Winning the Future w/ Fuel Efficient Automobiles

On Friday, July 29th President Obama announces an national effort to improve fuel efficiency for new fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars and light trucks The new U.S. fuel economy average will start with 2017 models and increases by the year 2025 cars to 54.5 mph (an increase of 5%); light trucks will increase by 3.5% + 5%. The price of the more fuel efficient automobiles will cost more but the savings in the amount of gasoline consumed will be an offset.

Ceres, a national coalition of investors and public interest organizations, released a report detailing what stronger fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards would mean for the U.S. economy. In the Ceres report titled “More Jobs Per Gallon” report it showed that President Obama’s new 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standards we can expect:

* Approximately 484,000 new jobs in the United States by 2030.
* 43,000 of those would be full-time jobs in the auto sector.
* Consumers would save approximately $107 billion at the pump in 2030 compared to business as usual.
* 49 states would see net job gains.


89 thoughts on “Winning the Future w/ Fuel Efficient Automobiles

  1. WH

    Friday, July 29 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    The Vice President meets with senior advisers.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:20 AM
    10:20 AM
    The President delivers a statement on the status of debt ceiling negotiations
    Diplomatic Reception Room

    10:50 AM
    President Obama will announce a deal with U.S. automakers today, setting new fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars and light trucks for the model years 2017-2025.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:10 PM
    The President meets with President Boni Yayi of Benin, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, and President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire.

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. 5 automakers to back 54.5 mpg fuel standard by 2025

    July 26. 2011 David Shepardson- Detroit News Washington Bureau

    Washington — At least five large automakers are expected to endorse a dramatic boost in fuel efficiency requirements to 54.5 mpg by 2025, two people briefed on the matter said late Tuesday.

    General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC — along with Asian automakers Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. — are expected to announce their support for a revised proposal by the Obama administration to dramatically hike fuel efficiency standards, two auto officials said late today.

    The expected decision to back a framework came after the Obama administration agreed to lower its proposal from 56.2 mpg by 2025 — by giving light trucks a smaller increase. The administration will now only hike light trucks by 3.5 percent from 2017-21 on average. Smaller trucks will face a higher annual increase, while the largest light trucks will face a higher increase.

    Before automakers formally sign off on the agreements, some key details remain to be worked out before automakers approve the agreements. The Obama administration is expected to provide more details of the framework agreements in writing to automakers on Wednesday.
    The new plan calls for hiking fuel efficiency for light trucks 3.5 percent annually from 2017-21 — and then by 5 percent from 2022-25. The plan would hike car efficiency 5 percent annually over the period. The plan is also carving out special rules for “work trucks” — heavier light duty vehicles used for construction.

    Announcements in support of a deal could come by tomorrow, but at least one major foreign automaker has told other automakers they aren’t currently planning on endorsing a deal.
    An Obama administration official praised the progress.

    For the entire article:

    • The Facts About President Obama’s Energy Record

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Jan 18, 2012

      President Obama has taken steps to make us energy independent and create an economy that’s built to last. He’s been a strong supporter of domestic energy production, has made historic investments in clean energy technology, and has nearly doubled fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Because of the progress we’ve made, our dependence on foreign oil is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. Yet, conservative groups funded by big oil are spending millions trying to distort the President’s record.

      Get the facts:

  3. ‘Intensely engaged’
    Unseen POTUS busy on debt: W.H.

    By JULIE MASON | 07/28/11

    President Obama may be out of camera-range, but he remains “intensely engaged” in the debate over whether and how to raise the nation’s debt limit, the White House said.

    “First of all, he has been very visible in this, calling meetings, coming out and talking to you,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. “The fact that he is not standing here in front of you, I can assure you, does not mean he’s not intensely engaged in this debate.”

    The president addressed the nation on Monday but since then has kept a low profile, in contrast to his frequent ventures into the briefing room earlier in the process to take questions and make statements.


”Having already deployed the heavy weapons from the presidential arsenal, including a national address on Monday night and a veto threat, Mr. Obama is in danger of seeming a spectator at one of the most critical moments of his presidency,” reports the New York Times.

    The shift in visibility is raising questions at the White House about what role Obama is playing in the process, and the risks of his appearing to withdraw from the debate.


”Obama’s inability to get a telephone call returned from Boehner last week and his own description of himself as having been ‘left at the altar’ by the speaker might undercut his leadership image if the debt talks fall apart and damage the economy,” Reuters said.


Carney said “anything is possible” when asked if Obama might emerge after the House votes on Speaker John Boehner’s deficit and debt bill this evening. Meanwhile, he said, “We are having conversations at every level.”

”He is absolutely engaged,” Carney said of Obama.

    • House will remain in session this weekend

      7/28/11 05:21 PM ET By Mike Lillis – TheHill

      The House will remain in session through the weekend as Congress scrambles to secure a debt-limit deal in the face of a looming default deadline.

      House lawmakers will continue consideration of a 2012 funding bill for the Interior Department while they wait for the Senate to act on a debt-limit bill, the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Thursday.

      Cantor’s office suggests the Senate will pass either the Republicans’ “cut, cap and balance” bill or the GOP’s deficit-reduction package scheduled for a House vote Thursday evening — but both of those bills are nonstarters with Senate Democrats.

      “No other legislative action on the debt limit — other than a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution — is expected in the House,” Cantor’s office said.

      Votes are not expected before 1 p.m. on either Saturday or Sunday.

  4. Winning the Future by Supporting Local Innovation

    Posted by Ron Sims on July 28, 2011 at 03:15 PM EDT

    Today, I was proud to announce that we are making $95 million available in Regional and Community Challenge grants to support local efforts to build more livable and sustainable communities that ensure that all Americans can afford to live in places with access to employment, schools and public transit options.

    But that’s not all these efforts represent. They show that President Obama recognizes that in world where flexible workplaces win, where flexible minds win and where flexible economies win, communities need a flexible federal partner that’s responsive to local needs.

