Feb 26, 2024

President Biden Welcomes the Nation’s Governors to the White House Transcript

President Biden Welcomes the Nation’s Governors to the White House Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsDr. Jill BidenPresident Biden Welcomes the Nation’s Governors to the White House Transcript

President Biden, Vice President Harris, and The First Lady welcome the nation’s governors to the White House during the National Governors Association Winter Meeting. Read the transcript here.

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Tom (00:15):

All right. Please be seated. It’s an honor and a privilege to introduce the First Lady this morning. Not only is she a remarkable First Lady, but for those who may be unaware, she is also a full-time professor in her other day job.

Dr. Jill Biden (00:36):

Yes, my angel.

Tom (00:38):

Yes. And when we travel, one thing I make sure I don’t do is talk to her on the plane. Why? Because she’s grading papers, quite literally. That is the extent of the scope of what she does. And later today, she will be joining the first spouses for lunch as they put together care packages for educators across the country. Dr. Biden has been traveling to communities across the country to highlight the administration’s commitment to making education more accessible, create pathways to good-paying jobs, and preparing our workforce to meet the growing demands of the modern era as we discussed earlier today. She works tirelessly, literally tirelessly day in and day out as Governor Greene can attest from the visit last year to Hawaii. She is a champion for so many people. And please join me in welcoming the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden. Thank you.

Dr. Jill Biden (01:48):

Thank you. Oh, thank you very much. Thank you. Please, please sit down. Thank you. Thanks.

So thank you, Tom. So Tom was telling me as we were walking in that you’ve had a good morning, so I’m glad that I’m walking into people in a good mood. So anyway, Mr. Chairman, thank you for your work and your efforts to foster a more constructive, respectful dialogue in our debates. And Joe is so grateful for your leadership.

And so I have to say that Governor Cox, I want to say I’m grateful to you and Abby for the warm welcome in Utah last month. So good morning everyone, and it’s great to be here with all of you. And Governor Scott, when I visited Vermont last year, what you said really stayed with me. You said pure partisan politics has never contributed to real solutions, and that we can and should prioritize progress over politics, especially on issues where the majority of Americans agree. That majority is an exhausted one, I think you’ve seen that as Governor Cox often points out. They’re frustrated by a Congress that is often mired in gridlock, and those who too often treat government like a sport with an us-versus-them mindset and a knee-jerk reaction to oppose anything the other team supports. But this room shows the nation something different. And I wish that the lawmakers on the Hill would follow your lead. You show that we can turn down the volume, stop the shouting, and actually listen to one another, that yes, as Governor Cox says, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

As many of you know, I’ve been teaching writing for 40 years as Tom referenced. So one day, a student named Harry who wanted to be an auto mechanic raised his hand, “Dr. B,” he said, “the only thing I need to learn how to write is ‘needs brakes.’ He was… Well, you finally got it. Come on, wake up. So he was joking of course. But he had a point. He wasn’t just there to learn the art of writing. He was there to help prepare himself for a good-paying job. For most people, a high school diploma alone isn’t enough to find a great career. But they don’t often need a four-year degree to pursue their passions either. And as technology brings changes to so many industries, these kind of learning paths are more important than ever.

Since he took office, my husband, President Biden, has been focused on rebuilding the middle class. I’m sure you’ve all heard him say that in your states. And today, millions of new jobs in infrastructure and clean energy and manufacturing are being created. We will need to train a new generation of workers to fill those jobs. And these positions pay well. Many of them require associate degrees or certificates or other hands-on instruction, not four years of college. Still, a lot of high school students don’t necessarily know how to get from earning their diplomas to earning a living. They may not even know what roles are out there. And that’s why we need to transform education so that it does a better job for preparing students for careers.

