tv New Democrat Coalition Action Fund Policy Conference CSPAN April 25, 2019 3:30pm-7:17pm EDT
washington is a service by your cable or satellite provider. c-span is your unfiltered view of government, so you can make up your own mind. the complete guide to congress is now available. it has lots of details about the house and senate for the current session of congress. contact and bio information about every senator and representative. plus, information about congressional committees, state governors and the cabinet. the 2019 congressional directory is a handy spiral-bound guide. order your copy from the c-span online store for $18.95. the new democrat coalition action fund recently hosted a policy conference with several democratic members of congress to discuss their party's agenda for the current congressional session, as well as what issues they say need to be addressed heading into the 2020 election cycle.
this is just over three hours and forty minutes. good afternoon. welcome to next, the second annual new democratic coalition. i'm susan delbene and i represent washington state's first congressional district. and this congress i also serve as the new democrat coalition's vice chair for policy. so i'm honored to host today's policy conference. we have a dynamic set of speakers from from the new dem coalition and outside experts on the range of important issues. before i do around overview of the agenda, i want to spend a few minutes telling you why i'm excited about the new dems the opportunity to be policy leaders in the democratic party and in congress. the new democrat coalition is made up of our forward-thinking democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies. new democrats are a solutions oriented coalition, seeking to
bridge the gap between left and right. by challenging partisan approaches to governing. we don't say government is the problem nor that government is the solution to all problems. our approach is to say let's make government work better. let's reinvent it for the 21st century. we believe every american should have the opportunity to succeed. the 2018 elections brought us a wave of freshmen democrats led by new freshmen backed candidates. 33 of the 40 house seat s picked up were led by new dems. this congress, swelling our ranks to the highest levels ever at 101 members. this makes us the largest ideological house democratic caucus. we make up 40% of the entire house democratic caucus.
we have freshmen all stars like lizzie fletcher and slotkin who will speak today, mikey sherrill and chrissy hall houlihan who serve on the leadership team. all-stars like my neighbor in the state of washington, dr. kim shrier and many more who are responsible for democrats getting the majority in the house. our strength is not just in our numbers, but also our ideas. many of which you're going to hear about later today. to promote these ideas, we launched eight new policy task forces this congress. the task forces are led by new dem issue area experts in order to develop policies to help americans get ahead in a changing economy and help make america more secure. we're working to offer bold ideas and innovative solutions to many important issues on topics like technology, climate change, health care, infrastructure, trade, housing the future of work, national security and more.
in addition to our task forces, we are well represented on key congressional committees. the new democrat coalition worked hard to promote our members for key committee assignments and we were successful in securing at least 40% of the seats on all the exclusive committees and have greater representation on many of the national security committees like armed services and intelligence. we're excited to work with all members on these committees to advance a forward looking agenda for our country. because the american people gave democrats the majority with the expectation that we'd actually get some work done to make their lives better. that's what we're going to talk about today and we have an exciting agenda. in a few minutes, new chair dem derrick helmer will give remarks on the state of the new democrat coalition. then leading health care policy experts on how we achieve the goal of universal coverage.
following that panel, we'll hear presentations from new dem leaders on housing, trade, and future of work policy. followed by another panel discussion moderated by scott peters on climate change and after the climate change panel, we'll hear another series of presentations from new dem leaders on national security, infrastructure, and technology policy. that will lead into a panel discussion that i'll moderate on digital privacy. joining us after that discussion conclude our program will be senator michael bennett who will participate in a fireside chat with derrick killmer about how we build durable policy solutions. we hope all of you in the audience and watching around the world on the live stream will enjoy and participate in the conversation today. there are many pressing issues that demand leaders in washington to work together to solve. at our core, new dems are here to make a difference and get things done and we look forward to continuing to do that important work together.
with that, i have the distinct honor to introduce my colleague and neighbor back home, the chairman of the new democrat coalition, derek kilmer. derrick took over the lead of the new democrat coalition this congress as democrats took control of the house. under his leadership we have already made a significant impact on the agenda and the priorities for the democratic majority. the coalition secured rules reforms to make the house more open and transparent, returning legislating to a robust committee process. as a member of the ways and means committee our process has been robust. the speaker trusting his ability to build consensus among democrats and republicans asked derrick to lead the committee to modernize congress established in the rules reforms. and just to make sure that he stayed focus on the task at hand, she asked me to keep an eye on him and appointed me as a member of the committee as well. when he isn't thinking about how
to make the house work better, he's thinking about ways to make our economy work better, keep our nation secure through innovative ideas around life-long learning, economic development, cyber security, and countless other efforts. without further ado, let's cue the nickelback and welcome our chairman, derrick killmer. ♪ >> what's that? i am told with the mic that is not in my ear, actually, that in an attempt to boost congress' popularity, one of the first acts derrick took is to ban nickelback from being played in either washington. there's a whole nickelback story you can learn about later. join me in welcoming our chairman, derek killmer. ♪ she's in love with him ♪ can't find a better man >> let's give it up for susan delbene. good job, susan.
good afternoon, everybody. thanks for joining us for our second annual policy conference. i'm derrick killmer. from washington's sixth district. i have the honor of chairing the new dems this congress. we're excited you decided to spend the day with us, for those participating on facebook, hello, facebook viewers. we're excited to hear more about our innovative solutions and bold ideas. a lot has changed since i stood here a year ago addressing this crowd at our first ever new dem policy conference. most notably, democrats are now in the majority in the house of representatives. today i'm proud that the new democrat coalition put us there. we are now 101 members strong, including 40 freshmen members. the last cycle alone, 33 of the 40 freshmen who flipped districts from red to blue were new dem endorsed candidates. we're the largest ideological
coalition in the house and it's the largest our coalition has ever been. it's safe to say that the state of the new democratic coalition is strong, we have an amazing team on the field, ready to tackle issues and get things done to make people's lives better, and to be clear, i quite literally mean tackle. one of our new members is a former nfl linebacker. in spite of the excitement around our new majority, we have big challenges facing our country. today i want to talk about some of those challenges and our efforts to rise to the occasion to create more opportunities for the american people. let's talk trends. first, we're in the midst of rapid economic change. the combination of automation and globalization, the mobility of capital, these are extraordinary opportunities to make lives better and conquer big problems but they are massively disruptive. think about this, my first job was at west side video, a video store, for the younger people in the audience we used to have these things called video
stores. that store no longer exists. by and large video stores no longer exist. the words be kind and please rewind mean nothing to my daughters because they live in this world of itunes and netflix and youtube. for me at a video store on demand was being able to pull a video out of the return bin before it got put on the shelf that was on demand. when i was a kid i lived in a small town called port angeles, my dad was a photographer, we would go to kits camera on first street, my dad would buy a lot of kodak supplies. it doesn't exist anymore. at its peak, kodak employed 160,000 people in this country. it now employs 4% of that. everyone has a camera on his or her phone. that economic transformation has changed our lives, made things more convenient, opened up new avenues for information, for entertainment and put near infinite amounts of information
and content at our fingertips. it's certainly made things more productive. and there are certainly some cities that are thriving in this changing economy. the new economy is working in some places for some people. these forces are enormously disruptive, and they created some challenges too. that leads me to a second trend. that is the geographic institution of the economy. and economic opportunity. in my home state of washington we feel some of that. seattle is cooking to the point that it has a growth challenge manifested by traffic congestion and a lack of affordable housing. there are still parts of my state including in my district where the recovery has not come the way it wanted to and those areas we still have a jobs challenge. in too many areas, including parts of the district i represent, our top export is young people. our state's not unique in that regard. the economic innovation group, a bipartisan policy group, broke down the nation by zip codes and ranked them from the most
prosperous to the most distressed. here's what they found, they found from 2011 to 2015 the 20% most prosperous zip codes saw half of our nation's new jobs and 57% of net new businesses. the 20% least prosperous zip codes where one in six americans live, contain fewer jobs and fewer businesses. not only since 2011 but since 2000. so what does that mean for us? well the new dems believe we are at a sputnik moment and we must renew a national mission that's focused on economic opportunity and american competitiveness around ensure no matter what zip code you live in you have the opportunity to earn a good living. we believe our job is to create more economic opportunity for more people in more places. so how do we get that done? politicians from across the political spectrum have made great hay by making it seem like the answers are simple. if you've got a challenge they
have a bumper sticker from demonizing trade or immigrants to suggesting the solution rests in eliminating government entirely or relying entirely on government, some suggest that this should solely be a debate about redistribution of our economic pie rather than how we grow the pie and ensure that everyone, everywhere, has a shot at getting a slice. as a recovering economic development professional i wish i could say there's a silver bullet to economic growth. i don't think that's true. i think it's more complicated and like silver buck shot. a bunch of stuff we have to do. and what excites me is that we are engaging on those challenges. we are stepping up with innovative solutions because we want people to be able to navigate economic change rather than be victims of it. it's why the new democrats have a task force focused on the future of work. we have a bunch of new dems that are pushing to strengthen k-12 and expand access to post-secondary education,
broaden our financial aid programs, new dems focusing on a system of affordable benefits, that given the disruption i spoke of earlier, the days of someone graduating school, getting a job and having that job for 30 to 40 years are probably over. and we've got to empower workers to navigate that. it's why i introduced a bill called lifelong learning accounts, that would be optional and portable and tax advantaged like a health savings account or 401(k) but around skills. beyond that, the new dems know that when we make smart investments in infrastructure it doesn't just put people to work now, it lays the foundation for economic growth over the long haul and we have a task force focussed on that. i'm admittedly reticent to do a deep dive into infrastructure policy. not always the sexiest topic for folks who just ate lunch. infrastructure stems from a latin word structure, meaning
structure and infra meaning boring. but it really matters. according to the american society of civil engineers, our nation's infrastructure graded out last year at a d-plus. quick show of hands, how many of you drove here today either on a highway where there was traffic congestion or a road where there were potholes? listen, there are parts of the district i represent where the speed limit signs are only there for nostalgic purposes and the new dems are pushing for congress to actually get to work on this. and when we talk about infrastructure, that discussion needs to include broadband. i represent a district that's not far from microsoft and amazon and some amazing technology companies. yet, the district i represent ranks in the bottom 20% country when it comes to high-speed internet. catch this. a couple years back, i was meeting with a tribal chairman in my district how are you doing? he said you want the good or bad news? tell me the good news. he said, every one of our high school seniors graduated this year. that's fantastic. what's the bad news?
he said for the first time, the state of washington is going to require our students to take the state mandated exam on the internet. we don't have high-speed internet. we timed it. it took a minute and 44 seconds to get to the next page. that's not going to work. we're going bus our kids to a school they've never been to or a town they've never been. this is worse than not being able to watch the latest season of "stranger things" on netflix. imagine trying to start a new business or someone who wants to be able to take that test or apply it to college or if you just want to see if the kids on "stranger things" make it out of the upside down you should be able to access the internet. third, the new dems understand that there are global forces where the united states can either take the lead or as we've seen too often with this current administration, sit on the sidelines. take climate change, for example, the new dems understand this is an existential threat that requires action. the new dems believe in science. we believe the u.s. should join
the community of nations and take bold action to address climate change. we acknowledge if we address this challenge wisely we can create new economic opportunities, we can create new industries and new jobs and we can save this planet. it's why we have a task force driving innovative ideas on this. take trade, the new dems want to make sure that trade policies enable us to export american products not american jobs. we understand that trade is going to happen. it can happen with no rules, with rules that are set by china, or the united states can be active and engaged in setting high standards that protect workers and the environment and intellectual property and other priorities. we want those rules to protect america's interests so prosperity can happen here rather than some place else. new dems aren't focused on protecting people from foreign competition. we're focused on ensure americans can defeat foreign competition. we want americans to prosper. from these efforts. we embrace an ethic similar to a
sign on the economic development organization that i used to work in that said we are competing with everyone, everywhere, every day forever. now finally, the new dems understand our capacity to address these challenges is hamstrung by the current state of our politics. our nation can't continue this dysfunction. because the reality is our competitors overseas are not messing around with government shutdowns and sequestration and some of the partisan frivolity you see in this town. the new dems believe our country is more competitive and more capable of progress against these big challenges when all oars in the water in the same direction rather than beating each other other the heads. i confess that approach doesn't always make the new dems viral sensations on social media. it's not catnip for cable news. i joke that if i had a new dem rally on the steps of the united states capitol, i would yell, "what do we want" and everyone
would yell, a comprehensive approach to job creation that includes infrastructure and smarter approach to taxes and trade." when do we want it and everyone would yell we're willing to work in a collaborative way to bring people together. our approach is what the american people are asking for and it's what these challenges demand. famous faith leader once said, optimism is the belief that things will get better. but hope is the belief that together we can make things better. this past year the new dems were there to help support candidates from the very beginning so that they could come here to make things better for the american people. we saw extraordinary people win and join our coalition and the common denominator among all of these people is that they're here to get things done. that gives me hope. i get hope from the fact that new dems are making a difference in the new majority. our coalition was active and engaged and provided content for hr 1, a political reform bill. last week in response to a letter sent by coalition members house leadership introduced
legislation to lower health insurance premiums and strengthen protections for people with preexisting conditions and reverse attacks on our health care system. that gives me hope. let me end with this, last week i ran into someone from my state let me end with this, last week i ran into someone from my state who has been vocal about exploring an independent run for the presidency. here's what i told him. i told him that we have a coalition in congress, 101 members strong, that have the courageous honesty to say that we are for private sector job growth well, are supportive of getting a handle on our nation's long-term fiscal challenge, we are willing to work across the aisle and we are democrats. we are new democrats because we are a group trying to look at old problems through a new lens. we don't say government is the problem or that government is the solution to all problems, our approach is let's make government work better, let's reinvent it for the 21st century.
let's step up and solve some of these big challenges. we know that the antidote to chaos and dysfunction is competence and results. that's our focus, and that gives me hope. so i'm hoping i got you excited for the rest of this day, and you're going to hear from amazing people, some industry experts, thought leaders, some of my colleagues, so thank you again for joining us and don't forget to tweet along using the #newdemsnext. with that i'd like to invite up someone who also gives me hope, someone who has been an outstanding leader on health care policy, foreign affairs, someone who now chairs the new dem action fund and is working every day to ensure that we hold on to these amazing new members and give them company in 2020. let's give it up from california my colleague, ami berra and his panel.
♪ >> i don't have nickelback, but we have credence. well, health care is an exciting topic. and i say that as a doctor. neero has perfect timing as well. you know, we're coming up on the ten-year anniversary of the affordable care act. a bill that was debated intensely and passed roughly ten years ago, and continues to this day to be debated pretty intensely. with the president's announcement last week. it was framed the new democratic coalition is looking for solutions here. when we think about how you move forward, you know, we really don't think you take a piece of legislation that was landmark legislation in the affordable care act and try to blow it up, but look for those places where you can make adjustments, where you can save lives, the marketplace. we also as a core value hold this value that every american
if they got sick, ought to be able to go see a doctor. if they get really sick, they shouldn't have that fear of going bankrupt and losing everything. we think you ought to get everyone into the system. we've also taken the approach that there are a lot of good ideas out there that are being introduced all the time. we haven't said this is a bad idea, that's a bad idea, we just think in a legislative body like congress, you should have regular order. you should go through the committee structure, through the committee process and evaluate all these ideas. what is it going to cost? is it going to displace folks? how would you implement it? over what time frame would you implement it. we're taking that approach in a thoughtful way. with that, let me introduce our panel today, and they will take us through a lot of different ideas.
jim, what i don't -- we've got jim kessler, the executive vice president for policy at third way. as third way's executive vice president for policy, jim brings his wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and insights to bear on issues across this policy spectrum. the middle-class prosperity to immigration, guns and entitlements. as he sees it, his job is to imagine the world as it's going to be and figure out how most americans concede in it. thank you for being here, jim. >> we've also got neera tanden, the president and ceo for the -- center for merchant progress. neera is the president and ceo also for the center for american progress action fund where she focuses on how organizations can fulfill their missions to expand opportunities for all americans. neera has served in both the obama and clinton administrations as well as on their presidential campaigns and she's known as a health care expert.
neera, thank you for being here as well. we've also got chris jennings, the founder and president at jennings policy strategy incorporated. chris jennings is an over three decades long policy veteran of the white house, congress and the private sector. in 2014 he departed from his second tour of duty in the white house where he served president obama as deputy assistant to the president for health policy in coordination of health reform and also served in similar capacity in the clinton white house for nearly eight years. chris, thank you for being with us today. as you get older you have to wear glasses and start taking them on and off. let's start with you, chris. with your intimate knowledge of the affordable care act, and so forth, and the work on it and as we approach this ten-year anniversary, where do we go next with the affordable care act? where would you like to see congress go? >> i want you to feel good because i have my own glasses
too. can you hear me, guys? yes. i was asked to kind of lay the predicate for where we are, where we're going, and then i'll turn it over to the people who really know much, much better than i do. i often say i'm jealous of neera because she gets to pick the times when he -- >> he rarely says that, just to be clear. >> i am jealous. she gets to pick other issues in addition to health care. i'm always just labeled with health care. i will say this last election was the first election in the last five elections that i wasn't treated like a leper in most contexts. health care is making a comeback. it's a pleasure to be here with you, and it's great to have a doctor, by the way, on our side of the aisle. and i want to thank you for your leadership. >> three democratic doctors, in congress are all new democrat coalition members. >> it's a huge, huge asset. i think the republicans have taken the lead, so we're happy to have you.