    With this funding, we’re building on the $170 million in grants we awarded last fall with our partners from the Department of Transportation to offer a different kind of partnership to local communities. Rather than the “one-size-fits-all” rules and regulations that too often ignored the unique needs of every community and created barriers to growth, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities is helping drive innovation at the local level and leveraging the public, private, and philanthropic investment communities need to thrive.

    For the entire article:

  5. Making Our Economy Stronger: The Need for High-Skilled Immigration Reform

    Posted by Austan Goolsbee on July 28, 2011

    It is one of the great American stories, repeated countless times over decades. An immigrant to the US, sitting in a lab or a company or even at home, working to start a company that ends up becoming a great American success story.

    Some of our greatest companies began exactly this way. And immigrants today have great ideas that can change the world. The question is whether they will develop them in the United States or somewhere else. Our immigration system should be designed to encourage talented people to study in the United States and start companies here. But today, foreign students studying science and engineering at America’s top universities are actually discouraged from using the skills they learn to create American jobs and make our economy more competitive. The end result is that we end up training innovators and entrepreneurs for other countries. That makes no sense. Instead of showing these future entrepreneurs and scientists the door, we should be stapling a green card to their diplomas and providing Startup Visas to those with the best ideas.

    Earlier this week, Senator Schumer hosted a Senate Subcommittee hearing on the “Economic Imperative for Enacting Immigration Reform”. A consistent theme among the hearing panelists, which included leaders from Microsoft and Nasdaq, was that reforming our high skill immigration policy is critical to creating American jobs and spurring economic growth.

    In a global marketplace, it is an economic imperative to train, attract, and keep talented people here. When immigrants start companies and file patents they create American jobs and ensure that the industries of the 21st century take root here in the United States.

    Immigrant entrepreneurs started 25% of engineering and technology companies between 1995 and 2005, including some of the economy’s biggest names. And immigrants are inventors. According to a Duke University study, the share of U.S. patent applications filed by immigrants rose from 7.3% to 24.2% from 1998 to 2006. Nearly a quarter of our scientists and almost half of our engineers are immigrants.

    For the entire article:

  6. President Obama Statement on the Passing of Richard Estrada Chavez

    July 28, 2011

    Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Richard Estrada Chavez yesterday. Richard spent his life in the service of others alongside his brother Cesar and his wife, Dolores Huerta, co-founders of the United Farm Workers. It was Richard who designed the UFW’s iconic eagle, a symbol of hope that has helped carry the struggle for the rights of farm workers forward for almost five decades.

    Throughout his years of service, Richard fought for basic labor rights but also worked to improve the quality of life for countless farm workers. And beyond his work, Richard was a family man. I was honored to have Richard visit the Oval Office last year on Cesar Chavez Day with other family members, and will never forget the stories they shared. Richard understood that the struggle for a more perfect union and a better life for all America’s workers didn’t end with any particular victory or defeat, but instead required a commitment to getting up every single day to keep at it.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard’s family and loved ones. We take comfort in knowing that the work he was passionate about will be continued by all he helped to inspire.

  7. July 28, 2011

    White House Launches Government Accountability and Transparency Board to Cut Waste and Boost Accountability

    Leaders in Cutting Waste, Fraud and Abuse Named to New Board

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Obama Administration is announcing the launch of the Government Accountability and Transparency Board. The Board, first announced by the President and Vice President in June as part of the Campaign to Cut Waste, will focus on rooting out misspent tax dollars and making government spending more accessible and transparent for the American people. Today, the President named several of the nation’s top watchdogs and leaders on government accountability to the board, which will be led by interim chairman Earl Devaney. The Board is holding their first meeting this morning to begin developing plans to enhance transparency in federal spending and root out and stop waste, fraud, and abuse in federal programs.

    “Cutting Waste, fraud and abuse has been something Washington has talked about for decades, but now more than ever, what the American people need is action,” said Vice President Biden. “That’s why we are tapping the top leaders across government who have been most aggressive in cracking down on waste to drive change and make the government work for our nation’s families. With our nation’s top watchdogs at the helm, we will deliver the kind of transparency and accountability for Federal spending that the public deserves and expects.”

    For the entire article:

  8. Hey CR and friends. This is a great thread. Hope all is well. This has been a really quiet day. When PBO is behind the scenes working, the media seem lost. 🙂

  9. 🙂 ************** 🙂

    Remember to send President Obama a 50th birthday card or email before next Wednesday, his birthday is Thursday, August 4th!!!


    🙂 ************** 🙂

  10. Good Friday morning everyone! I HOPE that there is resolution to the debt ceiling problem and that you have a good day! 🙂

    • July 29, 2011

      Remarks by the President on the Status of Debt Ceiling Negotiations

      Diplomatic Reception Room

      10:36 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I want to speak about the ongoing and increasingly urgent efforts to avoid default and reduce our deficit.

      Right now, the House of Representatives is still trying to pass a bill that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won’t vote for. It’s a plan that would force us to re-live this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics once again. In other words, it does not solve the problem, and it has no chance of becoming law.

      What’s clear now is that any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan. It must have the support of both parties that were sent here to represent the American people -– not just one faction. It will have to have the support of both the House and the Senate. And there are multiple ways to resolve this problem. Senator Reid, a Democrat, has introduced a plan in the Senate that contains cuts agreed upon by both parties. Senator McConnell, a Republican, offered a solution that could get us through this. There are plenty of modifications we can make to either of these plans in order to get them passed through both the House and the Senate and would allow me to sign them into law. And today I urge Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support — that can get support from both parties in the House –- a plan that I can sign by Tuesday.

      Now, keep in mind, this is not a situation where the two parties are miles apart. We’re in rough agreement about how much spending can be cut responsibly as a first step toward reducing our deficit. We agree on a process where the next step is a debate in the coming months on tax reform and entitlement reform –- and I’m ready and willing to have that debate. And if we need to put in place some kind of enforcement mechanism to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, I’ll support that too if it’s done in a smart and balanced way.