Nearly 60% of graduating high school students don’t go to a four-year college. 60%, six out of every 10 students. Are high schools designed to meet the needs of those students, the majority who don’t go directly to a four-year university? Too many schools aren’t. Yes, we should still expand access and affordability for students who want to go immediately to a four-year college after high school. But we also need to dramatically expand the opportunities that we provide for students who may pursue something else. And that means that everyone has a chance to explore future careers in high school. Career connected learning meets that need. And I’ve seen it around the country.

In Wisconsin, Governor Evers is scaling a model for starting apprenticeships in high school in fields from finance to nursing. In Vermont, Governor Scott is investing in dual enrollment and free community college. And in Indiana, I saw how students are getting training for careers in clean energy. These states show us what it looks like when students have access to comprehensive career advising, when they’re able to take community college courses in high school and even earn a credential and when they can earn high school course credit for working at a job. I believe in evidence-based models, not just theories. And we know that this works.

An Oregon study found that students who concentrated in particular career area, graduated high school at higher rates and went on to earn higher wages. So you’re probably saying… I mean, I know a lot of you’re doing this, so what can you do? You can build out and grow career connected programs in your state. And I know, like I said, many of you are already doing this because I’ve been to your states to see the programs. Some of you are providing comprehensive career advising. Some are prioritizing access to dual enrollment between high school and community college. And some have impressive programs that allow students to work in real workplaces as part of their high school curriculum. And some states are expanding credentialing opportunities so that students can work toward obtaining a career qualification while in high school. But not enough states are doing all these things all at once for every student. So that’s what’s crucial in unlocking the potential of career-connected learning.

So I’m asking all of you, if you’re not doing this already, to lean in. Go to the businesses in your state and tell them how apprenticeships can boost productivity and reduce turnover. Go to your community college and K-12 leaders and work with them to expand dual enrollment opportunities that connect all students to good-paying jobs. And use my office, use me as a resource. Reach out to us. Let us know how we can help you lift up the great work that you’re already doing. And I hope that when this group gathers next, that we have even more successes to show.

So thank you for listening this morning. I appreciate it. But before I go, I want to come around. You have this card on your table.

Speaker X (10:04):

[inaudible 00:10:07].

Dr. Jill Biden (10:07):

Okay. Y’all have it. So you know the Bidens are a military family. My dad Fought in World War II. My son, Beau, went to Iraq. So in… Oh, thanks. I have a teacher voice. I don’t need this. So I want to give you a little homework. So there are 15 million military-connected kids across our country. These kids need access to services. So I want you to take a look at your state and make sure that these kids are counted in your high school consensuses. Thank you.

Speaker X (10:51):

Consensus [inaudible 00:10:53].

Dr. Jill Biden (10:52):

Thanks. So that they can get everything that they need. They need

Dr. Jill Biden (11:00):

… Need so many programs and help. And so, if you can do that one more thing, I’d really appreciate it. And I know that your hearts are there, so I want to thank you beforehand for taking this to heart. This is your homework, so thank you so much for listening today. Thanks.

Speaker 1 (11:44):

Accompanied by the Vice President of the United States, the Governor of Utah, and the Governor of Colorado.

Governor Polis (12:24):

Mr. President. Madam Vice President. It is a great honor to be able to join you today with governors from across these United States and our territories and we appreciate the warm welcome. On behalf of the Bipartisan National Governor’s Association, I want to thank you and thank you for making so many members of your cabinet available to us as well this morning. We also appreciate your kind invitation to entertain us tomorrow evening here at the White House.

President Joe Biden (12:55):

I’m not singing.

Governor Polis (12:59):

In Colorado, we’ve been proud, Vice President Harris, to welcome you and your husband, Doug, a number of times, most recently for a Clean Energy Conference, which was a great success. I want to thank you for your enthusiasm for highlighting the work that we do in our state and other states across the nation towards achieving our renewable energy goals and the work that we are collaborating on the White House with to save people money on healthcare and make our state and our world a better place. As we all take actions at the state level, from improving our roads to expanding broadband access, our work is elevated and supported thanks to the accomplishments of your administration. We look forward to continue to push forward with these once in a lifetime opportunities to invest in the infrastructure of our states with you, Vice President, with the President, with our federal partners. I know that we all look forward to this strong partnership that we have between the Vice President and us in the States. It’s now my privilege to turn the floor over to the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris.