i want to say that health care now, in fact, if you look at the last -- just the last cycle, it really was the -- certainly one of the difference maker issues for why the democrats took over the house. i think it was predominantly driven, you have to have an honest evaluation of where that was, it's primarily driven by a fear of takeaway. fear of losing something that people value. i think health care is sort of like relationships, you never really value it until you're threatened to lose it. this definitely was the case. it was a very, very realistic threat that we could lose some of the protections, and that led to the house takeover. i think the other thing that we need to recognize is, the issue that drives health policy in this country is predominantly focused around the issues of cost and complexity. the public is extremely frustrated with their out-of-pocket costs. they are very frustrated with
how difficult it is to navigate the health care system. from where i sit the -- whether it's the private or public sector, they're going to have to be far more responsive to this challenge or they will look for significant and radical changes. clearly the trump administration actions legislatively didn't go as far as they wanted. largely driven by a very strong unified democratic party and some very key republicans who opposed the repeal. and all except for the repeal of the individual mandate penalty, the legislation and the statute remains. but, of course, the threats also remain. the doj has been very aggressive, certainly following the texas case seriously, a meaningful threat and we have to take it quite seriously. i don't know why the president decided to do what he did, but he certainly has unified the democrats and really reawoken the health care debate one more time. that's not the only thing they're doing to the regulatory process.
we know what they're doing on junk plans, defunding health care, outreach enrollment dynamics, undermining the work that many members have done to this date. and there have been -- there's no doubt incredible successes with the affordable care act. you have 20 million more people insured. you've got 50 million people who would have been medically underwritten without the aca, you have the elimination of the annual and lifetime caps we had in many health plans, we having can cost sharing protections for prevention, the buy-in for the kids up to 26 years old that's helped millions of people. many people in this room have children that are benefiting. i mean these are very real benefits that americans value. so let me just say this, the aca today does continue to face real challenges. one, affordability of plans. lack of competition particularly in rural areas. we don't have enough of it. we still have over 27 million people in this country who don't have health insurance.
we have many, many states who haven't expanded the medicaid program as they should. we have a very, very hostile federal government who are implementing junk plans to undermine the very marketability of these plans. so what i'm pleased about is the leadership of the house democrats just recently this last week in the heels of the justice department submission, actually unveiled unifying democratic legislation to provide additional tax credits for people above and below 400% of poverty. we have this huge population of people which in this country is $50,000 for an individual who cannot afford health care in many parts of this country, and those tax credits will go a long way to addressing it. there's a host of other provisions in this legislation that deals with affordability. insurance policy, family, et cetera. i won't go through all the details, but very important initiative. the last message i want to make
is this, it would be a mistake, as my opening remarks reference, to solely focus on the affordable care act as the issue that people think of when they think of health care. they're very frustrated with the employer base coverage too. they're frustrated with their experiences of surprise medical bills. they're very frustrated with high out of pocket costs driven by prescription drug prices. if there's not a response to that, people are going to go looking for the candidates and the policy makers that can achieve those outcomes, and until we do, though, we're going to find a dynamic where we have polarization in the congress, not moving afford, we have an executive branch continuing to be hostile and federalism, states being very proactive for good and for bad purposes because they're frustrated that federal government is not acting and we'll have a tiebreaker in the judiciary, which is not
where we want to have health care legislation being done. last bit of good news for the democrats and i'll shut up and turn this over, which is the democrats are not as divided on health care as many people seem to want to believe. the media really wants to talk about this. one is that all support regarding the affordable care act consumer protections and the affordability provisions all support serious efforts to contain prescription drug costs and address medical surprise building. most support additional tax credits and subsidies to make coverage more affordable, most support protection options for people to retain their employer-based health coverage. that continues to be a fairly strong approach for most democrats. lastly i'm going to say this, all democrats in terms of the bigger debate around health policy, recognize it will be the democratic primary that resolves
any differences. so what we should be doing in the interim is doing the things we can do, whether it's bipartisan or partisan, to show where we can get things done in the short term. with that, that is my quick overview. >> thanks, chris. that was a broad overview. now, neera you've been working on health care for a long time in the center for american progress certainly came out with bold ideas as well. kind of looking back at your career, what are some of the successes that we had. but more importantly, outside of the aca, where would you like us to start focusing this congress? >> thank you, and thank you so much for having me, it's a great honor to be here. particularly with chris jennings, who i've learned so much about health care from over many years. we worked together on i think it was my first event when i was a white house staffer was on a c.h.i.p. expansion event. it was actually a c.h.i.p. enrollment event. in the late 1990s. i would like to say that there were so many people who have
health care today because of chris jennings decades of experience in trying to ensure we get to a place where everyone is covered, and he's worked on chip and also aca and a whole range of issues that have made people better off. it's great to be here and it's always a pleasure to be here with jim kessler who i also learned many things from over several decades, that started with lots of detailed information on the state of new new york. that's like sort of an inside joke. >> a long time ago. >> a certain first lady running for senate. so i will say -- i will amplify a few points chris made and talk about where i think the conversation is going. i think it has been a core argument of the democratic party for decades that americans should have health care, and one of the features of the 1990s
into the 2000s, and into the current moment is how to fulfill that promise. during the 1990s after the health security act, the clinton administration obviously never gave up on health care and worked tirelessly to create the c.h.i.p. program which covered millions of kids. i see the aca as a fulfillment of the idea that everyone should have health care coverage and we've gotten 20 million more people covered in a country as large as ours. this is a huge success. i have gone through as many cycles as chris jennings, and it wasn't always something people were bragging about. but it is an important step that we are here where health care is an issue in which so many people saw a big cleavage between the parties and that is because the parties are
so far away from each other. you have the trump administration trying to gut the affordable care act. despite the commentary to the contrary, they have no plan. in the absence of the affordable care act. the truth is, they didn't really have a plan for years, that they certainly don't have a plan now. and democrats who are mostly on the presidential level talking about the next -- how to -- various ways to get to universal coverage. i don't want to take away from the important work, and chris talked about this, the really vital work in the house that's happening right now, shoring up the aca. we remind people all the time that we need to walk and chew gum, the aca is under attack daily from the trump administration, they're doing things overtly and covertly to undermine the bill and undermine the legislation and that democrats have to be vigilant. it's not unanimous, it's near unanimous. more for the aca.
but i do everything that's important for all of us to keep moving forward, which is that this is an important piece of legislation that has protected millions of people, the idea that you rip it out from its sockets is unacceptable. having said that, i do think that in the democratic primary there will be various ways -- it will be a robust discussion about what the path is and the path is to get to universal coverage over some period of time. now, i lived through, as did chris, a time where health care was the central issue in a primary debate. in fact, it was amazing how many layers of discussion you could have about the policy differences between candidates back in 2008 when hillary clinton was running against barack obama and john edwards and even after john edwards left that campaign, there was almost
ad-in finite um discussion among the candidates on the merits of individual mandate and a whole series of issues. i actually agree with chris that we will have a robust debate about what the next step on health care is, and i do think a lot of people recognize it, what's really animating concern is in the democratic primary, is both universal coverage and lower cost. it's not just one of those issues, it's both of those issues, and my expectation is, we've already seen candidates differentiate themselves, some candidates are embracing multiple paths, starting with an option to a plan like the one deloreo and janikowski has put forward, medicare for america, which loosely based on the medicare extra plan that cap produced all the way to medicare for all single payer. i personally expect a broad
debate on the merits of maintaining the private insurance system, the merits of zero co-pays. there are big differences in a variety of these plans. we are proud of the medicare for america version of universal health care which is universal, but essentially maintains private insurance within the medicare program and also maintains an employee's ability to choose, but everyone else is in a juiced up medicare plan. our plan is universal, it is very bold, but i also think it gets to the twin concerns which is how to lower costs for people in the system, but also ensures that we get to universal coverage. i imagine there will be candidates who support just a medicare option, there will be people who support our plan and many candidates who support single payer, and i expect this to be a robust debate.
as we have this debate, we should be vigilant, my last point, we should be vigilant this is a debate in some ways is happening on just one side of the political debate because the other side of the political debate is engaged in just trying to get rid of the aca with no -- so far plan to replace it, and so we remind people every day that you have to be able to talk about both of those concerns because if the democratic primary debate is only conversation we're having, people may lose sight of the fact of what the aca is under. >> thank you for that. thank you for your years of service trying to get every american opportunity. jim, let's -- neera touched on some of the politics of health care. certainly health care was a winning issue for democrats in 2018 and giving us the house majority. as you look at the 2020 presidential primary and general election, and you've been around
politics for a long time, why don't you give us the perspective from the political side. >> great, thank you. and just want to say about this panel, this is an amazing panel of health care experts, and then you have one person on there who is -- like these are hall of famers, rock and roll hall of famers, and i have like a really cool record collection. so in the -- on the expertise on health care, i'm a little bit more of a play -- of a layman. i want to build on something that chris said on this, which is chris jennings has done more on health care than just about anybody in washington, d.c., said for the first time in ten years he wasn't a leper. what that means is, democrats can win on health care and they can lose on health care. in 2018 we won on health care and i'll go so far as to say we won the house on the health care. my team at third way, they
watched every single ad that was run in red to blue districts, 92 red to blue districts between labor day and election day, 967 ads, 59% of them mentioned health care. only two ads mentioned medicare for all, by the way and those two candidates lost. so you can win on this issue, and you can lose on this issue. i think 2020, it is very possible that this election will be decided on health care. we know it's not going to be decided on the mueller report. so this election is going to be decided on more traditional topics. the economy. health care. immigration. but health care, there's a very good chance it's going to be number one. and you have a situation where donald trump gave us this gift, a very, very dangerous gift, he really wants to repeal the affordable care act.
and you have a situation where donald trump gave us this gift, a very, very dangerous gift, he really wants to repeal the affordable care act. he really does, as mira, said, like pull it out from the roots. he wants to use the courts to do it. but if you look from the republican point of view on this, they feel the democrats are giving them a gift. and i'll give you an example. one of the people who works for third way was at the american enterprise institute last week, which is a conservative think tank. was this on a meeting. she was there on a meeting on cybersecurity and ate lunch there. they have a marvelous cafeteria, apparently. ellenen -- linens. >> really nice. >> it is actually a pantry.line. >> really nice. >> it is actually a pantry. we have healthy snacks which i'm opposed to. so this is a big screen this apparently at aei, and there is
like a montage that goes across, and she's eating lunch and there she sees a montage about medicare for all. and it's all the talking points on how you get support for this idea from the 56% where it starts at, to the 30% where it ends at when people, you know, hear criticisms of it. so my fear is, i agree with neera, i think there's going to be a robust debate in the primary, and there was in 2008. i wasn't involved in the 2008 primary except as an observer. the health care debate between obama and clinton was so narrow, the differences were such a small calibration of differences that it was like they are real i had talking about the same plan with these slight differences. the differences in the plans out this now i think are much, much larger. my hope is that in this robust debate, we make sure that we say everything should be on the table.
there are some fantastic plans out this to cover every single person and to make sure they don't pay too much. caps medicare extra is a terrific plan. we have a plan, universal "cops"s caps in coverage, caps cost covers everybody. michael bennet's got a plan, with tim kaine, on medicare s. there's other plans out there. ours builds on yours, congressman berra, on automatic enrollment. but i do feel that this is going to be dicey for us. we can win or lose on this issue. and whether we win or lose on health care, i think will determine whether donald trump is a one-term president or a two-term president. >> jim, thank you for that. and thanks for giving the plug to auto enrollment as well. >> can i say one thing in response, and i really agree with a lot of what jim has said, i think we do need to navigate
two things within the primary, just to say these things out loud. i do think there's an impulse and a healthy impulse to get to universal coverage. the way i think of that, the aca contributed to that, why should you throw out the aca, that's not the way i think about it, it is a reasonable impulse for people to think that in the industrialized world, it is a problem that people in the united states still -- there are many millions of people who still don't have coverage. i completely hear what you're saying about the potency of this issue, and truly the potency is, as chris said, people fear what they lose, you know, and health care is not like energy policy, or even financial regulatory reform. every human being is in some way a health care expert. when they think of the health care system, they are thinking of the most personal decisions
you're making, the care of a child, the care of a parent, so it is much more engrossing to people. i do think we have to navigate these two issues, which is to try to get a system where people are covered. that lowers health care costs. i also think it is important that there will be people who are kind of attacking the motives of people who have a different plan than, say, medicare for all plan, and we have to guard against that as well. so i agree with jim, who i'm reading into, when you say the debate was pretty narrow, the debate was pretty narrow, and pretty policy-based in 2008, in part because there was a lot of energy about making sure that the candidates stayed on policy, instead of personal attacks and i think we have to think of all of those issues. but i'm hoping the primary can navigate a bold idea that produces universal coverage that
still doesn't fall into, you know, the two-year campaign that's going to be run against certain versions of the health care plan. >> you know, chris, i'm going to toss a question to you. mira framed something, there is a democratic side to this debate, where we're debating the policy, but there is that republican piece that's missing. from your perspective, and some would argue that the affordable care act was actually based on a lot of conservative principles. from your perspective, how do you engage that republican side? what can we do? where is the republican thought on health care? >> well, first of all, i noted today that, which is ironic, that mitt romney is now joining the gang of ex-senators who are going to be developing the republican alternative bill which is sort of an interesting dynamic since it really was the
foundation of the affordable care act, came out of massachusetts and governor romney. so what goes around comes around. maybe that's encouraging. we'll see. i'm a little bit dubious. you know, president trump seems to look at everything sort of a personal thing. number one, if it was obama, it must be bad. that's point one. and point two, i campaigned against this, and he feels that he has to do something, and he has a republican party who is pretty much still fairly aligned with him. i will tell you, where they're not aligned is what he just did. they don't want to reengage the health care debate. there is not one issue they would like to talk less than health care other than to jim's point, for good or for bad, what they want to apply to the democrat -- their vision of the democratic's vision, which is
they want to scare people into thinking socialism is around the country, and rationing, and the usual rhetoric that we have heard, by the way, for every single point. you could have an incremental plan, and they would call it that. okay? one thing i do want to say is if they're smart, they will understand, they may not care as much as about coverage as the democratic party does. they do care about cost and complexity, because if you're human being, you're frustrated with the health care system. so that is probably an area where there's some, places where one can go if you can show them why it makes some sense. and the last thing i'll say and i just want to talk about the democratic party, which is yes, unfortunately, we have the primary, and people are going to be trying to define differences, and there are going to be more differences this time around than 2008, but i think fundamentally where there is a
great deal of agreement is they're frustrated with the private sector's inability to constrain costs, and there has been a failure, and we have to be left, right, indifferent, we can't pretend that that's not the case, so i think generally what people are looking at is looking at medicare as a leverage tool for negotiating better prices. now, it may be an option. not mandate. not a medicare for all. it may be a choice. that's what neera's plan does, that's what your plan does, it is all about choices and options but it is about looking at ways we can leverage costs and more affordability, because i think there is another thing that new democrats stand for, they don't want to address all affordability issues through the approach of just provide more subsidies and tax credits. they will want to have to deal with affordability issues and interventions, and that is one way to do that. >> can i just say one additional answer to chris's great answer,
this is always a hard issue, with health care, which is it is always hard to divorce from politics, because this were, cap put out a report, in the summer of 2017, about actual bipartisan ideas, this were some actual ideas, and the senate version around reinsurance and other things, and essentially the republicans were willing to stabilize the insurance markets under their version of a bill, and then senator collins talked about taking those steps themselves, separate and apart, and then that's just gone away from the republican argument, because even though they had ideas that would stabilize and essentially lower the prices, lower cost notice exchanges, they adopted those ideas for their own plan, to basically, you know, mostly gut the aca. when it came to people reaching out to them, democratic senators saying, hey, let's do those ideas, you just voted for them, there hasn't been that receptivity which is the same basic argument of what happened with the aca itself. it was aca, a plan mitt romney
supported, and then ran for president and attacked it. i think that has been what is frustrating and one of the reasons that is fueling the push to go bolder in some ways because the attempt in health care to work in a bipartisan way has been met mostly with the brushback or silence on the republican side. so that is why a lot of people are saying let's not, that this is a fool's gold, let's come up with our plan that makes the most sense, and then move it to the country. >> i'm going to ask jim a quick question, but for the audience, we're going to take some questions from the audience, so think about what questions you might have for these three health care experts. jim, i didn't really hear from chris or neera the republican idea for how we move forward on health care. based on your opening comments then, it looks like on the political side in the campaign, it is going to be a negative campaign saying here is what the democrats are going to do.
