Governor Abbott Meets With President Trump And Federal Officials In Washington D.C.
Governor Greg Abbott today met with a number of federal officials in Washington D.C including President Donald Trump and various cabinet secretaries to discuss a range of issues facing Texas and our nation. During the meetings, the Governor spoke about number of different topics such as healthcare reform, infrastructure, trade, Harvey recovery, and school safety. A readout of the meetings can be found below.
Governor Abbott met with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on healthcare reform. The Governor asked about ways to implement cost containment measures, expressing his concern about the rising cost of healthcare in Texas and across the country. That conversation was followed by a discussion with other governors on additional ideas to control costs, increase competition and allow for more innovation and flexibility in the healthcare market.
The Governor later met with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney on improving the nation’s infrastructure. During the meeting, Governors from across the country discussed President Trump’s plan to provide $1.5 trillion of investment for the country’s aging infrastructure. This plan includes fixing the broken permitting process, supporting rural America’s infrastructure, and investing in workforce development. Administration officials laid out multiple ways that the President’s proposal empowers Governors and other state and local leaders.
Governor Abbott then met with President Donald Trump and Governors from across the country on school safety. The Governor talked about what Texas has done to keep our schools safe, and emphasized the importance of taking further actions to make sure we are doing all we can to secure the safety of students and teachers.
As Hurricane Harvey recovery remains a top priority for Texas, Governor Abbott met with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Deputy Secretary Pam Patenaude. During the meeting they discussed the importance of working together to speed up the process for providing Texas with necessary Community Development Block Grant funding. He thanked Secretary Patenaude and HUD for their commitment to helping Texas families recover, while also expressing the continued urgency of helping Texans affected by Harvey receive the resources they need to continue the rebuilding process.
Governor Abbott also spoke with Administration officials regarding trade, specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As negotiations on NAFTA continue, the Governor once again emphasized the economic importance to Texas of trade with Canada and Mexico and how beneficial NAFTA has been for the state's economy.
The Governor met with FEMA Administrator Brock Long to discuss the ongoing recovery in Texas following Hurricane Harvey. Both sides talked about their mutual commitment of making sure Texans continue to receive the help they need, and working together to get relief to Texans faster.
The Governor concluded the day with a meeting with Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, the Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Governor Abbott discussed the importance of constructing, and plans for building, projects in Texas to prevent future flooding. Governor Abbott has maintained that Texas’ goal is to rebuild faster and smarter following Hurricane Harvey, and these mitigation projects are essential to minimizing the impact of future natural disasters.