Expand the section navigation mobile menu

Political Science

Anibal House, Room 211
630 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2352

Political Science

Anibal House, Room 211
630 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2352

Three female politicians seated on stage in front of a projector. One is speaking into a microphone.

Center for Civic Engagement

At Oakland University we train scholars and future professionals. But more importantly, we help build informed and active citizens with an eye toward issues of public concern and importance locally, nationally and globally. Our students are empowered to think about dynamic solutions to tackle real-world problems. We challenge the status quo and train tomorrow’s leaders to collaboratively approach complicated problems and unearth new solutions that will move our communities forward.

The Oakland University Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) takes important issues of public concern and public policy out of the classroom and actively engages many different stakeholders — includes students, faculty, policy makers and community members — in non-partisan, deliberative and productive dialogue. Indeed, democracy is better served through respectful discussions about important issues.

In short, the Center for Civic Engagement acts as a “convener of conversations” on a variety of issues that impact the local, state and federal levels. These types of events are designed to lead to a more informed citizenry in the surrounding communities.

The Oakland University Center for Civic Engagement serves the OU and surrounding community by:

  • Informing the campus and community about important issues of public concern through non-partisan dialogue
  • Supporting and undertaking efforts to enhance civic engagement and civic literacy
  • Promoting research related to public policy to inform policy makers and the public
  • Encouraging student involvement in civic engagement and public policy through volunteerism, internships and experiential learning 

For more information on the Center for Civic Engagement, please contact Dave Dulio at ddulio@oakland.edu.

The CCE translates academic knowledge into experiential learning by sending our students and faculty into the community to build solutions. As a “convener of conversations,” we invite and host policy experts to campus and create opportunities for the community to attend panels and engage with these experts. We provide forums for public dialogue to take place, host elected officials on campus to discuss important issues of the day, and work to take OU faculty into the community to share their expertise on a wide range of topics. Utilizing technology, these conversations are shared with an even larger audience through podcasts and social media channels. Where appropriate, CCE partners with community organizations — civic, nonprofit and other public organizations in southeastern Michigan and across the state — to expand our reach into different communities. We aim to help create a more informed citizenry and build democracy through non-partisan, respectful and deliberative discussions about important issues of public concern and policy.


My name is Dave Dulio and I am a professor in the Political Science Department at Oakland University. I’m also really pleased to say that I am the director of a new and exciting initiative here at OU – the Center for Civic Engagement.

Generally, “civic” refers to those aspects of our lives that involve being an active participant in our democratic society. Activities for the Center will focus on things like political participation, enhancing civic literacy, and hosting civil, respectful, and deliberative conversations about issues of public concern.

Civic engagement on our campus is not new; it has been happening here for years. In fact, that’s why we are here at historic Meadow Brook Hall. Civic engagement at OU can be traced back to Matilda Dodge Wilson, OU’s founder, who was the first female lieutenant governor or Michigan (or any state) and who served on the state board of education. One could say that civic engagement is in our blood. In more recent years, we’ve hosted a presidential primary debate and had numerous dignitaries visit campus to address our students and members of the community. We’ve also created special collections in Kresge Library featuring former members of Congress and hosted countless of discussions about issues ranging from election results to foreign policy.

The Center will work to broaden these efforts and make them more accessible, conduct them more intentionally, and support the efforts of others who engage in civic engagement efforts across campus.

One of the main goals of the Center is to establish for Oakland University as a “convener of conversations” related to issues of public importance. This could be in the form of town hall meeting focused on issues or with elected officials, panel discussions about relevant public policy issues, candidate debates, or other formats.

The opportunities to expand civic engagement work on campus are nearly boundless and extend to all corners of campus. Issues of public (and campus) concern stretch across our institution.

In the weeks, months, and years to come look for the Oakland University Center for Civic Engagement to be the pre-eminent platform for civic engagement work in Southeast Michigan.

Upcoming Events

To be determined. 

Past Events
Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Democratic Primary Debate 

May 24, 2022
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
the Oakland Center Founders Ballrooms
OU News: OU to host Democratic primary debate May 24

Oakland University and the Center for Civic Engagement hosted the 11th Congressional District Democratic primary debate featuring U.S. Representative Haley Stevens and U.S. Representative Andy Levin. The debate was moderated by Emily Lawler of the Detroit Free Press and Chad Livengood of the Detroit News.

All attendee were invited to submit questions for the candidates. The debate moderators were then furnished with all questions submitted to help them ask about the issues that are of greatest interest.

The Changing Landscape of College Athletics

Virtual via Zoom
October 14, 2021
7–8 p.m.
Register here: https://tinyurl.com/vfzb3xb4

Athletics is an important part of the fabric not only of a college campus but life in the United States generally.

Join the Center for Civic Engagement and the Department of Athletics for a conversation on how college athletics is evolving and adapting, from the adoption of new “name, image and likeness” laws around the country, to a 2021 U.S. Supreme Court decision stating that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits, and many others.

Our panel of experts will discuss “The Changing Landscape of College Athletics.”

  • Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst
  • Representative Joe Tate, Michigan’s 2nd District
  • Madelyn Cislo, OU Women’s Swimming and Diving
  • Jalen Moore, OU Men’s Basketball
  • Greg Kampe, Head Coach OU Men’s Basketball
  • Steve Waterfield, OU Athletics Director
  • Rico Beard, 97.1 The Ticket, will serve as moderator

David Dulio, Oakland University: Good evening, my name is Dave Julio and i'm a professor in the political science department and the director of the Center for civic engagement at oakland university.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Thank you for joining us for the changing landscape of college athletics program we're doing an aggregate with the athletics department.

David Dulio, Oakland University: If you bend to the some of the center's events in the past, you know that we look to build bridges across campus to show that civic engagement reaches every corner of campus.

David Dulio, Oakland University: we're delighted that the leadership in the athletics department was excited to partner with us for this event.

David Dulio, Oakland University: we've got a great group of effort of experts, this evening to discuss this changing landscape in college sports that includes new name image and likeness rules, the transfer portal Supreme Court decision and many others.

David Dulio, Oakland University: We won't spend a lot of time with introductions our guests are so well renowned and have such impressive backgrounds that we'd spend the entire hour going through all of their accolades.

David Dulio, Oakland University: joining us tonight are Jay bilas one of espn lead college basketball analysts that you can see, on college gameday every Saturday during the College basketball season.

David Dulio, Oakland University: He played basketball at Duke under coach K he's also an attorney, in addition, he has been one of the nation's leading voices on name image and likeness rules and other ncaa related issues facing student athletes.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Joe Tate represents the second district in the Michigan House of Representatives he's one of the co authors of the legislation that created the new name image and likeness law here in Michigan.

David Dulio, Oakland University: he's also a former Ms youth football player, so he knows both sides of these issues that will discuss tonight.

David Dulio, Oakland University: If you know oh you athletics our next guest really needs no introduction.

David Dulio, Oakland University: head basketball coach Greg campy he's entering his 38 season with Open University and he's won more than 600 games in his coaching career.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Madeline says slow swimmers butterfly and individual medley for all US swimming and diving team she's a member of the horizon league all academic team and, as a former lead champion in the 400 yard, I am.

David Dulio, Oakland University: jalen more is a member of the men's basketball team here at oh you last year he scored in double figures 26 times.

David Dulio, Oakland University: He led the team in points assists double doubles free throw attempts free throw makes and minutes he also led the nation in assists and he was named to the horizon league first team after last season.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Steve waterfield is oh use athletic director he's in his fourth year at all you after serving as executive associate athletic director for the University of nebraska.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Is huskers are now open to in football versus the state of Michigan this year.

David Dulio, Oakland University: And last but not least, Rico beard who will serve as our moderator this evening is a giant Michigan sports journalism.

David Dulio, Oakland University: He may be best on these days, for his work on 97 one the ticket where he is the Co host of the Mike valenti show with Rico that airs weekdays from two to 6pm now that's an all star panel if i've ever seen one.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Before I hand it over to Rico just a note on logistics members of the audience are encouraged to submit questions via the Q amp a function at the bottom of your zoom window and we'll get to as many of them, as we can, thanks again for being here and take it away Rico.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Who is still muted.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Rico you're muted.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Rico still muted.

Rico Beard: Alright sorry.

Rico Beard: The zoom stuff alright, my apologies, all right let's just jump straight into this go right into the deep end and this question is for for J bill is for coach can't be for Steve waterfield.

Rico Beard: what's the biggest changes that you've seen when it comes to college athletics, is it the NIH is that the transport portal, or is it something totally different.

Jay Bilas: Well i'll i'll jump into the water first Rico.

Jay Bilas: I think the answer may surprise some the biggest change in college athletics over my time in it, since 1982 has been the explosion of revenue.

Jay Bilas: it's not nfl it's not the transfer portal, if you saw it today, USA today put out its annual coaches salary information, since 1986.

Jay Bilas: Football coaches salary, the average salary is up 957% so when people say that that man it's a big change within I oh man it's a big change with a transfer portal.

Jay Bilas: we've had monumental change in college athletics, since the the board of regents case in 1984 the last time, the nc double a was before the Supreme Court before the Austin case.

Jay Bilas: But the the explosion, that the monumental change was in the explosion in revenue and there was no one in college athletics, that said pump the brakes here, you know, this is not what this is about.

Jay Bilas: So I see the changes of late that we're dealing with now as having come too late, frankly, that they should have been put in place, years ago, if not decades.

Jay Bilas: And, and we should have been used to this by now it's a multi billion dollar business and I look at at the economic rights of athletes as being a civil rights issue.

Jay Bilas: And I think the courts are catching up certainly the Supreme Court in the Austin case did on on one segment of that case.

Jay Bilas: But I think the signal is pretty clear that when further, and I trust cases come before the Supreme Court.

Jay Bilas: The nc double a is not going to fare very well and and athletes economic rights are going to increase rather than decrease I happen to believe that's a good thing, and we can certainly adjust to it.

Jay Bilas: and individual market competitors may they be conferences or individual schools can make their own decisions that's how they want to handle their athletes, but the the cartel behavior of the nc double a is not going to continue, and I think they know it.

Rico Beard: can't be or Steve would you like to jump in.

Greg Kampe: Let Steve go.

Steven Waterfield: yeah I think Jay makes a great point about the revenue piece of it to me, I think the Austin case in the and I trust piece of it will have the biggest long term effects.

Steven Waterfield: In college athletics and.

Steven Waterfield: And like Jay said I think it's a good thing and we'll go more into that but I think having that that freedom that flexibility that any college student would have.

Steven Waterfield: Our student athlete should have that as well, and I think it's a good thing, but I think that's going to be the domino and there's gonna be a lot more dominoes.

Steven Waterfield: And the incident has got a constitutional Convention coming up that little see changes in the governance structure, I think it all three levels.

Steven Waterfield: But I think the first domino Austin because it was pretty clear based on that supreme court case that and I trust protection is quite unlikely.

Steven Waterfield: For the nc double a and because of that it opens up, I think a host of questions, but I think a host of opportunities, the end of the day, I think, will be positive.

Greg Kampe: recall from my standpoint, you know the coaches are the boots on the ground guy and.

Greg Kampe: All the court cases and that we at least I know I do, and I think i'm involved in a lot of committees and what the Congress of the of the coaches in that and.

Greg Kampe: The big thing for us is we, we want it trickles down and is done, we are, we are left to right this is what the rules are now you have to deal with it, and I think that there's a lot of different views on coaches.

Greg Kampe: And I think a lot of different coaches do things differently, a lot try and do things what we would say the proper way, but the bottom line is we are in the business to win games and our student athletes, you know, we want the best players that we can get and we want what's best for them.

Greg Kampe: These rights that they're coming that are coming to them, and the money and things like that I don't think any coach or at least the majority of us care about that.

Greg Kampe: I think that we have to know what the rules are, and then we have to play by the rules, I do think players for years, especially in the like, for example.

Greg Kampe: jalen who's on the call here I when when it came down one of the things I told him is the best thing you can do if you want to make some money.

Greg Kampe: Is go run a basketball camp I don't know why a player with his skill set he's well known, you know.

Greg Kampe: His name has led nation and assists what young 10 year old 12 year old point guard wouldn't want to go to his camp and have him jalen reach out and touch them in a basketball camp situation with.

Greg Kampe: teaching them how to you know, do the things that a point guard should do.

Greg Kampe: And I was really excited that he was able to do that and make money off it and, and I think all coaches believe that I just think right now, things are coming out of so fast.

Greg Kampe: And you know coaches have opinions and one of the problems with us as we try and voice those opinions and they're always not taken the right way, so i'm just trying to keep my mouth shut and.

Greg Kampe: watch what happens and help my players, you know, like jalen and I are going to meet next week on taxes, you know he's he's got some money coming in and he's got understand the tax ramifications of that so so my job in my spot here is to help him.

Rico Beard: With Jay you know what I want to go back to something that you said and use a term that I guess, I never really thought about when it comes to athletes, you said it was a civil rights issue.

Rico Beard: Because you think about you know going back into the 16th for those old enough to remember that type of thing, so are you basically saying that the amateurism in college sports that's that should just be a dead thing, or is it dead already.

Jay Bilas: Well, if it's not dead it's on life support, and you know i've never believed in the principle of amateurism I I don't see how you can run a multi billion dollar business that pays coaches millions and accepts.

Jay Bilas: millions of dollars, you know hundreds of millions of dollars and billions really in in.

Jay Bilas: In meteorites deals apparel deals, you name it, I mean, I think I think college athletics what is a 14 $15 billion a year enterprise.

Jay Bilas: And you can tell one segment of that business that you get your expenses your educational expenses and that's it.

Jay Bilas: To me that's that's wrong to the point of being immoral and if these players would like I can just speak on the basketball side i'll keep it to that.

Jay Bilas: They call it men's and women's basketball they don't call it boys and girls, these are not kids they're adults, they may be young adults but they're adults.

Jay Bilas: More non athletes get scholarships and athletes and no non athlete is told what they can earn or accept in the marketplace, by virtue of being a student.

Jay Bilas: Only an athlete is told that and and I have always believed that to be wrong and and I think there I don't think i'm alone there.

Jay Bilas: But I think the courts have finally caught up to what we're dealing with here, this has always been an antitrust violation.

Jay Bilas: It has always been illegal and now it's been ruled as such and and the Supreme Court in the main opinion that was nine zero and then in justice kavanagh's concurring opinion basically invited.

Jay Bilas: Further cases to come forward and I don't think it's going to go very well so really amateurism is only hope, if you want to call it a hope.

Jay Bilas: In college athletics, is going to be from Congress Congress is either going to have to set out rules for players, making money.

Jay Bilas: Or that will preempt state laws.

Jay Bilas: or they're going to have to provide the nc double a with an antitrust exemption I don't see either one of those things happening because I don't think Congress wants to get into the day to day operations of college sports they're going to.

Jay Bilas: These different leagues Rico are our market competitors, so the southeastern conference, the ACC the big 10 you name it.

Jay Bilas: Those are all their own little nfl nba major league baseball's they compete against one another.

Jay Bilas: And they have to do it straight up and and can have can't band together to limit one class of person and that's why I say it's a civil rights issue is the only class of person that is limited in any way in this business.

Jay Bilas: Is the athlete and there's no reason for it, no, no legitimate justification, you know you're not a better student you're not a better person you're not a better athlete by virtue of your amateurism is just a made up concept.

Jay Bilas: That allowed money to flow in every direction, except the athletes direction.

Rico Beard: Thanks Jay Now I want to bring in some more of the panel, and I want to ask representative Tate what led you to introduce legislation on the nfl and you know what's the biggest difference that you see for student athletes in Michigan now that those changes have been signed into law.

Joe Tate: yeah thanks thanks Rico and, for me it was myself and.

Joe Tate: One of my former colleagues, it was a tennis player at kalamazoo college.

Joe Tate: Here in Michigan but we view that, as you know, to build off of jay's point I mean.

Joe Tate: It is a morality issue we're viewing it, as you know, this idea of fairness in terms of of what student athletes had the ability to do.

Joe Tate: And I think when the big watershed moment for us and, at the state level was California, so when they were able to pass legislation to allow name image and likeness in set September of 2019.

Joe Tate: I think you saw the floodgates open.

Joe Tate: For for the benefit of student athletes, I think, at this point, right now, 24 states has some type of an ipl legislation and.

Joe Tate: I believe, just for for student athletes, I think it just puts them on the same playing field as as no pun intended as as.

Joe Tate: Other students, so if you are, you know, in the band, and this is the example that you so if you're in the spark marching band, you know you can go out and play say in jazz club, where you can go to you know get paid for, for your skill set.

Joe Tate: And as a, as you know, as a player.

Joe Tate: avidly student Athletes should should have that ability and right now I think they're leveraging it right now.

Joe Tate: I know there's still some some unanswered questions as we go along everyone's feeling their way through this, because this is nobody, I think this is, this is a great opportunity for them and for their experiences as as college students.

Rico Beard: I got a follow up question from the audience, and that is, and this representative take you can answer this or anybody should payments be considered equal or is it every athlete for themselves to make as much money or as little money as you possibly can.

Joe Tate: i'll for me we're looking at you know, this is, this is a marketplace so you know those that and everyone every student athletes, going to be different in terms of how they're going to leverage this opportunity, so you know that.

Joe Tate: The student athletes will have this ability to be entrepreneurial so whether that is through social media or some other branding APP or opportunity or.

Joe Tate: So it runs the gamut, so I think in terms of you know, whatever the market is in terms, for them to be compensated for we're leveraging their name image and likeness that's that's that's my opinion that's how I view that.

Rico Beard: anybody else want to chime in on this.

Steven Waterfield: yeah i'll follow up on representative tate's comments me my goal is to use educate our student athletes, so they can take advantage of it like representative tape said it's it's for them to decide if they want to engage in it in and then are we giving them the tools to.

Steven Waterfield: How do they build their brand, how do we educate them, how do we give them information and then it's up to them to decide how much they want to do it, if at all.

Steven Waterfield: Madeline and jalen have both been involved in it it's great I think it's wonderful that they have that opportunity.

Steven Waterfield: But, just like what we do, we educate and this is another way to do that, but it's it's really up to this to napoli's to leverage it to whatever degree, he or she wants to do it.

Steven Waterfield: And I think you're going to see more and more of that and I think it's great i'm glad that they are using it, and I think you'll see more and more of that as the years go on.

Rico Beard: Or you know what let's just go and kind of talk to the student athletes who were kind enough to join us here, and if it's jalen more and Madeline slow guys how has your life been impacted with this new nio bill like have you have you seen changes.

Jalen Moore: um i'll chime in and go.

Jalen Moore: Yes, i've seen changes and.

Jalen Moore: I think like agree with a lot of you guys saying that I think it's a great thing for student athletes I think it's fair it's only fair.