do you want to frame what their arguments are going to be on the negative? >> i think there is a narrow way that donald trump gets re-elected, but it's not an impossible kay to get re-elected. and health care would be a part of it. the argument would go something like this. the economy's going fine. we're not at war. you know, we haven't invaded venezuela. >> yet. >> or north korea. yet. but you know, we haven't. and boy, those democrats look really, really far left, especially on health care. that's the argument that they make, and they say like, you know, i don't like the tweets, i don't like the way he acts, i don't like his behavior, but the sky didn't fall, and i'm worried about that gal or that guy who is the democratic nominee, they
seem to have gone off the rails. and they'll use health care as one of the proof points. if they can. i don't think the republicans are going to have a plan that will be sellable to the american people. i can't remember the last time they had a health care plan that was really -- that you could sell to the american people. they basically -- they only win by scaring you about democrats, and by basically looking out there and saying, well, the economy is going well enough, things are going okay. so i think that's their strategy. they will have a fig leaf plan, some kind of a catastrophic type thing, and and maybe a few patches that they'll keep from the affordable care act, but i think it is basically trying to win this game by defining democrats as too far off the mainstream. >> i will say, i mean i think the challenge we have in this is
that -- and i think we may agree on a lot of things on health care, but i think one of the challenges we have in the primary electorate is that republicans ran against barack obama as a socialist, even though he -- and i take the point you'd make, or imagine the point you would make is very different in a campaign when you have proof points or don't have proof points but i think what we may experience in a prime matter, given they ran -- the argument goes, whatever you say, they are going to say you're a socialist, and raising taxes on the middle class, and et cetera, et cetera. so regardless, you're going to get the attack. so you should have a bold plan. that's a little bit the argument i think that's actually going on amongst candidates, and you see it in the approaches of some candidates and the approaches of
other candidates. i think these issues are basically all a way to talk about what the electoral path to victory is. and they will get debated as others will as well. >> let me ask you this. don't you think medicare extra is a bold plan? >> i would absolutely agree medicare extra is a bold plan. >> i read your plan. it is a bold plan. and i will do some bragging. there are ways, cost cap, and universal coverage plan, it is a bold plan. >> yes. >> this are lots of bold, interesting, pragmatic, progressive, doable ways to get to universal coverage, and to cap osamas. you've got a great idea. i think we've got a great idea. we build off of your great idea. so i worry that in these debates, these ideas that we have are shunted off as not being really bold for something that i think really can't, has kind of a glass jaw.
medicare for all to me, i understand why people like it, but i also feel like, you hit it with one blow and it is like mike tyson knocking you out. >> i hear that. again, it's much more fun for the media to talk about these extraordinary differences between the parties. but if you look at most of the candidates, they're all embracing bold visions, but their actual execution, i would tell you, is much closer to your two approaches. many of them when they ask question, what are the implications, maybe we could phase in maybe we could do this, maybe we could do a buy-in first. i guess i really counsel democrats not to play into this divisive dynamic, because my view is this will be taken care of, the primary, these members, elected leaders, they hear the context of what they can market and what they can't market. they're not going to be dumb. i think in the end of the day, we will find a democratic
primary winner that proposes a very bold vision that is something we all can be behind and will not be as vulnerable as you fear. that's my view. >> i think it is going to be, i mean given the lawsuit, i think democrats will and should campaign on trump trying to take 20 million people's health care away. and raise costs for, and take pre-existing conditions away. we did run a campaign, i shouldn't say we, democratic house members, democratic senate candidates, democratic governors, ran campaigns across the country on health care, and pre-existing conditioning. and had an argument that the >> democrats are socialist, that
could lose the election. democrats have a lot of great old plans, robust policy, robust debate. maybe it will come out in a good place, maybe not. you're more optimistic it will have a smart plan than i will. but what is going to be our political argument? i tend to think we need a one line thing to match the simplicity of trump's one-line argument. do you agree, and what would that argument be? >> i think given the lawsuit, i think democrats will and should campaign on trump trying to take 20 million people's health care away and raise costs and take pre-existing conditions away. we did run a campaign -- i shouldn't say we. democratic house members, democratic senate candidates, democratic governors ran campaigns across the country on health care and pre-existing conditions and had an argument that the republican party wanted to take away protections and
pre-existing conditions, raise your health care costs and drop 20 million people from coverage. truth italy health care people voted people's views of the parties were 20% advantage for democrats. when people were voting on health care, they were voting for democrats. i 100% agree with jim and chris that this has been an opposing. an opening. and it is very simple. donald trump has tried to get rid of the aca. tried to take people's health care away. and is trying to take protections of pre-existing conditions away. which are protections for over 100 million people. >> which by the way is the primary threat right now to health care. right? i mean we have a court case, it is real, it could occur, and it will be live throughout next year, most likely, and it will be part of the election cycle, and the media will play that as more real than the next debate on big health reform. so yes, i'm a little bit more confident that we'll be able to carry that off. >> i will call it and say they
are sabotage, we are stability, security, and savings on health care. >> there you go. there's the political messaging. we've got time for one more question from the audience. and short of that, maybe we'll give each of you a question then from me. we touched on coverage a lot, and had a conversation on coverage and cost is a big issue and maybe one or two ideas on something that you think could be done on costs in this congress. >> in this congress? >> the next congress. >> well, in this house. >> we could do this house. if you want like, i mean you just did mark up a prescription drug cost containment set of policies on energy and commerce. it was unanimous, by unanimous vote, it was on this issue called create, and pay for delay, which eliminates barriers to competition,
which shows you that you can have a pathway. i will tell you, i wouldn't overpromise the impact of those policies. but they do illustrate the possibility to work collaboratively on that, and i would also also the issue of pay for -- excuse me, surprise medical bills is another one. but and i would work on those two. i think you have a possibility to get something done, and pass and enact into law. i would also be a little bit more aggressive, though, on cost containment, particularly on drugs, because the truth is that we're going to face a dynamic, i mean this might be not completely everyone agrees with this in this room, i don't know, but the future of pharmacological interventions will be single source drugs with little or no competition, and we can -- we can eliminate barriers, but if there's no competition, there's no competition. if they are pricing the products too much, we're going to have to find ways to intervene. i know the speaker is working with you and others to
look at creative ways to do that. >> i will be really quick. i would agree that pharma is a big challenge and if you actually look at what is increasing costs for everyone in the system, pharmaceutical costs are a driving force of that. it is not the only cost, but it is a driving force of that. and i do think pharma was a big issue in the midterm elections also. and it really crossed two issues. what you're paying in your health care costs but it was also a critique of the political system in washington in which we do seem to have a system that works pretty well for the companies, and less well for the consumers. we do live in a very upside down world, where the united states consumer is paying for both the national institutes of health, which are a big financial boon in some ways, a research boon, and financial boon, to the global pharmaceutical system, and experiencing the highest costs as consumers. and i just don't think that's sustainable. and one of the reasons why
candidate trump used pharma as a way to differentiate himself from everyone else, and i think we have to realize that might be an area where candidate trump and president trump unite. >> all great suggestions. i would just add more value-based health care, pay for performance, and trying to institute out-of-pocket cost caps across the board no matter where you get your insurance, whether you get it from your employer, whether you get it from the exchange. >> well, great. i want to thank the panel. if we can give chris jennings, neera and greg a great round of applause. [ applause ] >> and let me go ahead and introduce the next moderator, who is our chair emeritus jim himes from the great state of connecticut. jim, if you want to come up.
>> thank you. thank you, everybody. it is a delight for me to see such a great turnout to this policy conference. we move now to presentations by members of the new democratic task forces, and i'll just tell you very quickly, a lot of the work, a lot of the policy work that happens with the new democrats happens through these task forces, looking back when i was chairman, just in the last congress, it was these task forces that developed the policy ideas that ultimately found their way into legislation. so i'm delighted you are going to have a chance to hear from these three members. as well as, by the way, provide feedback. part of the point of today is to make sure you have an opportunity as experts in a variety of different fields, to offer feedback, not just on the substance of what we're talking about but, and i don't know if this has come up today but it is one of my personal bug-a-boos but on how we convey these ideas which are the right ideas and
the good ideas but sometimes challenging to convey to the public in a political context because they're often technocratic ideas. so one of the challenges we face in the new democratic coalition, those of us who migrate to the center, is how do we compete with messaging that in some cases is much more emotional, and much more black and white, and much more good/evil, so you're going to hear from some real subject matter experts today who do as good of a job as any in terms of conveying the ideas we have. we want to hear you both on those ideas and how they can best be conveyed and take on the political momentum they deserve. let me start with a couple of introductions. they are going to come up here as a group and present for roughly three minutes each. let me start with my friend denny heck of washington, who organized and co-chaired the coalition's housing task force in the last congress, and is leading it again in this congress. he did wonderful work in diagnosing what the challenges are around our housing
environment in this country in the last congress and i know now he is working very hard on coming up with solutions. and i used to be an affordable housing guy and les, one of the ways to create opportunity is to make sure people can move to places of opportunity and of course that's a huge challenge today. denny, thanks for joining us. representative lizzie fletcher is new to the congress and the new democratic coalition but already making a big impact on a number of issues including trade because she serves as co-chair of the coalition's trade task force. i don't need to tell you that trade policy has always been a difficult subject, not just in the congress, but within the democratic caucus. and so we're delighted to have lizzie here to talk about what she sees happening on that, in this context, on that task force. and then finally, bill foster, needs no real introduction, but he helped me organize the future of work task force in the last congress and continues to co-chair in this congress.
bill is a scientist and businessman professionally, and we're fortunate to have his intellect applied to this, one of the bigger problems we face in the coming decades. i'm excited to hear from each of these co-chair, for roughly three minutes, update on what it is they're thinking about and doing. and then we'll have an opportunity i hope for some discussion prior to moving on to the digital privacy panel. denny, let's start with you. >> well, thank you, jim. first i want to acknowledge i have two outstanding co-chairs of the house task force, ben mcadams who of course was the mayor of salt lake county and worked a great deal in this space and katie hill, who was the executive director of a very large nonprofit. so what we're going to be doing is building on the work as jim indicated, that we conducted in the last two years. and the principle thesis, or conclusion of our work, is that prices and rents are rising faster than wages, and construction is not keeping up
with demand. thus yielding approximately 1.5 million or more shortage in the housing space. this is a problem. this is a problem for households. this is a problem for america's economy. it is a problem for america's households and families, because the truth of the matter is, in the last 50 years, the single largest increase in household expenses is not health care, as you might conclude. it is housing. that's masked by those of us who are in the same house for a long period of time, but, in fact, in the last 50 years that's the largest increase. secondly home ownership is declining. that is a problem. home ownership is the number one way the average american builds net worth and provides for their retirement security. it is a problem for the american economy because there is a huge multiplier effect of housing construction, and we aren't just optimizing this in any way shape or form. we are holding back the growth of the economy. now, our conclusion, additionally, was that there are three or four reasons that this
is happening. one is that zoning and land use restrictions are inhibiting the provision of housing adequate to meet demand. second is, construction financing, kind of fell off the table, after the great recession. and has never fully recovered. thirdly, we believe that there is a labor shortage, either now, or into the future, and it is not keeping up with demand. so there are lots of reasons that we are getting into this problem. now, i'm one that happens to believe that we're entering a two-year period of time during which we are going to be able to have some serious policy discussions about creating more housing units. there's lots of stuff flying around. gse reform. the administration's made very clear they want to do gse reform. efforts to help the homelessness. last week in the financial services committee on which jim and i sit, and bill, we passed a $13 billion massive moonshot in
homelessness bill. this week we have hearings on rural housing. we're also in this two-year period of time have lots of conversations about infrastructure, which you cannot have without bringing into it the issue of housing. and lastly, we may be very well revisiting the tax reform legislation that passed, several provisions of which actually hurts the creation of housing units. the state and local tax provision. limit, capping the value of your home. no longer making home equity loans tax deductible, the interest on them. lots of ways we might get back to the issue of housing creation. so i'm optimistic. i think it is important, and i'm excited because we're actually finally going to be taking this issue up in some degree reflecting the importance that is to all of us. >> great. >> thanks, jim. and thanks, denny. it is so interesting, one of the things, all of these task forces
are interesting. of course, i was listening, because i'm in houston, the city of no zoning, to hear about your conclusions about no zoning. but houston is a city with no zoning and is a city that is very dependent on trade. so i'm very excited to be co-chairing the trade task force and i too have co-chairs as well, representative ron k ine, rick larson and gregory meeks my co-chairs along with five other members on the task force, and of course, trade is a big topic right now, certainly as we look at what is happen welcome the usmca and the tariffs, those are discussions that are constant in my own district, and really kind of looking at the trump administration's effect on what has been kind of the order for a long time. and of course, we didn't get here by accident. we've had really seven decades of trade policy after world war ii that have led us to a position where we really have an international economic system that is framed around american
institutions, priorities, and values. and right now we're seeing a new reality in the trump administration, with protectionist trade strategy, as it unwinds our position in the global economy. so we believe that seeding our leadership in the global economy will negatively impact job, agriculture, manufacturing, and our economic and geopolitical standing for years to come. so we are very interested in crafting policy that maintains our position as a global leader. and of course, the new dem coalition, even though i'm new to it, i know that the new dems have been really the center of gravity and leadership on trade for a long time, and that this is the group that people have come to, of both parties, for policy ideas, look at trade issues.
certainly where i'm from, i think it is a great place for working together, across the aisles, and i can think of no more bipartisan issue in my district right now than the threat of not being able to import avocados in houston. you can make sure that democrats and republicans agree that we all want guacamole. so there is a great opportunity, i think, for all of us to work together and address these. but the biggest issue is that the task force is committed to focusing on, is maintaining our position as a global leader, and supporting smart trade policy that benefits american workers, businesses, farmers, and consumers, learning the lessons from past trade deals, and making sure that we are updating outdated agreements, and that we are strengthening our global relationships, and that we're promoting a competitive workforce. and those things really need to be our priorities. at the same time, we're very focused on reining in the tariffs. that is something that i hear about more than just about anything when i go home and talk to folks in the district that there is a huge impact from the tariffs, so trying to come up
approaches that will rein in some of the unilateral actions that the administration has been taking in terms of tariff policy and really continuing to set the rules for the global economy and making sure that we're championing the economy of the future. >> well, thank you, jim, for your introduction, and thank you also for your work as the chair of the new dems last congress, to bring the future work to the forefront of the discussion and showcase the leadership of the new democratic coalition on this issue. i'm excited that we're going to be building on the work from last year. including our economic opportunity agenda, a future that works, together with my three other co-chairs, reps lisa blunt rochester, haily stevens and chris papas and our 17 additional task force members which is maybe an indication of how this issue has moved to the forefront. we live in a period of innovation and economic disruption that's created enormous opportunities for some.
but a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety for others. the future of work and technological job displacement has gone from sort of a fringe issue for few of us to one of the mainstream issues that is on the lips of virtually every presidential candidate. we often discuss the future of work and that future is happening now. we are her experiencing the pressures and the changing nature of work in our daily lives. we see the economic strain from automation, globalization, the widening skills and opportunity gap, and outdated institutions and regulation, and uneven economic opportunity. but automation and artificial intelligence are rapidly rising to the top of the list. we're starting to see the first mass deployments of ai and robotics and food service. hospitality industry. health care. and financial services. and many other areas. job displacement is moving rapidly up market as well. that's one of the things we're going to be looking at this session of congress. it is no secret that technology
is advancing at a rate far, that is far outpaced congress's ability to keep up just in the last two years, the number of adversarial networks to have photo realistic avatars, video you cannot tell from a human has allowed companies to deploy photo realistic avatars for people with financial advice but also allowed people to, but also allowed people to develop deep fakes that threaten to disrupt our politics. the way we interact with the world and work today would be unrecognizable for many of us who have begun our careers and it is not going to slow down. through the future of work task force, but democrat new determines have explored ways to expand our educational opportunities and reform hiring practices to shows the skills -- to close the skills and opportunity gaps and make learning a lifelong enterprise. we also explored ways to expand and modernize the social safety net to catch all workers and
help them adapt to the changing nature of work. and we are keenly interested in exploring options to empower workers and spur innovation and entrepreneurship. as new dems, our members are uniquely positioned to tackle this problem. this congress, amongst the future of work co-chairs as well, we have a restaurant entrepreneur, the former delaware secretary of hhs, an obama administration alum who helped save the auto industry and ran a work force development initiative. and bringing up the rear, a stage lighting manufacturer and phd physicist. we represent districts and accompanying large cities and suburbs and rural areas, former manufacturing boom towns. our constituents are on the front lines of changing nature of work and to tackle this problem we are going to need to bring everyone to the table. labor, business, community educators and colleges across the aisle, to search for solution and to seize the opportunity from change, rather than to allow it to flatten us. it is an important thing.
and i'm happy to be one of the co-chairs leading the work on it. thank you. >> bill, thank you. and because my colleagues are as disciplined as they, are it is four to five minutes before we start the privacy panel. and this isn't on the agenda but i feel strongly about it. in the house you can request permission to do one minute speeches. the kmar will now entertain feedback, thoughts ideas question nas don't go longer than 45 seconds. got a few minutes before the privacy panel yes in the back. >> thank you. first off thank you for your leadership on trade and specifically on the issue of rolling back tariffs. i think i speak for most folks in saying we really appreciate it. as far as the forward looking trade agenda we get the white house back, do you think there is any potential for new trade agreements that include aspects like exporting green policies abroad, help lock in
environmental protections in other countries? >> well, i do think that. that's something that we will talk about on the task force. and what sort of right now there is a lot of focus on what is currently happening and the rollback. but looking forward i do think with the united states about to be positioned as a net exporter of energy and of course being from houston and texas i'm keenly aware of that. but understand that our trade agreements have the potential to really have environmental impacts and encourage policies and practices and to bring us back in line with the rest of the planet and the paris climate accord. there are a lot of things we can and should do to look at how we can make sure our energy future is something we are sharing the values through our trade agreements. >> other feedback, questions, comments? got two minutes before the privacy panel. okay. people need to get -- get some coffee appear nothing -- fog else? okay. we will -- we will move on.
