Gov. Ralph DLG Torres participated in three of the eight breakout sessions during the four-day 111th Annual Winter Meeting of the National Governors Association, which ended last Monday in Washington, D.C.
Torres joined discussions on issues concerning workforce development and rewarding careers, improving healthcare and drug pricing, and infrastructure and industries of the future. President Donald J. Trump’s senior staff and some Cabinet members were also present in the meeting.
National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow, Council of Economic Advisers chair Kevin Hassett, and Trump advisor Ivanka Trump talked on how federal government can forge partnerships in workforce development and continue the economy’s job growth.
Kudlow discussed the nation’s economic resurgence under Trump that included job creation and wage gains that benefit U.S. workers while Hassett talked about the number of job openings and the skills gap. Ivanka Trump addressed the governor on the administration’s workforce development initiatives, legislative priorities, and pledge to U.S. workers.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma, Domestic Policy Council director Joe Grogan, DPS special assistant to the president Katy Talento, and National Economic Council SAP Brian Blasé talked on improving healthcare and drug pricing.
The discussions centered on ideas that would control healthcare costs and increasing competition, policies for a sustainable Medicaid program, ways that would give flexibility to stats in administering the said program, rural healthcare system challenges, and how to improve the healthcare partnership between state and federal government.
Transportation chief Elaine Chao and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross talked about infrastructure and industries of the future where they each discussed federal regulatory inefficiencies, permitting process that delay infrastructure projects, how federal money could be used to increase infrastructure investments, and how states address their backlogs.
“[The] president has repeatedly emphasized the need to invest in America’s crumbling infrastructure, calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan infrastructure investment that will rebuild our crumbling roads, aging bridges, crowded airports, and deliver the 21st century infrastructure that Americans want,” said the White House in a statement.
“The Trump administration has already made progress on streamlining the federal permitting of infrastructure projects through the One Federal Decision Making initiative.”