Jalen Moore: You know just get the opportunity to go out there, make money.

Jalen Moore: And you know you never know like later on in life, you represent yourself, so you want to represent yourself well right now so later on in life, you know if we're not playing sports we get the opportunity again and I just think it's a good I think it's a great idea.

Rico Beard: natalie.

Madelyn Cislo: yeah So for me with swimming it's kind of.

Madelyn Cislo: Almost on the opposite side of the spectrum right so swimming doesn't really make that much revenue compared to basketball and football and sports like that so it's a little bit harder for us to find those big opportunities.

Madelyn Cislo: they're not impossible, but it is a lot more challenging because obviously swimming isn't a very large revenue making sport, but, for me, I personally have a.

Madelyn Cislo: contract with a company called why bars and they make really good energy bars that I create like social media posts and stuff for and.

Madelyn Cislo: Without that opportunity I wouldn't have a bigger sense of community i've met so many different people from that experience that I wouldn't have been able to meet before we have a discord chat with.

Madelyn Cislo: Like athletes all over the country so i've met a lot of different people, and also with this opportunity like.

Madelyn Cislo: It kind of gives you a little bit more acknowledgement and recognition that you wouldn't have gotten in the pool or at school, not saying you don't get that as a college athlete but.

Madelyn Cislo: Having those brands and being able to represent them, it gives you a lot more acknowledgement and recognition so it's definitely super cool opportunity.

Rico Beard: We got a follow up question from the audience and it's a two parter for Madeline and jalen.

Rico Beard: Do you guys you talk about branding do you have to go out there and represent yourself, or is there a company that you can go to to help further your brand along and and for for Steve does the school offer any type of way to to help the athletes I guess monetize themselves.

Steven Waterfield: yeah i'll let jalen Madeline answer the first part, then I can jump in after that.

Jalen Moore: um can you repeat that question again, please.

Rico Beard: wait for for the athletes, you know, do you guys have to go basically go out and market yourselves, or is there companies that you can go to to help you further along your brand's.

Jalen Moore: um I believe there is companies i've had quite a bit like agencies, try to contact me on the answer instagram and one is.

Jalen Moore: Basically, one wanted me to go through them to represent me out there to the people, but i'm doing it myself.

Jalen Moore: You know I trust in myself I believe in myself and.

Jalen Moore: that's what you have to be careful with with this and i'll far is just just signing anything with anybody, you have to make sure it's legit and you're doing it the right way.

Madelyn Cislo: For me, I would say I don't have any agency that i've gone through personally i'm like doing this by myself and for me it's kind of more of like a.

Madelyn Cislo: Not serious kind of more fun kind of thing i'm i'm not exactly like relying on it for like income or anything like that or making a lot of money so personally just going through myself and reaching out to people that.

Madelyn Cislo: I want to work with is the route that i've kind of taken and I think also it's really important, if you do get a deal like just using common sense and not letting them take advantage of you is something really important before you sign with a company.

Rico Beard: Steve.

Steven Waterfield: yeah so we're at the at the one yard line with finalizing a deal with one of the major and i'll providers educator in the country that a lot of.

Steven Waterfield: Institutions are using and excited to announce that, and that will provide all of our student athletes and coaches information on how to.

Steven Waterfield: build their brand be a resource for them, and I could see that as we get more ideas of the questions that come from the student athletes and coaches doing more specific educational programs and initiatives.

Steven Waterfield: To answer those questions and put them in the best position possible and so we're close and I think it's going to be helpful in a wall again if they want to do it, they can build their brand.

Steven Waterfield: and hopefully put them in a position to monetize as much as they want to the name image likeness piece.

Rico Beard: And this question is for coach can be a coach Is this something that you can use an inner recruiting pitch to prospective athletes to say hey come to oakland and you could also here here's how we could help brand you.

Rico Beard: We lose.

Greg Kampe: No, I was muted.

Rico Beard: I.


Greg Kampe: I will i'll say something, but i'd really like to hear jays opinion on this because.

Greg Kampe: There by ncaa rule and again my thing about us being the boots on the ground, and there are a lot of very influential coaches that try to voice their opinions on this, but most of this is being put down.

Greg Kampe: To us, and then we've got to figure it out by ncaa rule, the answer to your question is no I can't do that.

Greg Kampe: By ncaa rule but there's a school out there that sign maybe the best player in the country and that player on his visit came and said well i've got this with a very prominent company that the arena, they plan is named after.

Greg Kampe: I got this and i'll deal with them and so obviously that happened on the recruiting trip.

Greg Kampe: I don't know how that can be because i've been told, I can have nothing to do with it i've met with jalen and other players on my team.

Greg Kampe: i've told them that let's be smart about this i'll try and help them all, I can but i'm limited by ncaa rules on what I can do.

Greg Kampe: They really have to do this on their own, or and that's why Steve is you know doing what he's doing trying to come up with this company that we've almost are signed with so that we can help and as Steve said educate our athletes.

Greg Kampe: As a coach I want what's best for my players and what's best for my program, and so we want to do it the right way and we want to follow the same rules, maybe Jay knows more about this than I do, because maybe.

Greg Kampe: he understands what's going on better than I do, because he touches it with everybody.

Rico Beard: Yes, both Jay I was gonna say that's interesting to coach can't be said that, because the question I have for you.

Rico Beard: Is this sort of are we in the wild Wild West type of territory where it's every person for themselves and you just got to try this push the rules to the furthest boundary that you can before you get slapped back.

Jay Bilas: Well it's interesting that the term wild Wild West is used a lot with regard to players and so anything that a player gets now it's the wild Wild West, and I think it was a question from from a viewer.

Jay Bilas: A little bit earlier, and the question was asked you know is everybody going to be paid the same you know every athlete and institution or on a team.

Jay Bilas: And it's an interesting question but it's really a question asked if no other person.

Jay Bilas: You know there's there that's never asked of university employees.

Jay Bilas: You know they don't say hey here's the university budget for salaries is every good of everybody, going to be paid the same are we gonna pay the head basketball coach the same as the head of the landscape.

Jay Bilas: You know landscape crew, you know we don't do that we pay people according to their value and I don't know exactly how many employees oakland university, as I use this example because I happen to go to Duke.

Jay Bilas: Duke has 30,000 employees they're not wringing their hands going, what do we pay what do we pay everybody, how do we do it, you know they know what everybody's worth and the truth is.

Jay Bilas: When coaches want to win they know whom to recruit and whom to put in the game and whom to give a uniform to they know what they know what they're worth and so it's really not that big of a deal to greg's earlier point, because I think this is a little bit of a.

Jay Bilas: tricky area right now for some coaches are not allowed by nc double a rule, at least to facilitate they call it the facilitate name image and likeness deals for players.

Jay Bilas: But if you were in in a living room of a player and the player asked about nfl opportunities, it would not be violated of any rule to say look I don't know what we think you're a terrific player and you've got a great brand or can have a great brand.

Jay Bilas: We can tell you what our players are making now and where it's coming from there's nothing wrong with that.

Jay Bilas: And there's nothing wrong with giving athletes advice you may not be able to broker a deal for a player, but you can certainly give a player advice as to whether you think that's a good deal, whether you think something else may be out there.

Jay Bilas: I don't see that you know as being violent of of any rule but we're still in the infancy of this and and I just don't think there's any way that this is going to continue.

Jay Bilas: To be this restrictive, I think, at some point and I don't know how soon.

Jay Bilas: But at some point the schools are going to be able to pay the players directly if they choose and it's going to be up to each each school and conference each market competitor.

Jay Bilas: to determine what they want to do in that area and and to me that is as it should be each market competitors should make their own decisions, just like each school decide how much to pay their coaching staff so i'm like where they want to have a hospital.

Jay Bilas: Where they want to fly private all the you know how how they want to feed their players, all those things are made by individual schools and what facilities, they want to build.

Jay Bilas: So to me it's not that difficult I don't think we need guardrails you know that we keep using this term guardrails when they're already guard rails, for no one else.

Jay Bilas: And so, if you want to find the wild Wild West look at everybody else because that's the that's the world they live in only the athletes have guardrails in a restricted everybody else lives in the wild Wild West and the players should be allowed to as well.

Rico Beard: So Jay you're saying the big 10 and the ACC can come up with their own basically their own salary caps and pay the players within that but does that come at a disadvantage to the smaller conferences and can't pay the players as much.

Jay Bilas: Well, that disadvantage exists now, and I think is everybody in college athletics knows.

Jay Bilas: The the bigger institutions in the power five they're spending extraordinary amounts of money on facilities and they're doing it to attract players that's done for recruiting I mean there's a performance as a performance enhancement aspect to it as well.

Jay Bilas: But but it's a it's a horribly inefficient system.

Jay Bilas: To have to spend incredible amount of money to have a luxurious facility to be able to show off to a high school athlete to try to entice that athlete to come there as part of the part of their essentially their compensation.

Jay Bilas: So it's a heck of a lot more efficient to to direct it to the athlete specific because they're not building these kind of facilities for the for their employees.

Jay Bilas: You know they're they're coaching staffs are all that stuff they're building it for players to attract them in recruiting and in.

Jay Bilas: A lot of buzz you know all the schools are doing it because well our competitors are doing it, so as not to fall behind, we need to do it as well.

Jay Bilas: there's a wild Wild West aspect of that too, and there are no controls, no guardrail they're the only spending control in college athletics, is the athlete everything else is whatever you want to spend whatever you want to pay.

Rico Beard: For a representative tape and and also for you Jay if this was enacted while you guys were in school.

Rico Beard: I guess, would you have been happy for this and and I guess Where would you guys have gone to try to get your endorsement deals is there is there a particular company or industry that you guys would have looked at, while you were at Michigan state or at Duke.

Joe Tate: So i'll start out so recalls offensive lineman so I need to figure out.

Joe Tate: hey I you know where to look but it's interesting just just being here, we have you know here at Michigan State actually one of my former teammates who's, who is now and.

Joe Tate: he's he's an owner of several restaurants, bars and restaurants and in the state of Michigan he's he's just was an offensive lineman he's just inked the deal with with offensive lineman at Michigan state.

Joe Tate: And i'll do for for them, I think you know for me if, if I have this opportunity I you know it's it's hard for me to say and kind of look look back.

Joe Tate: But I would have known you know just being as a as an undergrad you know i'm sure that there, there would have been opportunities that would have come up it's hard for me to say you know whether that would be you know, having an opportunity to.

Joe Tate: anything from you know, trying to promote a good or service or you know just trying to be.

Joe Tate: writing a blog back then, but something along those lines so it's hard for me to say that, but.

Joe Tate: You know it'll be exciting to see what what the student athletes think of as.

Rico Beard: Representative take come on man from one big file to another, you want to get some food that's.

Rico Beard: The restaurant.

Rico Beard: let's be real about it.

Rico Beard: You want to eat.

Joe Tate: master.

Jay Bilas: Rico i'll tell you a little story when I graduated college in 1986 and my team played in the nc double a championship game and 86 the, the day after the championship game, I signed a contract, along with Johnny dawkins to who's now the head coach at UCF to endorse.

Jay Bilas: A brand new cellular company cellular phone company called cellular one, and you know that this is in the 80s, I mean that was those huge phones that they had when they first started and I started doing appearances and speaking engagements.

Jay Bilas: As soon as the the basically just after the buzzer went off.

Jay Bilas: And it look I wasn't any more valuable as a as an athlete for appearances or anything like that, after the game was over, I was just as valuable before, but I was restricted I wasn't able to do those things.

Jay Bilas: And you know we went on barnstorming tours and and played all over the state of North Carolina South Carolina and Virginia and Maryland.

Jay Bilas: And made money doing that and and we, we had to pay tax and and all that stuff and we figured it out it wasn't that difficult.

Jay Bilas: And you know when I was in college, I was on an nc double a committee, the nc double a long range planning committee.

Jay Bilas: And I was an athlete representative and we talked about these issues and and there were times when administrators would tell me look.

Jay Bilas: If you guys want to make money go out and get a job, and it was you know kind of snarky said.

Jay Bilas: Well, if we went out and got a job, we would have had to pay tax, and it would have taken an extraordinary amount of time away from our other activities.

Jay Bilas: and doing these nfl deals if you sign a contract to appearances it won't take up more time than actually having a job which we were told to go do if we wanted a few bucks.

Jay Bilas: And and look that's why I think people seem to agree here that's why I say this really isn't that big of a deal.

Jay Bilas: You know nobody's going to turn their TV set off nobody's going to you know leave all this.

Jay Bilas: and supporting what they believe in if the athletes get more than the scholarship i've never believed that I don't believe it now, and I think attendance numbers at football games and ratings since nll.

Jay Bilas: are confirming that you know it's certainly early but but I don't think America is going to turn its back on college sports, because the players are allowed to make money now.

Rico Beard: This question is for for Madeline and jalen um when when you guys went Madeline jalen.

Rico Beard: With basketball and swim practice and games and meats and education and schooling, how much time do you guys actually have to really dedicate to try to go out there to market yourself howdy what does that balance.

Jalen Moore: um I would say.

Jalen Moore: I don't know about my island, but we don't have very much time as a basketball player like you said practice, you know getting more individual work weights school.

Jalen Moore: stuff like that so it's kind of hard to so you kind of have to do it through social media, but I mean it is possible to go out there and market yourself in person, but.

Jalen Moore: Like you said there's not very much time to do that.

Madelyn Cislo: yeah kind of same thing here like if I run through my day I have practice six to 18 lift eight to nine maybe time for nap or like eat something, then.

Madelyn Cislo: Class back to practice three to five class again, so there really isn't much time in the day to dedicate to those kind of things, but.

Madelyn Cislo: With the nfl and especially like how the world is today with technology it's super easy like jalen said, like reaching out to them over instagram DM or just like.

Madelyn Cislo: figuring out a way to contact them it's pretty easy but definitely not a lot of time me personally, I did mine over the summer, so I definitely had a lot more free time then, but during the school year, it can be a lot more challenging.

Rico Beard: Well guys another question from the audience, you often hear a lot of people are saying well if somebody gets an endorsement, it could put.

Rico Beard: Some divisiveness in the locker rooms and jealousy could kick in there what's it like you guys are actual athletes, if one of your teammates or for you Madeline you already have a deal.

Rico Beard: Is there any type of preferential treatment or are you treated differently, because you have that endorsement.

Madelyn Cislo: Oh.

Madelyn Cislo: Oh sorry.

Madelyn Cislo: When I actually got my wife our contract a couple of the people in this room team found out about it and they're like oh my gosh like how did you do that and.

Madelyn Cislo: I didn't I didn't want to create any kind of like status or like jealousy like you mentioned, and I told him I was like hey like I just reached out to them, I said I was really interested.

Madelyn Cislo: And they reached back out to me, and then they sent me some in the mail and I made my instagram post so honestly with swimming it's kind of just.

Madelyn Cislo: That I haven't really seen any kind of jealousy we also don't really have like I said, like you were talking about before the time and everything nobody's really done any huge kind of deals, so we haven't really experienced that yet, but so far it's been pretty quiet and calm so.

Rico Beard: jayla.

Jalen Moore: I would have to agree with she said I haven't announced my deals personally to the public, yet, but.

Jalen Moore: I don't think there, I mean there might be jealousy some places other places there won't be.

Jalen Moore: It just depends on the type of chemistry, you have on your team if people are you know be jealous of you're not but I don't think personally our team.

Jalen Moore: would have any jealousy about anybody signed any deals, because I feel like everybody has an equal opportunity to endorse herself on to social media and through in person, so I would have to agree with she said.

Rico Beard: I just next question is for Jay from the audience J with the national Labor relations board ruling that student athletes at private institutions are employees do you see any of them Union unionizing.

Jay Bilas: I think that's possible in the future that and our NLRB it was an opinion from the general counsel and not necessarily a ruling so but, but I think it signals.

Jay Bilas: The fact that things have changed they've changed on a legislative level they've changed on a judicial level.

Jay Bilas: And certainly on an administrative level, so the way people are looking at this has certainly changed so that the nc double a and all the Member institutions are gonna have to change with it.

Jay Bilas: As to unionization I don't see that being a big deal going forward, you may see it in certain places people try it, but I don't see that carrying the day I do think there are tremendous opportunities.

Jay Bilas: at different institutions for group licensing deals and and I think we're headed toward.

Jay Bilas: A time where the universities realize that combining the university marks with the individual or collective player name image and like this will open up.

Jay Bilas: Greater revenue streams for everyone, so, while it is not allowed now.

Jay Bilas: It may be in certain States, it is, but but but it's generally not allowed now for the university mark and the.

Jay Bilas: The player name image and likeness to be used together.

Jay Bilas: I think in the future we're going to see that, and I think it's perfectly appropriate for each institution to decide whether it wants to do that with its athletes and for the athletes to be.

Jay Bilas: To decide whether they want their their name image and likeness paired with the university, I mean I just think it's smart business.

Jay Bilas: And that that's the way this is headed is is, it is a business and let the let the athletes participate in the business and and we'll we'll all figure it out, I mean.

Jay Bilas: You know, to Greg campus earlier point about coaches and and complaining like I hear a lot of complaining from coaches and no I don't think people you know I.

Jay Bilas: I don't know, anyone who supports coaches more than I do, I love coaches.

Jay Bilas: But I told a friend of mine recently that was complaining about name image like this, I said, if players couldn't drive until now some coaches would be, and they were finally allowed to drive cars.

Jay Bilas: Some coaches would complain like what's going to happen now, they got to get their cars registered, they have to have insurance, you know they have to keep their license up, they have to maintain the cars somebody's going to have an accident or get a dui.

Jay Bilas: You know, all those things are true, maybe, maybe you might have a problem here there, but the overwhelming majority of players that drive do just fine and the overwhelming majority of players that have name image and likeness deals are going to do just fine just not that big of a deal.

Rico Beard: And it's funny jake because you kind of touched upon my next question this question is for Steve so I guess that's why you get that big ESP and money cuz pretty smart.

Rico Beard: But Steve, how do you protect the the brand the logo of oakland university and do you think that would be a problem or concern and upcoming years with the aim.

Steven Waterfield: yeah so uh the law says that institutions aren't required to allow student athletes to use the logo name marks, etc, we have a process that.

Steven Waterfield: there's a seven day kind of notice period that's in the law so student athlete just notify us what they want to do, and the one thing that i'm very particular about is making sure that the logo marks etc aren't used.

Steven Waterfield: I have no issue with ever deal student if he wants to sign, I really don't care.

Steven Waterfield: But the marks obviously right now we want to be protective of them, they can certainly go through cl cl licensing entity and go through like anybody else and do the marks.

Steven Waterfield: I think down the road is this continues to evolve and there's really as Jay said I think group licensing there could be opportunity or win wins.