i will thank the task force here. thank you very much. as you go down i will welcome to the stage the moderator for our privacy panel, my good friend and colleague, suzan delbene. there is probably nobody in the coalition bettered equipped to moderate the subject of digital privacy. suzan had an extensive career with a large technology company. and since she has come to washington has spent a lot of time weather to find that balance between protecting the privacy rights of individuals and of course allowing for an innovative digital future. suzan, welcome to the stage. ♪ font is night, we'll write nhl it's over we put our hands up ♪ ♪ like the creeling the kwant hold us. >> we need a good washington state music representation. so thank you, jim. thanks everyone. we are starting early. i'm so excited.
i want to ask -- my panelists will come up and take a seat. and i want to really talk about how important i think it is for us to talk about digital privacy database data privacy today. it is a concern that americans face every day. we know we have seen people's expectations for privacy really be impacted by what companies have decided to do from what's happened in facebook and cambridge analytica all the way through people are really concerned about what happens to their data, and how they get to be in charge of it. and so this is a critical moment we are facing. this is a global issue. something that we have seen others kind of start to take a lead on with the general data protection regulation in europe. gdprp but we need to be moving here in the united states on policy. i recently introduced the information transparency and personal data control act,
really to make sure that we have policy that gives people control over their most sensitive information. and making sure also that we have an enforcement mechanism in the u.s. government for enforcing the rules. and under my legislation privacy would be the default. but we also need to be a leader from a federal standpoint in the global community so that we are really helping drive global standards. and if we don't figure out kind of what our policy is going to be it's going to be harder for us to set the global standards. so we are an undeniable leader in technology innovation, and we should be on policy as well. so that's why i think in conversation is so important and so timely right now. so first i'd like to briefly introduce our panelists. i'll go slightly out of order since we kind of have you set up this way. aaron cooper. aaron serves as the vice
president of global policy of vsa, the software alliance. in his role he leads bsa global policy team and contributes to the advancement of bsa members policy priorities around the world. that affect the development of emerging technologies, including data privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property and trade. mr. cooper joined bsa in february 2016 as vice president of strategic policy initiatives. he previously served as the chief counsel for sbltle property and anti-trust law for chairman patrick leahy on the u.s. senate judiciary committee. most recently mr. cooper was of counsel as covington and bulger where he provided strategic counseling and advice off and on a broad range of technology issues. he testified before congress and is a frequent speaker on data privacy and security, intellectual property, trade and other issues important to the software industry. and mr. cooper, thank you for being here with us today.
next right here on my left, is gigi sewn. distinguished floe an georgetown technology institute for technology law and policy. and benten senior fellow. she is one of the nation's leading public advocate for open affordable and exactic communications networks. for 30 years gigi has worked yoos the country to defend and preserve the fundamental competition and innovative policies that have made broad band internet access for ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open and protective of user privacy. most recently she was an open society foundations leadership in government fellow and a mozilla fellow. from 2013 to let 10u6rs ms. son was counselor to the kmarm of the fcc tom wheeler. advising the chairman on a wide range of issues of internet telecommunication and media. representing the chairman and the fcc in a variety of public forums around the country, as well as serving as the primary connection between the chairman
office and outside stakeholders. thank you for being with us today. >> thank you. >> and daniel castro, who is vice president of the information technology and innovation foundation known as itif. and director of itif's center for data innovation. mr. castro writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and internet policy including privacy, security, intellectual property, internet governance, e government and accessibility for people with disabilities. in the 2013 mr. castro was named to fed scoop's list of the top 25 most influential people under 40 in government and tech. in 2015 u.s. secretary of commerce penny predicts gear appointed him to the advisory council. castro previously worked as an i.t. analysts at the government accountability office where he audited management controls at various government agencies. in addition mr. castro was a visiting scientist at the software engineering institute
in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. where he developed virtual training simulations to provide clients with hands on training of the latest information security tools. and thank you for being here with us today, daniel. with such knowledgeable panelists i know this will be an interesting conversation. we have a lot of work to do. let me kick it off with you aaron, what protections do you think need to be included in a federal privacy law. >> first of all thank you for having me. and i apologize, my ceo victoria he is pinnal was going to be here she had a family emergency and i appreciate your taking me as substitute preponderate from the software industry perspective we think it's important that there be a strong, comprehensive federal privacy law that's clear, that's enforceable, and that helps regain customer trust. i think it has to be strong enough that it'sworthy of a national standard. and i think it's important gnat debate around federal privacy
will you not be about prefrpgs but establishing the right level of privacy protection across the country. thank you for your legislation which i think starts the dialogue in a positive, constructive direction. i think what you said at theout set about making sure the u.s. takes a leadership position on privacy is important and your legislation sets that out. we nifrpg that there are three things that are realliperson for federal privacy legislation. first of all, it's important that consumers have the right to know what data is being collected about them and they have the right to control it. that begins with companies providing consumers with information about what categories of information is being collected, who it's being shared with, how it's being used so that consumers can then have real effective control over how that data is used and they can say no when they don't want that to be used. it also means that in some areas such as financial information, medical information, might be appropriate to have opt-in consent as the legislation does. i think that's an porp aspect as
well. and third, it means the customers should have a federal right to access data to correct data, to delete data, get a copy of the data. and i think those are important customers rights that should be set at the federal level. second, it means that there need to be strong obligations on companies. companies need to act responsibly, need to safe guard against privacy risks that includes data breaches, including inappropriate use of data or@being used for inappropriate purposes. and we think it's important that congress provide clarity about what companies's oblss are. there is a distinction between controlling data and processing data. your legislation sets that out as different standards and it's important for there to be high obligations but needs to be clarity about what those are. and third we think it's important that there be strong ftc enforcement. your legislation called for more funding for the ftc and enforcement. i think the ftc should have the ability to the issue fines in the firstens tans so that
companies really respect and understand that it's important to comply with what the new federal privacy standard is. and i think this is a good opportunity, this congress, taking your legislation as a lead and a really important first step to enacting strong federal privacy legislation this year thank you. >> thank you. gigi, i have a similar question for you, you've been a long-time consumer advocate. and obviously fcc staffer. who had a hand in shaping the 2016 broad band privacy rules. so from a consumer perspective what do you think is important for congress to include in a comprehensive privacy bill to address consumer needs. >> sure and i want to thank you and thank you for staffer sasha burn hart for inviting me here today. s in a great opportunity. i want to say, we agree on an awful lot. that's a pretty good start when you have industry and public interest folks agreeing. look, i think the 2016 fcc broad
band privacy rules provide a really good testimony polite. these rules were adopted towards the end of 2016. the administration changed. and congress repealed the rules under the congressional review act. quite unfortunate, and barely by the way, by only five votes in the house. and people were outraged about that. even though the rules had never gone into effect, because it was the first comprehensive -- now it would have just applied to internet service providers but i do think the template would apply across the board and not only edge companies but companies of all kinds people were outraged fls a thought that well people don't care about their privacy. in fact polls show the opposite people care deeply about their privacy they just don't know how to protect it. aaron used a word control. and i think consumer control has got to be sort of the primary part of any bill out there. so i agree with aaron 100%. consumers should be able to have access to all the information
that's collected about them, that's shared with others and the ability to edit and delete it. in addition companies that collect the information should have an affirmative duty to tell consumers through very, very clear and persistent notice what they collect, who they share it with and what's done with their data. you know, there is starting to be, you know, negative about a notice and consent regime. i'm not sure i understand it it's paternalistic. it's well people can't protect their own data so we need to kind of ban certain uses of data. i don't think i'm there yet. and certainly the fcc rules did not do that. ned a very similar structure to what your bill does. and thank you for that by the way. where if it's sensitive information and you actually had an even longer list than we had at the fcc then it's opt in. for other thing it's opt out. i still believe if you give people clear notice, okay and real transparency about what's being collected, okay, and give
them a real opportunity, meaningful opportunity to opt out, if they want to, then they should have that choice. i don't think we necessarily need to ban certain kinds of collection and use of data so long as people have meaningful choice. i also think it's important that take it or leave it deals need to be prohibited. in other words, let's just -- since i know a lot about telecom, internet service providers shouldn't be able to say either you give me access to all your data and let me allow -- allow me to do whatever i want to do with it or you can't have my service. that needs to be prohibited, i think. i think it's important. second, aaron mentioned skourt. so that's the second part. it needs to be an affirmative duty that those that hold data protect it. and sandra schiotz in the senate has the duty of care bill which i think is very, very interesting and deserves a good look at. those that hold data should only use data for as much as they
need it. something called data minimumization. and data retention needs to be limited as well. of course it's different based on context. the example i like to use is the starwood preferred data breach where starwood kept the passport numbers of people that long left hotels. there has to be some sort of limit based on context for the data retention. you don't have to keep that kind of data forever. and it just increases the chances that it will be used in the wrong way. there also needs to be data breach notification. if there's a major data breach consumers need to know about it and in certain instances law enforcement needs to know as well. s finally this is something lass in sandra schiotz's bill to the extent that an entity is sell data to dat brokers or sharing in some way, the responsibilities of the affirmative duty of care need to go to the third parties as well. i can give examples but i'll
hold for now. finally accountability. prefrpgs is obviously a big, big issue. but i think you have to be careful if the preemption is too broad then you are preempting state laws that, you know, protect the privacy with regard to medical personnel, accountants, insurance companies. so i think preemption really has to be only for those law that is really conflict with the federal law. secondly, there needs to be some sort of private redress for harms that are done if data is misused. and thirdly, again i'll agree with aaron, i like the idea of empowering the ftc with rule making authority and other things they need to actually enforce the rules. because section 5 is not good enough. it's not clear enough. it's constantly challenged in the courts. this is the --s in the law part of the federal trade commission act that prohibits unfair and -- or deceptive trade practices. that's what the ftc has been
using over the years to try to protect people's privacy. and every time they try to do something strong it gets taken to court. real clear rule making authority for the ftc i think is very important. >> thank you. thank you for that feedback. so we talked about consumers, about federal policy. daniel, for you i want to kind of get your feeling of how you think we need to look at both protecting consumer's privacy and innovation, and how we balance those. or is it a question of balance how we make sure we do a good job at both. >> great question. and thanks for having me here and your leadership on this issue. i think the innovation question is so critical because if you ask how can you protect consumer privacy, that question itself is actually really easy. you just prohibit data collection. you prohibit data sharing. we know how to do that. the question is how do you do it in a way that doesn't impact all the innovation we see around data? that's where it gets hard. for a few reasons. first of all, it's difficult
because a lot of times we are talking about privacy -- we're often thinking about this in the digital space. and thinking about facebook and google. when we talk about privacy legislation, this actually impacts every business in america. this affects the grocery stores, affects the local florist, day care provider, affects your -- home -- real estate agent. you know all these people that really depend on data. and their livelihood depends on access to data. and so we have to think about what the impact of regulation and compliance with all the regulation will be on the small businesses, the medium businesses and large businesses in every sector of the economy. second this matters because we -- we actually want to encourage data sharing. so much of the innovation we have seen over the raft decade has been from data sharing. and even when you ask consumers today, are you willing to share sensitive information like biometric data and location data we did a survey on in in december asking about this. the majority were willing to
share it under certain conditions. they wanted to have you know, really good navigation services. they wanted to be able to log in quickly to accounts using biometrics. they saw the advantages of the technologies. we canned have privacy rules making it tovi kief to do these things or companies shy away from them. and the thirtd thing is we have to recognize any of the regulations on privacy in this space will have a significant impact on the digital economy, especially the advertising ecosystem we see for the internet. when you ask consumers again do you want privacy everyone says yes. if you ask them are you willing to pay for privacy, everyone says flo. they don't want to pay for privacy. they don't want any free service that's currently free something they have to pay for in the future. any don't want to see more ads. if companies start showing more ads because ads are list effective. they don't want less relevant ads they want the current services they have today just stronger privacy guarantees. this is really important delicate balancing act for
congress moving forward. i think there is kind of three things to think about here. so one, can we streamline regulations to empower sturms? right now we have over a dozen privacy -- federal privacy laws. this is confusing for businesses but also confusing for consumers. if you try and ask a consumer how does the federal government protecting your data today any can't name half of the the prief saw li laws it's a problem. tahiti because they all work differently. it's hard one law requires a paper notice sent out every year. and another law requires data to be protected a certain way requires the data center to be built a certain way. that's hard for companies to comply with. the second issue is we should get companies to really focus on protecting the most sensitive data, data people are really concerned about and that when it's released actually harms consumers. so that can be you know personal information that you just want private. like your health information. it could be information that can cause financial fraud like your bank information or any kind of identifiers that can be used onto open accounts.
we need to make sure that companies are securing that data and not wasting their time securing what's your favorite type of shoe? oh or do you like fooshl games on the week appear seeing ads for that. that's not are where companies should focus. and the third is of course strengthening enforcement. this is where i think we all agreed that this is something your bill does great and we want to see more of. we want the ftc empowered to make rule making and empowereding to after bad actors in the narrow areas. >> thanks. you know, i think this is part of the challenge of addressing this issue is the world keeps changing. and we aren't necessarily quick when it comes to policy. so making sure that there is policy in place that is current and maybe forward looking to make sure that there is a good foundation that can be built upon is going to be very important. so kind of for each of you whoever wants to answer, what are the -- what are the next steps that you think we need to
take to get policy in place, federal policy in place? and what are some of the challenges you think that we face? >> well, i'll start with the an optimistic note. i think as gigi said, we agree probably about 90% from a public interest perspective from an industry perspective. i think the other 10% we could probably figure -- we could figure out. if we can do that from those perspectives then i'm confident that on capitol hill you can -- this is not a -- this does not need to be a partisan issue. >> that's one of the interesting things is it's complicated su but isn't necessarily a partisan issue. >> because it's complicated it takes time and makes sense that it's been a couple of years since this has really been heavily discussed and debated. but it also i think is good reason for optimism. it doesn't matter whether it's an election year or not election year process, it's the kind of issue everybody can work together. because everybody cares about privacy. and i think building trust within industry and public
interest groups and on capitol hill can really all come around trying to make sure that we can have strong privacy protections while also continuing to let innovation continue and help build jobs. >> so aaron and i are sort of veterans of the intellectual property wars, the copyright wars, the sopa, pippas whatever how many years ago that was now. i feel old. one of the things that the folks in the judiciary committee did at that time was they brought in stakeholders to have conversations about what should be in legislation. and i don't think i've sienna happen here. i know that there are groups like the center for democracy and technology abmy old organization public knowledge have o are having their own separate confab, sometimes just the ngo communities, sometimes with industry included. but i think if the hill brought folks together it could start to ham hammer out things. i agree with aaron 100%. i think the basics, like the type of stuff we talked about,
control, security, enforcement, accountability, everybody agrees upon, right? it's about getting the details, the devil is always in the details tp but it's something that you know perhaps you might think about is just bringing in the various parties and see if we can hammer out an agreement. because i think we want to be a leader. but, boy, there should be a comprehensive bill by now that's a consensus bill. i mean, perhaps it will be your bill, one can only hope. but, you know, it seems to me it's taken so long with all the concerns and all the many hearings last year, and this year we still don't have a bill that's actually really kind of moving forward with bipartisan consensus. i think it's past time. >> i agree. >> i was going to say one of the things i think is really interesting is we are trying to pass federal appraisecy legislation right after europe's already passed their massive general data protection regulation, the big privacy framework that they went through this big process of let's bring
everyone together under the european tradition of getting the headache stockholder lo holder in the room and and the bill any came up with is actually really bad. i think they recognize it hasn't worked well. it's a good lesson for the united states in how we can do it better, especially to this point of can we show leadership in this area? we red the world in the digital economy for two decades. and we did it through the light touch regulation. we have done it through smart regulation. we have done it through focused enforcement and also recognized we can do it better the next time. this is our chance to do it better the next time and notts just copy what europe did in this space. i think there are some big lessons from europe, one and see there is a massive compliance cost of gdpr p we saw upward of $150 billion in compliance globally for companies thatty just trying to figure out how to deal with the raw. and they're still trying to figure out how to deal with the law. and even those spending the billions with are getting fined billions more for not complying. that's one of the big problem. the second problem is it's
locked in the law of incouple the bent. a lot of people thought the privacy regulation would increase competition and that would be good for consumers. it turned out because of the high cost of the compliance coupled with the fact that, you know, you saw the companies basically said, not only can we not afford to kpi we have to block out consumers sometimes. we just can't -- you see companies in the united states saying if you're a european consumer you just can't access our website anymore because with we don't want to deal with that regulation. you have seen the significant cost to consumers. and third there are all the unintended consequences, because of the fact that the policy makers at the time even though this bill which just passed the past year they started writing it three years ago. three years ago they weren't thinking about artificial intelligence. three years ago they weren't thinking about blockchain. they should have been thinking about this. they passed the law with different provisions saying for example you have to be able to delete something which is a great provision in theory but turns out on the blockchain that's a permanent record. you can't delete things easily.