      For the entire article:

    • July 29, 2011

      Remarks by the President on Fuel Efficiency Standards

      Walter E. Washington Convention Center
      Washington, D.C.

      10:57 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.) Good morning. I’ve been having a lot of fun this week, but — (laughter) — nothing more fun and more important to the future of the American economy than the agreement that we’re announcing today.

      I am extraordinarily proud to be here today with the leaders of the world’s largest auto companies, and the folks who represent autoworkers all across America. (Applause.) I’m glad that I have a chance to see some of the great cars that you are manufacturing. As some of you may know, it’s only a matter of time until Malia gets her learner’s permit — (laughter) — so I’m hoping to see one of those models that gets a top speed of 15 miles an hour — (laughter) — the ejector seat anytime boys are in the car. (Laughter.) So, hopefully you guys have some of those in the pipeline.

      Now, for the last few months, gas prices have just been killing folks at the pump. People are filling up their tank, and they’re watching the cost rise — $50, $60, $70. For some families, it means driving less. But a lot of folks don’t have that luxury. They’ve got to go to work. They’ve got to pick up the kids. They’ve got to make deliveries. So it’s just another added expense when money is already tight.

      And of course, this is not a new problem. For decades, we’ve left our economy vulnerable to increases in the price of oil. And with the demand for oil going up in countries like China and India, the problem is only getting worse. The demand for oil is inexorably rising far faster than supply. And that means prices will keep going up unless we do something about our own dependence on oil. That’s the reality.

      At the same time, it’s also true that there is no quick fix to the problem. There’s no silver bullet here. But there are steps we can take now that will help us become more energy independent. There are steps we can take that will save families money at the pump, that will make our economy more secure, and that will help innovative companies all across America generate new products and new technologies and new jobs.

      So I’ve laid out an energy strategy that would do that. In the short term, we need to increase safe and responsible oil production here at home to meet our current energy needs. And even those who are proponents of shifting away from fossil fuels have to acknowledge that we’re not going to suddenly replace oil throughout the economy. We’re going to need to produce all the oil we can.

      For the entire article:

    • July 29, 2011

      Background on President Obama’s Fuel Efficiency Event Today

      The President will deliver remarks at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. announcing the next round of a coordinated national program to dramatically improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution for cars and light-duty trucks for Model Years 2017 to 2025.

      The President will be joined on-stage at the event by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, several auto company executives and UAW President Bob King. These individuals have signed onto and been instrumental in achieving this historic agreement. The participating auto companies are also providing advanced technology vehicles to display at the event.

      The President will speak to an audience of approximately 250 people including representatives from the auto companies, UAW employees, environmental leaders, union representatives and Members of Congress. Thirteen companies will have representatives at the event, including Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo – which together account for over 90% of all vehicles sold in the United States.

      For the entire article:

    • July 29, 2011

      President Obama Announces Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard

      Consumers will save $1.7 trillion at the pump, $8K per vehicle by 2025

      WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today announced a historic agreement with thirteen major automakers to pursue the next phase in the Administration’s national vehicle program, increasing fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. The President was joined by Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo – which together account for over 90% of all vehicles sold in the United States – as well as the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the State of California, who were integral to developing this agreement.

      “This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama. “Most of the companies here today were part of an agreement we reached two years ago to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars over the next five years. We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate. By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”

      Building on the Obama administration’s agreement for Model Years 2012-2016 vehicles, which will raise fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg and begin saving families money at the pump this year, the next round of standards will require performance equivalent to 54.5 mpg or 163 grams/ mile of CO2 for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. Achieving the goals of this historic agreement will rely on innovative technologies and manufacturing that will spur economic growth and create high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.

      For the entire article:

    • Obama’s Stricter Fuel Efficiency Standards Will Save Money, Create Jobs, Say Report

      8/5/11 By Erica Gies | Forbes – 34 mins ago

      Nearly lost in the debt-ceiling drama was President Obama’s announcement last Friday of new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard for cars and light-duty trucks: 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Thirteen automakers, representing 90 percent of the cars sold in the United States, were on board with the agreement, which follows Obama’s 2009 mandate for a CAFE average of 35.5 by 2016.

      Following the announcement, Ceres, a national coalition of investors and public interest organizations, released a report detailing what stronger fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards would mean for the U.S. economy. It’s conclusion: the higher the standard, the more jobs and greater savings. “More Jobs Per Gallon,” the report by independent research firm Management Information Services Inc., evaluated various regulatory scenarios the Obama administration had been considering, including fuel economy improvements of 3, 4, 5 and 6 percent per year. It used economic data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and U.S. Treasury Department

      Obama’s 54.5 mpg plan is most closely aligned with the report’s 4 percent scenario. According to the report, under that mandate we can expect:

      * Approximately 484,000 new jobs in the United States by 2030.
      * 43,000 of those would be full-time jobs in the auto sector.
      * Consumers would save approximately $107 billion at the pump in 2030 compared to business as usual.
      * 49 states would see net job gains.

      For the entire article:

    • August 09, 2011

      White House Announces First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses

      Saving $50 billion in fuel costs and over 500 million barrels of oil

      WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama will meet with industry officials to discuss the first of their kind fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles and to thank them for their leadership in finalizing a successful national program for these vehicles. This meeting marks the Administration’s announcement of the standards, which will save American businesses who operate and own these commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program. The cost savings for American businesses are on top of the $1.7 trillion that American families will save at the pump from the historic fuel-efficiency standards announced by the Obama Administrations for cars and light duty trucks, including the model year 2017-2025 agreement announced by the President last month.

      “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”

      “Thanks to the Obama Administration, for the first time in our history we have a common goal for increasing the fuel efficiency of the trucks that deliver our products, the vehicles we use at work, and the buses our children ride to school,” said Secretary LaHood. “These new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector, and promote energy independence for America.”
      “This Administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe and cutting carbon pollution – and programs like these ensure that we can serve those priorities while also reducing our dependence on imported oil and saving money for drivers,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “More efficient trucks on our highways and less pollution from the buses in our neighborhoods will allow us to breathe cleaner air and use less oil, providing a wide range of benefits to our health, our environment and our economy.”