Steven Waterfield: As as things evolve and make sense in a way that would benefit all of our student athletes here, but I think right now we just want to make sure we don't.

Steven Waterfield: connect the institution to deals that are student athletes are welcome to do and I encourage them to do that maybe don't don't align exactly with the Marks and logos and things like that.

Rico Beard: Well, I got a question because I want to combine a lot of things that we said to possibly a real world type case scenario let's just say that there is a salary CAP as Jay brought up earlier for the big 10 and then the PAC 12 and everybody.

Rico Beard: Well, how do, how will it affect division two and division three and smaller conferences when players know okay.

Rico Beard: I can go here for a year and then transferred to the bigger schools, so I can make more money is is it going to turn the smaller conferences in Division two in Division three almost into minor leagues.

Greg Kampe: I start on that.

Greg Kampe: You know, right now in our recruiting processes, this has gone in I one of the first questions that i'm asked when I begin recruiting a young man is.

Greg Kampe: what's your cost of attendance and what's going on with the nfl, which is why I want jalen to make as much money as he can, because as Jay said earlier i'll be able to say, well, I can't help you with that, but.

Greg Kampe: jalen more my point guard made $100,000 this past year, and you know, depending on your value we think opens a place, you can do that so.

Greg Kampe: That in itself there's the fact that the athletes are asking those questions, the cost of attendance and that.

Greg Kampe: That tells you what the mindset is now with the people that are being recruited and and coming into the marketplace, as if this is a business, I guess we'll have to talk like that.

Greg Kampe: You know i've always believed a lot of people talk about the G League and how play the top players are going to go to.

Greg Kampe: I always believed that college athletics are about the university and about the fan base of the university Kentucky is going to fill 23,000 seats, no matter who's playing for them.

Greg Kampe: And they're always going to have, whatever the pool of players are probably always going to have the top pool.

Greg Kampe: And so I don't think you'll see the game change I don't think the average I have people.

Greg Kampe: is going to be able to discern between boy that team not quite as good as as Jay Bella says team and in 1970 whatever.

Greg Kampe: All right, I don't think so, so I think you'll see the level of competition and you'll see this blue bloods be the blue bloods am I going to lose a really good player.

Greg Kampe: I hope not, I could have lost jalen lot this year jalen sees the ability to lead the nation and assists here, he sees his route to make we have had for nba players in the last 10 years.

Greg Kampe: he sees where he wants to go he's got an nfl deal he gets cost of attendance so it's going to be on coaches to try and do that now, are we good, am I going to lose somebody sure.

Greg Kampe: Our division to coach is going to lose somebody, yes, but it can also be a benefit for us i've got a player on my team this year that came down from a high major.

Greg Kampe: And I think he's going to be drafted that's what kind of year I think he's going to have because we're going to showcase.

Greg Kampe: And jalen can get him the ball.

Greg Kampe: And this kids going to score a lot of points and he may end up getting drafted, where he had no chance to be drafted coming from the school, he was.

Greg Kampe: So you're going to see going up, but you're also going to see going down we're going to find our level, and I think it's going to be great I think Jay bilas is right.

Greg Kampe: It 100% I think a lot of this too much is being made at this, this is the business let's all get working on making it as good as we can.

Rico Beard: anyone else, want to chime in on that.

Steven Waterfield: There we go I actually think it's having the name image likeness and transfer is actually an advantage to schools like oakland and and other schools, because you can go to the high major prospect and say hey you can play more, and you can.

Steven Waterfield: expose yourself through the playing and getting your brand built and have those opportunities is a good thing I love them I love disruptions and for us to change the status quo, you need a disruption.

Steven Waterfield: In for us this is a disrupting factor that can only help us, I think.

Steven Waterfield: And it will all play out and people transferred before and for a lot of reasons and an end of the day we have 13 starships us and ducasse 13 and Michigan has 13 you've got the scholarships and.

Steven Waterfield: You use them the best you can the coaches do a great job I think it's I think it's gonna be great actually it's an advantage, not a disadvantage, I think long term.

Rico Beard: Representative Tate another question why do you think that it took you guys, whether it was here in the state of Michigan around California, to get the ball rolling what Why is it, why was there resistance from the ncaa.

Joe Tate: I think and part I mean.

Joe Tate: Jay kind of hit on it as as as well, too, I mean this is a $14 billion industry.

Joe Tate: That that we have and and I think that's part of it, too, I think that plays you know, a big part.

Joe Tate: With why it's taken so long and and knowing to that I think you've seen these these these attempts at it, you know you go back to the o'bannon case you go back to northwestern no that was.

Joe Tate: believe, though, there were there were trying to unionize there and northwestern so you've seen attempts in the past, and this one had the ability.

Joe Tate: To to stick for us in the state, and I think it's in a way it's been a certainly a transition, I know, in the state of Michigan it's for us this is back in the.

Joe Tate: I believe in the 80s, when you know we've where we've come from where we had George perlis, who was a football coach at Michigan state Bo schembechler you know they came up to lansing to testify about you know not allowing.

Joe Tate: Student athletes to you know, to have agents, or to you know have because they felt that it was.

Joe Tate: You know it wouldn't be good for the game so, so I think we're saying to as well just the change in public opinion, and I think that's that's been able to support.

Joe Tate: This legislation in the States and and i'm glad that the nc double a has you know, been able to make this decision and move forward with this and i'm policy.

Rico Beard: let's questions for anyone who wants to answer it, but with the criticism that the ncaa has been receiving for them, giving in, with such areas as the nfl and the transport portal legislation.

Rico Beard: How much power do you think the ncaa will will continue to have in the future and are we seeing the end of that and will it be a new organization that rises up from this.

Jay Bilas: I can tell you from my seat Rico that I think the nc double a its authority in college sports has been diminished greatly by the Austin case.

Jay Bilas: It has taken a huge step back right now it's not doing anything for fear of getting sued for an antitrust violation and.

Jay Bilas: You know when the cases come down the Pike for for compensation for athletes that go beyond educational expenses those come with with treble damages, so the damages get triple and that's real money and we're talking about real money that's going to be an issue.

Jay Bilas: So I think what you're going to see the nc double a do and Steve can you can speak to this better than I can but we can see that what we will see the devil they do is make an attempt.

Jay Bilas: as best I can to deregulate and let the schools and the conferences run things more so than the the office you know sort of the.

Jay Bilas: office in indianapolis and through the the Board of Governors, and all that it's been a top down organization.

Jay Bilas: And the Member institution supposedly run it but it's not been in my from my seat, has not been well run and that's why we are facing these issues now because they weren't willing to face them all the you know, for all these decades, so I think we're going to see a deregulated.

Jay Bilas: landscape, the nc double a is going to be diminished in its authority and we're going to see the conferences, specifically the power five wielding most if not all of the power within college sports, at least for the foreseeable future.

Steven Waterfield: I mean jays right even since the the Austin case that her isley conversations been focused on on doing more of the, what are we gonna do as a league and what.

Steven Waterfield: What do we think is appropriate and the nc double a almost wanting to say you take care of conferences you figure it out, we don't want to touch it anymore and.

Steven Waterfield: end of the day, the horizon league as a lot of like situated institutions that works out well the big time that I was in before has a lot of like situated institutions that works out well and.

Steven Waterfield: I think, for us, we still want to have access to nc double a championships and provide our student athletes those opportunities along, so we have those opportunities to get into the nc double a tournament.

Steven Waterfield: And to have our student athletes swim and run track that's great we'll figure it out we'll do the best we possibly can.

Steven Waterfield: hi oh state may get 5560 million a year and TV revenue, we don't get any in the horizon league but we're still division one we still provide a great opportunity and.

Steven Waterfield: there's ways that we can do things I think better than certain schools, so I think you'll see more and more of that kind of power, more at the local level, then clearly at the national level.

Rico Beard: Questions for Madeline and for jalen What was your initial reaction when you heard about the nfl and the fact that you guys can make money.

Jalen Moore: um I was kind of shocked by it.

Jalen Moore: Just because, like everybody was saying it wouldn't be fair for all the athletes, you know this person might be making more than this person or you know how it all play out but um.

Jalen Moore: I mean, I was kind of happy by it, because I think the athletes do deserve that you know, being a student athlete you don't have a lot of time in your day like you said.

Jalen Moore: To go get a job to make money on the side, I mean you got you got class you got practice you got individual work yeah wait, so I mean it's not a lot of time in the day.

Jalen Moore: for you to go get a job on the side to make money, so if you can endorse yourself my plan, through your sports and get money I think it's I think it's great.

Madelyn Cislo: For me i'm as i'm on sack at oakland and last year, we had a vote I don't remember if it was from the nc double a or what it was, but it was asking.

Madelyn Cislo: If we agreed with the nfl and we wanted to like follow through with it and I voted yes on it, I didn't know when it was going to be coming.

Madelyn Cislo: I had heard it was going to be after I graduated so I was kind of bummed.

Madelyn Cislo: But then I had heard that it came out, and I was so excited I remember that day I message I don't remember who I message, but I might.

Madelyn Cislo: I might have Mr Steve waterfield but I was like hey like are we allowed to do this and they're like.

Madelyn Cislo: yeah I believe we don't really have all the details, yet, but you definitely can so I remember I started reaching out like immediately like right when I heard about it because I was so excited yeah.

Rico Beard: And and a follow up question for you guys or for anybody on the panel from the audience, how do you feel like the athletic competition prepares you for working in the real world.

Jalen Moore: um I would say that you have to be competitive.

Jalen Moore: You know, in the real world, you have to be competitive, you can't just be lackadaisical and your job, you know there's gonna be people coming in and take your spot in the real world and in sports so that's what I would say.

Madelyn Cislo: For me, I would say that athletics.

Madelyn Cislo: Really teaches you to deal with people have different personalities different status and that definitely can happen in the real world to and also in athletics.

Madelyn Cislo: And kind of prepares you to use your strengths to help everybody else on the team achieve a common goal, so when you're working in the real world to it's really important to use your strengths and coming together as a team with your co workers to get the job done.

Rico Beard: And one final question coach campy this comes from the audience, what can we do to get Jay bilas to bring college gameday to oakland this season.

Greg Kampe: Well, we open at West Virginia and then we go to Oklahoma state and maybe if we win both those Games and then, if we beat Alabama Alabama when we play Michigan state at little Caesars maybe that would happen, but.

Greg Kampe: I think we'd have to do our part, first, although I would tell Jay that you know if you ever did a mid major game day that the oakland Detroit game there in the better mid major rivalry in the country than that game and.

Greg Kampe: We hate them and they hate us and it's it would be a good one someday, but I think both of us would have to have great non league seasons before that would happen, but we would love it and welcoming.

Jay Bilas: An invitation is all the tanks i'll be there.

Greg Kampe: All right.

Rico Beard: Jay, I can tell you this, and most people don't, believe me.

Rico Beard: The oakland you have be rivalry is probably more hated than Michigan Michigan state you here Michigan Michigan state, but until you witness oakland and you have deep playing each other, you haven't seen hate like that, since make maybe North Carolina Duke.

Jay Bilas: i'm there you had me at an invitation and as long as campy gives me a couple strokes on the golf course i'm i'm ready.

Greg Kampe: To South course.

Greg Kampe: oakland hills south is brand new job you'll you'll be my guest on it you'll want to play that.

Rico Beard: Alright guys i'd like to thank you all for joining us here on this panel i'm going to turn it back.

Rico Beard: Over to David, but I do appreciate all the the cannon and candor and the questions answering the questions the way that you guys did I think this was very informative and and you know, I just want to thank you all for everybody listening in the audience that we I do appreciate that.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Thanks Rico, thank you for doing a masterful job moderating tonight.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Thanks to our panelists Madeline and jalen thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule you've got not a whole lot of free time, so we appreciate you giving us an hour.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Representative Tate, thank you for the work you're doing in lansing We appreciate your time, we know a legislators job is 24 seven these days and.

David Dulio, Oakland University: We, I can tell you're in your office burning the midnight oil thanks again we appreciate it, maybe we can host you on campus one day.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Steve thanks for being here, as always, and thanks for being a partner in this coach terrific to have you as well, thanks for your help and and Jay we can't Thank you enough for giving us an hour of your time and hope to see you at the arena, one of these days.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Thanks everybody for being here have a wonderful evening.

Toward a More Perfect Union Event Series – Past Events:

9/11 Twenty Years Later


  • U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin
  • U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (former)


  • Roop Raj, Fox 2 Detroit

Oakland University: Good evening.

Oakland University: You can do better than that.

Oakland University: that's better.

Oakland University: My name is Dave Dulio and i'm the director of the Center for civic engagement here at oakland university we're delighted to welcome you back once again for in person events here on campus.

Oakland University: Thank you for following our protocols for code, including filling out your health screener and wearing your masks while you're seated, I would like to recognize a few people and say thank you.

Oakland University: First, are terrific staff here in the open Center and our tech support folks they did yeoman's work preparing for this there's other folks in the audience that deserve recognition Rochelle black our Vice President for government and Community affairs is here thanks for shell.

Oakland University: And certainly oakland university president or a Hirsch pescovitz deserves great thanks, there is no bigger supporter on campus of the work that we do, we are grateful and.

Oakland University: And thankful for your continued and unwavering support i'd like to ask President pescovitz come up and just say a couple words.

Oakland University: Thank you so much, Professor Giulio i'm just delighted to welcome everyone here, this is actually the first in person event.

Oakland University: of our school year and I can't think of a more exciting event to actually start our academic year with all of you, as you know.

Oakland University: The Center for civic engagement has titled this event toward a more perfect Union.

Oakland University: And, as I thought about this, I realized that many of our students were actually not even alive 20 years ago when 911 happened, and so I do think that this will be a very important evening tonight as we discuss what happened in on 911.

Oakland University: I also want to acknowledge the Center for civic engagement, because it is one of the most important centers that we have here at oakland university and i'm so thrilled that we have this Center under.

Oakland University: Dr Julio his leadership and, of course, the rest of the political science department and as you're going to hear tonight we really have bipartisan support for this Center and I see that we have.

Oakland University: Congressman Mike Rogers here from a distance, I can see you there, thank you very much for being with us.

Oakland University: And of course representative alyssa slack in here with us and we're really delighted to have both of you here.

Oakland University: One of the things that we pride ourselves on is civil discussion and.

Oakland University: debate and tolerance and tolerance takes so many different forms and one of the forms is what you're going to hear tonight, and we are so proud of our Center in the way that we have these conversations together.

Oakland University: And so i'm so thrilled to have this Center here at oakland university welcome, and thank you all for being here, both in person and online, thank you very much, Professor.

Oakland University: Thank you, President pescovitz if you've been to one of the center's events before.

Oakland University: You know that we serve as a convener of conversations about issues of public importance well the 20th anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks is certainly one of those.

Oakland University: The terrorist attacks on September 11 2001 changed our nation and change the world when nearly 3000 people lost their lives as hijack planes crashed into the World Trade Center the Pentagon and a field in shanksville Pennsylvania.

Oakland University: we're here tonight to mark the anniversary of that fateful day.

Oakland University: we're going to do so in another way tomorrow shameless plug.

Oakland University: In the same room at 7pm and we have a staged reading of a play called tower stories, it was written by damon demarco and the playwright used actual interviews with survivors.

Oakland University: conducted over a year and a half past 911 tower stories explores the immediate impact of the terrorist attacks.

Oakland University: of September 11 and you can just come right back to this room tomorrow at 7pm and hear a staged reading from students and recent alumni from our school of music theater and dance.


Oakland University: If you've been to one of the center's events you also know that we want to have these conversations in the right way.

Oakland University: In other words, we want to support a conversation that occurs in a civil and respectful manner as President pescovitz matt mentioned to support that goal, the Center.

Oakland University: has developed what we call the tenants of civic engagement and productive dialogue these tenants, are we will engage in respectful dialogue.

Oakland University: employ honest listening model civil behavior in tone support free and open discourse consider viewpoints, other than our own find opportunities to agree not just disagree.

Oakland University: This conversation takes place at a time of great political polarization everyone knows that but let's remember that, in the wake of 911.

Oakland University: In the wake of that tragedy our nation was united what's channel that tonight you may not agree with everything our guests, say, but that doesn't mean that they're the enemy.

Oakland University: toward the end of the discussion we'll take some audience questions, those of you here in the oakland Center have a.

Oakland University: piece of paper with a qr code on it, you can scan that, and you can get to a question submission page, those of you on zoom can use the chat function to submit a question.

Oakland University: And with that let's welcome our guests moderating moderating our discussion this evening is route Raj he's The co anchor of the 5pm news on at fox two news Detroit.

Oakland University: When candidates from either side of the aisle stop in Detroit route interviews them he's done exclusive interviews with folks like Joe Biden and Donald trump you may have heard of them.

Oakland University: When Vice President kamala Harris came to Detroit recently to encourage covert vaccinations, the White House chose rupe to conduct an exclusive one on one interview.

Oakland University: Prior to coming back to Detroit in 2009 roof was an anchor in flint in New Orleans Louisiana where I think he went through 24 hurricanes 2424 hurricanes.

Oakland University: we're delighted and extremely grateful that he's going to lead the discussion this evening.

Oakland University: US representative alyssa slotkin is in her second term representing michigan's eighth Congressional district prior to being elected to Congress representative slotkin spent her career in national service she served as a Middle East analyst with the CIA, working alongside the.

Oakland University: US military during three tours in Iraq as a military expert.

Oakland University: In between her tours in Iraq representative slot can help various Defense and intelligent positions, under President Bush and Obama.

Oakland University: In 2011 representative slotkin took a senior position at the Pentagon, and until January 2017 she served as acting Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Oakland University: For international security affairs in this role representative slotkin oversaw policy on Russia Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the Pentagon.

Oakland University: Last but not least, joining us virtually from Washington DC Mike Rogers is a former member of Congress, representing michigan's eighth Congressional district.

Oakland University: And he previously served as an officer in the US army and FBI as an FBI special agent.

Oakland University: Congressman Rogers built a reputation as a leader on intelligence cyber security and national security policy from his years of service in the US House of Representatives.

Oakland University: where he chaired the powerful house permanent Select Committee on intelligence, as chairman, he authorized and oversaw a budget of $70 billion that funded this nation's 17 intelligence agencies, including a large portion of the national security space.

Oakland University: Architecture on the hill Congressman Rogers worked across the aisle with two Presidents Congressional leadership countless diplomats.

Oakland University: military service members and intelligence professionals to ensure the brave men and women who fight for our nation are equipped with the resources necessary to get the job done.

Oakland University: Washington Post columnist David ignatius remarked that Congressman Rogers was a quote rare example of bipartisanship, in other words you'll be hard pressed to find two more experienced and informed individuals to talk about 911 20 years later, thank Professor Julia Thank you.

Oakland University: Professor Professor Julia Thank you so much for your leadership and everything that you're doing with your students, I had the chance to.