and so they created this law that was fundamentally incompatible with an emerging technology. they recognize now with artificial intelligence and machine learning you want to have large data sets to learn from them. and they have raeltzed wait a second they don't have access to the rarj data sets now their companies are being held back and innovating in in core part of the economy. and so i think in the u.s. side we can look at what europe did and say there is a lot of really good lessons about how to not make mistakes and how to recreate what's worked well in the united states as we move forward with strong consumer friendly and innovation friendly regulation. >> doesn't gdpr become kind of a gloelk standard right now in the absence of any u.s. leadership on the issue. >> that's i think a huge problem. both in the sense that there is this vacuum so other countries look to europe and they say, well, europe seems to be doing something in this space and the united states doesn't seem to be doing anything. so we're copying those rules. one of the kind of you know
but also need for a federal law so that people understand and businesses and consumers understand what's happening versus 50 different policies. how do we look at that? >> i'm less uncomfortable with the notion of state's having their own privacy laws. as i mentioned before in certain ininsteness at as when it comes oh other professional there are state privacy laws. that's why i do emphasize, you know, if there is to be a preemption as your bill has a preemption provision that you got to be careful gnaw don't wipe out every single state privacy law that's been out there. i think, that could be a recipe for disaster for consumers. however, i do think it's important to make sure that whatever federal privacy law we come up with that state laws don't conflict with it. i think that's really really important. look, companies have 50 different tax -- state tax laws. they deal with the patchwork.
but certainly you don't want state law undermining what we eventually pass. if i could make one other compensate about some of the stuff dan said, smart stuff he said, i do think the lack of flexibility in the gdpr demonstrate why you have to give the ftc rule making authority. you get the expert agency that even though they don't move quickly they can be more nimble in catching their rules up to changes in technology and changes in the economy. >> let me just pick up a little bit on the state issue. i think it's important to make sure if you are a consumer in the state of washington or in california, or in new jersey where i'm from, you should have essentially the same rights. and i think that's really important. and the potential for conflict of laws is an important issue and for confusion, both for businesses, small businesses as you were talking about with regulatory compliance matters as well as just for consumers
making sure they know what their clear rights are. we think about the data retention issue that gigi was talking about at the beginning, if you have one state requiring certain data to be retained, and flory says it's not allowed to be retained, that's probably not a great system for either consumers or businesses. and so i think instead of talking about federal legislation in terms of preemption, i think we should be thinking about it from the other direction that we should be establishing -- congress should be establishing the -- the high standard for customer privacy protection and control. a lot of the rights in the gdpr which come from a u.s.-led process at the oecd are the right user controls that we should permit. of course different jurisdictions it makes sense would have a different way of complementing that. but i think making sure we have good strong consumer controls at the federal level is important. >> and i can just chime in. i think one interesting also lessons from the gdpr, the motivation for the gdpr wasn't
that europe didn't have privacy legislation. it's that they had 28 member states with different laws. it was basically the patchwork we had here. where they said this isn't working well for the digital economy. that's one of the key parts that's important to emphasize. a lot of businesses have to deal with 50 different state laws. if you are a retailer in 50 states you have to deal with 50 different state laws. that's reality. the problem is in the digital economy, you know what was really innovative and powerful here is that you can scale up. you can create one idea put it on the website, and serve the world. but that runs into problem when you can't serve you know the entire united states because you have to dow and change how you work in every different state. and that's where i think, you know, the -- the off line rules of the past, yeah you could have 50 different state laws that's acceptable but in the tlj space that doesn't work. you see this problem come up again and again. especially in a lot of if the emerging areas where we see new businesses for example businesses that are trying to provide hr services and realize
they can't scale because there are all the state based rules preventing scalings. that's the challenges we see in the digital economy today. that's where i think congress and the ftc and state lawmakers should work on erasing barriers because that's how we get more innovation and johns jobs and better opportunities for consumers. >> i helped cofound the dlnl trade caucus because talking about trade, we talked about earlier. when we talked about trade we forget that the issues of digital trade. these are newer issues. but this really is a digital trade issue. how we deal with privacy. you talked about it with gdpr p we talk about a federal policy here. but do you think this is also something we can to think about with respect to trade policy going forward. >> i definitely do. the digital trade caucus has been a really good way of communicating to ustr, the importance of digital trade. you talked about the adequacy determination that japan recently got with the u.s.
negotiating a froh trade agreement with japan. we think one of the things that should be easy and on the table is making sure that digital trade is included, that data can flow between the two countries freely, and that the two countries that really value innovation, value digital trade making sure that there is a strong digital trade chapter there i think is really important. >> i'm going to open it up for questions in just a second to give folks a chance to think about questions they might want to ask for our panel. one of the things i talk about in my legislation is making sure that consumers know for our purposes plain english what's happening. how do you think we do a good job of explaining to consumers what will happen to their data and making sure when they check a box that they really understand how do we make sure that we have a strong -- we have strong policy for consumers there. >> look, i think the duty has to be on the companies.
again, this is where the enforcement comes in. if the law is not enforceable then you have the situation you have now where basically, you know, some of the top privacy experts in this town in this country couldn't figure out how to opt out of data collection in facebook? that's just for the acceptable. we talked at the fcc we talked about clear, persistent notice. you used x. i can't recite the exact words, affirmative, clear. that sort of thing. and you let the ftc, the rule making sort of fill in the blanks and then you have strong enforcement. but it has to be with the guidance of rules. it has to be on the companies to make sure that consumers know bha they are doing. and i would also sort of flo out a challenge to my friends in the privacy community that it's also in re duty to feech consumers how to protect in re privacy. let's have tool kits. i'm the board of the electronic frontier foundation. i believe they have a tool kit
that shows people how to the protect privacy. the mozilla foundation where i had a fellow ship i'm good at collecting fellow ships i'm a professional fellow has ma data detox kit which says in plain english. it should be on the companies but also we have a huge ngo community working on privacy. and i think they also have a duty to educate consumers about how to protect their privacy. >> yeah, because at the end of the day it's not consumer control if the consumer doesn't know what it is that they are signing up for. >> yes. >> a i think one of the challenges for companies in in space is that they're often caught between two competing requirements. one to be clear and transparent to consumers, and two to be comprehensive and detailing all of their data a arrangements. the reality is a lot of companies are doing a lot of different things with data and not necessarily bad things but they're doing a lot of things and trying to detail that in one page is very difficult. what i really like about about the legislation is it lays out
the specific glienlz how the ftc should set rules for telling companies how they can be transparent and then companies have guidelines to follow because that's what they need. i think most companies want to do the right thing if they can. what they don't want to do is try to do the right thing and get in trouble for doing it. which is the challenge they're in right now. >> questions. we have a quiet crowd today. yes, right back there. >> hi, i'm darren -- gi gir this question is for you to start with because then maybe others could weigh in. you said that you are still pretty sang win about notice and choice as part of the framework. can you talk about the limitations? there are a fair amount of critique of those choice and alternative methods that the legislation might use as a approach that you think might be
working. >> i call it notice and consent. notice and choice. i guess it's pretty much the same thing. i think the main critique is that, you know, consumers -- well companies will make it difficult to actually exercise that choice, or they'll, you know -- as i just discussed before. i think that's why having, you know, clear rules and having good enforcement might change that. i think that's the main critique is that it's ineffective because people don't exercise their rights. okay. and again, a at a certain point, you know, there has to be a little bit of personal responsibility there. but obviously if the companies make it difficult then you can't do it. the alternative that i have seen is just, you know -- and this is -- this is a viable alternative. it's a reasonable alternative, you know, i just haven't quite endorsed it yet. is the idea of just saying, okay, these are the things we never want to happen. so -- you know, so the data collector can never collect -- the company can never collect
such data. and so one of the examples is geolocation data. the problem is if you are a cell phone company, a mobile company you need that if somebody, you know, wants to make a -- make a 911 call. you want public safety to be able to find you. so i worry about flat outbanning collection of certain data entirely because there may be a use somewhere that a is necessary to provide the service. in fact i don't think there should be notice and consent. you know, if you are the cable company they have to have your name and address if they are going to provide the service. there are certain categories if that's what you need to provide the service you don't need consent. but i also think that banning certain categories of data from usage forever i think could be a pretty inflexible way of dealing with a problem. if you make a broad category like your bill does like we did the fcc opt-in, then you know, this is the sensitive stuff that
you are not -- you are not likely to opt into. so you are protected. but i worry about flatout bans on collection. >> ifky. >> we also should work on the basics of a warrant standard for digital information, something that we have been working on. that has strong bipartisan support to make sure warrant standard. just like you would for a piece of paper in the file drawer. not all digital information is subject to the same warrant standard. we could update laws there and it would be helpful. >> definitely. >> i was going to say if i can give a specific example how i think europe got that exactly wrong on that point. europe pass add privacy law that was specifically -- focused specifically on automatic crash identification. the idea whens when the car in the accident what data is sent to molden responders so that they would be able to respond quickly. so it would have location a information. has some other information but they basically looked at this regulation said well, there is all the different data points we only allow in set. a carrier later there was some
really interesting studies around the different data points in the car and the types of predictions that they could make about the types of injuries an accident victim might have. and it turned out some of the data points they prohibited from being collected were the ones that they would need to be able to respond and then more timely way to say, you know this person has this type of injury, you know, send that type of emt to the scene. so i think that's the kind of risk we have especially in this fast moving environment where there is a lot of data we basically don't know it's value, know know it might have been value. we're still in the space we want to say allow data to be collected make sure consumers have choice. make sure they know what's happening and can opt out if they want to but allow data to be collected and allow exploration around the data. maybe 10, 15 years down the line we'll be able to say there is the huge wagt of data that nobody needs. maybe then we say we have paternalistic rules. but right now i think it's way too early.
>> other questions? >> if i could just clarify, i do think there is sensitive information like the bill should be opt in and, again, pretty broad and then everything else opt out. but the unintended consequences i think dan gave a great example pretty clear. >> and then we have the work to make sure we define sensitive information clearly. yeah. bill. >> when you start talking about being able to access view edit potentially delete information. you are immediately faced with a question of how you authenticate yourself to know it's you and not someone impersonating and stealing your information. other countries are well aid of the uns. countries like estonia, korea and so on. in the absence of that industry groups are coming together like the better identity coalition and so on. but there is an essential government role in this. and i was wondering what your attitude or thoughts on the way forward for the u.s. in in area of providing a secure digital id to citizens that want one. >> yeah, if i could take that,
we have done a lot of working looking at electronic ids globally and the reason countries are ahead. i even have -- anyone can become a digital stone yans 100 euro down at the on dew point. i recommend you do it. process it's pouchl the way to have a way to securely online yourself to any service. the united states has only been lightly funding the national strategies for trust identities or instic we need to do more in the space. this is an area of privacy legislation where we are kind of you know not focusing onsome of the right problems if we focus on let's say sun setting social security numbers and replacing it with a secure electronic id that would be huge step forward and getting rid of a lot of the fraud if there is a data breach it won't matter. it doesn't matter if someone knows my social security. doesn't matter if they know my date of birth. we can solve the problems by that route. just like some of the other issues people are concerned about, you know if we strengthen civil rights laws that also gets to a lot of the concerns about
discrimination that people are concerned about. so i think we can tackle a lot of the concerns about data privacy and data breach by getting to the heart of the problem and government is going to have to lead there. because you can't do that with industry alone. >> i think you're also right. you began the question with talking about what the consumer controls should be. but you have to be careful about how they apply. and we definitely agree that there need to be exceptions. there needs to be exceptions for the first amendment. exceptions for identity control, need to be exceptions for cybersecurity purposes. so with the appropriately tailored exceptions. and i think that those consumer control rights work really well. and on the -- on the identification and authentication piece, i think it's also important to remember that u.s. stre does have some of the best authentication tools out there. and i think we are trying to figure out how to make them all work together. >> well, thank you. we're just finishing -- is there any other questions?
we could do one more quick one. yeah. >> yeah, just real quick thank you, guys. i had a quick question about it's really kind of interesting for me to think about in problem without thinking about the big five. i think last year the big five made 150 billion off of consumer data. so how do you all think about working with them? and frankly as a tech entrepreneur myself that stifles innovation to create a better version of facebook or linked in orr apple or whatever, right? how do we think about data portability in this conversation? and how do we think about working with the big five to really make data portability front and center issue? >> i love it. i mean i didn't talk about data portability because for me it's more of a competition issue than a privacy issue. although it obviously crosses bounds. look, the big five are not monolithic near is the tech industry. that's really really important. i think this really may be two,
three of the companies whose entire model is based on selling ads, right. and apple and microsoft particularly have a very, very different take on -- i'm not exactly sure who you include in the big five. i'm fwesing -- dsh have a very railroad different take on privacy than perhaps google and facebook. and maybe you throw amazon in there as well. so look, i think we could bring at least two or three of the companies to the table around all the principles we talked about. and maybe now you saw mark zuckerberg put out a piece in "the post." mixed reviews. but i thought it was a thoughtful -- pushed them further than where they've been before particularly with data portability. the issue with data portability is how do you allow consumers to port their data in a way that- in a read/write way, a way that's usable, not an xcelled
spreshd. i think the smart minds in those companies could actually figure for you to a way to take my data with me to competitors if i want. >> so just very quick we represent the basically the enterprise software community, including microsoft, includes apple. and i think the ability -- we think that the ability to be able to get your data and move it somewhere else is something that should be -- it should be a right. you're right. it's part privacy part competition. but increasingly our industry is about interprablt. increasingly you will see most companies move towards a place where they want to be able to share data provided that consumers know about how the data would be shared and how it would be ported. consumer right. >> i can just end with saying that, you know, i am very -- a huge proposant of data portability particularly on srkts like banking with clear value to consumers. but also the flipside. data portability was the cause
of the cambridge analytica scandal. that was data portability in action that facebook deprecated that functionality. we have to make sure it's done in the way that i don't think we regret later. i think focusing on those areas like you know banking or other areas where we can have a very defined set of data and there is clear et competitive value is how we move forward. >> we have gone over our time. i want to ask you to please join me in thanking our panelists today [ applause ] >> for all the good discussion. thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much. and i get the honor much introducing kathleen rice who is part of our newdem leadership team from new york here to moderate the next panel. >> thank you so much suzan. let's give a great hand to suzan and the wonderful panel that we just had up here [ applause ] . >> okay so i am cath leap rice. i represent the fourth
congressional district in new york and incredibly happy to be part of the newdem leadership team. and i am going to be introducing three other newdem members within the coalition to talk about our work on national security infrastructure and technology, if the panel wants to come up now. first we have to my far left representative brad snyder who is cochairing the coalition national security task force. this congress. new democrats have long been strong advocates of a tough and smart national security strategy and brad is going to tell you what we have planned this year. next to brad we have representative darren soto who is becoming a leading voice within the coalition and congress on technology issues. he is cochairing the coalition's technology task force and he is going to tell you some of the
areas of focus for the coalition. and to my immediate left we have representative elissa slotkin who is one of our fabulous new members of congress, new to the coalition but already making an impact on many issues including infrastructure where she serves as cochair of the coalition's infrastructure task force. there are a few issues -- a few issues -- where president trump and congress are in alignment and infrastructure is one of them. so elissa will share with us how newdems are approaching the discussion. so let's start first with brad schneider giving us an overview of what is plan for the national security task force. >> thanks kathleen. and welcome to everybody to the newdem conference. it's an honor to be here. the newdem task force i'm one of four cokmars joined by brandened boil owe boyle. anthony brown and abigail spam burger as well as eight other members on the task force to focus on making sure we keep our
messagen and the focus front and center on the issue of protecting united states strategic interests, national interests around the country and making sure we keep our people safe. what we have seen from this administration is a lot of talk, a lot of strong talk. in fact the embrace of strongmen as well. but the actions have been very different. in particular what we've seen across the board is a diminishing of capabilities. i think this is true if you look at our what's happened to the state department, our retrenching from supporting u.s. aid efforts -- aid efforts around the globe, as well as pull back from our alliances and coalitions, in particular the conversation and threats against nato make a perfect example. other institutions. what we're looking for -- or what we see from the administration is a strategy that is it at best rudderless, not real clear where they are
going or at worst what we have seen is a strategy that is against our own national interests. and this is a grave concern. it's aed ceding of american leadership it's contrary to what newdems would say are our interests and values and security goals. here in the newdems what i will tell you is that we are more than ready to step forward and rise up to the challenge. in particular what you see mopping the newdems is a group bringing a diversity of perspective, a broad range of expertise, in fact within newdems we have experience on the committees of jurisdiction on national security. we have veterans of our armed services of the different branches as well as national security organizations. and it's that that we are looking to bring forward to put together a statement of strategy that defines our interests, lays out our strategic goals and develops a plan to move us forward. and i think that's what we're
looking for from in group that we'll deal with not just expanding and strengthing international replaces but from the standpoint of congress making sure we invest in the institutions in, in diplomacy and the three -- essentially the three pillars of national security which are diplomacy, development and defense. if you recall secretary mattis in testimony last year was very clear, he said if you cut back on diplomacy and development you have to invest -- give me more money for bullets. but we need to make sure we are maintaining the proper balance of diplomacy, development and defense so we make sure to ensure the united states national security. >> thank you, brad. darren. >> thanks so much. i'm pleased to be part of the technology committee along with scherr east davids, kendra horn and harley ruda, three great new members. you know when we look at the speed of technology, even in my
own lifetime, for those who are checking, born in 1978, just amazing the changes that we have seen from the rise of personal computers, to cell phones, to gaming consoles. i started out on a nintendo. my brother in a come doctor he was a few years older than me. sharing movies and music to social media accounts walks things that did not exist when i was first growing up. and then we saw the changes. and there are all the different verbs, google it or tweet it or facebook it, ors i anything. or i need it in realtime. our whole even vernacular has changed. and i come from a district where we are right next to the busiest space port in the world. cape canaveral. we are home to huge simulation and reality cluster over at central university of florida
where we develop training exercises for the military as well as working on video games and even our theme parks take advantage of the technology. we have centers aerospace, cybersecurity, cloud storage. all that got me interested in looking into this area. but it was when we had the founder of facebook mark zuckerberg at a hearing during the house and senate hearings that it really piqued my interest. i was at hem and my wife said congress doesn't really understand technology and seemed to obvious at the time process when you see senators using cue cards develops from interns and house members asking questions that clearly didn't have context, it was clear that we needed folks, particularly some of the younger members from the newdems and other caucuses to really delve into these things, which was the main reason it was important for me to get on mcgregor energy and commerce. and you just heard a discussion
on internet privacy going through our committee as well as issues related to net neutrality and others. we're working on establishing first definitions and jurisdiction for cryptocurrency. some of may be following that. we should have that out over the next couple of weeks. because right now it's kind of like the wild west. we're working with the education workforce committee on an artificial intelligence bill to not only see where we could help out private companies but also get in front of it. we saw the internet be both a boon and big disrupter of jobs. and so it's really key to help retrain folks who may see their jobs lost so that they could go into some new jobs and technologies and also help where we can with tech companies. quantum computes is another thing we've been encouraging through budget amendments other various means, knowing that this
is going to be able to help with everything from agriculture to marketing to defense, to you name it. and then space flight. we are really razor focus ds on that. we'll final i have human space flight again. spacex will launch this summer. boeing maybe as well. we'll see how the launch goes. but when you it think about the future of economy and tech, think about how a lot of the economy over the next 20, 30 years will literal hadley be out of world. and we need to continue to have a long-term vision to make sure in all the different areas that the united states maintains a dominant edge on both the research on market share and on making sure that we have trade that will advance a lot of these key technologies without them being stolen. so we are really excited about a lot of the work we are doing on the tech task force and look forward to talking with all of you about that. >> thanks, darren, elissa.
