsa is doing over at hhs. they freed up a bunch of money for this particular purpose. they freed up a bunch of money for veterans for that particular purpose. and always making sure that the substance abuse and mental health even the foster care pieces all work together so that
we recognize the reality of all the different needing together. none of this can operate in a silo. the workforce development piece is important. i shared with jared kushner over and took control of this issue of half of the administration that i noticed that solely, the service dog who of course famously was assigned to george herbert walker bush, god rest his soul, his trainers in part where to mackovic. that's the way the referred himself. i watched the interview. part of what he did while in prison was train sully. and what a great way of showing what can be done for skilling and education and workforce development while in prison and then when one is qualified, is ready to come out and reentry. there are a number of protective measures in there but also a number of opportunities, and that was signed into law december 21. so it's fairly new and young.
but again i think just tackle issues. people ask me what surprises you about the white house and i've been there since day one and will continue to be the white is how somalia west wing is. it's a very small place. but number two is not how easy because none of it is easy, but almost logistically speaking how simple it would have been for some of these issues to be tackled previously took so that is not a criticism of any previous administration from any previous president. i'm just making the point looking forward together that whether it's a regulatory change or a legislative fix or an executive order or commission that gets started or a state local or federal effort being done together, we just have to do. sometimes it's a matter of will and i am, i am amazed sometimes an essay of the present will constantly ask do have to do this legislation?
can we started here? can we do an executive order? can we bring people in? it is amazing how much if you do if you don't care who gets the credit for it but it's also an exam at you can do it unlike in washington we all recognize that you recognize that at home, which is stop overestimate how much you can get done by this friday and start, and stop undressing her mystery done in the next three weeks the three months to three years. that's the way we're trying to tackle issues like that. it's certainly worth a try. always willing to fail, always willing to say it's not time yet. at least if we can do the work and get ready and then find out where it's right. so we know that you've got many challenges on your shoulders, under budgets but we are here to help and we are here to support and we are here most important i think to listen. >> one of the priorities president trump has been regulatory reform, and i know i had opportunity and there were a few other people in this room,
two years ago this week in fact, to be invited to the white house when the president signed the executive order on waters of united states, to send back it back to the drawing board. counties have been focusing on that issue for a good number of years because the impact it has on our farmers and are counties, infrastructure related issues and public safety. so we sincerely appreciate all of those efforts to streamline the regulatory process and increase consultations with local governments. are there more regulatory streamlining issues that you would like to share with the? >> the are. our head is about to get her confirmation -- actually the boat, she's now been nominated to replace brett kavanaugh in the d.c. circuit court, but she left come she's leaving a a grt staff at you have -- under nail maze leadership with the white house counsels office and others in the administration and taking the president. the deregulation, getting rid of
the duplicative excessive burden some unnecessarily expensive regulations is something that we hear every single day from farmers, robert always, taxpayers, school parents can certainly local elected officials. so this is not about doing away with regulations that are protecting our safety, are well beings, our water and air quality but quite the opposite. as you say the president was to mention that as a top five, top ten whenever he's asked what are your favorite accomplishments of what with the best regulation. we had an event where we had coal miners day, we had a farmer, a small business owner. really just trying to show the broad impact of the deregulatory dinner but we can always do better. we have the president has set as a goal of 5% reduction i believe it is across each agency. some are able to do it faster than others but there's always, and actually his goal was to out for everyone in.
it's much better than that. some people say 25 or so but i will just that it's much better than two, two on for a joint in. every agency is different. if you look at labor, look at department of transportation, look at epa, fda certainly, interior, agriculture, these are ones that spring to mind in terms of really having a robust projection about what more they can do in this next year or two. all the while, and it think it's important, i've been urging everybody who's been involved with this issue don't just talk about the ones that we are eliminating the talk about the ones that are new also because we do need smart regulation to we certainly do. and so when we talk about tent out for every new and let's also make sure we know what the new it is and more often than not we respond to what we've heard or seen or been told at the local level, state-level office of what's important. that is going to come
deregulation will continue to be a very important aspect of this administration policy and this presidential legacy. look, it is saving billions of dollars but i think also it's just restoring more freedom. it's giving people more choices. we hear from folks they feel more free now to form a small business formation, the confidence, the property owners don't hear as much. certainly the farmers, manufacturing as well. the president is first to say that yes, the tax cuts were great, the store, the repatriation of wealth, reducing the corporate tax cuts, et cetera, but he always says if that had not con with companion deregulation it would not admit as much to so many. and he also says he thinks the deregulation is just as important if not more important to certain industries and sectors and individuals, and he knows that because he hears that. >> kellyanne, this has been marvelous -- >> for me. >> blown by, , but we sincerely thank you for being here.