Oakland University: interview Professor Julio at about 445 today for our five o'clock news that I usually anchor I said, we have to cover this on the news we have to talk about this.

Oakland University: Not just in this room and on zoom, but we need to talk about this on TV and so at five, six and 10 tonight you're going to be hearing from Mr Julio and also.

Oakland University: Representative slotkin you know, I was talking to my photo journalist can to standing over here and we were discussing 911.

Oakland University: And he brought up a really I think cogent and an important point about history September 9 20 years ago today an Afghan leader named met miss Massoud was killed.

Oakland University: He was the victim of a Taliban attack the Taliban and those who are in charge of of Al Qaeda and the leadership in that terror cell.

Oakland University: wanted to get rid of this man, so that they could go ahead and do what they were going to do, a few days later, and then try to.

Oakland University: manipulate the world in a way that in which they could retain power you can't forget that it was on that sunny day on 911 that we remember where we were.

Oakland University: But all the planning that went into this for those evil awful human beings, we cannot forget that either.

Oakland University: And I want to really reflect for a moment on where our esteemed guests worth the time.

Oakland University: And I want to begin with congresswoman slotkin before we get into some of the history, we want to talk about lessons learned, we want to talk about looking into the future, want to talk about civil discourse and how to have it.

Oakland University: And the future of Afghanistan lots to cover in the next hour, but we'll begin with where you were congresswoman, what do you remember about that day.

Oakland University: Sure well thanks everyone for being here thanks to oakland university and roof of course and it's great to be here with Mike Rogers who's my predecessor by two in this job and.

Oakland University: I was happy to jump at the chance to be here, I was in New York City on 911 I was in my second day of graduate school at Columbia University, I had just moved to New York.

Oakland University: And I was in a remedial economics class because it had been so long since I had taken ECON and I walked out for a half a minute to make Xerox copies and.

Oakland University: A colleague of mine said so strange, you know a little plane just hit the World Trade Center and you know that kicked off.

Oakland University: A 12 hours that I don't think any American alive at the time forgets at Columbia, we huddled 400 students around one TV.

Oakland University: We were watching local TV where we started very quickly to see people literally jumping from the buildings and then we just started organizing.

Oakland University: And it was a moment of that galvanized the students, we thought there'd be a lot of wounded, so we organized a blood drive we all started donating blood.

Oakland University: We volunteered at the Columbia hospital because families who couldn't find their loved ones or calling every single hospital to see if their loved one had been taken there.

Oakland University: And then, for the students who couldn't get across bridges and tunnels, we organize to have them stay, so I had people staying on my floor.

Oakland University: But the the the site of F 16 flying over Manhattan the smoke and the smell of that smoke for months.

Oakland University: is just and then you know I happen to live on a street with the fire station that last three first responders.

Oakland University: Who, like every first responder that day was heading right towards the towers, as everyone was running away from the towers.

Oakland University: It was just an experience, unlike any other and and really for me ultimately really changed my life.

Oakland University: And to change the trajectory of what you would do and, of course, then, where you would meet your husband Dave who interesting note and she'll probably talk about this, they met in Baghdad.

Oakland University: At Saddam hussein's Palace doing the work that they were doing for this country that's the first date all right, so that just kind of sets the stage for you.

Oakland University: But we'll we'll talk more about how that day shaped slatkin's life and in the future, of course, or career, I want to say Congressman Mike Rogers it's good to see you, thank you for joining us as well.

Oakland University: I just love the fact that we have a republican and a democrat, together with all of us here today to take us back you know we talked about, we will never forget, and we will remember.

Oakland University: remember a time when this could happen when you could have a Republican and Democrat not agree and that's okay.

Oakland University: And that is OK, but in this on this day we remember what we agree on there's a lot there's a lot we agree on Congressman Rogers I want to begin by asking you, where you were on that fateful day.

Mike Rogers: Well, thanks ruben congresswoman great to see you even at a distance, my apologies, President pescovitz great thanks for doing this, I have to tell you, I was in how recently.

Mike Rogers: And someone came up to me go Congressman Rogers great to see you oh you'd be so good to know that we finally have good representation here in Congress.

Mike Rogers: Well, thanks.

Mike Rogers: Thanks a bunch.

Mike Rogers: appreciate it.

Mike Rogers: I don't think i'll be going back to that store very often just kidding.

Oakland University: I live yeah.

Mike Rogers: yeah exactly it was kind of fun.

Mike Rogers: So this one of those days you just never ever forget I was a you know brand new Congressman in a freshman term I actually was preparing for testimony on a bill I had.

Mike Rogers: Written it was going to get in before the committee which was kind of big and thrilling for a new guy to the to the to the to the hill.

Mike Rogers: When that first plane went in so I was in my office prepping for that testimony and you know I.

Mike Rogers: stepped over came in so you're gonna have to turn this on there was a plane there's ran into the one of the Trade Center buildings and by the time I got out there.

Mike Rogers: watching and my whole staff was gathered around the second plane went in the building.

Mike Rogers: And you know there wasn't anybody in our room that didn't realize that that was this is not an accident, so we are, we are under assault.

Mike Rogers: The three things that kind of stick out to me that day, and we all evacuated and it was a bit of chaos when Congress was really organized.

Mike Rogers: To run like hell out of the buildings right and there was noticed that there was another plane inbound that they believed was going to hit the Capitol building, so there was a little bit of chaos misinformation all the things you would expect, for a drill that didn't happen very often.

Mike Rogers: in Congress, but the three things that really struck me that day is live watching the people.

Mike Rogers: Literally jumped out of the building, so that they wouldn't burn to death and they jumped to their deaths.

Mike Rogers: The one that strikes me most is the couple that grabbed the they weren't even a couple they were just a man and a woman.

Mike Rogers: Who were up in their office and decided they were going to go out together, because the fire was so hot so intense burning up the thing up the building that they decided that some 30 floors up, it was a better death to leap to their death.

Mike Rogers: I mean it's just it's just a visual of that I don't think ever leaves you the second was and about halfway through the day.

Mike Rogers: We decided as collectively as members of Congress that we were going to go and have a press conference on the Capitol steps, some of you may remember that.

Mike Rogers: Where we were just kind of say hey we're here we're working we're going to do something about this America still here don't worry about it right and I.

Mike Rogers: distinctly remember in the town was a ghost town by that point, though there's nothing moving in Washington DC.

Mike Rogers: It was probably closer to evening now I think about and I was crossing the road from the row of house buildings over to the United States Capitol.

Mike Rogers: And it just hit me like a ton of bricks I haven't looked down the street.

Mike Rogers: And the care of man of military vehicles i'm so nothing's moving the city is vacant and here is this caravan of military vehicles moving out to positions around the US Capitol.

Mike Rogers: And you know that's just I mean it was such a shocking moment to see that in the United States Capitol where we never had that you know we have.

Mike Rogers: Peaceful changes of power every you know for eight years you don't see tanks out there you don't see military gear out there, we do it peacefully.

Mike Rogers: And that's what we know, one of our prides of our freedom and democracy are and to see those military vehicles, it just took the air, I honestly.

Mike Rogers: We went over and the last third thing that really struck me.

Mike Rogers: Republicans and Democrats on the House steps, and we are their site unity to tell America hey your government is alive and well we're gonna we're going to get through this.

Mike Rogers: And somebody in the back just started as we're kind of milling around singing the star spangled banner now I can't tell you that members of Congress have good voices i'm not gonna lie to you, they don't.

Mike Rogers: It may have been a little bit off key, but it was one of those build things ever heard here they are people from all over the country all demographics.

Mike Rogers: All political philosophies and, on that day, at least for that moment, we all kind of linked arms and saying the star spangled banner, it was a pretty moving moment to me and I said candidly.

Mike Rogers: I knew then, yes, this is going to be hard, yes, this is going to be tough but we're going to get through this we are going to get beyond this America is too big too strong.

Mike Rogers: And the collective of who we are, as Americans is just too big.

Mike Rogers: To be trifled with and so that those are the three kind of big moments on that day for me and then of course it really changed there was two congress's one before 911 one after.

Mike Rogers: My bill never saw hearing ever ever I never got even close to that because everything flipped over to a national security posture and how we prepare ourselves for what we assumed was coming.

Oakland University: Well congressmen and Congresswomen, thank you for your thoughts on that day, you know today is a day that we want to focus, yes, obviously on.

Oakland University: Where we were what we were thinking how that frame the way we think of our country and of each other.

Oakland University: It did bring us together in a way that I think it's safe to say was beautiful, even in the midst of tragedy, I remember.

Oakland University: You know, an Indian American guy myself the son of immigrants who came to this country in the 70s, I was a probably a 20 something year old young reporter in flint making 20,000 a year.

Oakland University: Getting paid not in sunshine I don't know what they were paying in but I enjoyed my work there, but the day that that happened.

Oakland University: The story was so local that no one even understood the gravity right, I mean like we were on the highway and I gotta tell you both both the Congress people really appreciate this.

Oakland University: it's not recommended to do this at any stage but a bunch of veterans stopped and I 75 and flint saginaw Bay area and took road flares and and lit.

Oakland University: lit up an area that they could then stage at so for every car that passed by they were waving the American flag with tears in their eyes, saying that this is our country, and this is no one takes us away from us that was on the night of 911.

Oakland University: somewhere between flint and sagging and I just think about how all excuse me for this, but all news is local what happens in New York affects us here, but that was.

Oakland University: A wound to all of us in our nation, how then do we move forward, how do we come out of this 20 years later and frame this and look at things that could have.

Oakland University: could have been framed as maybe something positive that came out of this and I know congresswoman slacking you and I talked about this.

Oakland University: My goodness, you are CIA analyst and you were to the Department of Defense the Homeland Security Department didn't even exist, the tsa, as we know it, of course, was created talk about those changes that happened immediately after 911.

Oakland University: yeah well and and Michael will also have lots to say because he had a bird's eye view of it, I think you know.

Oakland University: After 911 we we made significant changes in our intelligence enterprise and our law enforcement enterprise it in Homeland Security.

Oakland University: We we literally started the Department of Homeland Security and created a new cabinet level position we took a bunch of different agencies that were off on their own and put them under one umbrella like tsa like customs and border, and I think Americans just got a sort of.

Oakland University: Really sort of accelerated lesson in how do you protect yourself, we are an largely you know, like an island nation, I mean we are not used to being attacked on our soil.

Oakland University: So I think the American public was just desperate for leadership to reorganize I know, certainly as someone who was recruited by the CIA right out of Grad school, you know they came after 911 and it and.

Oakland University: You know, hiring what a generation of what's called the 911 babies, you know who all came in at the same time.

Oakland University: The real focus was How did we miss this and how do we make sure that never again do we have a situation where the CIA isn't talking to the FBI and they're not talking to you know the Treasury Department they're not talking to everybody, it really created this sort of.

Oakland University: information sharing requirement that didn't exist, at least, as I understand it before 911 so that now, it would be strange for a young analyst.

Oakland University: To come into the CIA and not have to work directly with their counterparts and other agencies, because we had to acknowledge that we had missed signs, so it really changed.

Oakland University: a ton about how we were organized and how we thought about our own protection.

Oakland University: Congressman I want to ask you have your security analyst for a reason that's tapped by network TV all the time to talk about.

Oakland University: Those types of things and these things that we now look at as as as warning signs and make sure this never happens again talk about what you learn then and how much better and how much safer America is, do you think.

Mike Rogers: Well, listen I right off the BAT we are, we are going to have a problem with extremism for sometimes it calm and everywhere where extremism can foster within the limits of freedom of movement, freedom to finance freedom to recruit freedom to train.

Mike Rogers: Freedom to finance themselves, we are in trouble, and unfortunately there are still spots in the world that do that.

Mike Rogers: And what I think we missed leading up to it, I think this was to the congresswoman's point as well, it wasn't just the details of nine of the day of 911.

Mike Rogers: We kind of missed the big sweet, and so, if you think about it in 1993 this this same terrorist organization hit the World Trade Center they were they had a desire to bring it down now they.

Mike Rogers: Their math wasn't good they tried to do it at the bottom real later realized they had to go higher up in the building to bring it down well, but they did do it 93.

Mike Rogers: They hit the same or terrorist organization killed over 200 people by attacking the US Embassy in Kenya.

Mike Rogers: And, most people kind of yawn we didn't pay attention to it, so I think about that was a five year difference for a major event.

Mike Rogers: In 2000 they attack the USS Cole killed 11 sailors US military personnel on the ship and it was you know really big tragedy, less than a year later, was 911.

Mike Rogers: So they were committed to their path of trying to get at the United States of America, and I think a little bit of arrogance amongst all the agencies amongst the population, a month, a little goes.

Mike Rogers: Like a where the United States, you know what are they going to do to us really I mean they can't really hurt us to ban.

Mike Rogers: Well, we saw what happened and so that wasn't the most exciting place to be if you were in the intelligence business back then right you thought that well that wasn't great we wanted to be doing other things.

Mike Rogers: Well 911 changed all that, so we missed a big sweet, and then the congresswoman's right, we had a terrible way of how we collected and synthesize and analyze.

Mike Rogers: information coming from all of the intelligence collection.

Mike Rogers: points that we would have, including domestic FBI CIA the CIA all of it, and a lot of there was a lot of silos, and so we work to try to.

Mike Rogers: eliminate a lot of that the dni was created director of national intelligence put all the 17 agencies in one place to try to have some consistency and forced information sharing.

Mike Rogers: But I will tell you those first few years as a someone went through and watched all this.

Mike Rogers: We had problem I mean agencies didn't want to send people there and they'd rather stay in their home agency, so it was a cultural change.

Mike Rogers: That had to kind of happen over a period of years, all of that, I would argue, has helped us we're better off we have better collection platforms, we have we know how to synthesize and analyze information.

Mike Rogers: In a better way nothing's perfect remember intelligence is how much how many pieces of that puzzle, can I give a policymaker to have a good decision made and you don't get all all 1000 pieces you just don't.

Mike Rogers: And so you have to have it that's why we have analysts that say Oh, you gave me 300 so let me tell you what I think is going on in this thing.

Mike Rogers: And then try to make a decision, so all of that, I think, is better I do worry about certainly the activity, the last couple weeks is is put us in a put us back on our heels, a little bit.

Mike Rogers: When we now have an organization, who how's the very reason we went to Afghanistan is because they house Al Qaeda and let them train finance recruit.

Mike Rogers: We know that Al Qaeda is in 15 provinces in Afghanistan, still today and we just don't have the.

Mike Rogers: ability to get at them like we used to so that's going to be a problem, Yemen is going to be a problem there's places in Africa that are still going to be a problem, many of those folks.

Mike Rogers: In the terrorist business, if you will, who were pledged to Al Qaeda have now pledged to ISIS if you could turn around again remember they're they're more fungible than we have been we think they are.

Mike Rogers: it's an extreme extremism ideology and they're gonna that's not going away so some notion that we're going to.

Mike Rogers: Now we were done, I think it's just wrong and I worry that we're going to get into that same melees in 93 to 98 to 2002 2001 it's easy to forget about it, if it happens somewhere else.

Mike Rogers: that's My only concern I think we're better handle better equipped for here in the United States, but we have we're still haven't really come to grips that we're going to be battling extremism for a very long time.

Oakland University: cornerstone CIA analyst you experience, of course, leads you to think a lot about this when you saw in the last few days what's happened and even today.

Oakland University: The Development I don't know if you heard the news, but you know these Americans were released by Taliban that said okay Well let these Americans go home, first of all frame that for us, why would the Taliban do that, and what is going on right now in your mind.

Oakland University: Well, first off, let me say I don't know, anyone who feels good about how the withdrawal went I don't know how anyone could look at those pictures and feel good.

Oakland University: And some of the hardest conversations that i've had to have, over the past three four weeks have been with veterans who served in Afghanistan.

Oakland University: And it is there's a despondency and a feeling like you know I sacrifice, my friends, and my life and my health and my family and for what and though those are difficult conversations that we're going to be grappling with for a long time.

Oakland University: I think what we're seeing now is the Taliban wants us to believe that they are different.

Oakland University: That they have evolved that they are ready to join the family of nations and be taken seriously, they want recognition they want to come to the UN General Assembly in New York, they want to go shopping and Dubai and not be under sanctions they want to be taken seriously.

Oakland University: And I think they're saying that i'm not sure they're made the decisions they've made on who's in their government have not gone the right direction they literally have.

Oakland University: A member of a terrorist organization, as their Minister of Interior someone who is a designated terrorist by the United States of America, but I think part of what they're doing now is is trying to.

Oakland University: show that they're playing Nice and allow at least the American citizens and some of our additional third you know, third country nationals and others.

Oakland University: To come out that's the first flight that we've seen the cutters are playing an absolutely critical middleman role, and so I think you'll see some additional flights like this.

Oakland University: But I think there's a big difference between watching what they say and watching what they do and I very much hope and i've certainly been urging the Biden administration.

Oakland University: To hold them to account and not give them these things that they want so badly unless they demonstrate a real change in behavior and and right now first indications are not positive.

Oakland University: Congressman your thoughts as soon as you heard that headline about the Americans being released by the Taliban.

Mike Rogers: yeah I mean we expected some of that it's basically the ratios of the plans, and so I have.

Mike Rogers: closer to this my wife has been engaged and trying to help several groups of women.

Mike Rogers: Get out of Afghanistan, and I am playing a supporting role, she tells me what to do and I pick up the phone and do it trust me that's The easiest way to get stuff done in our House for sure.

Mike Rogers: So we have seen it from on the ground, and so there are teams on the ground who are actually moving people.

Mike Rogers: On the ground, to try to get them out, and these are people, by the way, who have committed themselves to United States they may be Afghan citizens, but they have taken huge risks.

Mike Rogers: And the Taliban has not been good to them, there are still kill lists, there are still rating homes and trying to find these people.

Mike Rogers: And the reason I believe that you have the terrorist in charge of the Interior and, by the way the.

Mike Rogers: Ministry of Interior in Afghanistan is basically their intelligence services we think of it as parks and nice things it's their intelligence services, so now they have access to every file every person that may have cooperated.

Mike Rogers: All of that was not there was no quick ability to get rid of a lot of that, and they have access to it.

Mike Rogers: And we after that you can see, on the ground and talking to the teams who are, and these are private teams, by the way, this was really this was a story that needs to be told, when this is all done.

Mike Rogers: about the private sector, people who some left their families and went over a lot of former military lot of former intelligence my wife served.

Mike Rogers: In Iraq, as well, in all of those relationships they're putting them together to try to get people out if they can who are such as these, kill lists.

Mike Rogers: So you know i'm i'm kind of where the congresswoman is they are saying one thing to public they're doing quite another.