>> hi, thanks everyone. elissa slotkin. i'm from michigan. i'm excited to be the cochair of the infrastructure task force. jason slo. sta stacie were plaskett are cochairs with me i'm from michigan we had a kbofr that was elected on a slogan that said fix the damn roads. so it just gives you a sense of ou desperately we in michigan and i know other people across the country feel about infrastructure. one of the things that surprised me as a freshman when i got to washington and you meet all the new peers is didn't matter if you were from iowa ob, or new jersey or texas or michigan everyone was talking about infrastructure at home. and everyone feels like we need once in a generation investment in our sfrad. i was very happy to be involved in this. and i think when we talk about infrastructure we know that we talk about roads. and in michigan we literally name our pot holes. we have a hole like categorization. et alcatraz is the worst because once you go in you never come
out. you pop a tire. you're done. but i live 15 minutes from flint michigan. water infrastructure, our bridges, tunnels, broad band, i have a very rural district in areas. so broadening up the definition i think of infrastructure is very important. now, the president has said the right things about infrastructure. and he has gotten a lot of play out of that. but i think one of the things the newdems can do really well is have an honest conversation on how we pay for it. because we all know that last year or the year and a half ago the president put fourth of july a package saying the right things but then again relied on private industry and the states to fund the infrastructure projects which of course didn't end up happening. so i think one of the things that the newdems is particularly good about is about having practical ideas to really problematic issues. and we all know that it costs money to invest in our infrastructure. i'm really glad to be part of it. i think we have a great team.
and we will not move forward unless we are sort of face -- face front about the fact that there will be a cost, and we better have a practical way to address it. so thanks very much. >> thank youaddress it. >> thank you very much. >> please join me in thinking our presenters. [applause] and now our next panel discussion is on climate change. i know it will be great. the coalition vice chair scott peters will moderate panel. there are very few members of congress, first of all this coalition, but congress at large who have more experience in climate change policy and scott. a former economist at the epa. a 15 year environmental lawyer and now serves for the energy and commerce committee. and without further ado i'm going to hand the microphone over to him.[applause] >> thanks.
last the panel to join me. thank you for joining us to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing our nation in the world. the need to combat local climate change. both to slow the rate of climate change and to prepare for the changes that are already happening or are inevitable the climate change will bring. i come from california, progress has been strong. we long ago under a republican governor, governor schwarzenegger estate mandate to renewable energy, we enacted aggressive automobile efficiency standards started by governor reagan without the federal government wouldn't be tough enough. now we have required a local governments to reduce carbon emissions. last year we enacted sb 100
which will require our energy producers to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. i am personally, if we could do that and see, sign me up. that is not the situation here. we all welcomed the new energy around climate that has come to d.c. with new electives who are experienced and articulate with ideas like the green new deal. but d.c. is not sacramento. and when it comes to climate action it falls to us here to carry forward a conversation on how to make climate policy in the setting that lacks the consensus about whether or how to act that we have in california. because science warns us we can't wait, you have to figure out how to take action even in this context. today with our panel we're going to talk about that. are going to have a conversation about what we can accomplish now despite headwinds. i'm going introduce my panelists. thank you for being here.
tiernan sittenfeld is the senior vice president of the league of conservation voters built. mitch is the president and ceo of the evangelical environmental network, i urge you to follow them on twitter, he is co- authored a book and published articles relating to creation care and the impact of climate change on all of god's creation. he serves on the national association of evangelical board of directors. and josh is the founder and senior vice president of third wave clean energy program. he is focused on promoting a policy the combat change through innovation, advanced nuclear and carbon capture technologies. i will start with you tiernan sittenfeld. here we are. we have a majority in the house of democrats, divided government once again. what you think the biggest opportunities to make a change
between now and 2021? >> thanks for asking and thanks for the opportunity to be here. we are thrilled to have a proenvironment, pro-action majority in the house of representatives after the last eight years of climate change deniers. as you are mentioning we are seeing devastating impacts all across the country. this change comes not a moment too soon. you noted there are so many members of this class, we put out a new member guide showing all of the awesome new members who ran on climate change and clean energy and are really getting to work on that very hard along with the awesome returning members like yourself. actually 56 of the new democrats in the house have committed to 100% clean energy by no later than 2050. that demonstrates what a priority it is. in terms of the opportunities to make progress we are very focused on defending the proenvironment majority in the house of representatives. ensuring we have a pro climate
action majority in the senate and a climate champion in the white house come 2021 because we think we're going to need all of that in place to have sweeping legislation signed into law which is commensurate with the scale of the problem which is of epic proportion. in the short term we are really excited, we like to say elections have consequences and in the first couple of months the house of representatives held 20 hearings on the climate crisis. which is astounding considering there were not any proceeding that. there are three more this week. we are excited to call attention to climate champions across the house calling attention to the scope of the problem and the urgent need for action. there are so many win-win solutions good for our economy, good for creating jobs, good for addressing climate justice and of course protecting the planet. we are excited about the attention that climate change is garnering right now. we were delighted that speaker pelosi and chair caster of the
climate crisis committee introduced hr nine, the climate action now bill, to reinsert the united states leadership in meeting air paris climate agreement goals. we are very eager to see the house continue moving forward on badly needed oversight of the trumpet ministrations rollbacks common sense efforts to combat climate change. we have seen major opportunities in infrastructure package, a green, climate smart infrastructure package. i guess by way of wrapping up on the first question, i will note we talked about the progress in california but we are seeing progress all across the country. already since january, six new governors got elected in november have joined the u.s. climate alliance, former congresswoman from the great state of new mexico just already signed a renewable portfolio standards bill into law to get new mexico to 100% carbon free by 2045.
and then of course we are seeing a real race to the top in the 2028 presidential election where candidates are absolutely making climate change and climate solutions a top-tier priority. there are challenges. it is divided government but we are feeling optimistic. >> we will get back to the specific things we might be able to accomplish in this congress, but pastor mitch, tiernan sittenfeld gives a loose sounding answer to that question. you hang out with a lot of republicans, i want to ask you about conservatives. why have conservatives, especially religious conservatives, been so reticent to act on climate and is there any hope. >> i think there's lots of hope. we represent 3.5 million pro- life that's probably a bad word in this room but they want clean energy by 2030. i can tell you right now i'm working with somewhere around 18 republican senators want to act in climate.
they're not ready to become public yet, but we are working very closely. in fact, one is going to make an announcement in the next month whenever fought two months ago was going to do it. but i think the reality is why climate change has not been embraced by especially conservative face people like me. and remember, let me give you some context of why this is so important. evangelicals represent 35% of the republican party. but what's even more astounding is evangelicals in the past three presidential elections, not just the last one, represent about 20% of the people that cast votes. another 19% of the people the cast votes are white roman catholics who have demographically a lot of the same profile and characteristics. and, so for going to act on climate before it's too late -- and i think that's one of the
things we want to emphasize right now-after we saw the last report coming out of the u.n., we have to come up with bipartisan action because it's the only way it's going to happen in time to save people of the earth. i don't know who said it first, but the earth will take care of itself. we have to worry about our people. and that's the problem we have to deal with. one of the things i have to stress to this group is, i can tell you one of the problems, and it's not the only problem, certainly money fit into this and amplified it from the other side you wanted to get rid of it, we are a long way from 2008 when nancy pelosi and newt gingrich sat down into the commercial together. a lot of that was money. that money played into some of the basic fears still happening. in fact, scott has heard me say this before, it is very true, if we don't separate out
climate change and clean energy and tackle them on their own without mixing in an awful lot of other progressive social values or for that matter conservative social values, we are never going to get anyplace. because my community thinks that everybody who is a democrat believes certain things and that gets amplified. i can tell you i go to the green groups ceo meetings and when the green group ceo meetings start they say how to get more progressives to vote for climate i say that is not the answer. the question. the question is how we make it a non-bipartisan deal? i can talk forever about this but i will stop there. but the thing we have to appeal to is allow people to come to act on climate change using the values that they hold most dearly. and those values may be different for you than me.
and the analogy i like to use is we are not going to bring up one big tent. we are going to bring up a lot of smaller tents that eventually will join together, and that's how we have to start thinking about climate if we are going to act together. that is probably my three minutes. remember, i'm an evangelical preacher so i don't get warmed up until a good half hour into it. alternate back. >> inks for that. that actually leads to josh. josh, that's fairly provocative for democrat. what is a third way focused on? >> i think the remarks by them capture what we see playing into the climate debate today. we see there are two real positive elements over the last three years. one is a broad and growing demand from the public for action. the second is there are more and more diverse people in the political spectrum when in,
making suggestions for action and recognizing we need to act now. those are setting the stage for the potential for real action on climate over the next 3-5 years and even in this congress. the challenges we see, and this is a risk that does have significantly downside, is that if we lean too far in one direction on the activism that has gotten us to the place in debate we are today, we may miss our opportunity. as was alluded to, science is clear, we need to get to net zero emissions by 2050. and the earth may take care of itself, but it won't take care of the rest of us. so we've got a very clear target of what we need to hit. now, the interesting thing as we think about this is how far public opinion has shifted. and it is in no small part thanks to the sunrise movement and representative cortez on the left as well as the fact
that americans are experiencing the impact of him at fuel disasters on, it seems like a season by season basis. we all know the litany of those disasters. we are living through one in the midwest with the aftermath of flooding. in 2018, at the end of that year, 73% of americans believed the climate change was happening which is a 10% increase since 2015. 70% between 18 and 35 and 56% of people over 55 leave that. and 64% of republicans believe the change is real. we are seeing how this is manifesting itself when well the trump administration and particularly the president unfortunately continues to deny the realities of climate change has not embodied the urgency that the rest of us feel, others in the republican party, and this is where they are willing to take a break from the administration, congressman matt who is in other ways is
staunch defender of the president said, "i don't think there is a scientific debate left to be had on whether climate change is happening. i also think history is going to judge harshly on climate change deniers and i don't want to be one of them." we have seen senators alexander and brosseau emphasize the need for clean energy innovation which we don't think is sufficient on its own but it's a step in the right direction versus where we were. we have seen a lot of legislation. bills the cover 40 5q which is carbon capture, tax credits, all start to move as well as clean energy and renewal be renewable energy. there are real opportunities for hope. but the thing we are concerned about is the urgency of climate not get turned into a grab bag for every other social issue, which we at third way also
believe needs to be addressed. but these are all very, very, tough issues and they need to be formulated, there needs to be serious policy behind it and the need to be tackled on their own because they are hard enough without jumbling altogether. spoke can i give you a high- five for that? actually i want to ask pastor mitch to follow up and i've heard you talk about some of things that scare evangelicals about the way democrats sometimes talk about this. can you share with us what is their reaction? how should we be talking about climate in a way that invites people into these small tents? >> i think the first part we can all agree on is, people need to know there is hope. that is the number 1 thing i talk about when i go out. hope. i think the number 1 story is that it's not all about government action. it has to be both corporate and individual action. let me tell a quick story. years ago i was in central iowa , in february. what you do in a small christian college town in iowa,
you get the new preacher to come and speak for little. this whole town, 500 people fills the college auditorium. i said, the first thing we could all do is be energy- efficient in our own households. blah blah blah. do all the things we know about. a man came up to me afterwards and with a sincere heart, you were the first person that ever said, that i could do something about climate on my own. and by the way, i farm 3000 acres of corn and i'm going to be reducing my fertilizer, my pesticides, start planting ground cover crops to restore the soil. i think that is one of the things, we have to make about everyone. we are going to solve it with the right kind of policies, i am not naove. we have to encourage people to take those kind of steps that
will allow them to be part of the solution. and i think that is one of the places we can all start out and find common ground. spoke tiernan, thinking ahead, what you think the priorities in terms of policies are, were ridges like to see us go over the next few years and beyond that? we know we can't assume results of any election, what are your priorities to get the work done? >> i mentioned the hr nine bill, meeting and exceeding our goals under the paris climate agreement. would like to see that as a first step, a down payment on democrats showing they are in control and serious. would like to see swift action on that. as i mentioned there is broad support for energy so i'd like to see the move on that. supportive of the green new deal, we think now is the time to challenge ourselves to be aspirational.