      For the entire article:

      • President Obama Announces First Ever Fuel Economy Standards for Commercial Vehicles

        Posted by Colleen Curtis on August 09, 2011

        President Obama today will announce new fuel efficiency standards that will save American businesses that operate and own commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. These work trucks, buses, and other medium- and heavy duty vehicleswill be required to meet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for the first time ever beginning in 2014.

        The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program.

        “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”

        Under the comprehensive new national program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. Like the Administration’s historic car standards, this program – which relies heavily on off-the-shelf technologies – was developed in coordination with truck and engine manufacturers, fleet owners, the State of California, environmental groups and other stakeholders.

        For the entire article:

      • Secretary LaHood: $50 Billion in Fuel Savings a “Significant Win” for Trucking Industry

        Posted by Secretary Ray LaHood on August 09, 2011

        At the Department of Transportation we have been working to encourage safer, more innovative, and more cost effective ways to move goods across our nation’s highways. Today, President Obama introduced one more step toward that goal.

        “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks.”

        The 2014-2018 fuel efficiency standards for trucks are designed to account for the different kind of work done by different kinds of trucks. Long haul trucks will save an average of 4 gallons for fuel for every 100 miles traveled. Heavy-duty pickups and vehicles like buses, delivery trucks, or vans would save one gallon for every 100 miles traveled. Altogether, we’re looking at saving a projected 530 million barrels of oil.

        That is a huge benefit to truck owners and operators. Over the life of a new truck built to fit these standards, a semi-truck driver will see a net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs. Will the technology required to meet these standards add to the cost of a new truck? Yes, but the fuel-savings will more than match that cost within one year of driving.

        For the entire article:

  11. Advance Estimate of GDP for the Second Quarter of 2011 and Annual Revision

    Posted by Austan Goolsbee on July 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM EDT

    Today’s report shows that the economy posted the eighth straight quarter of positive growth, as real GDP (the total amount of goods and services produced in the country) grew, but at only a 1.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter of this year. The downward revision in the first quarter to 0.4 percent further reflects the slowdown of economic growth due to substantial headwinds faced in the first half of this year. Additionally, the annual revision to GDP showed that the Great Recession – the worst on record – was even deeper than originally estimated.

    We are at a fragile moment in the world economy and cannot afford to do anything to undermine our recovery at a moment such as this. The unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn. This report underscores the need for bipartisan action to help the private sector and the economy grow – such as measures to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, pass the pending free trade agreements with re-employment assistance for displaced workers, and create an infrastructure bank to help put Americans back to work. It also underscores the need to end the uncertainty surrounding the risk of default and put in place a balanced approach to deficit reduction that phases in budget cuts, instills confidence, and allows us to live within our means without shortchanging future growth.

    Notable contributions to real GDP growth in the second quarter included net exports (0.6 percentage points) and fixed investment (0.7 p.p.). Defense spending added 0.4 p.p. to GDP, but this gain was offset by declines in state and local government (-0.4 p.p.) and nondefense spending (-0.2 p.p.). Consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent at an annual rate, with a steep decline (23 percent) in motor vehicle consumption accounting for the weakness. The downward revision to first quarter GDP from 1.9 percent to 0.4 percent reflects lower contributions from inventory investment and imports.

    GDP July 2011

    For the entire article:

  12. West Wing Week 07/29/11 or “Mutual Disposition”‘

    From: whitehouse | Jul 28, 2011

    This week, The President held a town hall, met with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, honored the world series champions, spoke to Hispanic community advocates and addressed the Nation on the importance of compromising on a balanced approach to reduce the deficit. That’s July 22nd to July 28th or “Mutual Disposition”

  13. Hi CR,
    Thanks for email reminder about PBO’s birthday…
    Hope he gets a bill passed & signed, raising debt limit for his birthday present!

  14. World Bank head: U.S. playing with fire on debt limit

    7/29/11 By Lesley Wroughton | Reuters – 47 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is courting calamity with the continuing stalemate in Congress over raising the country’s debt limit, the World Bank’s chief said on Friday.

    “Whatever the logic about the tactics, it’s a very dangerous environment,” Robert Zoellick told a meeting of the Society for International Development, adding that people were “playing with fire.”

    “To be blunt, to have a debt default in the United States would not only be a financial calamity but should be an embarrassment for every American” he said.

    Unless the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is raised by Tuesday, the United States will lose its ability to borrow and start to run out of cash to pay its bills.

    Efforts to avoid an unprecedented debt default suffered a new blow on Thursday when some fiscally hardline Republicans blocked a budget deficit plan proposed by their own congressional leaders.

    On Friday, President Barack Obama said he was ready to work with top Democrats and Republicans through the weekend to get a debt ceiling accord.

    Zoellick said the political standoff in Washington was coming at a time when Europe faced fiscal difficulties and Japan was struggling with low growth and is trying to recover from an earthquake.

    “So you have an environment that’s already fragile and uncertain,” he said.

  15. State and Local Officials Join the Call for Compromise

    Posted by Joanna Rosholm on July 29, 2011 at 02:58 PM EDT

    We’ve seen switchboards and websites overwhelmed by Americans urging members of Congress to compromise on the debt ceiling, and this morning, the President urged the American people to keep the pressure on, because the price of partisan divergence and defaulting for the first time in our nation’s history is much too high.

    Governors, mayors and other state elected officials are joining the growing chorus urging Congress to compromise on behalf of the American people and to remove the cloud of uncertainty that currently hangs over our economy. Democrats and Republicans agree on the problem, and the scope of the solution, and now our state and local leaders are urging Congress to do their job before August 2.