Mike Rogers: The reason they said that women couldn't go to work yet is because they needed to teach Taliban soldiers, how to treat women.

Mike Rogers: All right, let's and let's be candid with ourselves, they are a terrorist organization that was.

Mike Rogers: At you couldn't teach girls, how to read and their big concession was well we'll let them go into the sixth grade.

Mike Rogers: The reason they do that and there's a huge illiteracy rate in the amongst the Taliban it's off the chart nationally it's about 55% are illiterate.

Mike Rogers: And is because the Taliban fighters are mostly illiterate, so they believe whatever they're told is in the quran and that's the way that they've raised their families, including women.

Mike Rogers: And so, education is an absolute threat to that Taliban rule, because if you actually read the quran it has nothing to do.

Mike Rogers: With the Taliban conducts themselves so we just got a call the other day about two women who were stoned who survived.

Mike Rogers: and are now making a run for the northern border this just happened recently, and so all of these cases tell me that.

Mike Rogers: You know the people who want to go to New York and want to go shopping are the people that we welcomed into Doha and we showed them the rest of the world that's a very small percentage.

Mike Rogers: of who the Taliban is so I think we're in for a rough road here, and I think if they can find the people that cooperate with the United States they're not going to make it we know store, you know.

Mike Rogers: My wife was working on a case and I was helping her with these 29 women that we train United States trained.

Mike Rogers: To follow special forces raids, to help with on on site events so you get their special forces right they would be the Afghan women.

Mike Rogers: train was our special for us was to go in and deal with the children and women in these cases and try to calm things down they kind of got left they were literally left.

Mike Rogers: And so I think they ended up getting all of 21 out I think two were killed by the Taliban one was run over by a vehicle a Taliban vehicle trying to escape all of their homes were being rated.

Mike Rogers: That does not sound like someone who, who is ready to be recognized by nation, so I think the i'm glad these flights have gone out, I have to tell you there are.

Mike Rogers: Hundreds and safe houses, I can tell you that for a fact thousands who are on their own trying to hide to get to places where they can get out.

Mike Rogers: And we shouldn't take this as a victory, we should take this as you should have done this last week.

Mike Rogers: and any notion, we should praise them or or pat them on the back and say boy isn't that great is just wrong if you.

Mike Rogers: there's a lot that we can put pressure on I mean not not the same as being there but there's a lot of pressure we can put on we ought to do it every day.

Mike Rogers: That we just heard today, as a matter of fact, that the planes are going to be routed through cool so I know what they're doing they're checking the lists of the of the list that they find.

Mike Rogers: On the lists on those manifests, and the reason that there's all these people and safe houses trying to get on airplanes around the country.

Mike Rogers: is because of that they know their their clock is ticking, and these are people candidly who gave risked everything to stand with us and I boy I sure hope we don't turn our back on these people as a country I don't think that would speak well of us at all.

Oakland University: yeah and i'll just add you know we we were inundated with over 1000 Afghans asking for help in my Congressional office and we made a decision that we could drill down and help in the end.

Oakland University: most of whom are affiliated with Michigan State and who were working for Michigan state and for USA ID these are educated women.

Oakland University: agronomists and scientists and their families, and then a bunch of deputy ministers, you know, the Deputy Minister of Health, the head of the EPA for Afghanistan.

Oakland University: We got out actually to Albania, and I think if I can say one one amazing thing in the midst of this just terrible scene, that we all watched unfold.

Oakland University: Was the absolute ingenuity of Americans and other folks from other countries who went above and beyond, to get people that they worked without this moral commitment.

Oakland University: That people felt because they had a translator or someone who helped them in operations someone who worked at the Embassy and and that sort of like brother at arms commitment.

Oakland University: drove people an incredibly diverse groups of people, I mean I worked deeply with HR mcmaster, who was the former.

Oakland University: National Security Advisor under trump he had 47 Afghans, he was focused on I had a plane he had an organization that could support them when they got to Albania, and so we work together to get these groups out.

Oakland University: There were legions of West point alumni who helped me get you know contact 10th cavalry and get people through the gates at the airport, I mean the the.

Oakland University: It was a deeply difficult thing to watch on the screens.

Oakland University: But below the surface, was the best of America, it was people stepping up and really like like mike's wife to just figure out, what can I do in this hour of need, for people I worked with and I was.

Oakland University: It was a story that's that's under the radar but inspiring in the midst of the tragedy, you know you keep talking about the great military that this country has, these are.

Oakland University: These are brothers and sisters, these are sons and daughters, these are people who live right here in metro Detroit and all over the country.

Oakland University: We can't have a day like this and not recognize the valor the commitment the courage, the passion and the love that these.

Oakland University: Men and women have while i'm hanging out at channel to anchoring the news and reporting on things going to the whole foods to pick up groceries enjoying the freedom of our life for 20 years.

Oakland University: These men and women were in Afghanistan, fighting to make sure that that our shorts were safe Mike I want to just give you a chance to reflect on on the gratitude, you have for these men and women as well.

Mike Rogers: Well, first of all, the courage is unbelievable and i'll tell you a an Afghan leaders perspective on our US military it has a Michigan connection, the former.

Mike Rogers: Well, now Vice President who's now up in pans you're declaring that he's going to be the resistance, if you will.

Mike Rogers: He was in the room, by the way, in that story that you told in the beginning about the killing of Massoud, who is the leader or something called the Northern Alliance.

Mike Rogers: Who was the main you know the bane of the Taliban existence, and these are people who knew that that extremism was only going to lead to a bad place well, they were very clever they actually used a TV camera.

Mike Rogers: Just think about to get in here granted the TV interview that TV camera was loaded with explosives, one of the guys that was in that room is a guy named amaryllis delay and he ended up he self taught him after that he's self taught himself English to Americans came.

Mike Rogers: And he actually got a honorary degree from cleary university right here in the great state of Michigan.

Mike Rogers: And he when I first got here, I took him around, he said, I want to see to try to want to see to try, so I took him down to Detroit.

Mike Rogers: And he when he first got off the place and why would any American leave this place and come 5000 miles away to Afghanistan, I don't understand that I just do not understand.

Mike Rogers: At the end of the week, he talked to people at Michigan state when he went through this wonderful experience it Clara university.

Mike Rogers: He stopped and he said, I have the time I have never seen a more welcoming courageous freedom loving people in my life, he said, I understand.

Mike Rogers: Why now why these people would suit up to try to give both safety for their families and freedom to someone else's families.

Mike Rogers: And so, when you think about all of the hardship from a very small number of Americans actually who served in both of these conflicts.

Mike Rogers: It really is something to behold, and it is really the key in the heart of who we are, as Americans their bravery and courage is as great as any other generation.

Mike Rogers: They volunteered to be there, most of them had multiple tours the ones that had stayed in long enough.

Mike Rogers: And they were willing to risk life and limb, because they knew it kept their family safe by keeping extremism at bay.

Mike Rogers: And they knew that if we could bring freedom, think of this if we could get women of Afghanistan into society and reading and understanding the quran.

Mike Rogers: That helps our national security in the future, most your ever soldiers know that and I think that's why to the Congress moments point that these Members were saying the military.

Mike Rogers: former Members were saying man, I was willing to risk all of that, you know what just happened, so I tell you there they really are the part of the greatest generation of our certainly of our time.

Mike Rogers: In their bravery courage and sacrifice 16 medal of honor winner is between Iraq and Afghanistan, and if you read those stories I highly encourage just go online and read the stories.

Mike Rogers: Unbelievable amounts of courage and that was just the tip of the iceberg, there were courage in a moment after moment where people were saving.

Mike Rogers: Their colleagues and arms saving Afghans who are standing with them.

Mike Rogers: Unbelievable best to true you know you want to find out what America is heart is still we're still beaten you look at that group of human beings and what they've done for this country and a lot of them, I think, to the congressman's point.

Mike Rogers: All of these networks my wife and I are working with her all private sector where they're, not even the government.

Mike Rogers: And we had the same issue is coordinating with aircraft crown movements, we actually put security teams together on the ground privately outside of the government to try to get people.

Mike Rogers: Out of harm's way on believable I mean this really speaks you know in this in a very dark period, just how wonderful these men and women are that have committed themselves to service and freedom in the country.

Oakland University: that's the character of this country when you talk about the character of this country when I talked to relatives cousins of mine in India and London and other places.

Oakland University: And they often like to frame things the way the media frames things because that's all they see so they see what they see and they think that's America, and I said, what do you stop watching.

Oakland University: The celebrities and just the sports athletes and all these guys and gals and look at the everyday men and women, the salt of the earth people live in mccomb and oakland and Washington counties.

Oakland University: Who suit up and go and do things that we never dream of doing your husband is one of those people, and you met him there could you take us through that story and then lead us back to the conversation about the pride you feel sure well.

Oakland University: I met my husband, where every good girl from Michigan meets her husband, which is Saddam hussein's palace, and I was on my third tour in Iraq, and he was working for a General Petraeus he's an Apache pilot, but as a colonel was sort of.

Oakland University: Put into a strategy position for General Petraeus and we were on the negotiating team, we were negotiating the the status of forces with the Iraqis after 2008 and.

Oakland University: So we met on the same negotiating team and Saddam hussein's Palace is you know full of.

Oakland University: marble and gold toilets and carved you know just murals of Saddam Hussein everywhere it's not a romantic place is what i'm saying it's not romantic and we had our first.

Oakland University: You know date at the chow hall and and he stayed on much longer than I did you'd like many who served as as Mike said in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Oakland University: It was tour after tour extension after extension you'd get back you'd have barely a year of your life back home, and you would turn around and go back again and.

Oakland University: And it, you know not long after that I became an army wife and I think now and i'm an army step mom right my step daughter graduated from West point and my son in law, they were her and my son in law were classmates and.

Oakland University: they're both army young army officers now, and I think it's one thing you know we all say good things about our military and I think God actually that.

Oakland University: Unlike my father in law, who served in Vietnam, you know when he came back from that conflict people spit on him.

Oakland University: And no matter what you have against the policy that leads us into war I it's still baffles me that we took it out on those who were in many, many cases drafted to go there.

Oakland University: and serve, and so I think God that no matter what people think about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they they respect those who serve and we don't have that same problem that the previous generations suffered through.

Oakland University: But I do think that it being an army wife really shows you.

Oakland University: The level of sacrifice that is going on, when you make a decision to serve in a war zone, first of all, it is a family affair, the idea that you send a loved one off and every.

Oakland University: every single one of us your extended family are on pins and needles, the entire time anytime there's any kind of attack in that entire country you just feel like it could be your loved one.

Oakland University: it's a major disruption to your life you can't live a normal life when you're going back and forth.

Oakland University: you're constantly either coming and going you miss major events, I mean the number of events my husband missed in my stepdaughters life that you can't ever get back.

Oakland University: And, and then I think for most The thing that surprises me the most is, with all that hardship, the average person who volunteers to serve in the military is deeply committed to mission.

Oakland University: And that mission is what drives them it's certainly not money is certainly not fame and fortune and popularity and you see that up close and most of the folks that you know, are now obviously my my social network.

Oakland University: They do all of these things they don't ask for any glory, and like maybe you'll have a little ceremony when they retire to recognize what they did, but the average American doesn't doesn't internalize.

Oakland University: What it means for a family's life to have a loved one in service and and, lastly, I will just say you know I know that we will be debating what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan, you know people will write their PhDs on it will be talking about it forever.

Oakland University: What I feel strongly about is that the US military kept these terrorists busy for 20 years so that we could build up our defenses in the United States, we can improve our homeland security.

Oakland University: We can improve our own sense of of security, we have not had another knock on wood major terrorist attacks, since 911 and our military created that situation so obviously it's personal for me, but.

Oakland University: it's when we say sacrifice there's a lot that goes into that one word and and afterwards that the trauma that people feel when they're there.

Oakland University: My wife julie's cousin Kenny, we see every Christmas served in Afghanistan and he's dealt with a lot.

Oakland University: When it comes to ptsd and a lot that the family, then deals with afterwards and so it's a lifelong commitment, and one that we will forever be indebted for we have some questions from the audience that we want to get to.

Oakland University: As we wrap things up here we have an audience question here saying Some have argued that the US would draw from Afghanistan means that we have turned the terrorism threat back to pre 911 want to begin with actually congresswoman, would you agree.

Oakland University: Well, certainly, there is no doubt that we're going to have to keep our eye on Afghanistan and the very same actors that enabled Al Qaeda are now in power, and so we can't take our eye off the ball, we are going to have to I at least I I hope we will have a robust.

Oakland University: over the horizon presence, so that we are as best as we can, keeping tabs on what these groups done and then taking military action where necessary.

Oakland University: and

Oakland University: So I think that that there's there's no way to discard that the fact that the similar groups are back in that they still pose a threat.

Oakland University: I think what is fundamentally different is the way we protect ourselves our Defense and our Defense is fundamentally different than what it was on September 10 2001.

Oakland University: That doesn't mean we can get lazy that doesn't mean we can't be thinking about what the next threat is going to look like.

Oakland University: But that is is, I think, completely different because of the investments we've made in our own homeland Defense.

Oakland University: Congressman your thoughts on that Are we any better off, I mean we are based on what we heard congresswoman talk about the Homeland Security Department all of the the measures in place, but what is there more that needs to be done.

Mike Rogers: Listen, I watched the build of all of that, and was a part of the build of all of that, and we are better but here's the problem sores our adversary, they are also better.

Mike Rogers: In matter of fact, they have a better media shop than I think the Department of Defense does today it's unbelievable how good they are about spinning the narrative of what they see happening.

Mike Rogers: back to a greater public and I think that's concerning to me but think about where we are, I mean we we are.

Mike Rogers: This and I respect the congresswoman's position, but this over the horizon thing is fantasy, it is fantasy, because the nearest.

Mike Rogers: strike flight it's about seven hours, the package that you could deliver it and I was very intimately involved in all this, including all the strikes had happened in Afghanistan.

Mike Rogers: spend a lot of time in the eastern provinces and the Western provinces in the Fatah and Pakistan.

Mike Rogers: You can't do it by remote control you just can't do it if we could have done that I think we could have had the Taliban already, it is a very difficult nimble.

Mike Rogers: ideology that we fight there that extremism and they're going to they're now large and in charge, you get outside the city of couple or Missouri Sharif.

Mike Rogers: You know Kandahar included, and they are the same exact tribes tribal leaders practices culture that they were when we found them.

Mike Rogers: When we went after them, except Now we just don't have the ability to strike them if they are organizing getting ready to pull the trigger on and on an event, we have to ask permission for a whole lot of people remember it's a landlocked country.

Mike Rogers: And I talked to the Pakistani the various a very senior Pakistani national security official about two weeks ago.

Mike Rogers: And there was some discussion about hey maybe maybe Pakistan could really help us on this counterterrorism front and I gotta tell you i've known the Pakistanis for a while.

Mike Rogers: I got the staff and a cold stare That said, who would ever trust the United States, again, certainly not us right not they're not always our friends.

Mike Rogers: But when you get that cold stare from someone that you have a relationship with.

Mike Rogers: we're going to have problems with it, so I think.

Mike Rogers: And even the administration when they pulled out, they acknowledge that there's going to be terrorism problems and we're going to try to fight it over the rise I just don't think that works.

Mike Rogers: I think it's going to make the folks that we employ around the world, doing other missions just makes everything a little bit more dangerous and again i'm worried that we're right back in this cycle well it's done it's easy.

Mike Rogers: fast food society, we have a press conference and terrorism is no longer we can leave you know I never looked at it as the forever War I looked at it as enduring peace.

Mike Rogers: And we were there to try to disable some of that activity, just like we stayed in South Korea, yes, what to push back on Chinese aggression now so maybe 50 years later.

Mike Rogers: same with Germany and our our troops in our presence long time we've been there, eight years, but now we're running whenever it's not a forever war we're now a.

Mike Rogers: We can kind of stabilize the region and be a counterweight to the Russian activity, I saw the same thing in a place like Afghanistan wouldn't have taken a lot.

Mike Rogers: And now you know listen on our 20th anniversary, the Taliban is going to be sitting in the United States Embassy that we built that was very expensive because we hardened it.

Mike Rogers: and drinking tea looking through our files right, I mean some of that is not literal but you think about where we've come and the extremism problem isn't any better we're still taking out targets in Africa.

Mike Rogers: As a part of these organizations so i'm very, very concerned about it and i'm very worried that we can nonchalantly say, oh no worries we'll take a look, you know we'll we'll fly a drone over it, and it'll be fine it's just not going to work, the way we think it is.

Oakland University: Do we go back do we go back to Afghanistan, do you see that as.

Mike Rogers: I hate to say this, I think we will be back at some point you there's no way around it, if you have these groups.

Mike Rogers: No one's going to do it for us that remember the Taliban has more in common with ISIS even though they're fighting right now.

Mike Rogers: And more in common with Al Qaeda, then they do the United States or any country in the West.

Mike Rogers: That philosophies are much closer that's why these groups have been changing you have you have fighters went from Al Qaeda to ISIS because they thought that they were more extreme you'll have.

Mike Rogers: ISIS fighters go back to Al Qaeda because they're getting ready to do operations you'll have Taliban tribal leaders who are going to say you know what I didn't like the Americans anyway, they killed a lot of our our terrorist friends.

Mike Rogers: Sure, you want to train and work and, by the way, opium production is the first thing that.

Mike Rogers: took over so opium production is going on, I mean I can't find one good national security event that just happened we're just going to have to count on this new structure and all of these brave souls we're going to have to work long hours tried to make sure they never made it here.

Oakland University: congresswoman can we count on it, or do we go back in your mind, and I know that i'm not asking you from a policy point of view, but just what you see in the future this isn't done or Americans going back to Afghanistan.

Oakland University: Well, look, I think the average American understands that you know.

Oakland University: In in an ideal world we're not in wars forever and the fundamental difference between Germany and South Korea is that no one is shooting at us in Germany and South Korea.

Oakland University: The the amount that it takes to protect ourselves and the American body bags that come back from Afghanistan are different, and I think that the American public largely felt like.

Oakland University: You know 20 years is a long time i've talked to veterans who are sending their sons off to the same war that they fought in 19 years ago that said.

Oakland University: I think we're I think we should count on military action being taken in Afghanistan, in the next year, two years, three years, I mean for sure.

Oakland University: I mean we've already do as we were pulling out we conducted a drone strike right, so I think that that this idea that we're done with Afghanistan is is not realistic.

Oakland University: That said, I think that we also have to acknowledge and i'm a i'm a you know national security person by training so as Mike.

Oakland University: But we have to acknowledge that the generation that's coming up the students I just met from from oh you right.

Oakland University: They don't see the world in the way that maybe I see the world they are more pessimistic about america's role in the world, they were not around on 911 and see us getting engaged in these long wars that are hard to get out of.

