Gov. Inslee speaks after attending meeting in Washington D.C. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gov. Inslee speaks after attending meeting in Washington D.C.

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KENNEWICK, WA - Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference over the phone this morning after spending the weekend in Washington D.C., attending the National Governors Association winter meeting.

The weekend concluded early this morning with a meeting between the governors and President Donald Trump, where an array of topics were discussed.

Reporter Rex Carlin was on the call with Gov. Inslee this morning and told us that Inslee started the press conference with some optimism about early childhood education. However, his tone darkened when he moved onto some of the more controversial issues discussed at the meetings.

Inslee began by praising the bipartisan effort to begin an early childhood education task force...but that was about it on the positive side of things from Inslee's perspective.

First, healthcare, and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The governor cited a McKinsey Center study, released in conjunction with the National Governors Association, estimating just how many people in Washington would stand to lose coverage if the ACA is repealed.

"On a pro-rata basis, it could mean about 60,000 people losing insurance in the state of Washington, and perhaps as much or more than that in the Medicaid expansion area," said Inslee. "So this is very disturbing to me, and yesterday I asked Dr. Tom Price, who's the HHS Secretary, to try to give us some assurance that that was not the case. He just did not give me that assurance."

Inslee's next concern - a concern that governors on both sides of the aisle had for President Trump - hits close to home in an agricultural region like central and eastern Washington.

"This Republican governor said, 'Hey, we'd appreciate it if you don't start a trade war, because the first thing they'll shoot is our agricultural exports, and these other countries that we export to will slap tariffs on our ag exports'," Inslee said. "And the President's response was quite glim, he just said, "Hey, I'm the master of trade, don't worry about it."

Another national issue people are paying close attention to locally is the future of the DACA program, something politicians on both sides - such as Republican Congressman Dan Newhouse and Democratic Representative Pramila Jayapal - are working together on to come up with a long term solution for DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers.

Inslee was asked if President Trump elaborated at all on the DACA program and the future of it, to which Inslee responded: "He did not, and that's what was concerning because the question was, 'What can you say to ensure us that all you're going to do is this phase one', and he failed to give us that assurance."

Phase one?

"He said, 'Well the first phase, we're just really only looking at people who have previous criminal convictions, or gang-related activity'. What he did not do, and this is what's disturbing to me, is he sort of alluded that there'll be phase two or three," said Inslee.

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