    Here is a sampling of what state and local officials are saying in letters to their congressional delegations, op-eds, and statements in support of compromise:

    Scott Smith, Mayor (R) of Mesa, AZ
    John Lewis, Mayor of Gilbert, AZ
    Phil Gordon, Mayor (D) of Phoenix, AZ
    Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor (D) of Los Angeles, CA
    Kevin Johnson, Mayor (D) of Sacramento, CA
    Bill Lockyer, CA State Treasurer (D)
    Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of Connecticut (D)
    Jack Markell, Governor of Delaware (D)
    Chip Flowers, Delaware State Treasurer (D)
    Vincent Gray, Mayor of Washington, DC (D)
    Patrick Quinn, Governor of Illinois (D)
    State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), chairwoman of the IBLC
    William Crawford (D-Indianapolis), ranking Democrat on the budget-writing Indiana House Ways and Means Committee
    Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, KY (D)
    Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, LA (D)
    Martin O’Malley, DGA Chair and Governor of Maryland (D)
    Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts (D)
    Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston, MA (D)
    David Bing, Mayor of Detroit, MI (D)
    Virg Bernero, Mayor of Lansing, MI (D)
    Bert Johnson, MI State Senator (D)
    R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, MN (D)
    Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, NV
    Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ (D)
    Mark Sokolich, Mayor of Fort Lee, NJ (D)
    Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, NY (I)
    Thomas DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller (D)
    Bev Perdue, Governor of North Carolina (D)
    Anthony Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte, NC (D)
    William V. Bell, Mayor of Durham, NC (D)
    Janet Cowell, North Carolina State Treasurer (D)
    Earl Leiken, Mayor of Shaker Heights, OH
    Denny Doyle, Mayor of Beaverton, OR
    Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, PA (D)
    Joseph P. Riley, Mayor of Charleston, SC (D)
    A C Wharton, Mayor of Memphis, TN (D)
    Garnett F. Coleman, TX State Representative (D)
    Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont: (D)
    Kesha Ram, VT State Representative (D)
    Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County, VA Chairman, On behalf of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (D)
    Chris Gregoire, Governor of Washington (D)
    Mike McGinn, Mayor of Seattle, WA (D)
    Jim McIntire, WA State Treasurer (D)

  16. July 29, 2011

    Remarks of President Obama After Meeting with African Heads of State

    Cabinet Room

    4:13 P.M. EDT

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I just wanted to publicly welcome four very distinguished leaders to the White House: President Yayi of Benin; President Conde of Guinea; President Issoufou of Niger; and President Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire.

    Although, obviously, we’ve got a lot of things going here in Washington today, it was important for us I think to maintain this scheduled appointment with four leaders of nations that represent Africa’s democratic progress, which is vital to a stable and prosperous and just Africa, but is also critical to the stability and prosperity of the world.

    All these leaders were elected through free and fair elections. They’ve shown extraordinary persistence in wanting to promote democracy in their countries despite significant risks to their own personal safety and despite enormous challenges, in some cases — most recently in Côte d’Ivoire — in actually implementing the results of these elections.

    But because of their fortitude and because of the determination of their people to live in democratic, free societies, they have been able to arrive at a position of power that is supported by the legitimate will of their peoples. And as such, they can serve as effective models for the continent.

    For the entire article:

  17. Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    7/29/11 By The Associated Press | AP – 1 hr 6 mins ago

    The Libyan rebels’ military commander is killed by his comrades while in custody after he was arrested by the opposition’s leadership on suspicion of treason, witnesses say, in a sign of disarray that posed a major setback for the movement battling Moammar Gadhafi. The slaying of Abdel-Fattah Younis raised fear and uncertainty in Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital.

    Tens of thousands of protesters calling for the ouster of President Bashar Assad’s regime take to the streets throughout Syria, urging fellow citizens who have remained on the sidelines to join them and warning those who are hesitant that they are indirectly helping security forces kill more protesters. Syrian troops trying to sweep them from the streets fire live ammunition and tear gas, killing at least four demonstrators, activists say.

    Tens of thousands of ultraconservative Muslims in long beards, robes and prayer caps throng Cairo’s central Tahrir Square in a massive show of force, calling for the implementation of strict Islamic laws and sparring with liberal activists over their visions for a post-revolution Egypt. It was the first rally with religious overtones in Egypt, and one of the largest, since the uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down in mid-February.

    Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets outside Bahrain’s capital to call for greater democratic freedoms despite government plans to introduce some political reforms. The march comes a day after Bahrain’s king accepted a list of proposed reforms that include strengthening the power of parliament’s lower house, the country’s only elected body.

    Members of Jordan’s powerful Islamist opposition have taken an oath to continue peaceful protests until their demands for political reform in the kingdom are met. Around 3,000 Muslim Brotherhood activists took the oath, raising their right hands during a protest in Amman on Friday.

  18. Harry Reid makes his move


    Stepping up pressure on divided Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he’d immediately move to his bill to raise the national debt limit as President Barack Obama called for a bipartisan deal to avert an economy-shaking default next week.

    Calling his plan “the last train out of the station,” Reid said there are only hours to act before Tuesday’s Treasury deadline, so he plans to file a procedural motion Friday to move toward a final vote in the next few days.

    “That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action on the Senate’s compromise legislation,” he said.

    After Thursday night’s revolt that stalled Speaker John Boehner’s plan, Reid is trying to force the House into accepting a Senate alternative — provided he can win GOP support in his body. By going through the procedural hoops in the Senate, the body would act on a final plan just hours before Tuesday’s deadline to raise the debt ceiling when the White House says the government will begin to run out of money.

    “What’s clear now is that any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan,” Obama said at the White House Friday, saying the two parties “aren’t miles apart” and in “rough agreement” on a plan with some modifications.

    Read more:

  19. White House open to two-day extension

    07/29/11 05:25 PM ET By Sam Youngman – TheHill

    The White House is open to a brief extension of the debt ceiling if there is a legislative agreement in sight, Democrats familiar with the situation said Friday.

    At midnight Friday, there will be 96 hours left before the U.S. exceeds its borrowing authority, and Democrats say there has been almost no communication between the White House and Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office.

    There continue to be conversations between the White House and Capitol Hill, however, about possible trigger mechanisms that could be included in legislation being drawn up by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.).
    Reid is trying to put together a plan that could pass muster in both the House and the Senate.