didn't even get a chance to get into the question of infrastructure but i can say i think a map of all of our naco members we know that's an issue that the president is interested in focusing on and perhaps even though there's a divided congress, that's an issue that can really bring people together. >> will be hopeful about that and i will spend 20 seconds on without running into the next speaker stein because it's so important. when the president had a phone call with speaker pelosi about five or six weeks ago he tweeted out great call with speaker pelosi and we committed to working together on pricing and infrastructure. and so that was amidst other things there were discussing. very much on her might in his mind. and i can tell you at the white house are five policy priorities this year, those are two of them and the drug pricing infrastructure, know you'll have a hand in this as well. infrastructure infrastructures m real broadband to shrinking up a meeting time from eight to ten years to two years. certainly the roads, the bridges, the water main breaks,
things people are not really even thinking of every single day. but infrastructure at its heart is a fundamentally global issue and i know that your members here are charged with the control and the funding of by and large in the maintenance roads and bridges and streets and parks. and so we hear you, we see you but that is the next big effort and enough people like to say infrastructure week again at the white house. i know -- my professional answers yes because every week is -- every week you were dealing with it back in november partners with that and it's good to have a build in a white us when talk about infrastructure week. so thank you very much. thanks very much rather be today. god bless you all. [applause] >> thank you. >> you represent a beautiful part of the country, i can tell you that.
>> well again, want to thank kellyanne for being a today. with a great partnership with the trump administration come focusing on issues of concerns the county government and i think the trump administration gets it that we need strong counties across america. so we look for to continue that working relationship. new will meet right back here in this very same room for lunch, which you will not want to miss because back by popular demand we'll see a special performance by the capitol steps. you will love it because they always do a great job. this concludes our general session. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
♪ ♪ >> if you missed any of the remarks by senator ernst, secretary acosta or kellyanne conway, you can go to our website c-span.org, type naco in the search box to find their remarks. and a look at the use capital here on this monday morning what the house and senate will be gaveling in today. the household and a short pro forma session with no votes scheduled. the house holds a short pro forma session in just under an hour, 11:30 eastern to the senate begins its day at three. a procedural vote is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. eastern today. watch the house live on c-span and see the senate on c-span2.
we have more like programming coming up later today -- like programming. >> tonight on "the communicators" we are on capitol hill with south dakota republican senator john thune who chairs the commerce and science subcommittee, and i republican congress and bob latta ranking on the house energy and commerce subcommittee to discuss high-speed broadband service, privacy laws, 5g and net neutrality.
>> very much interested in 5g, interested in spectrum availability, very much interested in autonomous vehicles and a lot of things we started to work on, interest in privacy what i think has potential to be a big bipartisan accomplishment of this congress. i think both sides, the house and senate republicans and democrats realize we've got that some sort of a national data privacy standard or law that would protect peoples personal information. >> we had multiple meetings on privacy and one of the big issues out there, you're right, we can't have states going out and doing their own thing. you can a 50 states and the district of columbia come up with this. just will not work. we have to have a national standard and i think everyone out there understands it. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at eight eastern on c-span2. >> the c-span buzz recently traveled to texas asking folks
what does it mean to be american? >> i believe being american means you can be anyone and anything. you have the freedom to express yourself and you have the freedom to embrace your culture and to show off your culture. because america truly is a melting pot. >> what i i mean where part ofe community is just, , it's so nie to share values, like respect for one another. we have freedoms we share, amazing things. i think we're just lucky, like, for example, education in the states is just amazing. use of foreign exchange student come here because we're just so fortunate, and even healthcare. where very fortunate people. so go usa. >> for myself i was in being an american is on the one hand, being a free person but as far as being an american citizen, i
would say that taking an active part in trying to better your country and not think of it as a perfect nation. always go on a mission in trying to make it even better. >> voices from the road on c-span. >> next supreme court justice sonia sotomayor discusses her life, her new children's book and her appointment and service on the nation's highest court. she answered questions from children in the audience about her life and her career. this is an hour and ten minutes. [applause] >> hello. >> what a welcome.