Vice President Kamala Harris (14:19):

Good morning, everyone. And I want to thank NGA Vice Chair Polis for the introduction and for your friendship, and it really has been my joy and honor to work with you and I send best from Doug as well. And I thank you for your principled and powerful leadership in Colorado. And to all the governors here today, thank you for your work and for continuing to uphold important traditions, including the important tradition of us working together across party lines. I think this is one of the few remaining professional organizations among elected leaders where there is meaningful bipartisan work that is happening. And I thank you for that.

As demonstrated by our administration’s record over the past three years, there are few leaders as committed to bipartisan collaboration than Joe Biden. President Joe Biden knows how to work across the aisle and across every level of government to make progress. Globally and domestically, he has a bold vision for our future and he has the strength, and I see it every day, and the skill and the courage and the determination to make that vision real. We are here today because we are all united by a common and collective purpose to create opportunity, prosperity and progress for the American people. As a former statewide elected leader, the Attorney General California, for two terms, I know firsthand the importance of state and federal collaboration. And, as Vice President, I have worked closely with many of you on issues like infrastructure, emergency response, and clean energy and on two issues that I will address briefly today, access to capital and maternal mortality.

First: Access to capital for small businesses. I don’t need to tell the Governors and the leaders here, America’s small businesses employ tens of millions of workers and generate trillions of dollars for our economy every year and their strength then is essential to a broad- based economic policy of growth. Growth which benefits businesses of all sizes. Small business owners are business leaders and they are civic leaders.

And so, building on the work that I help lead in the United States Senate, we have increased access to capital for the small businesses of America. President Biden and I are giving a total of $10 billion to states across our nation to invest in small businesses. And, as Vice President, I have had the honor of visiting almost half the states that are represented here today and I’ve seen, firsthand, the vitality of small business and knowing that that is essential to the vitality of our communities as a whole, not to mention how the growth of these small businesses generate tax revenue, which makes up, of course, a significant portion of the annual revenue of your states.

For these reasons, our focus has been to nurture the ambition and aspirations of everyone, from young entrepreneurs to multi-generational families, to help them with their success. And since taking office, we have seen a record number of small businesses in terms of their growth, the most small businesses ever created, in fact, in any three years in history, which is indicative of the overall growth of our economy.

In addition to access to capital together, we have also taken on the issue of the maternal mortality crisis. It is something we cannot talk about enough in terms of the significance of this crisis. For years, federal public policy has not adequately addressed that before, during, and after childbirth. American women die at a higher rate than in any other wealthy nation in the world. The women of America die at a higher rate than the women of any other wealthy nation in the world. Over the years, I have spoken with too many people who have suffered because of this crisis. Mothers who have lost babies, men who have lost their spouse, children who have lost a parent. And of the many factors that contribute to this crisis, one of the most significant is that millions of women in America, in particular in low income communities, do not have access to adequate postpartum care.

In fact, when we took office, the vast majority of American women on Medicaid were only entitled to two months of coverage for postpartum care. Meaning two months after giving birth, she could lose access to life-saving care such as cardiac screenings, mental health counseling, and vaccinations. When the President and I took office, only three states offered 12 months of care. And so, I issued a challenge to every state in our nation: Extend Medicaid postpartum coverage from two months to 12 months and thanks to the leaders in this room, the Governors in this room, so far, a total of 44 states have answered that challenge. Yes. Including, as of today, Alaska, and two more states are in the process of extending coverage. And so, we recall on the remaining states to please do the same.

