Axios News Shapers event with policymakers on the 118th Congress agenda
On Wednesday, February 1, Axios politics reporters Eugene Scott and Alexi McCammond led conversations with policymakers on the agenda for the newly minted 118th Congress. Guests included Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.).
Rep. James E. Clyburn shared what continues to frustrate him the most surrounding the issue of police reform.
- On holding police officers accountable for their actions: “I think this whole issue of people not wanting to have things in place to keep people accountable. There are things in place, we have ethics laws for politicians…we’ve got ways to deal with doctors. So why is it that we cannot deal with police officers? Every police officer is not a good police officer.”
Rep. Nanette Barragán discussed how immigration system reform has been an ongoing challenge for decades and how immigration policy has become especially politicized in recent years.
- On immigration challenges during the Biden administration: “When you take a look at the numbers, you have to see the chart over the course of some 25 years, this has been an ongoing challenge under multiple presidents, including under the Trump administration. So to just basically say ‘oh well this is an issue now,’ is really taking something that’s not true and putting it out there. But we have people who are coming across right now in particular who are coming from societies like Nicaragua and Venezuela and Cuba. So these are regimes, there are those that are trying to escape authoritarian dictatorships…America has this tradition of being a nation of immigrants, being welcoming to those from regimes like this.”
Sen. Thom Tillis explained what he thinks the Republican party should focus on in the primaries for the 2024 presidential election.
- On the Republican primary and the 2024 presidential election: “I think the Republicans need to make a case to the American people. Primaries are good at getting people to elevate what they may have done at a state level, or based on their past careers assuming some of them have public service experience. They need to build a case for the American people. I think that America is divided right now and that we’re not particularly popular as elected officials, and they want to see a change in direction and I think a focus on the priorities that resonate with the American people, that comes out of the primary, it’ll come out of the general election process.”
Rep. Nancy Mace said that party infighting has been distracting Republican members of Congress from moving forward on legislative action.
- On party infighting as a distraction: “When you look at the issues that we’re facing, I mean, there are real problems in this country, civil rights issues that are happening, cybersecurity issues, the war with Russia and Ukraine, it affects us, too. I mean, there are just so many things happening in the world right now, and we’re not even able to have this conversation. We’re not even able to put legislation through regular order, through the committee process right now because we’re still not even fully organized with our committees. And that’s a problem for the American people.”
Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.