WASHINGTON — Gov. Mary Fallin and other governors met Tuesday with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss ways to work together on some of the nation's challenges.
“Governors do have good ideas, and we want a seat at the table to be able to help solve our nation's problems, whether it's Medicaid, whether it's transportation and infrastructure issues,” Fallin said after the White House meeting.
Fallin, the chairman of the National Governors Association, said she and other members of the group's executive committee also talked about education, energy, job creation and the importance of maintaining the strength of the National Guard. The Guard, she said, was critical to rescue and recovery efforts after the tornadoes last year.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat and vice chairman of the governors association, told reporters after the meeting that the governors also discussed domestic energy production and the need for a regulatory framework that environmental groups and the oil and gas industry could accept.
A White House statement after the meeting said the president “committed to working with governors on strategic investments in transportation and infrastructure to grow the economy, and to build on the important work that is underway in many states on expanding access to early education.”
Earlier Tuesday, Fallin testified before a House committee that is starting to develop a long-term plan for building and repairing roads and bridges.
Speaking on behalf of the governors association, Fallin said the federal government shouldn't “disengage” from funding road projects, even though the states have been picking up more of the cost in recent years.
She also cautioned against federal tax law changes that would make state and municipal bonds less attractive to investors.
The governor is scheduled to speak at the National Press Club on Wednesday about how states are faring.