Bobby Franklin is president and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, a D.C.-based lobbying group whose members comprise a majority of the country's VC and growth equity firms. He recently spoke to Axios about issues of interest to startup investors, including immigration, healthcare and taxes:

On legal immigration reform:

"I'm not as optimistic as I was before Trump's election. In fact, I'm more skeptical. The issue for years has been that Democrats insist on a comprehensive policy that deals with both legal and illegal immigration, which basically holds legal immigration hostage to Republicans, who want to first focus on illegal and then maybe get to legal. Now I think both sides have even more reason to hold on to their positions, even though we do have our champions on both sides of the aisle. I guess that makes me a contrarian."

On Obamacare:

"I haven't heard from our members on if they want us to engage of repeal or replacement. They're much more concerned about issues like the FDA and reimbursement."

On taxation:

"When I watched the debates it seemed like the only policy issue Clinton and Trump even mentioned was changing carried interest. But they were talking about it in the context of Hillary's fat cat friends on Wall Street, so I don't think it was aimed at VCs. I think we have very good arguments for why carry shouldn't be changed for venture. There are a lot of people in this country who feel left behind, and changing tax treatment will make it more difficult for companies in those areas to get funded."

On Trump tech meeting:

"I'm glad we weren't at that table. And I really mean that we weren't, in the more general sense, because there are increasing policy differences between established tech companies and startups, on issues like patents and stock options. A lot of what mattered to the people there isn't what matters to us."

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
34 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes.

  • A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."