Oakland University: mobilizing others, there is a different approach from the next generation, and while I may not agree, you know as a Cold War kid that believes in a strong role for the United States and the world.

Oakland University: I think that we have to at least acknowledge that the American public felt like this war had gone on a long time.

Oakland University: And that they don't want their sons and daughters being sent there that said we're going to see military action I just hope it's not a sort of another long term ground war there another question from our audience saying.

Oakland University: The fact that for 20 years there was American involvement in Afghanistan, and yet there were no terror attacks here does that make that a success.

Oakland University: Well, like I said I mean if you would have asked me on 911 and i'd be interested in mike's you on this, if you would have said to me.

Oakland University: it's 911 we're not going to have another major terrorist attack from abroad for 20 years I wouldn't have put money on that.

Oakland University: So I think that what we were able to do both at abroad and home kept us safe and kept us all, focusing on our own lives and not having to worry about going out in public and being attacked and and those kinds of things that we are so fearful of right after 911.

Oakland University: So I do think that it was important, and I do think that that's you know that is why we owe our military thanks, does that mean that all our objectives were met and that we came out of there clear cleanly no.

Oakland University: Congressman I want to give that question to you from our audience Member Afghanistan, the involvement is over, for now, but in the time that we were there, there were no terror attacks here in the US success.

Mike Rogers: I would argue, absolutely the most impactful program and counterterrorism disruption.

Mike Rogers: was our ability to strike enemy combatants across both Afghanistan and other places, by the way, and that was based on presence and we're in the intelligence business.

Mike Rogers: they'll teach you three things up front and the very first class you get into access access and access right if you don't have access to people that you're trying to understand and get their intentions.

Mike Rogers: you're not going to get a clearer picture and so those there was a bit of a you know, a gallows humor, if you will, about the chief operating Officer of Al Qaeda never survive very long.

Mike Rogers: Because in in that, by the way, was outrageously disrupt them and that person is the one that says somebody gives him the order at the time, is a sama Bin Laden for most of those 20 years and said hey.

Mike Rogers: go out and we want you to strike the American some why get them on airplanes and, by the way, they're all of these plots were disrupted, I mean when people when it finally as told.

Mike Rogers: All of the plots disrupted and how we were able to keep hammering these groups who want to strike America.

Mike Rogers: I have to tell you, I am proud of the men and women who served there and I know it was difficult on all the certain says, I have a son in the military I served in the military my brother served in the military.

Mike Rogers: My father was in the military I get it and it's hard and it's hard on the families as well.

Mike Rogers: But having that presence, they are the single greatest factor on why we didn't have a terrorist attack here.

Mike Rogers: And you know I think most of them feel a little disappointed that couldn't stay in finish job and remember how we were going to win this fight wasn't necessarily with continuing in those strikes.

Mike Rogers: It was educating half the population, which were women.

Mike Rogers: To be part of Afghan society and we asked them to come out of their homes, like come out of the back of your home and risk your life and participate.

Mike Rogers: Taliban ain't going for that, and so that was our strategy long term strategy turned in by the way we had really courageous women open businesses and some ran for Parliament, we had some in the.

Mike Rogers: In the government offices, I mean it was pretty impressive for a place like Afghanistan.

Mike Rogers: that's all coming to a screeching halt they just you know announced their shura guess what not one woman involved.

Mike Rogers: Right, there are not going forward, and if you get half your population engaged my wife would tell you it's probably the better part of the population, certainly the smartest.

Mike Rogers: You can finally bring a level of security they don't want their sons running off and doing these terrorist acts.

Mike Rogers: That was the that's what we never told the American people, we never walked her American people through why we were there.

Mike Rogers: What the sacrifice was worth and where we were going and why wouldn't it be important.

Mike Rogers: I think they're getting a feeling now because of all these women were trying to get out of Afghanistan, who are actually getting death sentences from the Taliban think we're finally starting to get Okay, maybe that maybe we needed to be there, a little longer.

Oakland University: We have time just for you know some closing thoughts from both of our esteemed guests today, but I do want to say.

Oakland University: Just to kind of frame that last question that I think is important, I learned myself in covering this last election a couple of things.

Oakland University: When you go to a rally for Biden or a rally for trump and you actually go into the audience and you talk to everyday metro Detroit and Americans and ask them their why.

Oakland University: And that's what I got to do when I was at these rallies I would go to a Biden rally and say why, why are you voting for this person go to a trump rally why.

Oakland University: and actually come from a place of curiosity to know why it is that people think and feel the way they do we start.

Oakland University: We start coming together and we start coming together in a way that says, I may not agree with you, but at least I understand you.

Oakland University: We can't let the media frame our narrative, we have to go out in our communities and do it ourselves, I believe that.

Oakland University: And I think that good media institutions out there, we like to think we're one of them can hopefully bring those conversations to television.

Oakland University: But the bottom line is it's up to us at a coffee shop just sit across from someone we don't agree with.

Oakland University: And do our part to keep peace in our communities and then hope and pray that there's peace elsewhere, and so, as we move forward after 911 20 years later.

Oakland University: I want to leave it here, how do we become better, how do we become stronger and how do we become more cohesive and more united, as we are the United States of America congresswoman slotkin.

Oakland University: Well, I think that.

Oakland University: You know, for me, I guess it goes back to those days and weeks, right after 911 where you know I would go down to the local bodega and there'd be a line you know folks waiting to buy food.

Oakland University: And they were talking to each other, I mean in New York people don't really talk to each other, you know they don't talk there's not a friendly place.

Oakland University: And I finally got up to the checkout counter and the woman behind the counter said I said Thank you so much for working I know it's right after the attack and very few things are open.

Oakland University: And she said, this has been the best day i've ever had at work, because every single person has acknowledged me said something to me treated me like a human being.

Oakland University: And I think that that is really all we're talking about we're not going to all agree, we don't and there's no harm to that.

Oakland University: But when we start looking at a fellow American as an enemy, as someone who we don't have empathy for who we're not looking to understand.

Oakland University: We have a real problem, and I think that to me the that empathy that we felt for each other, even very different Americans in the days and weeks after 911 that same spirit, I mean.

Oakland University: we're very far from it now, but.

Oakland University: If we could figure out a way to harness that and just try and in decent.

Oakland University: I think we would go a long way and and when people say to me at the most common thing I get in question, the common question I get a Michigan it's like, how do we get better.

Oakland University: You know we're not well how do we get better and I tell people actually don't go to the rally right don't like turn off your screen.

Oakland University: don't watch the news go and volunteer on something that has nothing to do with politics that is a mission you care about.

Oakland University: meet people who have nothing in common with you, if you love to rescue dogs go rescue dogs, if you wanted to serve the homeless, go serve the homeless.

Oakland University: Do something for your community that gets you out of your own head and meeting people who are different than you who care about a mission it's, the best thing you can do.

Oakland University: For your community in your country beautiful thought I like what you said and, as you said, in the spirit of disagreeing as fellow Americans i'd say keep the screen on for a little while watch a little bit.

Oakland University: And then go rescue the dogs, you can do both we can have it all this is America congresswoman, thank you for that that was beautiful Congressman your thoughts, how do we come together.

Mike Rogers: yeah, so I do worry about the congressman's interchange with those students, as I think she and I are probably pretty close on our national security thoughts and.

Mike Rogers: In our where America is but we spent a lot of time in this country tearing us turn ourselves down.

Mike Rogers: And we have our adversaries join in this fight, by the way, when the Russians really did get engaged and i'm sorry for the folks in the audience but.

Mike Rogers: They did they tried to influence the election, and not because they wanted one person to the other, they were trying to get Americans to hate each other, they wanted chaos, they were using social media to get.

Mike Rogers: You know, a black activist groups pitted against a white nationalist groups and they wanted to show up at the same place these were Russian activities information.

Mike Rogers: And we as Americans seem to have just decided that we're so gullible we're going to take all of it not realizing what we have in common, I will tell you my first trip to Afghanistan, there was.

Mike Rogers: A woman who was a trained orthopedic surgeon, and we were early I was, I went with a guy named Dave hopson from Ohio We were the first to in.

Mike Rogers: And I wanted to go to a children's hospital there, and he had some other work to do there, so we were able to get there there's they're still fighting going on on the outskirts of the city.

Mike Rogers: And i'll never forget this fish when in the children's hospital was greeted by this woman who spoke fluent English, I mean better English than mine.

Mike Rogers: And I was a little taken back by that and she was telling about all the things she didn't have here she didn't have antiseptic and, by the way she was a orthopedic surgeon.

Mike Rogers: trained in the United States.

Mike Rogers: didn't have the right surgical equipment walk the walk through the Ward there were two and three and four children per bed, because they didn't have the ability to treatment and, by the way the Taliban and, by the way, had sent all the nurses home when they took over 96.

Mike Rogers: Because they were women and you can't have women working, of course, right, so they sent all the nurses home, so the only mothers were in there, trying to care for these people who are not trained nurses, it was a disaster.

Mike Rogers: And i'll never forget, she said well just right there in that bad and then a round of explosions went off.

Mike Rogers: And I said wow does that bother you does it bother you in the United States is here and i'll never forget this, because she grabbed I was wearing a jacket she grabbed my jacket.

Mike Rogers: She looked me in the Einstein said yesterday I had to amputate the arm and a leg of an eight year old boy that had stepped on a Soviet mine.

Mike Rogers: And she said her their parents brought this child on a cart with a with a donkey almost 10 miles to get here.

Mike Rogers: If it weren't for the United he said I don't know if he's going to survive, I had none of the right equipment I didn't have the right to antibiotics, I really have nothing and our local guys, by the way, we're trying to help with this.

Mike Rogers: But she said, if it weren't for the United States of America who who would care enough about that young boy.

Mike Rogers: or this woman who is willing to risk her life to be in this hospital today because she had been imprisoned in her home for six years.

Mike Rogers: I mean that that's what I want this next generation to understand you are standing on the shoulders of giants.

Mike Rogers: And the fact that we decide that we hate each other so much that we can't even sit in a room and say, really, let me hear your opinion, I disagree with that, but let me tell you why it is.

Mike Rogers: we've lost that and our adversaries want us to lose that this is the greatest country on the face of the earth, and we should stop telling each other and our neighbors it's not.

Mike Rogers: And I highly recommend people get around the world and see what freedoms we have and what experiences we have that the other people in the world have no idea.

Mike Rogers: how good we haven't I think of amaryllis away, who said, by the way, he was he was in some of the worst places of Detroit said i've never seen anything more beautiful in my life.

Mike Rogers: Right you think about that.

Mike Rogers: We need to stop sharing each other down, we need to start coming together in a way that says listen, we are, we have our faults, we have our differences, we might want to go different directions here and there, but at the end of the day it is.

Mike Rogers: The greatest country on the face of the earth why, why would be so willing to sell it to give it up to disparage it.

Mike Rogers: Again we're standing on the shoulders of giants, this is the generation that's really going to have to step up and understand.

Mike Rogers: And the very people around the world who still want a little piece of what we have meeting i'll take it either through bombs and buildings.

Mike Rogers: or other means are still active and aggressive trying to do it let's not help them.

Mike Rogers: To help ourselves build themselves up let's get back to that day when we can be really proud of, who we are, as a country and, as a community we do that there's no Fo we can be.

Mike Rogers: If we allow them to win this device of attitude between Americans will cease to be a great country in 10 years it's don't think we need to do that anymore, the kicking me passionate sorry route.

Oakland University: No, I appreciate it, I mean you're passionate and so as.

Oakland University: congresswoman slotkin I think everybody in this room is passionate the character of this country is not defined by red or blue but red white and blue and the other day I had someone.

Oakland University: With a flag on the back of their truck that they were driving with on the back of their pickup and I was telling the congresswoman I said.

Oakland University: That flag means so much to my dad who came here in 1973 with five bucks in this pocket my mom stayed back.

Oakland University: And they had to figure out a way to get her here by making enough money to make that happen living with a relative.

Oakland University: And now, they live in Rochester and they love life, but my dad always taught me after 911.

Oakland University: That never forget what that flag means to you it's personal it's personal and all of us collectively can can take pride in that flag and what it represents, but.

Oakland University: What you to represent is is you know what it's not good old fashioned American politics it's.

Oakland University: Good old fashioned American Service, and I think both Mike Rogers and alyssa slotkin embody that in great ways, and I want to say thank you to both of our esteemed guests today, please put your hands together for Congressman Mike Rogers congresswoman alyssa slide in here, thank you.

Oakland University: And, Madam President, Dr pescovitz, thank you for having us here on your campus today and the work that you're doing Thank you and have a good night everyone thanks for watching at home.

Mike Rogers: Thanks everybody.

Defy the Divide: In Search of Community, Civility and the Common Good

A panel discussion featuring members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Problem Solvers Caucus, an evenly divided group of lawmakers who work to create bipartisan solutions to important policy issues.

  • U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell
  • U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin
  • U.S. Representative Fred Upton

Moderated by Stephen Henderson and Nolan Finley, journalists and founders of the Civility Project, a non-partisan initiative to restore civility in politics in southeast Michigan.


David Dulio, Oakland University: Good morning, my name is Dave Julio I’m the director of the Center for civic engagement at Oakland university and I’m pleased to welcome you to defy the divide a path to civility.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Thank you again for being here we're also very grateful that our guests have taken time out of their busy schedules, to be part of this important discussion.

David Dulio, Oakland University: This event would not be possible without the help of a number of people.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Thanks to those who helped make it happen at the top of this list is oh you, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz the Center for civic engagement has no bigger supporter on campus.

David Dulio, Oakland University: In addition, the office of government and community relations university communications and marketing the College of arts and sciences and event support services were great partners in planning this event.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Few other times in our nation's history has there been as pressing a need for public discussion about civility and respect in our national discourse, as there is today.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Oakland university is poised to be a leader in the effort to bring about a better public dialogue, in fact, the Center for civic engagement was started in part, to address the rancor that permeates today's political and civic life.

David Dulio, Oakland University: To support and foster a more civil and informative public dialogue about some of the fundamental issues dividing Americans.

David Dulio, Oakland University: The Center for civic engagement is launching a series of timely discussions, we are calling toward a more perfect Union.

David Dulio, Oakland University: This is the first session in that series now on to our panel I’ll keep this very brief as our guests are very well known.

David Dulio, Oakland University: we're delighted to welcome three of Michigan’s US representatives Elissa Slotkin who represents a portion of all US campus in addition to communities stretching from Rochester to Lansing.

David Dulio, Oakland University: Debbie Dingell who represents portions of Wayne and Washington, our counties and Fred Upton who represents communities and elegant Berrien cast Kalamazoo St Joseph and Van Buren counties all our Members of the US House is problem solvers Caucus.

David Dulio, Oakland University: The Caucuses website states quote only when we work together as Americans can we successfully break through the gridlock of today's politics.

David Dulio, Oakland University: More about the Caucus will certainly come up in the discussion, but I’ll note that Michigan is fortunate to have five members of this group, more than any other state.

David Dulio, Oakland University: we're pleased that we could get three of these Members schedules to align and for them to be here today.

David Dulio, Oakland University: guiding the conversation over the next hour or so, will be to others who need no introduction as they are two of our state's preeminent journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson.

David Dulio, Oakland University: We turn to them for moderators for a different reason, however, their work in starting the civility project which I’m sure they'll bring up during the conversation is much needed as part of the effort to bring about a better public dialogue.

David Dulio, Oakland University: As we do at all of our events at the Center for civic engagement I’d like to mention our tenants of civic engagement and productive dialogue.

David Dulio, Oakland University: These are simply guideposts as to how we want conversations to happen when we do have them, we want to engage in respectful dialogue we want to employ honest listening.

David Dulio, Oakland University: model civil behavior and tone support free and open discourse consider viewpoints, other than our own and find opportunities to agree not just agree not just disagree so with that I’ll turn it over to Nolan and Stephen Thank you again for being here and we look forward to the conversation.

Nolan Finley: Well, thank you, David and thanks to Oakland university for hosting us today very important subject and a very.

Nolan Finley: welcome addition this this whole civic engagement project you all have going on there couldn't be a better time for it and we appreciate Oakland university's efforts.

Nolan Finley: In this regard, and thanks to our Congress members for joining us today why don't we start out by talking about the problem solvers Caucus what.

Nolan Finley: What you all hope to accomplish with it, what you have accomplished, and you know what are the prospects that we will, that we will reach a point where we can govern together in Washington.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: you're good at it.

Stephen Henderson: Right well first.

Congressman Fred Upton: pleasure to be here all three of us are happy to be here, that is for sure it's a very important topic comes summers Caucus actually started a couple years ago.

Congressman Fred Upton: Maybe three congress's ago I was not a founding member I’ll confess, but I’ve been very active, the last couple years said last Congress and certainly in this one.

Congressman Fred Upton: couple things we've accomplished right away, first of all, we actually change the rules of the House to create more bipartisanship.

Congressman Fred Upton: And I give the democrats credit this all happened under Nancy Pelosi his watch and it was this Caucus, particularly the democrats in this Caucus who.

Congressman Fred Upton: insisted for their vote for speaker that in fact the rules change, and I will say that had the Republicans won the majority back in 2018.

Congressman Fred Upton: We had a number of us Republicans that would have insisted on the same changes, then with speak that would have been speaker Kevin McCarthy so that was it that was a big change.

Congressman Fred Upton: The other thing a couple things that we've done, we have an absolute civility pledge that all of us take.

Congressman Fred Upton: This is a Caucus with an equal number of Republicans and democrats we actually grew by six or eight Members in this Congress as well.

Congressman Fred Upton: And we've been very active in pursuing a number of what I would call common sense legislative solutions on important national issues.

Congressman Fred Upton: Elissa and I went down to the Texas border two years ago it was it was a crisis, then, as I would converse it's a crisis now.

Congressman Fred Upton: But it was particularly alarming and with all these kids that were coming in and resources that were strapped so that our our law enforcement folks at the border didn't have the means to take care of us.

Congressman Fred Upton: It was our group that forced the legislation through.

Congressman Fred Upton: Immigration is a big issue we passed actually what I would call to pretty big important immigration measure just in the last couple weeks one dealing with agriculture.

Congressman Fred Upton: With more than 300 ad groups supporting it, as well as the dreamers things that got stuck to me this side of me, the low hanging fruit, we need comprehensive immigration reform.

Congressman Fred Upton: But we took these on his issues and last thing because I don't want to dominate the time we meet.

Congressman Fred Upton: Before called it, we met at least once a week for an hour everyone left or labels at the door, there was no leaks, there was absolute.

Congressman Fred Upton: work together, no one really pointed fingers in each other we've taken a pledge now to ever campaign against each other, so you really built that trust, which is important.

Congressman Fred Upton: And now, because it call it really for a year we've been operating out of our homes and debbie's over to my house is my side porch.