i think it's made clear that i'm putting out the resolution it's a starting point, they welcome input. i think things we've been talking about can be part of that. we talked about infrastructure. that is a huge opportunity. i think there's a lot we can do in terms of renewables, efficiencies, i think this point let 1000 flowers bloom. the problem is so massive and the need for solutions is so great, i don't necessarily think these are mutually exclusive, i think again we still have mitch mcconnell who pulled an absurd stunt on the senate floor last week, it was great to see senator schumer on the floor day after day with so many colleagues calling out how ridges it was, the fact that they have 47 democrats on the house side who are saying climate change is real caused by human activity burning fossil fuels and congress needs to act immediately. that is progress. it backfired but we still haven't -- have him running the
show in the most anti-of our mental president. we are for making in mental changes what we can and we continue to work on and envision more transformational legislation we need to move. >> let me ask josh, how does it strike you >> we do polling, i will not claim to be part of that. >> we have seen a real shift, to the point that was made earlier, people are experiencing the impacts of climate change, it is real, it is not a theoretical problem. it is harder to say that they are going to wait and put off the solutions for another time. one of the things we found in looking at the polls is the more you explain what people get the policies or the money, whether it's impacting
positively on the town with infrastructure or cleaner air and cleaner water because of new policies implemented, the more they are likely to support it. if it is a theoretical or national policy, that sounds like it's simply imposing costs it becomes a much different challenge. >> the things that are happening now that we could do, i think first off something we can all agree on, and the question is finding the money, we can talk about finding that, we need to have a great investment international laboratories. that is something publicans and democrats can agree on. you guys in congress, men and women have to find the money after the tax cut which is the big problem. there are lots of things, no one wants to give up any of their items to have it paid for. no one is going to do anything without it paid for. that is a good starting point. i think something everyone else can agree on, if we could get cbo to lower the scoring on is
the reclaim act. it was stymied in the senate with mitch mcconnell, he didn't want certain democratic senator to get credit for it and i think everyone in the world knows that. also joe put his own bill out and there was political interest. i think putting the reclaim act, if you don't know, takes money out of the reclamation fund and puts coal miners reclaiming abandoned mine sites. those are things that are practical we could do now. certainly exceeds me. we have to work at building a national policy, whether we believe in some type of market- based system. we could talk forever about the proposals but we like market- based systems. we want the market to work. that has to be teed up and hopefully come 2021 that we will move and have new
leadership and a new president so we can get something done because even with all of congress, it's not vetoproof. believe me, i don't know if you can see this for back there, i wear a tie, i admit i'm an evangelical christian but it's not to advertise my faith. it's to remind me when i'm on capitol hill and talking to the administration of who i am supposed to be representing i don't blow my cool. i freely admit that this is the worst administration ever for environmental rollbacks. when even the chamber of commerce says they should keep the role, something funny is going on. >> i want to talk specifically about the green new deal. it's obviously very prominent. tiernan brought it up. on one hand it's general and not that objectionable. i think it's generality has a lot of other people to define it in a way that is difficult politically to be honest. that is white mitch mcconnell was one who brought it up and
not democrat. what is your impression, tell me specifically about how you think the right might react to it. what their perceptions are and maybe i will ask josh to speak for the middle. >> i think there are very much parts of the green new deal as i understand it from the reading that people could get involved with. but i think there's also an issue, i was talking three weeks ago with the people who proposed the green new deal and asked them an interesting question. which became the talk of the meeting. i represent 3.5 million for life christians. with a big welcome to be part of your coalition? and they could not answer that question. that is something we need to think about. also i think the idea of big government on its own is a problematic portion of it besides that. certainly having a transition, moving to clean energy, they
are all goals that i think we can all get around on. i think it is how we implement them and how we talk about them. and i think, one of the things, i prefer this every day, is that we could return to a much greater chance of stability in congress, inner dialogue and here. i have gone to places where i've been booed because i've been set up as a pro-life person. just having common respect. you and i are good personal friends. you and i, 99% of the issues probably disagree. but we agree on climate. at least 90. something like that. we have more disagreements than commonalities. in any event i think the issue is that we have to -- and i could start right here, the idea of offering respectful dialogue to get someplace is
something that someone has to stand up and do in this country and to get away from the tweets and the garbage that is out there. >>[applause] >> i'm going to ask you the same question. >> look, i think we have seen to date is a shift in the conversation from his climate change real, is it worth addressing to, we need to redo something, what is it that we are doing? we weren't there in 2016 even. climate change barely got mentioned during the debates and presidential campaigns. it was treated essentially is a non-issue. i think the key thing now is to define climate actually means by putting real policy to the idea. and that is different from the green new deal because we want people to focus on what is this congress, what do democrats, what do republicans believe it looks like we start to address climate change and get to a place where there is net zero
emissions in the united states but 2050. again, that is where we need to be. it can be part of the green new deal, completely separate, but the moment we are debating this idea, but not specifically how we are going to get there and what it means, we are in trouble. >> can have one quick thing? >> sure. >> we did polling in the early presidential primary, both on 100% clean energy and on the green new deal and found that support for both is extremely high. i think are pollster was startled by how high and on the same level of support for healthcare. it is quite popular. i think it is telling that even on the senate floor last week most of the criticisms were actually based on a run is fact sheet that have been disavowed. >> i want to give you a little credit. one of the great >> take your time.
>> absolutely. one of the things we have not thought of in this country and worldwide are natural climate solutions. that is one of the things. we can get 17% carbon reduction by planting more trees and changing practices. scott was able to get in the farm bill, one of the co- authors of the amendment, a pilot study to do that. we need to do much more than pilot studies but for those of you who live in the midwest that is something we need to be talking to our farmers about. is they can offer the solutions, even if they are trump supporters and don't want to talk about climate change, they want to make the soil better. that is another thing we can work on right now. >> >> thank you. pastor mitch, thank you for what you do. talk about market-based solutions, among the 18
republican senators you speak with, how many do you think would be supportive of a carbon tax? >> i think most of them would be. but there has to be some things we have to address going forward. from my faith perspective, the first thing is a has to be nonaggressive. we have to make sure at least the bottom third income people are not most adversely affected. then we have to potentially look at some carveouts for people that live in extraordinary circumstances. places like alaska where you have people paying $15 for gas or something the native americans there, there are challenges we have to look at. i think most of them see that as an opportunity going forward with for a fee or tax, quite honestly the more i'm around i like to see it go back and the
rest go to infrastructure. you're never going to rebuild or if the structure until we get money and we don't have any else place to get money. >> right that up. >> one of the things we talk about a lot is clean energy. and renewables. what wasn't mentioned in this panel was a zero emission energy which would be nuclear. third way i know has done a lot of work on vision. the national academy of science put out a report on the future of what they call plasma burning, if we think about the was taking leadership in the development of these technologies, rather than unilaterally cutting emissions, maybe the silver buckshot approach rather than the silver bullet, i do you think fission and fusion and other cutting- edge technology plays into this and our budget is tiny compared to what we spend in 1960 going
to the moon which was $250 billion. it seems like there's a lot of room. >> let me ask josh to respond. >> we are very staunch advocates for including both fission and fusion as part of the solution to climate change. in addition to developing the next generation of nuclear, it means keeping the existing plants open for the length of their useful life. one of the challenges we have is that in many instances the markets, because carbon is not priced in, has failed in considering all of the zero carbon attributes of energy sources. you are seeing existing nuclear plants that have a long life left to provide zero carbon energy shutting down and being displaced by natural gas. that is bad for climate, bad for jobs, and it's a real challenge. i think with advanced nuclear in particular, we have actually seen some bipartisan success. we have had two significant
advanced nuclear innovation bills pass congress with significant partisan support in the last congress, there was another bill introduced last week by senator booker that would continue to accelerate the development of those technologies and reassert american leadership. i think it is a real promising opportunity need to lean into. >> where is the environmental advocacy committee on that? is it something that is accepted or is her ambivalence? >> i will speak for my organization only. i wouldn't want to do more than that. i would say we continue to have long-standing concerns about the incredible expense of nuclear power and the fact that has been so heavily subsidized by taxpayers for so long. we have grave concerns about the waste there has not been acceptable way to store it. >> i think the idea of the next generation nuclear is it would not require so much subsidy and
consume more of the fuel so there wouldn't be much left over. i'm hopeful about that. >> another question? >> a question for the reverend, i was wondering if you could touch on the theological aspects of this debate? when you are talking with your fellow evangelicals that disagree with you on climate do they have theological arguments against taking action and conversely do you make theological arguments for taking action? i was wondering if you could touch on that dynamic. >> i'm a preacher so don't get me wound up too much about talking about the bible. it begins in genesis 215, god commanded us to tend and care for the garden. most of us believe that is the entire earth. we are so those were christian, we have a moral responsibility to care for what belongs to us. leviticus 75 i think it's 25 says we are but tenants of the
earth. we don't own it. the theological response is we have a responsibility to be stewards. debate comes from those on the far right sometimes, the center talks about there always be rains and seasons and he misses the boat by talking about the weather and i climate i think. there are more people who are big calvinists which are not, the old to the view that nothing ever happens on the earth unless god allows it and somehow say the earthquakes aren't there. if you really want to know i will give you my book and otherwise scott is going to cut me off. i would be happy to talk about the biblical and theological basis in more detail. >> there is a book you can read all about it. >> can you talk a little bit about another renewable energy, bioenergy or energy from would. this is something i touches on,
another renewable energy but it touches on forest jobs particularly in the southeast but also in my home state of washington, it something that personal cancer -- >> i'm very interested in this particular topic. we've had a lot of wildfires in california and i know i don't think we have landed the plane on this issue. i think we have a lot of opportunity here in terms of sustainably harvesting biomass and at the same time getting benefit in forest management. that is one thing i will be working on this year on my committee. >> i think there's a lot more work that needs to be done on it. it's interesting when you look at the uni pcc report one of the things they focus on is bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration. we are not there in terms of
the innovation side or setting up the structures to develop it but if there is action congress can take this year, 40 5q, not on the bioenergy side but in providing a tax incentive for carbon capture is doing to help accelerate that component of it. but we need to do more. >> the president pulled the plug pulled the country out of the paris accord, slashed funding for energy technology, although i think we hope to preserve and congress, what is america doing right? >> that was a subset of all the terrible things he has done when it comes to the environment and climate change. i would say at the federal level it's an abysmal absence of leadership. literally is breathtaking and it's embarrassing to have the president resenting the world in terms of all of the atrocities, especially when we have made so much harvest under the obama administration. the thing that is encouraging, both having this pro-climate action majority in the house,
having so many senators who i believe seemingly wake up every day thinking, what are they going to do to call attention to the climate crisis, i agree with my colleagues that barely have people woken up, they look outside and see the devastating impact of the fires and hurricanes and flooding, this is no longer some distant threat, it's our reality. i think the fact that we have regular people who are outraged about the problem and want to be part of the solution, we are seeing a ton of leadership at the municipal level, a republican mayor is testifying at one of the three climate hearings in the house this week, the town of georgetown, texas committed to 100% clean energy. we are seeing a lot of local progress. we discussed some of the state progress we are seeing with new governors, nine of them when they were running committed to 100% clean energy. now we have maine, the governor of nevada, wisconsin, all of
these governors and many others moving forward with whether it's renewable portfolio standards like we talked about in new mexico, recommitting to meeting the paris climate agreement. there is so much progress at the local level, at the state level, in the marketplace. that does make me encouraged. again the fact that we are seeing, i think josh talked about the fact that there wasn't even a debate in the general election, a question in the debate about climate change. now we are seeing these candidates who are bringing up climate change and clean energy and the opportunities and solutions as much as they possibly can. all that makes me optimistic. >> i have another question about attitude, we seem to of had a little bit in the change of discussion. in california we have seen phenomenal growth despite renewable portfolio standards, everyone is worried that
requiring amount of certain energy which slows down. we are up to 50% now, 60 and then hundred, when i plug in my appliances at home, 45% of the power is from renewables in my house. best in the country by the way. another 10% in our county from solar. distributed solar. has the country softened on this notion that you can't have environmental prosperity i'm sorry environmental quality and environmental prosperity? that has been the false choice. have people come around on that? >> i think you are seeing it both because they are living with the opportunities that clean energy provide them. whether it is solar and wind, or electric vehicles which are increasingly common on the streets. or education that is also from our perspective people more
aware of the fact that nuclear in the context of climate change is zero emissions. was interesting on that is we have seen polling among democrats where renewables are extremely popular, when you add the question of every zero emissions resource including carbon capture and nuclear it jumps up more. there opportunities so people recognize it. they are recognizing that the option of not leading on addressing climate change is much worse. that the united states could lead and take advantage of the demand for clean energy or we are going to suffer the consequences of environmentally and losing out on the global market. is no longer a false choice, they recognize it's not a choice. >> let me tell you a story, springfield, missouri, what i think is the renewable headquarters of the world, the city of springfield had pledged to be 100% renewable and they are already over 50%.
probably one of the reddest bible belt places in the country. last september over 500 people showed up to hear me speak and others speak about this, but even more importantly they are seeing their neighbors and money on the solar industry. big time. one young man mortgaged his house and got his grandparents and now has a $25 million per your business. you see that in the midwest and the people repairing and working on the windmills. lots of people. it takes a lot of guts to climb up one of those windmills. it's a good paying job with the people running those organizations are doing well. it's turning the corner. it's not completely there but it's a lot more than it was two or three years ago. >> i think we made huge progress. it's a lie that has been perpetuated the want to have
unfettered abilities to pollute, last year i believe there were 40 states that have more than more clean energy jobs than fossil fuel energy jobs. even going back, in 1970, arc economy has tripled since then and we have cut air pollution by 70%. these are solutions that are good for the planet and good for the economy. >> let me close with one final question. with respect to people who are in the extraction industry, what is our responsibility to those folks? folks like coal miners ? there is a lot of reasons why coal is going out of vogue, it's too expensive to get out of the ground, for market purposes, but the movement away from fossil fuels can provide a lot of pain for folks in oklahoma and texas and west virginia, whether it's driven by the market or government regulation or consumer demand, it is our responsibility to those folks?
>> i certainly believe, i am a lifetime conservative, i think we have a right to offer job retraining and ways to do it. things like i mentioned earlier, the reclaim act. are a lot of things we have to be cognizant of to help you will be motivated to see they have new industries. west virginia for example has been trapped in a petrochemical coal industry are doing more to work on the natural resources and natural beauty, i think we have that responsibility to work together for transition for those people. >> i will jump in. i agree with that. we have to ensure a just transition. we have to have workers at the table helping to craft climate solutions. we have to ensure family sustaining good paying jobs for workers. we have to ensure that the communities that are hurt first and worst which includes some of the workers you are talking
about, but the alternate he's across the country especially front-line communities of color just have a seat at the table but are active participants in coming up with the solutions. because this is about the future for all in this country. >> besides a transition for workers, one of the things we need to do is have a just remediation for people. for people that live in the areas where pollution has been dumped that is still raging, maybe love canal doesn't exist but there are a lot of coal ash ponds, a lot of things that influence a lot of people especially of low income we have to take responsibility to remediate as we do with just transition. >> this captures the real challenge. need to make sure the people who are on the front lines that have been impacted, whether it's workers in the communities who have relied on fossil fuels
for the economic viability for generations including many union households where right now even if there are jobs there facing a transition from high paying union jobs to much more lower paying jobs. that is a big deal we all need to grapple with. we have to recognize this is a tough question, a lot of the technologies are either there we know how to innovate and development whether it's on the electricity side of the transportation side and industry. but the challenge is, how do we make that transition in such a way that communities the right now are reliant upon natural gas or more immediately coal, don't find themselves bypassed in a clean energy society that otherwise is going to make it seem to them like we said no thank you we don't need you anymore. frankly that is the biggest danger for us losing the fight to address climate change in the country. >> i want to thank the panelists for the wisdom. i think the great thing about newdems is we are committed to getting results on this stuff.
someone cited a washington post editorial that used the phrase, aggressive and constructive. i think that is where we want to be. i want to also acknowledge the need for bipartisanship. that is a good spot for newdems as well. we are cognizant for things to pass things to last that is the best way to go. i look forward to working with you all to save the planet and thank you for coming. >> [applause] >> ann mclane kuster? she is going to come up, our vice chair for communications. great repetitive from new hampshire. to convene the next panel. >> thank you scott. that was a great job. really interesting panel.
i am a brand-new number of the house energy and commerce committee. so i am excited to work with scott and all of our colleagues on what we are calling at the newdems, bold ideas and innovative solutions. i think i am the vice chair of the communications for the newdems. that sort of sums up where we are and what our space is all about. we are the ones that want to tackle these challenges, you have heard about, providing healthcare for all americans, universal access to affordable healthcare. saving the planet, and we share the goals of our caucus and we are all about rolling up our sleeves and being in the weeds and getting the job done. so, i am here to introduce our next guest, michael bennet, i think the reason i have been chosen is i represent new
hampshire, the second congressional district, we are having a great deal of fun in new hampshire these days. and we do take the responsibility of choosing the next person of the united states very seriously. it has been funny, some of the candidates have been surprised at the depth and breadth of the questions that they are getting. and i say these people work hard at this. this is not our first rodeo. have been through this before a number of times. but it's been a very exciting experience, i think for democrats, for americans you have heard a lot today about the challenges that our country faces under the current administration. we all feel very strongly about replacing the president with someone that has bold ideas and innovative solutions to move our country forward. what we are looking at is a broad range of candidates.
it is really very exciting. i think everyone will acknowledge our bench is very deep and strong. someone said to me recently, we are going to end up with a fantastic residential candidate, a great vice presidental candidate and an amazing cabinet. i think that is the way to look at it rather than the way the republicans vote people off the island in their primary last time around. michael bennet is with us. a senator from colorado. thank you. we are going to paying close attention to the discussion with him. our chairman derek kilmer is going to have a fireside chat. i think it's going to be an interesting time. we don't know whether he will make headlines by announcing his candidacy right here right now, but we are looking forward to welcoming him and with that i will introduce and welcome 45 and new democratic polish and
german derek kilmer. -- chairman derek kilmer. >> [applause] >> cue the fireside. >> this is our fireside chat without a fire. welcome senator. we were going to call it between two firms but we didn't have ferns. >> although a good sense of humor never hurts. >> i first got to meet and work with senator bennett during the joint select committee on budget and appropriation process reform or as we refer to it in my office, we should've known without a good acronym that it was slated for failure. >> it was one of those safety valves that the congress creates do not make decisions and it has worked perfectly. >> as expected.