In closing, these two seemingly unconnected issues, through the collaboration between our administration and the Governors who are here, have contributed to the overall strength of our nation and the wellbeing of millions of Americans. And I thank you for your work. And now, I will welcome a leader who has been a great partner on maternal mortality and mental health, the chairman of the NGA and Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox. Thank you.

Governor Spencer Cox (20:46):

Thank you so much, Madam Vice Chair… Vice chair. Can I call you that? Madam Vice President. Thank you for your kindness in welcoming us here today. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s truly an honor to be in this place. Mr. President, you have an amazing house and it never gets old being here-

President Joe Biden (21:05):

Always welcome.

Governor Spencer Cox (21:05):

We value the partnerships that we have with the federal government. Now, as you know, as Governors, we don’t have the luxury of partisan posturing. No matter what is going on in Washington, our states depend on us to get stuff done, to balance the budget, to keep the parks open, and the schools funded and the potholes filled, to get the lights back on after natural disasters. And Governors work together on these priorities much more than people realize.

Our agenda at the National Governor’s Association meeting this week includes sessions on artificial intelligence, housing affordability, disaster response, workforce development, all of the topics the Governor Polis mentioned and more. Governors share ideas on all of these priorities as well. We welcome the opportunity to work with your administration on these issues. Now, that is not to say that we always agree. I can

Governor Spencer Cox (22:00):

… can assure you that we don’t. We have our arguments and disagreements. Mr. President, I think you said, “We argue like hell, and then we get things done.” And that is true. But we’re determined to set an example for the country of bipartisan cooperation. We have a session today devoted entirely to healing the partisan divide and finding more constructive ways to disagree. As NGH’s chair this year, it’s my privilege to lead a focused initiative, and I chose a cause we call “disagree better”, because as you are well aware, we cannot make progress on any of the challenges I mentioned unless we solve the overarching challenge, the challenge of toxic polarization that is tearing our country apart. I know you agree that we’ll be much more effective in overcoming our nation’s challenges if we find ways to work together across party lines and across state lines. So thank you again for welcoming us. I look forward to our discussion.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honor to yield the floor to the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.

Joe Biden (23:00):

Thank you. Please, sit down. Thank you. If I were smart I’d leave right now.

Folks, thank you very much. Governor Cox, Governor Polis, all the governors for being here. I know you just heard… Did Jill already speak? My wife? Well what the hell am I doing here now? Jill enjoys traveling to your states and to advance priorities like education and workforce development. And thanks to Commonwealth for her leadership and her incredible partnership across the board. And to the members of our cabinet including former Governor, and we have two former governors here. Are they both here today? Governor Raimondo? Where’s my Secretary of Agriculture? Is he here? Well, he’s going to be here tomorrow. Tom Vilsack. He’s going to be here tomorrow. My Republican friends, I got bad news for you. I actually like working with you and it reminds me of the days I was in the Senate. We’d argue like hell and then we’d get things done.

But look, before I begin I want to say a few words about an important anniversary that we mark tomorrow. Two years ago, shortly before dawn, Russian troops marched across the border in Ukraine, and Putin believed he could easily bend the will and break the resolve of the free people of Ukraine. That he could roll into Ukraine and he would roll over them. Two years later he remains wrong. He didn’t do that. He wasn’t able to do that. Kyiv is still standing, Ukraine is still free, and the people of Ukraine remain unbowed and unbroken in the face of Putin’s vigorous onslaught.

This is due to their sheer bravery and their sacrifice, but it’s also due to us. Remember the United States pulled together a coalition of more than 50 nations, 50 nations to support Ukraine. We unified and expanded NATO. We can’t walk away now, and this’s what Putin is betting on. He’s betting on we’re going to walk away. That’s Robbie speaking to the G7 folks, some of the heads of the European Union and NATO today. That’s why I’m announcing more than 500 new sanctions in response to Putin’s brutal war of conquest, in response to Alexei Navalny’s death. Because make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Alexei’s death. Yesterday I met with Alexei’s wife and daughter in California where his daughter attends college. Alexei was a incredibly courageous man. His family is courageous as well. I assured them his legacy will continue to live around the world and we in the United States are going to continue to ensure that Putin pays the price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.