Congressman Fred Upton: But we actually are in touch with each other on zoom probably a couple times a week for a couple hours, actually, in fact, already this morning.

Congressman Fred Upton: i've talked to our two leaders josh got married in New Jersey and Tom reed republican lead in New York state or can I couple different issues.

Congressman Fred Upton: And it is you know with divided government, the only way you're going to get things done is to work together to have crushed with each other to have common sense and try to move the ball forward and that's what this clock is dedicated to.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Say and i'd like to build on what Fred said, which is to talk about why personal relationships matter.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: You know it, there was a time when people got to know each other, they work together there's kids what kids went to school together.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: They didn't go home every weekend and, by the way, I think people should be going home every weekend so but that adjustment of you know, is there a plane travel has become easier and regular, although we're all little afraid of it, these days, and coven.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: People would have dinner said, have potluck dinners people get to know each other.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In everybody knows, I was married to john dingell he played paddleball every week with George Washington Rumsfeld, they were the best of friends for decades.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And people don't get develop those kind of relationships anymore and relationship building is critical to trust each other it's critical to work now I talked to Fred almost every day and the days that I don't talk to him when I go to bed i'm like I haven't talked to Fred today.

Congressman Fred Upton: i'm already thinking about this.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: morning.

Stephen Henderson: We did talk this morning.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Before nine o'clock we do we're not afraid to I talked to haley it was another Member problem solvers at 6:45am we will call each other early do.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: But I’m very clear every person in the Democratic Party new thread up since my one of my closest friends that I would not campaign against him, nor quite frankly I had known Peter Meyer and.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: paint his father has been my friend, for decades, I serve on the jira for library with him and Gerald Ford school, and I would not campaign against Peter, because in the listen oh so I told people.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: This is a friend, I think that those personal relationships matter and civility matters and you've got to build that trust and that's one of the keys to problem solvers getting to know each other.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And I would just add from a from a perspective of someone who's only in their second term right, you know when I got elected in 2018 from a district that you know voted for Donald trump it is republican.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You show up at Congress, you know in orientation and you say how do I find my people you know who am I going to connect with to get to know to really invest time in.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And I took it as a mandate from my district and based on my national security background to find the people who really wanted to do that tough.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: kind of network of bipartisanship, and so the problem solvers is literally the first group and frankly really the only group that I found that was a organized.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: equal numbers of democrats and Republicans met every week actually worked on legislation didn't leak on each other and and use somehow the press against each other and, at the end of the day.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: you realize, you know you, you have a cadre of people on both sides of the aisle who know that we don't agree on everything, and certainly we've had tough moments in the past year on, you know.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: How that's strained.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Any relationship, but because we have worked on things together, you know because we worked on a coven bill in November and December, when we had really tough things happen in January, we could have the tough conversation, and they were tough.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But still come out of it, as colleagues ready to work together and I just haven't found another group, like that, as a relatively new member of Congress so it's it's been pretty important and pretty formative for me.

Stephen Henderson: So the problem, I think that that each of you faces.

Stephen Henderson: Is within your own party which is kind of different right, I mean normally we talked about politicians having to contend with the their political opposites.

Stephen Henderson: But, for instance Fred RON wiser, who is the the Chair of the gop here in the state of Michigan says, you are the problem in the Republican Party in Michigan and Debbie and Elissa you know the far left.

Stephen Henderson: representatives in Congress in the Democratic Party would say that the kind of compromises you're making.

Stephen Henderson: distract from you know the agenda that the party has and and should have, and so I think when people look at something like a problem solvers Caucus the natural question is well how far can this really go.

Stephen Henderson: How much can you really accomplish because, at some point, your own party.

Stephen Henderson: is going to you know yank your chain and say either you get in line or you know, maybe we primary you or may we.

Stephen Henderson: ostracize you inside Congress, so I wonder if each of you can talk about how those kinds of negotiations take place not among you guys, but between you guys and the extremes of your own parts.

Congressman Fred Upton: Well, let me just say a couple things first of all, no election is easy for anybody unless you're on a polls and that's never happened.

Congressman Fred Upton: So i've been in Congress, the longest and you know i've had seven primaries and we've done pretty well in here we we we want every time you know I the primary.

Congressman Fred Upton: Primary in 20 I ran against state REPS state senators, you know cuz it terminates the things sort of go down a little bit faster than that maybe they would have.

Congressman Fred Upton: But at the end of the day in my districts a swing district very much like Elissa think number i'm a wolverine not a spark, and so I don't go there, all that.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Often people.

Congressman Fred Upton: Go that clock with that plan.

Congressman Fred Upton: But it's you know those things happen and we've done pretty well, and you know we went by addition by subtraction and if people want to rubber stamp they got the wrong guy right.

Congressman Fred Upton: And you know in my district, quite frankly, with rare exception over the last hundred years it's gone for the winner of the presidential race, the way that it's configured today in virtually every elect Obama won my district, and I wanted to.

Congressman Fred Upton: You know, even though I was a national guy for McCain was one of his national chairs.

Congressman Fred Upton: He.

Congressman Fred Upton: When.

Congressman Fred Upton: RON didn't win you know so those those things happen, and you, but I have found that you know I ran for Congress to make a difference, this was never a lifelong dream that I add.

Congressman Fred Upton: The ladder successes that is for sure people don't boaters don't really care for the most part.

Congressman Fred Upton: If you have an R or D next year name they want the job done they want you to listen, you want you to work with divided government, this is, this is the time and that's what I stand for.

Congressman Fred Upton: And you look just to close this last election chrome narrowly one my district I wanted by 16 points proof is in the pudding.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And I would just add to that as someone you know i'm the only democrat in Congress who represents a district that voted for Romney Ben trump than trump again right so.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You know I represent a lot of independently minded voters and that's good because i'm independently minded person, and of course there's pressure I you feel it every single day.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But you just make sure people understand I don't vote because someone tells me to vote a certain way you read the bills you actually learn about what you're voting on.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And you you're accountable to the people that elected you not your national leadership and while i'm respectful to to all of my colleagues and i'm willing to talk to anybody.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Anybody if they have a good idea um I think if you have your bearings and you understand as Fred said that you're not here to just fill a seat you're here to actually get something done.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And that, if I don't get reelected nobody dies, nobody dies right, I would like to be reelected but it's i'm not going to compromise my integrity, or what I believe just to keep the seat.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: So I think once you get comfortable with that and I certainly got comfortable with that in my in my first term at oakland university, you know, taking a ton of of hits where decisions that I made.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You know, once you're okay with that, and you realize that your job is responsible to the people who elected you it's a much easier job voting as you see fit.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: So I would tell you that I actually probably have one of the most diverse districts in the state where you can just take a line right through it, I have an arbor.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In the progressives in have that down rivers which are strong many trump supporters and represent Dearborn which.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: It has i'm very proud to represent the Arab Americans in the Congress to but last year I did have.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: A significant challenge, or in the primary though I took it very seriously and First they were upset with me because I did not come up from teaching immediately because I don't take the cause of the day.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: When you take a position you've got to have the facts and there's got to be.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: A reason, and when you have an election you respect the results of the election and that person is President of all of us whether you think they're doing a good job or not.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: So that and then I did not last time, support the Green New Deal because I’m very worried about jobs.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And I had for two years, every place I wouldn't I had protesters if I gave the speech, they would go up on.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: stage if I was at the farmers market Fred would hear me call and give them that but I wasn't afraid to talk to a man sitting in my offices, but i've talked to him and I told him how I felt.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And this year I have been very serious about bringing the two sides together justice in problem solvers.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: How we talk to each other, I have spent the last month for your Labor and the President of every national environmental group together.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And Labor has been very clear talking about their concerns about their jobs and environmentalist are telling people with facing and i'm trying to find that common ground.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And that's some I got elected as these two dead and everybody else did to solve problems and i'm trying to solve problems.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Not it, you know you might think of elections a popularity contest, but the fact of the matter is, I think people are tired of purchasing victory.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Although there's more of it than i've certainly seen in my lifetime, they want to see us get things done, and there are a lot of problems in this country, that we need to work together to get soft.

Nolan Finley: Far we'll Congressional leadership let you go on this at what point do they sort of journey back and say you've got to fall in line with the partisan Caucuses and are there any Members of.

Nolan Finley: leadership in the Caucus, are there any committee chairs, as part of your group.

Congressman Fred Upton: Well I’m tell me the pressure from the party leaders Member we're in minority so.

Nolan Finley: If it.

Congressman Fred Upton: Together, it doesn't really matter because they have the votes to get something done but you know hey.

Congressman Fred Upton: I was wants to eat the deputy with a web with other newt Gingrich and.

Congressman Fred Upton: You know I left that in the in the 90s, I got an energy and commerce best committee that there is Debbie would.

Congressman Fred Upton: agree Elissa might have a little concerned but I’m sure we we'd like to have her and she'd like to come over there if she had a choice.

Congressman Fred Upton: But you know when I got an energy and commerce committee and there were some little grumpily maybe I said look my boats night, you know I’m not a rubber stamp.

Congressman Fred Upton: And where I want to be some people are complaining about my votes I don't need to do this I’m going to be energy and commerce, and of course I became Chair of the Committee for six years, we have we have tournaments, but I have to say there's no.

Congressman Fred Upton: is, at least on our team.

Congressman Fred Upton: there's really not necessarily the pressure, nor the word in the minority.

Congressman Fred Upton: there's not any real breaking of arms is some might say.

Congressman Fred Upton: To get votes, especially i'm bored to conscience that we have usually there there's a number of us that are together there's not a lot of boats that are pure party line that's for sure, as it relates to chairman, we have we have people on every committee.

Congressman Fred Upton: And, of course, under the committee rules.

Congressman Fred Upton: Any any amendments at Germain is open.

Congressman Fred Upton: that's the case and energy and commerce committee when I was chairman I changed the rules that it stayed the same now bring along the German we are bipartisan and let's go first they go ahead and the cube over it, to encourage people to work with both sides of the aisle.

Congressman Fred Upton: We have you know we have people in ways and means and appropriations we have senior Members that are either share with Members.

Congressman Fred Upton: subcommittees there it's a very good group of what I would call influence your Members on both sides, and we are different ages different classes different areas of the country we're all represented.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: So I like I’m actually a member of leadership from one of the co chairs of the democratic House in vacations committee and on the team as well.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And I would tell you that I have a reputation for saying exactly what I think and what they need to hear, not what they want.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: doesn't mean my head's not capitated at least once a week but i'll never not be the I am who I am I say what I think and I think there needs to be more people that tell people what they think.

Congressman Fred Upton: yeah if I reclaim my time just for two seconds, one of the things that our leadership does we're at the table, they have us at the table we're able to weigh in they know where we are, like to say it's no surprises sort of like the old holiday in commercial.

Congressman Fred Upton: there's not a lot of sobriety we let them know where we are, because we feel like if we're part of it take off a part of the way.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And I would just say I mean I you know I.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: have not voted for speaker Pelosi in the last you know the two terms that i've been had that option to vote for her and I.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: will express to you that there's a lot of pressure when that boat comes up and you again, you just have to decide, like how vulnerable are you to that pressure what's going to move you and.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You know if you stick to your guns and you have a little bit of a spine, then the pressure, you are polite you always engage with people but it doesn't move, you and I think I think that.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Despite those decisions where i've split from my party i'm still the chairwoman of a subcommittee on Homeland Security, I run a task force.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: On supply chains and has like things that have depended on leadership's approval have come through, for me, so I think.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: The other thing I would just say is let's be honest, the democrats heavy micro thin majority in certainly the Senate, but also the House.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: So if four of us in the House for democrats decide not to vote for something a bill can't pass if it's going to be on a party line boat.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: So I have found actually in the second term compared to the first term that I have a lot more communication with leadership, they are coming to talk to us.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: On, particularly those of us in you know republican leaning districts to say where are you on this, what do you think about this, what do you need in order to get there, and that discussion, I will tell you I feel like is healthy.

Stephen Henderson: So, so I think if you look at a lot of the success you guys have had you know it's on subjects that are.

Stephen Henderson: Somewhat distant from the hottest and most contentious issues in Washington, and so I think there's kind of a natural question which is okay so.

Stephen Henderson: Something like the Great Lakes restoration initiative act is a really great opportunity for people to work across the aisle everybody from you know Great Lakes state should be for that whether you're republican or a democrat.

Stephen Henderson: But, but how do you build from there to be able to say okay well healthcare is also an issue that that Republicans and democrats are to.

Stephen Henderson: see more common ground on immigration is something that Republicans and democrats out of be able to compromise on I mean are we closer to that kind of cooperation on those kinds of issues, because of the work that you're doing.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: i'm just going to push back a little bit on your premise only because I’m.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: The literally the code bill that President trump signed in December, would not have existed, had it not been for the problem solvers Caucus who literally saw our collective leadership.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: So dug in that they couldn't compromise we worked first we tried to do it in August.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: People did zoom calls Fred was a real leader on this zoom calls to try and come up with that compromise package, we got so close to the election that it couldn't work but literally over thanksgiving.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: while people are with their families zoom calls democrats and Republicans coming up with a compromise and Brent really literally forcing it upon.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Leadership meaning taking it to the White House and saying if we you know if we can agree on this, can you agree on this, can we bring it back and get Congressional leadership so.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Unemployment checks stimulus checks, help for our businesses would not have happened I call that relevant yeah i'll believe that is relevant.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And then similarly literally some of the only bipartisan legislation on immigration has come out of this Caucus.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: fred's bill on farm workers and it, it may not be solving in a comprehensive way and Lord knows that's the great white whale that we all have to be committed to doing.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But you know when you can't hit home runs it doesn't mean you can't hit singles.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And we've got a lot of folks in Washington, who think on both sides of the aisle if it's not a home run i'm not touching it and I reject that as someone who believes in getting something done, but I think we have been more relevant than maybe you're giving us credit for yeah.

Stephen Henderson: No that's absolutely fair Debbie.

Congressman Fred Upton: And remember trump almost veto that last cold and bill. I mean this is.

Congressman Fred Upton: so hard, and it was it was the lifeline I mean Michigan or small businesses, I mean we had to have it, you know we started this in March, actually, it was the first bill passed even.

Congressman Fred Upton: Even little little dig here in our former colleague, oh my gosh I think even a my folder for the first few.

Congressman Fred Upton: That thing was for 17 to one I think was Tom Massey that voted against it but.

Congressman Fred Upton: But you know, it was a Herculean effort to get it, and then I can remember, we got the word that trump was thinking about doing it because it wasn't.

Congressman Fred Upton: Perfect well tell me what perfect is, but all we all just about died, we all called the White House ultimately got him to sign the bill, thank goodness.

Congressman Fred Upton: That a guy done but you know Elissa was right um, but there is a lot of issues that we're working on.

Congressman Fred Upton: You know you talk it goes back to maybe what I did Debbie was a part of this Elissa was a period where we got 21st century cures done.

Congressman Fred Upton: We passed that bill 392 to six in the House, this was provided the funding to actually speed up the approval of drugs and devices, we would still have a vaccine approved today.

Congressman Fred Upton: Without that bill that Obama signed into law by Hayden was a big help on that are already working on a 2.0 bill.

Congressman Fred Upton: And again, building on those relationships to try to get something done and varied it through the all the hoops and and wickets between the House in the Senate as well.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Here, when you out but I work with Fred analysts have but Fred and I just we're on the same committee so but water as a human right, addressing the lead issue.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In flint so Fred was critical to getting when it was a republican.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Congressman republican speaker to getting the eight different keys now working with Rashid in I on water is a you know, right now, making sure water is not shut out.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: He and I had this morning, where he called me several weeks ago about the Asian American hatred that was out there and what could we do about it as a Congress and.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: He told me I needed to suggest something to Christ man, and I said, will you co sponsor it and he said yes, so I called grace and we worked on that this morning we were talking about election.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: laws were we deal with the auto issues which, quite frankly, to this state is one of the most critical issues, there are, and these are the hardest and toughest in the ugliest and I bruises on my body now Fred and.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Talk about him every single day right now i'm the one in the ring that's got the bruises but he also his wisdom gives me, you know it's a lot of.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: So I actually think all three of us are working to get infrastructure.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: You know i'm on the problem solvers infrastructure Task Force broadband credits to coach The co lead with Jim Cliburn on broadband for both urban and rural areas, those are all really important issues Steve, so I would say to you you're not, there are a lot of things.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: we're all trying to find that common ground unity.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: One of the fact that keeps always.

Nolan Finley: You know the, the object of the civility project which Steve and I are involved in and started is to get people to talk across their differences in a productive manner to.

Nolan Finley: get them to stop shouting at each other, and we have a question from our from a Member of our audience who wanted to know what role you all, can play beyond Congress in.

Nolan Finley: getting people to work together and talk together and stop hating one another, so much, I mean we assume most of America lives in the middle politically.

Nolan Finley: And yet we are, we have the fringes of these two parties and the extremes of these two parties.

Nolan Finley: you're pulling the country back and forth and screaming at each other, how can you take this beyond the halls of Congress and and get the American people as a whole to tone down a little bit to cool down a little.

Congressman Fred Upton: But we have to go on the road and I gotta tell you, you know you know gabby and I wrote economic club together a year and a half ago.

Congressman Fred Upton: We get the deal for policy school and then arbor together she came over to my district and actually when not only to my district, but Peter Myers and grand rapids they hosted a wonderful forum there.

Congressman Fred Upton: Last year i've been on i'm scheduled to do one with Diana to get was my partner on 21st century cures and Denver with another great university like Michael Cohen there this next month.

Congressman Fred Upton: You know, listen I we've done a number of these things, and you know, frankly, we, we have to rely on the media goal and that's you to that other half that you were.

Congressman Fred Upton: And I gotta say that is I look at a lot of our Michigan province on media look at Michael Patrick shields I look at you look at others.

Congressman Fred Upton: This is something that people are yearning for, and they need to see us do it, in reality, I mean.

Congressman Fred Upton: The awful thing that happened in Oakland county a couple of to come away, two weeks ago now, seemed like a lot, the goal.

Congressman Fred Upton: You know, with the Oakland county Republican Party I mean they got shut down pretty fast and run wiser and I know more than she ran.

Congressman Fred Upton: In terms of what what he said that they obviously the Center that came from the regions, on Friday, so we need to move on and we need to to to focus on.