    The only deal-breakers for the White House continue to be a second debt limit vote that would take place before the 2012 election, and legislative attacks on the president’s healthcare law.

    During earlier discussions between the White House and Boehner’s office, the possibility was discussed of including a trigger that would end the insurance mandate in the healthcare law. The White House said it could not agree to that term.

    Negotiations with House Republicans have been put on hold until Boehner’s bill is approved by the House and is defeated in the Senate Friday night.

    Senate Democrats are expected to approve a motion tabling Boehner’s measure, which could allow it to be used as a vehicle for a future compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling.

  20. ‘DOA’

    7/29/11 POLITICO44

    Statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney on the House voting to pass John Boehner’s debt ceiling bill Friday:

    The bill passed today in the House with exclusively Republican votes would have us face another debt ceiling crisis in just a few months by demanding the Constitution be amended or America defaults. This bill has been declared dead on arrival in the Senate. Now that yet another political exercise is behind us, with time dwindling, leaders need to start working together immediately to reach a compromise that avoids default and lays the basis for balanced deficit reduction.

    Senator Reid’s proposal is a basis for that compromise. It not only achieves more deficit reduction than the bill passed in the House today and puts a process in place to achieve even more savings, it also removes the uncertainty surrounding the risk of default. The President urges Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House – a plan the President can sign by Tuesday.

    • Debt crisis seen as tea party’s fault

      7/29/11 By Charles Babington – Associated Press

      WASHINGTON — House Republicans rode the tea party tiger to power last fall. Now it’s turning on them, forcing party leaders to endure embarrassing delays and unwanted revisions to crucial debt-ceiling legislation.

      This tiger did not change it stripes. When tea partyers emerged as a political phenomenon in 2009, they vowed to stand on principle and change the way Washington works. They’ve kept that promise despite some doubters’ predictions they would succumb to the get-along, go-along crowd once they reached Capitol Hill.

      That fidelity is now threatening GOP unity and causing headaches for party leaders as they try to negotiate with Democrats in a divided government. With the 2012 campaigns cranking up, some Republicans are re-evaluating the fiery movement that fueled their sweeping victories in 2010.

      House Speaker John Boehner’s misreading of tea partyers’ doggedness this week forced his chagrined team to postpone votes twice on his debt-ceiling bill. Finally, on Friday, Boehner had to amend the bill in ways Democrats openly derided. The events proved “that while the tea party Republicans are a noisy and effective protest movement, they are unfit for governing,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

      Said Rep. Steven LaTourette, an Ohio Republican: “We’ve lost some leverage.”

      Senate dead end

      Boehner’s original bill to raise the debt ceiling by Tuesday’s deadline was already doomed in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where talks of a possible final-hour bipartisan deal were under way. But the House’s tea party holdouts forced Boehner to push his bill even further to the right, prompting taunts that it wasn’t serious, let alone viable.

      Boehner could not secure the votes he needed from conservatives until he accepted an unusual condition for a second debt-limit increase, which would be necessary in a few months. Both chambers of Congress first would have to approve a constitutional amendment requiring balanced budgets, which requires a two-thirds majority in both houses. Some conservatives have long dreamed of such a change. But leaders in both parties acknowledge it is politically unachievable.

      Boehner’s original bill was already imperiled because it would tie the second debt-ceiling increase to huge mandatory spending cuts, which President Barack Obama rejected. The speaker’s allies said the tea partyers’ demands make it all the harder to argue that Democrats should seriously consider the House bill.

      Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., said Democrats will “feel like they’ve got a lot more power and influence in this process right now.”

      For the entire article:

  21. WH

    Saturday, July 30, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama will meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Saturday afternoon for an update on Capitol Hill debt negotiations, a White House official said.

    7:00 AM
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  22. Why won’t Obama just declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional?

    04:17 PM ET, 07/29/2011 By Brad Plumer – washingtonpost

    (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press) “Only Congress can increase the statutory debt ceiling,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at today’s briefing. “That’s just a reality.” Carney was responding to a suggestion floating around that the White House could invoke the 14th amendment of the Constitution to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval—should it come to that.

    But is Carney right? A growing number of top Democrats strongly disagree and think the 14th amendment option is a good last resort. “Is there anything that prohibits him from doing that?” Iowa Senator Tom Harkin told The Hill today. “The answer is no.” Thursday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer described it as the least bad option if Congress doesn’t act. Former President Bill Clinton’s on board, too. And a growing number of law professors and legal scholars are now arguing that Obama would actually prevail.

    Yale’s Jack Balkin explains how this would work. At some point after Aug. 2, Obama would face the demands of multiple contradicting laws. By law, the government is supposed to pay out money that’s already been appropriated. But the Treasury’s obligations would exceed revenues, and, under debt-ceiling law, the government’s not allowed to print new currency or float new debt.

    For the entire article:

    • The Constitution: Amendments

      Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

      Section 4.
      The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.


    • President Obama Urges Americans To Pressure Congress To Resolve Debt Ceiling Negotiations

      JULY 29, 2011

      President Obama made remarks this morning on the “increasingly urgent” status of the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, which after weeks of wrangling have now entered the 11th hour. It’s a curious coincidence that the default deadline of August 2nd is exactly three months to the day after the President and First Lady Obama hosted a bipartisan dinner for Congressional leaders at the White House on May 2nd. The guests seated with the President at the big East Room event, which also included Cabinet Secretaries and senior White House officials, were the major players in the debt drama: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH); Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

      During brief remarks at the dinner, the President made a prophetic statement:

      “Obviously we’ve all had disagreements and differences in the past. I suspect we’ll have them again in the future,” he said.

      This morning, the President pointed out that “there are multiple ways to resolve this problem,” but it requires the kind of bipartisan goodwill that seemed to be on display at the dinner. He noted that House Republicans are wasting time trying to pass a bill “that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already said they won’t vote for.”

      But there’s more than one way to make a debt souffle, the President pointed out–or as he put it, “there are plenty of ways out of this mess.”