But let me be clear. The House of Representatives must pass the Bipartisan National Security bill. The bill provides urgent funding for Ukraine and it passed overwhelmingly in the Senate. And there’s no question, none, none, if the Speaker called for vote in the house, it would pass easily today. Instead, they went on vacation. I mean, it’s just… Look, folks, all kidding aside, history’s watching, the clock is ticking. Brave Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are dying. Russia, Russia is taking UK Ukraine territory for the first time in many months, but here in America, the Speaker gave the House a two-week vacation. They have to come back. They have to come back and get this done. Because failure to support Ukraine in this critical moment will never be forgotten in history. It will be measured and it will have impact for decades to come. And I want to thank all you governors here, and I urge you if you agree with me, and many of you do, to urge your congressional representatives to force this bill to be brought up. To prove America can be relied up on. America stands up for freedom. We never bow to anyone, particularly Putin.

Look folks, now on another important work we’re doing. I want to thank you all for delivering historic results for the American people. You’ve been incredible partners. Governors know the measure of success isn’t how many partisan points we score, it’s did we fix the problem? Did we fix the problem? We disagree on how to fix the problem many times. We’re all here for one reason, to fix the problems, to get things done for families, for communities, for the country. That’s why I kept my commitment to be President for all Americans, whether you voted for me or not. In fact, we’ve invested more in all we passed in red states than we have in blue states. That’s a fact. Billions of dollars more of it we passed was invested in red states than blue states. I came to office when the pandemic was raging and the economy was reeling, but we’ve turned things around with your help.

The American Rescue Plan provided $350 billion to state and local governments, and many of you put that money up for cops on the beat bringing down violent crime across the nation, which we’ve done. To bring a half a million teachers and other school personnel back into the classrooms, to prevent foreclosures and evictions, to keep 8 million families in their homes. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law made the most significant investment in our nation’s infrastructure in history. Well Eisenhower’s interstate Highway Bill maybe did it as much, but over 46,000 projects already. 46,000, and we’re just getting started. It’s just the beginning. Modernizing roads, bridges, railroads, ports, airports, public transit, clean water, high-speed internet, affordable high-speed internet, everywhere. I’ve stood with Governor Evers and Walz rebuilding the Blatnik Bridge. By the way, as you know over a billion dollars. And it’s important, from Wisconsin to Minnesota. Governor Beshear and Governor DeWine, we’re building a bridge called the Brent Spence Bridge between Kentucky and Ohio. By the way, tens of thousands of trucks and commerce cross those bridges every day, and we’re finally getting it done. We’re building the nation’s first high speed rail line in California and Nevada, and I want to thank Governor Newsom for his leadership in that. And by the way, I’m not sure how many people who leave LA can do it in two hours to get there, whether they’re going to come back or not to Las Vegas.

Put all kidding aside, we’re making the biggest investment ever in climate change ever. I visited your states working together to respond and build and boost resilience to extreme weather. Spent an awful lot of time, and I’m not complaining about it, I’m just pointing it out. An awful lot of time with a lot of you governors over the last three years dealing with the impacts of bad weather. I’ve flown over your states, particularly in the Southwest and the West and the Northwest for I don’t know how many times, and helicopters looking to timber burned to the ground. We’ve lost more timber, we’ve lost more forest than the entire state of Maryland makes up in land, in square miles. We’re building a cleaner, more reliable power grid, promoting clean energy and advanced manufacturing industries of the future. Made in America. Made in America.