but in that endeavor i got to see really first-hand how senator bennett is a big thinker engaged on bd policy issues. if there is a big challenge facing our country most likely senator bennett has a solution ready to roll. i have been grateful for your work with the new democrat coalition. with members on the house side. i presume today you've got a big announcement to make that you are forming a new senate a new democrat coalition as well. >> we have to get it done before they close the museum. >> so, i actually want to start off, there are newdems like you and like senators like you engaged on big ideas but that is not always a viral sensation. your most viral moment of last year may have been during the government shutdown when in the words of dwayne the rock
johnson you laid the smack down on ted cruz. i'm curious why you think that moment was so resonant and if you have thoughts and how we make some of these important policy issues resonate with the american people? >> first of all, thank you for having me. it is wonderful to see all of you today. i am probably the last person in america should be talking to about how you make something go viral. i did discover as a result of that with my friend ted crews from the state of texas why but o'rourke was able to raise $70 million in his senate race. maybe not the only but certainly a reason. what i would say more broadly is that we have an obligation to talk about this stuff in the way that will resonate with the people so they can understand what's happening. i think we have an obligation to make people understand how high the stakes really are. i view donald trump very much
as a symptom of our problems. he has accelerated a lot of those problems but he got here because our economy wasn't treating 90% of americans well over the last 40 years. and he got here because of the degradation of our institutions that were brought to you mainly by the tyranny of people masquerading as something called the freedom caucus which you know more about than i do. i think the american people need to know what the stakes really are and why elections matter. when i think about the answer to that question, i think about the fact that we have spent $5 trillion in tax cuts, mostly for wealthy people since 2001 and we spent $5.6 trillion in the middle east. the president says it is $7 trillion. that is 11, 12 or $13 trillion we might as well have lit on fire that we didn't used to address a single thing in america the could've helped
generate more growth, more broad-based participation in the economy. i think people are rightly frustrated about that. their plan is to do more of that. i think our plan needs to do the opposite. i think we can make it clear, we can only prevail at elections but generate a sense among the american people that it's not enough just to beat donald trump, we have to figure out how to govern the country. have completely forgotten how to do that. the politics never ends around this place. therefore the governing never starts. you guys obviously, think i'd you did what you did in the house, that we either need the other chamber to also be democratic or we need to begin another era of bipartisan work. we hadn't seen that around here for a long time. >> we talked about the stakes and i think something that comes up a lot when we are back home is, fear that you will see another four years of donald trump. what do you think it's going to
take to beat donald trump? >> i think it is two things. first of all in my travels around new hampshire and iowa, it is clear to me the democrats are unified in their desire to beat donald trump. which is important in good. i think we will nominate the person who we think can do that most effectively. i think that we, in order to prevail, need two things. one, we have to be focused on what people care about which is this issue, i mentioned a minute ago, which is for 40 years 90% of the american people haven't shared in economic growth when our economy is growing. we have basically a 40 year recession for the middle class and for people living in poverty in this country. and we have to stand for something with regard to that. it is not enough for people to say, well, do you know there is now a worldwide orchid for labor? or don't you know technology is compressing wages? or don't you know china has made it impossible for us to build wealthier for the middle
class? i don't think the american people are willing to accept that. certainly colorado is not willing to. when they look at washington, it doesn't look to them like anyone is focused on those challenges at all. i guess the first thing i would say is, discipline on that question. how are we going to create an economy where when the economy grows, wages grow for most americans? how are we going to think about healthcare in that context? immigration? infrastructure? r&d? all that stuff is put -- and agenda put against that, her own willingness to accept is a continued reality that most people cashiered in economic growth in this capitalist country. the second issue is we can't disqualify ourselves. and donald trump is on the lookout for that. so we make it easy for donald trump to accuse democrats of being socialists, that is an act of disqualifying us.
that is what he is doing. when he says we are for open borders, he's trying to disqualify us. and he says we are against israel against jewish people, more offensively in the last week, he's trying to disqualify the democratic party. i think we need to pay attention to that. and not walk into that. that is not a call on my part for lazy moderation. we need big policy ideas like the american family act, a bill that i have that would increase the child tax credit from $2000 up to $3200 and making it fully refundable and paid out on a monthly basis instead of annually. that would reduce childhood poverty in america by 40%. it would end the most extreme childhood poverty in our country and give a family of four making $60,000 $3200. that doesn't sound like some moderate position. for my perspective, it's a very good thing, it does all of that
without adding one more federal bureaucrats to administer the program. but that is just a plus as far as i'm concerned. i think a series of those kinds of policy responses are going to give people something worth choosing between. and i think they will choose us and not them. >> in terms of big ideas, about introduce another big idea, the medicare act proposal, anything you want to share with the group about that? >> that is the best name for a bill i ever came up with. the center for american progress stole it and called their thing medicare extra. added three letters to the name. this is a built-in and i have had for several years. it is business that should've been done in the original affordable care act. some of you remember many of us fought to have a public option as part of that legislation, we weren't able to get it then,
and medicare x is a true public option. a medicare -like plan administered by medicare. it is not medicare itself. i think that is, this notion that seniors are not going to -- they have worked their whole lives to get into medicare when they are 65 another of people here want to put everyone else in the program, the idea they're going to accept that without a fight or a disqualifying fight from donald trump worries me, the salts for that problem because it's not medicare although it uses the internetwork and reimbursement. the scoring from cvo on similar legislation says it actually raises money for the treasury rather than creates more deficit and debt. the most important thing to me is that we have to cover everybody. as we cover everybody in this country over the next decade or
so we have to figure out how to bring down the cost of healthcare for our country and families as everyone here knows we are spending 18% of gdp on healthcare whenever else in the world is spending half that or less than half that on healthcare. and we have to maintain quality. i think those should be our objectives. how we get there precisely is for legislators to figure out. i hope medicare x will be part of the conversation. >> let's welcome others into the conversation. i have a question for the senator. >> i am conscious this is the very end of your day. senator and congressman, you have both dedicated a great deal of your careers to education in the workforce. to me, a lot of those policy issues are geared toward an industrial economy and not a knowledge-based economy, what are we doing to modernize our education system and our workforce skills training to
get more americans in all areas to participate in the knowledge- based economy? thank you. >> this is for you. >> there's a lot we should do. i think it is the most important set there is a lot w and i think it is the most important set of policy issues are and how we lift that income line up. education is not sufficient but it is essential and a necessary part of it. as a country we have to figure out how to commit to preschool or early childhood education in america and a lot of other countries are doing it and it is complicated because we have a federal system federalist system but we have to figure out how to do it together. i would say our k-12 system is about three centuries out of date for the economy we are in today especially if you are a poor american going to a k-12 school, your chances of succeeding are only 9% of four
in america graduate with a college degree or its equivalent and sometimes people say, don't you know not everyone will go to college? i say yes i do know not everyone will go, 70% of americans that go to school don't go to college. i often hear people say that about other people's kids not their own kids. if you are a high school senior graduate and you make a decision not to go to college but to do something else that needs to be an affirmative choice you are making not a choice made for you because we have been unable to adapt our system of k-12 education to the 21st century. the third point i would make is we've made college so expensive over the past 20 years that people in my state and in other states are drowning in college debt which is just one more thing young people have to indict our generation for having failed on. it is ridiculous if you go to
the university of colorado it will take you 22 years to pay back your student loans. those are years you could have been starting a small business or years not living with her mom and dad but off on your own. that is the result not the hand of god but of decisions we've made or have failed to make that crowded out public investment in higher education at the same time prices continued to rise. there is an affordability issue and it is not sufficient to say students should be able to negotiate student loans although i think they should. that is not the main problem. the main problem is the cost is too much and we have to find ways of dealing with that. the final point is on workforce training. almost all of the money we spend on that is wasted and it is billions and billions of dollars. i think if we thought about that workforce training money and the way we fund community
colleges around the question of moving people from earning this wage to earning this wage and evaluating it based on that, taking away money from people who can't make that jump, not americans but the people who are allegedly training americans to make that jump give more money to the people that are making that jump it would be shocking how many millions of more people in america today could support a family on what they are able to earn. i am quite optimistic on that last point because we have so much low hanging fruit and we are spending so much money in the wrong way that there is a huge opportunity for us to spend it in the right way and make a massive difference to millions of americans and also to the way our economy works generally. >> other questions? >> great conversation, senator
i wanted to ask you about government and the very aggressive agenda our fellow democrats are throwing out there is year. there is a desire to be bold and go big and not to be tepid and at the same time there is really deep mistrust of the instrument many have chosen to advance their progressive agenda. do you think about this or how do you think about reconciling our desire to be ambitious with this regard the public seems to have in the federal government's capacity or responsiveness? >> first of all i am from western state colorado we have a skepticism that goes back a long way and we still have it today. second i mentioned earlier the freedom caucus and i meant the word i used [ indiscernible - low volume ] their view is they
were going to inflict their outside of the mainstream view on anybody not just barack obama but john weiner as well destroyed his victor ship and made it possible for paul ryan to do anything, that guy left in the middle of a government shutdown. i believe very strongly that they need to be closed over. in other words they cannot be negotiated with and they will not allow themselves to be negotiated with. there is not a way to reach a bipartisan agreement with that subset of people. that is not all republicans but it is that group of people now we have a bunch of them that will make life very challenging there. i raise them because they have done such a good job in the name of that ideology of degrading the american people's view of government and our institution so much so that we
now have a reality tv star occupying 1600 pennsylvania avenue. while i think there are a number of reasons while that is true one reason is because we have such a diminished view of the federal government. i do not think having said all of that that the democratic party needs to be the defenders of bad government. where it doesn't work well we should stop doing it the way we are doing it and we should do it differently and we should be open to ideas. people in my state will not respond well to something they think has been created by a washington politician in a petri dish. they are just not. they want to know they have been consulted. that someone has bothered to wander around in the middle of america saying tell us how you are thinking about the economy or tax policy or climate. climate is a great example.
i think it is true for everything that we shouldn't be deciding in two your increments. we do damage to our economy in america with the tax code changes every two years or when regulations get pulled in and pulled out again. climate you cannot deal with climate in a successful way, in an aspirational way i would say even unless the policy choices you make are durable and can be sustained from congress to congress to congress. the only way you can do that is by building a real constituency for change outside of washington then bring that constituency for change to washington. we haven't done that. we think going on cable at night is the same thing as doing the hard work of building political coalitions and they are not the same thing. we have forgotten how to do it.
we've almost done none of it in a decade. what is the result? we have a healthcare bill through largely on partisan terms and now they've passed their tax bill largely on partisan terms. that is our record for a decade. there are a few things here or there but in the ordinary course of business we are doing nothing here. i think it is because we don't take the time to build the kind of coalitions that need to be built and i also think because there is a deep skepticism about the government's ability to do anything well. i think in many cases a well earned skepticism. it doesn't answer the entire question. >> thank you senator.
there was a viral moment a couple of months ago but when you think about and you talk about the possibility of running for president you are unlikely to be the viral candidate. in some ways you are the antiviral candidate. what i am wondering is is there room in this race for the antiviral candidate and what is the path for you? >> first of all we will have no idea who we are going to nominate for many many months. i can imagine where someone says democrats decide what we need is someone who we think can go toe to toe with trump on his terms. we won't have anyone like donald trump which is good but someone that is a fighter like donald trump and there might be people that argue we need
someone that is the opposite of donald trump. it is my view nobody including myself is ready to win right now, you're not supposed to say that out loud not necessarily ready to beat donald trump. that is what this process is about. we will see who gets and is able to take him on. i do think there is room in this field to have candidates that really want to speak the truth to the american people not just to democrats about what is at stake. as i said to the congressman earlier i think it is vital to beat donald trump. i feel as strongly about that is anyone in this room but it is not sufficient. we have to govern as i said earlier. it is not about the people in this room, it is about the kids in the denver public schools and school district in america like it you aren't getting a
chance to actually participate meaningfully in the economy or in the democracy from the very start and who feel and who are completely invisible to washington and national candidate. this will be a long road and i think that is good because i'm not sure they democrats know what we stand for today and i am not sure we know exactly who it is we want to have leaders and the only way we will figure that out is with a vigorous nominating process. >> other questions? >> by the way on the question of viral and not viral, and i certainly accept it that we live in a world of social media and all of us need to benefit from that and we all need to contend with that but we should think about the fact that not
even twitter runs it self with twitter. here in washington if you look at what goes on on a daily basis, how the agenda gets set, it is often set by what happens on the cable the night before and the number of americans that participate with politics on people's twitter feed. i think that is probably 12 or 13 million americans, maybe 14 million americans. their equities are very well represented in washington. very well, exceptionally well represented in washington. no one else's equities are including the kids i was talking about earlier. including the 320 million americans who are not obsessed with politics all day with respect to cspan3 . it is true. i mean it really is true. if we are going to do our jobs as elected officials well and
faithfully i think we have to understand that and be able to withstand the momentary twitter storm until we get to the other side and continue to work on stuff like how do we lift working families incomes again in america? >> you were talking earlier about my generations debt specifically as it relates to student loan debt. another one of the major problems my generation is basing his housing costs rents and the cost of buying a home. i was wondering if there any solutions you see that could be implemented in the next generation for this cost to be dissipated. >> by the way and i will come back to some other debts you are incurring. look we have one of the most vibrant economies in america and colorado and the majority of the people in my state and young people in particular but
everybody cannot afford some combination of housing as you just mentioned, healthcare, higher education and early childhood education. those things share some characteristics which is that they are what is required if you are going to live the middle-class life. the generation before you did not struggle in the same way generations out there are struggling now. i think on housing in particular i've been doing a lot of work around eviction policy to see what the federal government can do to incentivize other outcomes besides evictions when things are behind on their rent because the cost to society to individuals is massive and the cost to society is huge. i think we will have to think differently about building in urban places with more density and think differently about zoning to accomplish those tasks. even in rural parts of the
state we have housing issues i don't yet have a good answer on. the other debt i would suggest coming your way is the federal debt as well. it has become fashionable to say deficits don't matter. i'm not sure why we would pick a time to say that when a republican president house or senate gave us this massive deficit during a moment of very low unemployment. the last time that happened i think was during the vietnam war. their physical hypocrisy has been exposed in ways that it should have happened earlier going back to when they squandered the $5 trillion projected surplus that bill clinton left behind. now it is unclear on clear display. people of your generation quickly we will be at 30 trillion in terms of our national debt. we produced our discretionary
spending. what we are saying to you and i've lost you, what we are saying is not only are we not going to invest in you the way our parents and grandparents invested in us, not only are we not going to find a way for you to have affordable housing or be able to go to college, we are also going to borrow a whole bunch of money on our way to not investing in you and on our way to spending $5 trillion on tax cuts mostly for wealthy people and $5 trillion in the middle east, none of which is benefiting you but we will stick you with the bill. this is not an issue yet for young people in our country but i think it should be one. we are constraining your choices in ways that i think is deeply immoral and deeply unfair and from a generational point of view it is one more thing on the list of things you're not going to want to thank us for when we are done.
>> any other questions? >> your pension will be even better than that because we are not funding that either. think about education that ties these things together. you know there are different proposals about what should happen with teachers. in my city of denver where we recently had a teachers strike when i was the superintendent many years ago one of the things everyone loved about denver public schools was if you were a teacher you could afford to live there. people commonly rented apartments and houses and owned property. today they can't do that, 15 years later they are unable to afford it. teachers all over the country
can afford to live that middle- class life in the country. here is the reason why. the entire way we compensate teachers in america is based on a labor market that discriminated against women and said you have two professional choices, one is being a teacher and one is being a nurse. if you don't like that maybe you should teach in the denver public schools and we imagined and by the way we will make you get a masters degree that you will pay for and you will get debt to get that masters degree that isn't going to teach you how to teach and we will teach you this low current compensation that no one in your college class would ever accept for this important job but we will give you a pension 30 years from now that you know now we are not funding in which the old days sounded good to you because your spouse was likely to die before you and that would be your retirement.
and that labor market discriminating against women subsidized our k-12 system. we very often got the best british literature student in our class to come teach because the only other offer was to be a nurse. that hasn't been true for decades but that is our entire system today about how we attract, retain and compensate teachers in america. it is a great illustration for where there is not an easy answer, the policy choices are challenging and profound but we will continue to get the same results we were talking about earlier unless we are willing to confront it head-on and figure out how to change it. so many issues we are facing now i think our along those lines. it made sense a century ago but they don't make sense anymore and trying to figure out how we find our way through the
minutia of washington and the bureaucracy of washington and the legislative logjams we have to begin building and enduring polyp build enduring policies. this is not child's play and if our starting point is that we can never find an agreement with the other side we are doomed. again i am not talking about splitting the difference between two parties obsolete ideas. we do that all the time, that is called bipartisanship in washington. that is what it is. if we had gotten into something on the committee but what i am talking about is sort of founding principle that we have in this country which is that not that we would have an agreement it was that we would have disagreement. that was part of the reason to live in a republic, in a democracy. there was no tyrant to tell you what to think and out of this disagreement and this is the
way congress is supposed to work but doesn't, out of these disagreements we would forge more durable and more imaginative solutions than any one person could come up with on their own. that is what we have to find a way to do around here. it is really hard between the goal lines established by the cable talk shows hosts at night but it is something we have to do. elected leaders in this room are the ones i think will have to do it. >> i think you just encapsulated what the coalition is all about. it seems like a great way to wrap things up. our focus has been trying to figure out how to get at some of these problems through an lens. >> i am so grateful that is what you guys are doing and i don't want to lose the thought that it is both about the
imagination of people here and tough coalition building in the country. i think that is the combination of things on the path to work again as a democracy. >> folks if you will join me in sending her gratitude. thank you sir. next time we will get [ indiscernible - low volume ]. with that let me invite our vice chairwoman to close us out. >> i should say susan is the sponsor in the house of the american family act which i mentioned earlier so thank you. >> this comes to the end of our next conference. i want to thank all of our speakers, our panelists that everyone and everyone that helped pull this together and who participated. and all of you who engaged in this important discussion. we will take all of the information from today and move forward so we can continue to