April 18, 2011
Delegation of Legislators Discuss Top State Priorities with President Obama and Vice President Biden
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, a bipartisan delegation of 11 state legislators visited the White House to discuss deficit reduction and health care reform, voice their opposition to unfunded and under-funded federal mandates, and promote the Main Street Fairness Act. The lawmakers were in Washington participating in the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Spring Forum.
“I think we were heard, he’s a former state legislator, which he brought up, so he knows what pressures we’re facing,” said Senator Richard Moore of Massachusetts, NCSL’s president. “He directed his staff to continue to work with us and hammer out solutions that are sensitive to states’ needs.”
“Following our visit, I feel the President and Vice President better understand the states’ perspective on some critical issues. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to find solutions that do not simply shift costs to the states,” said Senate President Stephen Morris of Kansas and NCSL’s President-Elect. “Certainly, this process is challenging, but the President will find better solutions by working with state legislators and legislatures.”
Meeting in the Roosevelt Room, the legislators first discussed issues concerning the implementation of federal health reform with Jeanne Lambrew, deputy director of the White House Office of Health Reform. Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, followed, giving the lawmakers an opportunity to discuss the importance of the Main Street Fairness Act to states. The legislators were then joined by President Obama and Vice President Biden.
The group of legislators included:
- Senator Richard Moore (Mass.), NCSL president
- Senator Stephen Morris (Kan.), NCSL president-elect
- Representative Terie Norelli (N.H.), NCSL vice president
- Senator Donald Balfour (Ga.), NCSL immediate past president
- Speaker Rebecca D. Lockhart (Utah)
- Representative Gregory D. Wren (Ala.), co-chair, NCSL Task Force on Health Care Implementation
- Representative Herb Conaway (N.J.), co-chair of NCSL Task Force on Health Care Implementation
- Representative Rosie Berger (Wyo.), co-chair, NCSL Task Force on Deficit Reduction
- Representative Barbara Ballard (Kan.), president, National Black Caucus of State Legislators
- Representative Joe Hackney (N.C.), North Carolina Minority Leader and Past NCSL President
- Senator Jeremy Nordquist (Neb.), chair, NCSL Health Committee
- William Pound, Executive Director, NCSL
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.