One of the things that I didn’t know, maybe you knew, but I’d been around a long time in the Congress, I didn’t know when they passed the legislation relating to the right of labor to organize in the ’30s that there’s a provision that said if the Congress gives the President money to invest in America, to build things in America, to spend money in America, to spend money for America, they should do two things. One, they should hire Americans to do it, and two, they should use American products. Well guess what? Didn’t happen in Democrat or Republic administrations for the longest time? And so guess what happened? We are no longer disclosing just in factories in your states. What was happening the last 20 years in all of our states, including my state of Delaware? People were putting the business aside, labor’s cheaper overseas. So we export the factory and import the product. Well, we’re building factories here in America now, not overseas.

So far my investment in America has attracted $650 billion. $650 billion in private investments, bringing factories, jobs back home to your states, and restoring a sense of pride. How many times you see people in your states had that factory work… Maybe only employed 500 to 2,000 people and for generations, people, family after family showed up and worked in that factory and all of a sudden it’s gone. It’s overseas. But now they’re coming back. They’re coming back, and with a pride is coming back. For example, I was with Governor Hochul in Syracuse, New

Joe Biden (33:00):

… New York. Micron is investing $100 billion to both chip factories, an area the size of 40 football fields. Well across the country, over the next 20 years, we’re going to create 50,000 jobs across the semiconductor supply chain. 50,000 jobs. And by the way, if you work in one of their fabs, you know how much you make? You don’t need a college degree, a 110 to $112,000 a year. Folks, look, we’ve ignited a manufacturing boom with your help: semiconductor boom, a battery boom, a jobs boom all along the way. With your help, we’ve cut the federal deficit as well. We cut the deficit by doing all this by $1 trillion so far. The biggest reduction in history in deficit reduction.

I’ve signed legislation, going to cut the federal deficit by another $1 trillion over the next decade. And it’s clear we have the strongest economy in the world, and that’s not hyperbole. We have the strongest economy in the world today.

Nearly 15 million new jobs created a record. Growth is strong. Ranges are strong, rising faster than prices. Inflation is down, more to do. And folks, folks are starting to feel it. Positive consumer sentiment surged 30% the last three months. The biggest jump in 30 years. We’ve got more to do. I’m not suggesting it’s done yet.

America has filed a record 16 million new business applications the vice president talked about across the country since we came to office. And with your help, every one, every one of those filings is an act of hope. Think about it. It’s an act of hope, investing.

They believe they can do something and we’re just getting started. We’re going to keep fighting to lower the cost of families and everything from prescription to drugs to housing. For example, we capped insulin for seniors and Medicare $35 a month instead of as much as $400 a month. Well, let’s make that $35 available to everyone in your states. Everyone.

That, and other actions of lowering prescription drug costs are not only good for the people, they save the taxpayers billions and billions of dollars. The action on prescription drugs thus far has already reduced the deficit by another $160 billion. Hear me? $160 billion, because Medicare is not paying out 400 bucks, they’re paying out 35 bucks. Taxpayers are being saved money as well.

And by the way, they’re still making a profit, in some cases of 300%. Because we don’t have to pay these exorbitant prices, we’re also lowering housing costs to boost supply.

Today, with your help, we’re record 1.7 million housing units are under construction nationwide. We know we need more and I’ve sent Congress an ambitious plan to do more. I appreciate your help to get it passed. We’re partners in this work and you’ve been leading the way before us, many of you.

There’s one other piece of unfinished business I want to talk about: the border. My first day in office as president, the first bill I sent, I sent up a comprehensive plan to fix the immigration system. And I think you all have at your table, if I’m not mistaken, because I don’t want to take the time to go on all the detail, a fact sheet on the bipartisan border deal. And it’s titled Fact Sheet: Impact of Bipartisan Border Deal on Funding Border Operations. And it lays out all the things that it does, that compromise.

We introduced a comprehensive plan to fix the system. It included funding for high-tech border security, legal pathways for DREAMEers, addressed through causes of why so many people are fleeing to the southern border to avoid violence, corruption, political instability, natural disasters.