      “Senator Reid, a Democrat, has introduced a plan in the Senate that contains cuts agreed upon by both parties,” President Obama said. “Senator McConnell, a Republican, offered a solution that could get us through this.”

      The human-made crisis, the President said, can rapidly be ended:

      “Today I urge Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support — that can get support from both parties in the House –- a plan that I can sign by Tuesday.”

      On Monday night, during a nationally televised press conference, the President urged Americans to put pressure on Members of Congress to act responsibly, and he repeated the call again today.

      “To all the American people, keep it up. If you want to see a bipartisan compromise -– a bill that can pass both houses of Congress and that I can sign — let your members of Congress know,” President Obama said. “Make a phone call. Send an email. Tweet. Keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this.”

      Shortly after this morning’s remarks, the President tweeted on his @BarackObama account: “The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. —BO”

      For the entire article:

  23. ARCHIVE:

    Social Security Act of 1965

    The Social Security Amendments of 1965 was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly (over 65) and for poor families. While President Lyndon B. Johnson was responsible for signing the bill, there were many others involved in drafting the final bill that was introduced to the United States Congress in March 1965.

    The concept of national health insurance began in the early 1900s and came to prominence during the Truman administration. Between 1958 and 1964, controversy grew and a bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of Johnson’s Great Society Although the overall politics of Medicare and Medicaid were liberal, the help of John Byrnes, a Republican, was essential in drafting what became United States’ first public health insurance program. The legislation was vigorously opposed by the American Medical Association until it had been enacted, following which the AMA cooperated in its implementation.
    Legislative history

    In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt included social insurance for sickness in the platform of his Progressive Party (United States, 1912). Around 1915 the group American Association for Labor Legislation attempted to introduce a medical insurance bill to some state legislatures. These attempts were not successful, and as a result controversy about national insurance came about. National groups supporting the idea of government health insurance included the AFL-CIO, the American Nurses Association, National Association of Social Workers, and the Socialist Party USA. The most prominent opponent of national medical insurance was the American Medical Association (AMA); others included the American Hospital Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Life Insurance Association of People.

    For the entire article:

    • Seniors & Social Security

      “To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”



      Many seniors are struggling in the face of the economic downturn, having seen their savings fall, and we acted quickly to help provide relief. The Recovery Act provided a one-time payment of $250 to retirees, other Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans, and SSI recipients. Fifty-six million retirees and other individuals received this one-time payment, totaling $14 billion. In light of continued economic hardship for too many seniors, the President has called for Congress to enact another $250 Economic Recovery Payment to our seniors this year, as well as to veterans and people with disabilities.

      Guiding Principles

      Protecting & Strengthening Social Security
      President Obama believes that all seniors should be able to retire with dignity, not just a privileged few. And, he believes that all Americans deserve to know that, if they become disabled or if they lose the breadwinner in the family, Social Security will be there to protect them. Today, nearly 54 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, including 38 million retirees and their family members, 10 million Americans with disabilities and their dependents, and 6 million survivors of deceased workers.

      For the entire article:

  24. Happy Birthday

    Happy Birthday to Mrs. Marian Robinson!!! (First Lady Michelle Obama and Craig Robinson’s mother)

  25. Hey CR, just wanted to catch up on real news and say hello. Hope you are having a good night.

  26. California moves presidential primary to June

    7/29/11 By Peter Henderson | Reuters – 12 hrs ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California has moved its presidential primary to June, consolidating trips to the poll to save money in an election that most voters in the Democratic leaning state see as a foregone conclusion.

    Governor Jerry Brown signed the move into law on Friday.
    The state for years tried to raise its profile in the national presidential race, but its efforts have been diluted as other states have made similar moves.

    California spent nearly $100 million for its presidential primary on February 5, 2008, when 24 states, nearly half the nation, held nominating contests in a battle known as “Super Tuesday”.

    The results of the 2012 Democratic primary are preordained with President Barack Obama seeking a second term, said San Jose State University political scientist Larry Gerston.

    “Most people in the state won’t have much motivation” to vote, and state government doesn’t need an extra bill, he said. Other states are also changing their primary plans, leaving California’s influence on the Republican nomination unclear, he added. “It’s just too early to say.”

    The new California law requires presidential primaries to be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in June, which would put the primary on June 5, 2012. Statewide primaries must be held on the same day.

  27. Good Saturday morning everyone! I HOPE that there is resolution to the debt ceiling problem and that you have a good day! 🙂

  28. Good morning CR and friends. BTW, thanks for the recommendations of Harry Potter and the garlic festival but I’l l pass on the garlic festival. I don’t like garlic. 🙂

    Not sure if you are aware that Peggy Noonan wrote and op-ed and in it she apparantely said that no one loved PBO and called him a loser. She even talked about it further on Morning Joe from what I hear. There was quite a bit of push back. Jonathan Capehart wrote this op-ed in response with the heartfelt feelings about PBO from one of his friends.

    • Good morning COS. Thanks for posting this. Peggy Noonan is delusional. I have never liked her and never will. Someone needs to come down on here hard. You do not call a sitting President names. This is not kindergarten.

    • Very fine response from Jonathan Capehart. Peggy Noonan is beneath contempt.

      • She and bigoted Pat Buchanan are two of a kind. They need to go some where and enjoy the rest of their lives off stage.

        • Well said! But I’m afraid Pat Buchanan fits right in with so many people in this country right now – which I find tragic. It’s like we’re living in a parallel universe, sometimes.

    • COS – Jonathan Capehart’s op-ed was exactly what I needed to see tonight! Thank you for sharing it.

      Peggy Noonan will never make the history books, but President Obama is already in them. God bless him, tonight and every night!

  29. The trigger that could lead to a debt deal

    10:48 PM ET, 07/29/2011 By Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

    It’s all going to come down to the trigger.