Congressman Fred Upton: folks that really want to work together, which is something that on certain all three of us, but really the problem solvers copy that's an underlying theme of who we are.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And I really go ahead, listen.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: I would just add that I think, in addition to actually providing examples of how democrats and Republicans can and should talk to each other right in forums like this and all those that Fred mentioned.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: I actually think that in 2021 given the state of the country it's our responsibilities to be leaders within our own districts, to bring together groups that wouldn't otherwise be in the same room.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: This to me was really brought home, frankly, after the murder of George Floyd where we had I had different groups talking to me, but they weren't talking to each other.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And so we literally because zoom makes it a whole lot easier, we started bringing those communities together i've done actual training, training.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: On you know, conflict resolution, because there are such disparate voices.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: In my district, and I think by coven has actually given certainly me an opportunity to really get to know a bunch of local leaders across the political spectrum.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: So that we've built up some trust, so that they're they're willing to come together and have some tough conversations.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: That is an absolute requirement for certainly in my district in the middle of the state here in mid Michigan because people are starting to lose their empathy for other people.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Right there's not enough connective tissue and they don't feel empathy for others who have different views and that goes nowhere good.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: So in addition to serving as an example, I think, literally facilitating and using your convening power as an elected official to bring together different groups.

Congressman Fred Upton: And so, go ahead, I got one thing to add.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: You can add.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: I’m respectful.

Congressman Fred Upton: So take the issue of the day, right now, what's on CNN right now the trial in Minneapolis.

Congressman Fred Upton: Our Caucus a number of us outside of the presses I, I would say, in the last three weeks there's been about a dozen of us that have spent at least 10 to 12 hours.

Congressman Fred Upton: Listening to experts around the country trying to find the right spot so that we really get police reform in a place that most of America will accept.

Congressman Fred Upton: they've all been behind the scenes, not a thing is leaked, it was like a leak now.

Congressman Fred Upton: But we're working with a Congressional black Caucus we're working with the senators we're working with the White House, working with Republicans and democrats.

Congressman Fred Upton: and, hopefully, in the next week or two we're going to have something that's that's ready to go that moves the ball forward that really has bipartisan support.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Annette Well, first of all I want to say God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, we need to listen more and talk to us, we do lead by leaving often.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Much important Elissa has said i've been doing my whole life, quite frankly, upbringing I’m.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Desperate groups together, but as Fred talks about this, we have to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations, because the fact of the matter is, we saw another law enforcement officer died last Friday at capital, the capital of police on at the interaction.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: On the six kept us safe, but there are, law enforcement, that I do think, I mean we also all saw George Floyd on that video and what happened to him there's court trial so.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: I will give an opinion here right now, but we really need to have some uncomfortable conversations and there are some real issues and we got to find a way to have those conversations.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In civil respectful ways I talked about it on my Facebook page almost every day it's somehow is ready doing it David Bohm and so to tread.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: it's been since the pandemic game today was day 395 so it's been a lot of writing, but we need to like bring people eager to talk it you gotta walk the talk and we got to not be afraid to have uncomfortable conversations and we all are, and you all have the ability to do that.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: But we all need to respect each other more I use the word empathy compassion kindness they matter in this day and.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Then I think coven brings us to as shine the light on that.

Nolan Finley: You know, Congress is as.

Stephen Henderson: evenly divided as.

Nolan Finley: we've seen in a long, long time the democratic majorities are very, very narrow and reflects the division in the country, which is you know about half of the people on one side of the aisle half the people on the other, wouldn't that be a.

Nolan Finley: very powerful argument for bipartisan governing and for not shoving things through on narrow partisan boats.

Congressman Fred Upton: Well that's why we changed the rules of the House we actually now encouraged more bipartisanship but now that we've.

Congressman Fred Upton: we've actually passed this April 1 deadline, so what was important about that well.

Congressman Fred Upton: In the rules package again, this is a little bit inside baseball and moves back to the past that first day that Pelosi was reelected and speaker in January.

Congressman Fred Upton: She passed rules baggage that allowed her to bring up every bill that passed in the last Congress, without going through Community.

Congressman Fred Upton: I think about the committee process that's where again any amendments, whether the armed services or energy commerce or appropriation.

Congressman Fred Upton: Every committee can offer amendments to the ratio is generally somewhat pretty reflective of the body, the House.

Congressman Fred Upton: that she was able to bring up builds that pass with her larger majority in the last Congress.

Congressman Fred Upton: and close the door on amendments, so a lot of these bills and we took up No member to allow which was something that our side really rejected to but.

Congressman Fred Upton: She nearly got the votes to get done that's now or there was only effective through April 1.

Congressman Fred Upton: So now, from this point on, maybe there was talking her leadership i'm just so amazing year to to maybe extend that because it worked out so well from their perspective.

Congressman Fred Upton: But again, it was the problem solvers it was the democrats in the problem solvers it said, you know what this isn't fair.

Congressman Fred Upton: It needs to expire, it is not going to get removed so now, when we come in back into session next week, all of these bills and blog committee.

Congressman Fred Upton: they're going to go through the normal what we call regular order and you're not going to be able to bring something up from last coffers immediately to the floor.

Congressman Fred Upton: Without that normal debate and amendments and miss out called sizing the you might get in the ways and means or energy and commerce or.

Congressman Fred Upton: Services tip me to get done so, hopefully now it'll really step, a really rough to get stuff done it'll really reflect I hope a bipartisan consensus of actually trying to improve these bills and get something ultimately to the President that he could sign that are bipartisan.

Nolan Finley: Well, to that same point what would we first talked about.

Nolan Finley: In the Senate about getting rid of the filibuster and going to a a straight majority vote on on bills getting rid of that 60 vote requirement on most measures, what would that do to the tone of Congress and to the cause of bipartisan governing.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Mitch McConnell has already told you what he will do he calls it, the nuclear winter, which by the way, quite frankly, we're I have a problem with this.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Fred knows how he feels that was Elissa we have a couple of republican colleagues who the minute we come in immediately.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: require of vote to adjourn and right now votes in the House or taking 45 minutes to an hour provoked and we're into midnight and people are stressed and grumpy and in bad moods, it is not create an environment.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: That.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: helps people come together or makes people like each other.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: and toxic is a very good word for it and Mitch McConnell's already said what he will do, but the fact of the matter is.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: That we can't get bills through in the Senate either it's a very complicated situation but i'm going to quote John Dingell said we should eliminate the Senate, and I might be at a point I agree with.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Just quality agenda in both.

Congressman Fred Upton: I think you might have six year terms in the House to.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: live for two years.

Nolan Finley: Fred was getting rid of the filibuster due to to the ability of Congress saw to work together, it on any level.

Congressman Fred Upton: Well couple things and I, you know I.

Congressman Fred Upton: i'm not i'm not sure that I have the answer being in the House, I would like to him i'm not sure that it's going to happen because Joe Manchin.

Congressman Fred Upton: One democrat that said he was gonna he would not go to eliminate it, they have the ability to do it, it does change things from what's happened over the last.

Congressman Fred Upton: 50 or 60 years i'd like to think that they are to get the signal that they are to work together.

Congressman Fred Upton: And maybe in I don't know I don't know that I come down on one side or the other, that if.

Congressman Fred Upton: They got rid of it with that then encourage well this bill is going to pass, so therefore let's work together on both sides of the album actually improve it to abrogate you know that's that's one thing that might happen.

Congressman Fred Upton: versus know you know screw you and everyone that looks like you you're you're in the minority we're not gonna allow anything to happen i'd like to think that it would be the first one.

Congressman Fred Upton: That the thought that would actually prevail, to try and get something done, I mean we you know our government is made of checks and balances three branches of government domain.

Congressman Fred Upton: I like to think that you know we put the country first.

Congressman Fred Upton: But I can't if they went through a real scorched earth policy and I gotta tell you, we got some folks in our freedom Caucus who just love it right now boats to adjourn every day.

Congressman Fred Upton: Vote some things they never even heard about back in college polisci previous question votes reconsider it is like a day that we might be done by 430 or five normally is taking this till 910 1111 o'clock at night and I sure hope it better, when we come back next week.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: You know I actually think it's very clear what will happen in the Senate I’m not as optimistic as Fred is, I think.

Congressman Fred Upton: What we are.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: What really depresses me is the number, I have a lot of friends are in the Senate Republicans and democrats.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: We all share them, but a lot of good people who are willing to sit at a table and talk to each other or leafy white blood is leaving the Senate, because he talks about how toxic it's become.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And how.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: What we're in Rob Portman was the next person both of them, but there are a number of other senators that are willing to sit down and, by the way.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: I can remember when house and Senate talk to each other and they talked about policy issues they had real discussions about how to solve problems.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: It is very rare that the House and Senate even talk to each other at a Member to Member level, we need to find a way to get back to that.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In I you know I keep trying to do that, but I’m very worried about what's going to happen in 2022 elections, and I would say to the American people, we don't have a senate seat up.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In Michigan but you need to really be aware of who you are electing in the 2022 election, and if you want to see more unity, if you want to see respectability and empathy for each other, then you need to demand that of the people that you elect to the Congress, no matter what the party.

Stephen Henderson: we've got a couple questions from the audience about.

Stephen Henderson: This information and misinformation, which of course is a big part of political discourse right now I mean there are people who really work very hard at making sure people have the wrong idea in their head and.

Stephen Henderson: I think we saw on January six, for instance, you know the extreme consequence of that kind of that kind of activity.

Stephen Henderson: I do wonder what effect that misinformation that disinformation the manipulation of facts has on the conversations that you have within the problem solvers Caucus I mean being able to settle on truth seems pretty key.

Stephen Henderson: to your work does this this kind of noise from outside, which has such an effect on voters have an effect on your your discussions as well.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: I would say, I mean, I think the majority of our membership are fact based folks who.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You know, we may have differences major differences of opinions on what to do about those facts, but there is still a conversation based around facts, and we have.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: presentations and really wonderful people who come and present to us, at the same time, so we're all hearing the same information from a company from a nonprofit from a foundation.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But it certainly I would say, a regular part of my job is having conversations with people who have a completely different fact basis for the topic we're discussing.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: and, obviously, as the Chairwoman on a committee that's looking at domestic terrorism, this is a huge huge issue and we've talked about the Stephen m but.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: I think the thing that I have challenged myself to do is how do you have a conversation with someone when you don't agree on facts without just walking away throwing up your hands and saying that's it.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And this is, this is a it's difficult right because convincing someone that their facts are wrong is one of the hardest things to do in I don't know human interaction.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But we cannot give up on people, we cannot just say well that's their America, and this is my America we're going to have different facts and that's it.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: The media has certain responsibilities social media has certain responsibilities.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: i'll be honest with you, you know all of us have probably seen intentional disinformation or misinformation come across our Facebook feeds our social media feeds, you know what you know you get a sense of when you see it.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Has any one of us ever mistakenly seen child pornography as we're scrolling no because it's illegal for the social media companies to allow the spread of child pornography, I think one of the things that.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: I feel strongly about is that social media has come a long way in 20 years and we haven't really done our jobs in Congress to properly oversee and put some rules of the road in place.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But to me that's some of the hardest work, we have to do, but the most important is talking to people who just have been educated and i'm talking about like my in laws i'm talking about my neighbors right and so i'm getting practiced and having the conversation but it's very difficult.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: They head out hearing Fred and I have the energy and commerce committee just tap Facebook Twitter.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And Google in front of the committee and I actually will tell you it's the first time I see committee united on both sides in a.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: holding them accountable for the disinformation and the fact of the matter is is that their revenue models is such that the more clicks to get the more money they make, and while they claim.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: That they're cleaning up their act, the fact of the matter is that they're not, I think he will is Elissa said.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: See both energy and commerce in the Judiciary Committee, energy and commerce, should have the lead on this Friday I think you would agree that we will take.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: It will be tough it's you know this is when you get to really sit down and do the nitty gritty and find where we can unite on this, but we have to do something about this, because people are believing what they are reading.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: On the social media platforms Facebook was the most comments platform mentioned after the January six.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: interaction Facebook was where the group that was going to kidnap the governor.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: did most of their communications, all of us here that you're talking to today have had a number of threats and we it's a different day in agent it's not okay so.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: They are contributing to it, it, we have to figure out how we address the problem in unfortunately the genies out of the bottle and a lot of this stuff.

Nolan Finley: Good question.

Nolan Finley: We got a lot of questions from our audience on the idea of franchising the problem solvers coc Caucus to the Senate is there a like minded group in the Senate, or is there a possibility that there will that one will be created.

Congressman Fred Upton: Actually, there is it's called no labels, not in its bicameral so it's not just i'd say there's probably a bunch of Center you know this unit more collegial so they're all they all have their either ways are all you know they have lunch together every day.

Congressman Fred Upton: But there's a bike camera group that's bipartisan we meet actually once a month and it's called no labels.

Congressman Fred Upton: Actually, Governor hogan from Maryland is actually hosting an event on immigration, a little bit later this.

Congressman Fred Upton: This month, they put out an invite to a number of us to join them to say that we don't have boards so and there's so there's a lot of you know, we talked about immigration, we were about ball with them on the carbon package had a number of meetings, together, we really.

Congressman Fred Upton: embraced psychiatrist you gotta remember there's a while, of the senators actually came from the House, so you know Roy Blunt I used to sit next to what is it energy commerce.

Congressman Fred Upton: Know Portland I mean you got a lot of folks that are over there, so it's happening, but our lives are pretty complicated and we wish that there was more time in the day to try and do something.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And I would also say to you Fred there is a group of Susan Collins Lisa Murkowski a Joe Manchin and then other senators come in and out of the group that do try to find.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: common ground and different those Members are part of the labels as well yeah.

Stephen Henderson: So, so I had a couple questions also about.

Stephen Henderson: President Biden and his agenda, which you know campaign, the on the idea of unity and bringing the country together, but certainly in the early.

Stephen Henderson: In the early going the things that he's sending over to Congress to vote on, are coming out coming back along really bitter partisan.

Stephen Henderson: divides I wonder what the problem solvers Caucus makes of you know, this early this early period and the opportunity to to get more republican support, or at least you know shake the bills, in a way that would get more bipartisan support them, we seen so far.

Congressman Fred Upton: Well, I reminded the White House of that very issue just yesterday. So.

Congressman Fred Upton: read you my email, but I will but.

Congressman Fred Upton: we'll see how it, how it develops, but you know we all want the President to succeed, this is a great country, we have to work together, we got a lot of issues.

Congressman Fred Upton: That we have to really deal with and the best way to deal with them is in a bipartisan basis and.

Congressman Fred Upton: you're right the last call that package, it was a purely partisan boat let's hope that they turn the page on that chapter.

Congressman Fred Upton: And we can really resort to some true bipartisanship from both the House and the Senate infrastructure is a big need certainly for us admission.

Congressman Fred Upton: Number the governor's say fix the damn roads they're not fixed, yet they need to be fixed we got a lot of issues we have to deal with whether it's.

Congressman Fred Upton: The resilience of our grid, so what happened in Texas what always happens in California our lead in our water, the great living there's a lot of different issues, broadband that we can work on together.

Congressman Fred Upton: and frankly would send a pretty good message to the rest of the country if in fact that we get this thing done in a bipartisan way so we'll see where it takes us the White House.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Is that I don't know, maybe a list has been to the White House I haven't been to the White House someday I know has been down there.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: There yeah yeah so they're written I think they're so I don't know that any of the democrats in our delegations, the senators made, but the House been there, but they're reaching out to the Republicans and they're trying the list of me at them.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: yeah I would just say I think my approach on this is get caught trying right do everything you can to make something bipartisan because.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: The country needs to see that because that's what they want from their leaders right, but if you try and you try and you try and you can't compromise Well then, I understand the instinct to go ahead and move out.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And I think that that is, to me, where I probably have a slight difference with the administration on approach is get caught trying let's let's open the door.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And if they don't walk through it Okay, then we move on our own, and I think that.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: It would have been my hope that we would have approached Kobe that way, we said that as a problem solvers Caucus many of us put out.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: clear statements both publicly but also privately to our colleagues in the new White House.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And you know again in the spirit of not just hitting home runs you know it's great if we pass these two massive bills.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And then, what that's the only legislation we're going to actually pass into law in the next two years, I reject that.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You know, we need to actually be getting to that right now that 60 vote majority in the Senate, we need to be putting up bills that meet that there's a ton of bipartisan bills from the House that are ready to be voted on by the Senate.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: i'll never understand why they just don't do a damn up or down vote and put people on record on these things like let them vote against a veteran's bill right go ahead if you're going to do that, so I think.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Some of us may have a slightly different approach, get caught trying.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: On bipartisan show I would actually argue that they did try I know they try they talk to Republicans Fred know say talk to Republicans.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: This was one of those times, where and Fred would have voted for some of these bills, except for some provisions in them and communicated it I would actually argue that the White House.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: they're not talking to me or I mean they're talking but they're talking to Republicans, and I know they're talking to Republicans, and they very much are focused on this.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: On the infrastructure bill, whether it works or not, but you have to remember that to pass a bill you got it goes to the House the Senate before it gets to the White House and there's leadership.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: In there along the way, but I know that there's nobody I've known Joe Biden for.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: 40 years and I know he is committed, I know what the staff has done that's how I know that they talked to Fred more than they talked to me.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: They tell me they don't have much they talked alyssa but I know that they are very intentional about trying to get republican votes they're not getting there.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: And we'll see I know that there are people in the White House that suggested that there should be.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: A bill that has bipartisan agreement and the rest of things should be the different bill.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: I hope i'm not making and others in the Congress did not want it to go that way, but there have been various here, I have to feel I do feel like I have to defend this administration that the President himself is trying to work with Republicans.

Nolan Finley: We have time for final remarks from each of you final thoughts on what it's going to take to make consensus governing.

Nolan Finley: The norm in Washington and in places like lansing and perhaps even in our local communities it's going to take to get back to that idea that compromise is a positive thing and not a negative thing.

Congressman Fred Upton: Is we have no choice we have no choice, do you want to get things done yet to work together and that's why i'm absolutely committed that's why debbie and alyssa on the same page Peter Meyer.

Congressman Fred Upton: Work we're all together on this and you know we're not here to to swing it windmills we're here to try and govern and do what's right for the country.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: Congress meeting is it coming together.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell: compromises in a dirty word and we need to try to do that.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And I would just say as a national security person I really feel like.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: You know, unlike the last 20 years where the greatest threat, I really felt to national security was the external threats right the foreign terrorist organizations that were seeking to attack us from abroad.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: I really think that the divisiveness between Americans is the greatest national security threat, certainly, because some people decide to like escalate and become extreme and terrorists.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: But honestly because it creates gridlock in governing and it makes people lose faith in democracy that is a threat to us, and so I guess you know, obviously in our own elected lives.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: We are all responsible for our own actions and our own decisions we've decided to think about what our roles mean for unifying the country, and until elected leaders realize that their job is to unify and not to split us apart we're going to have a real problem.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: And we're committed to working against that.

Nolan Finley: Well, we appreciate you all for, thank you for your time today, thank you for what you're doing in Congress to make this a more functional society more a more pleasant place to live, thank you all.

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin: Thank you.

Congressman Fred Upton: Good to be with you.