Congressional Leaders: Rising Debt and the Legislative Agenda

May 23, 2017

In a series of one-on-one interviews, House and Senate Congressional leaders explored the connection between America’s rising national debt and a crowded legislative agenda. The major areas of reform — including healthcare reform, tax reform, infrastructure, trade and more — all have significant fiscal implications. These timely conversations centered on ways to craft policy solutions that are both fiscally responsible and supportive of economic growth.

This interview with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was conducted by CNN's Dana Bash as part of the 2017 Fiscal Summit.

Other installments in this series include interviews with:

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives in the 115th Congress. From 2007 to 2011, she served as the first woman Speaker of the House. Leader Pelosi has led House Democrats for more than 12 years and has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th Congressional District, for 29 years. As the Democratic Leader, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle-class families. In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.

Under Pelosi’s leadership, the 111th Congress was heralded as “one of the most productive Congresses in history” by congressional scholar Norman Ornstein.

Pelosi brings to her leadership position a distinguished record of legislative accomplishment. Pelosi spearheaded passage of historic health insurance reform legislation in the House which establishes a Patients’ Bill of Rights and will provide insurance for tens of millions more Americans while lowering health care costs over the long term. Other accomplishments include the passage of historic investments in college aid, clean energy and innovation, and initiatives to help small businesses and veterans. She has been a powerful voice for civil rights and human rights around the world for decades.

Pelosi comes from strong family tradition of public service in Baltimore. Married to Paul Pelosi, she is a mother of five and grandmother of nine.

Dana Bash, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN

Dana Bash is CNN’s chief political correspondent based in Washington, D.C., and serves as the network’s lead reporter covering both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. She was the primary reporter covering the 2016 Republican field of presidential candidates and also continues to regularly serve as a moderator for CNN’s political town hall specials.

Additionally, as the network’s chief political correspondent, Bash played a key role in CNN’s 2016 presidential primary debates, serving as a questioner in six of the network’s seven primetime primary debates on both sides of the aisle. Bash also serves as a co-anchor on set in the CNN Election Center for all election night specials and is the primary fill-in anchor for Jake Tapper on CNN’s premier political show, State of the Union.

As part of her coverage of the 2016 presidential campaigns, Bash has conducted sit-down interviews with majority of the candidates including Donald Trump, Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Bernie Sanders, and Governors Jeb Bush and John Kasich. In addition, Bash secured several extensive interviews with the candidates’ families and spouses including the first interview with Kasich’s wife and daughters; Heidi Cruz, exploring her role in her husband’s campaign; Governor Scott Walker’s two sons before announcing his presidential bid; and Frank Fiorina, husband of the only woman who ran for the Republican nomination.

Bash also continues to be instrumental to the network’s Capitol Hill coverage. In 2015, she broke news on live television that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would not be running for Speaker of the House and also conducted Speaker John Boehner’s final interview on his last day in office. Bash also served as the lead correspondent covering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Bash graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in political communications from The George Washington University.

Follow Dana on Twitter: @DanaBashCNN.

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