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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

Axios-Ipsos poll: Trust in federal coronavirus response surges

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Trust surged in the federal government since President Biden's inauguration when it comes to COVID-19 — but that's almost entirely because of Democrats gaining confidence, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Americans reported the biggest improvement in their mental and emotional health since our survey began last March, and the highest trust levels since April about the federal government providing them accurate virus information and looking out for their best interests.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

8 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.