Folks, Congress has had a long proud history of bipartisan history and immigration reform and abiding by our international treaty obligations, which we signed relating to immigration. These reforms made America a nation of laws, a nation of immigrants, and the strongest economy in the world.

But something changed. Over time, our laws and our resources haven’t kept up with our immigration system, and it’s broken, and our politics has failed to fix it. That’s why months ago I instructed my team to begin the series of negotiations in a bipartisan group of senators. Democrats were led by a very conservative Republican who did a hell of a job–to fix our immigration system.

I provided each of you, as I said, the fact sheet with the details of that bipartisan deal. The bipartisan agreement represents the most fair and humane reforms in the long time. I didn’t get everything I wanted in it.

It also includes the toughest set of reforms to secure the border ever in history. The border patrol chief himself said, “We need more people. We need more agents on the line.”

Our bipartisan bill got the border patrol agents they need. It funds and hires 1,500 more agents and officers. 1005… 100 more immigration judges, 4,300 more asylum officers to get asylum decisions in months instead of years. Right now, they come through the border, an asylum. They don’t… not able to see an asylum officer.

They get a bracelet and they could put in the country and they say, “Come back in seven years. Come back in seven years when we’re able to hear your case.” Provides more cutting-edge inspection machines to detect and stop fentanyl getting across the border. It funds what many of you governors need to help shelter migrants as a win for the future of the American people and a win for your states. But then as we all know, petty politics intervened.

The speaker of the House has refused to vote on the bill even though, again, there’s significant support. Every Republican I’ve… Talk to your Republican colleagues. There are the votes on that floor to pass that bill. All of a sudden, people started to go silent, but they’re in a tough spot.

Tell that to the border patrol that we can’t get this done. They support this bipartisan bill. Tell that to the Chamber of Commerce, the National Chamber of Commerce, who supports that proposal. Tell that to the Wall Street Journal editorial page that supports this. There are governors in this room who support it. Strong minorities oppose it, but a significant majority in the House and Senate support it.

Folks, doing nothing is not an option. Compromise is part of the process. I didn’t get everything I wanted in that deal. We didn’t deal with DREAMEers, we didn’t do a number of things I think we should do. But you know, it’s a positive step, a significant step. You know that. You deal with this every day. Some of you deal with it every single day.

You have real skin in the game. So if this matters to you, it matters to your state, tell your members of Congress who are stand in the way. Show a little spine, pass the bipartisan security bill, notwithstanding you may reap the wrath of one or more of your colleagues.

Look, it’s the strongest border deal our country has ever seen. It also includes the most fair and humane reforms for legal immigration in a long time. Let’s get it done.

And by the way, speak to your agricultural communities and ask them if they need temporary workers. Why are we making the kinds of progress we’re making economically when the rest of the world is in a standstill in agriculture, basically?

Look, let’s keep working to fix the entire system. I hope you all can help.

Let me close to this: I appreciate Governor Cox’s effort to make the mission of the NGA, to get those of us who disagree with one another to listen to one another, to treat one another with a sense of dignity and respect. That’s what you guys do. And women do more than most. That’s essential part of America. That’s how we get things done.

That’s how democracy works. When it works, it needs to be able to have that kind of exchange. And when folks in your state look around and see more factories coming in, more shovels in the ground, more people going to work, more access to affordable internet, I hope they feel the pride, the pride in their hometowns, making a comeback. The pride in America.

Folks, I know some people think I am a little too optimistic. I’m incredible optimistic, but I hear I’m more optimistic about this nation’s future than I’ve ever been.

We just have to remember who in the hell we are. I mean this from the bottom of my heart. We’re the United States of America for God’s sake. Nothing, nothing, nothing is beyond our capacity.

When have we ever set a national goal we failed? When? When have we ever not come out of a crisis stronger than we went into the crisis? Nothing’s beyond our capacity if we work together.

So let’s keep working together because you’re the best hope we have–the governors, and God bless you all. May God protect our troops. Thank you.

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