    Look closely at the Reid and Boehner bills. The first round of cuts are pretty much the same. The joint congressional committee charged with recommending further deficit reduction is pretty much the same. The difference is that Boehner’s bill forces them to act. He ties a future increase in the debt-ceiling to the successful passage of their proposal. Reid’s bill has no such trigger. And many of the participants in this process say that is the space where a deal will be made — or not made.

    Democrats dismiss Boehner’s current offer completely. At the New Republic, Jonathan Chait piquantly compared it to “a kidnapper who offers to give you back your child in return for $100,000 and your other child.” A senior Democratic aide in the Senate is even blunter. “That’s the one line in the sand we’ve drawn this whole time. We can’t be revisiting this in another six months.”

    Most think the likely compromise is a trigger that would impose automatic, across-the-board cuts in spending if the committee fails in its mission. But Senate Democratic leadership isn’t so sure. They worry that a spending-cuts only trigger is heads, Republicans win; tails, Democrats lose. “The idea of triggers with just cuts is a non-starter. Republicans would just deadlock the committee and get the cuts they want,” continues the aide. “If there is a trigger it would have to be balanced.”

    For the entire article:

  30. Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    Saturday, July 30, 2011
    Washington, DC

    Today, I’d like to speak with you about the ongoing and urgent efforts to avoid a first-ever default and get our fiscal house in order.

    Republicans in the House of Representatives just spent precious days trying to pass a plan that a majority of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate had already said they wouldn’t vote for. It’s a plan that wouldn’t solve our fiscal problems, but would force us to re-live this crisis in just a few short months. It would hold our economy captive to Washington politics once again. If anything, the past few weeks have demonstrated that’s unacceptable.

    Any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan. It must have the support of both parties that were sent here to represent the American people – not just one faction of one party. There are multiple ways to resolve this problem. Congress must find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House. And it’s got to be a plan that I can sign by Tuesday.

    Look, the parties are not that far apart here. We’re in rough agreement on how much spending we need to cut to reduce our deficit. We agree on a process to tackle tax reform and entitlement reform. There are plenty of ways out of this mess. But there is very little time.

    We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time – bills like Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and contracts we’ve signed with thousands of American businesses. If we don’t, for the first time ever, we could lose our country’s Triple A credit rating. Not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills – we do – but because we didn’t have a Triple A political system to match it. And make no mistake – for those who reflexively oppose tax increases on anyone, a lower credit rating would be a tax increase on everyone – we’d pay higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.

    For the entire article:

  31. W.House says supports bill lifting debt limit to 2013

    7/30/11 By Alister Bull and Laura MacInnis | Reuters – 1 hr 10 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Saturday it “strongly supports” a bill being considered in the House of Representatives that incorporates both Democratic and Republican ideas and would raise the debt limit to early 2013.

    “It is imperative that the United States not default on the nation’s obligations,” the Obama administration said in a policy statement. “If the bill were presented to the president, his senior advisors would recommend that he sign it.”

    The bill would require two-thirds approval in the Republican-controlled House to pass.

    • Late stab at debt-limit deal to avert US default

      7/30/11 By DAVID ESPO – AP Special Correspondent | AP – 4 mins 37 secs ago

      WASHINGTON (AP) — After weeks of intense partisanship, the White House and congressional leaders made a desperate, last-minute stab at compromise Saturday to avoid a government default threatened for early next week. “There is very little time,” declared President Barack Obama.

      Obama met with top Democrats at the White House and spoke by phone with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

      “He needs to indicate what he will sign, and we are in those discussions,” McConnell said of the president. He added he had also spoken with Vice President Joe Biden, who played a prominent role in earlier attempts to break the gridlock that has pushed the country to the verge of an unprecedented default.

      “We have until midnight,” said Reid before leaving for the White House.

      Obama is seeking legislation to raise the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit by enough to tide the Treasury over until after the 2012 elections. He has threatened to veto any legislation that would allow a recurrence of the current crisis before early 2012 but has agreed to Republican demands that deficits be cut — without tax increases — in exchange for additional U.S. borrowing authority.

      At a news conference in the Capitol, Speaker John Boehner said that despite the partisanship of recent weeks, “I think we’re dealing with reasonable, responsible people who want this crisis to end as quickly as possible and I’m confident it will.”

      Without a compromise in place by next Tuesday, administration officials say the Treasury will run out of funds to pay all the nation’s bills. They say a subsequent default could prove catastrophic for the U.S. economy and send shockwaves around the world. With financial markets closed for the weekend, lawmakers had a little breathing room, but not much. Asian markets begin opening for the new work week when it is late Sunday afternoon in the capital.

      For the entire article:

  32. WH

    Sunday, July 31, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

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  33. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    7/30/11 By ZACK HALE – POLITICO

    White House senior adviser David Plouffe and top economic adviser Gene Sperling fan out on this Sunday’s television talk shows as the fierce battle to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and cut the federal deficit rages on in Congress.

    Plouffe, who was Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, is on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week.” And Sperling, director of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, is on “Fox News Sunday” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    Additionally, Fox has House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

    NBC also has Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) – and freshman Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) on its political roundtable.

    ABC has as well Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, and Grover Norquist, the influential president of the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform.

    CNN also hosts Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Democratic Policy Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a member of the House Budget Committee, as well as Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

    CBS’s “Face the Nation” also has McConnell and Schumer.
    Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital” has Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

    And on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, is interviewed by Dan Balz of The Washington Post and Liz Sidoti of The Associated Press.

  34. Hi, CR and O’family!

    I’ve been trying to squeeze out a little time (away from the visiting grandchildren) to follow some of the coverage of the debt ceiling issue online and on MSNBC.

    President Obama, we have your back! How he keeps going is beyond me. Reminds me of the Rudyard Kipling poem, “If”:

    “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you … ”

    God bless him and all who are negotiating in good faith for our country. I pity those who aren’t.

      • Hey! Have you planned your menu for PBO’s “birthday dinner,” yet? I know you and your husband like to celebrate! Think I will, too, this week.

        • (You can tell I’m trying to think pleasant thoughts until the debt ceiling issue is a done deal!)

  35. I’ll only believe it if I hear it directly from her lips, but apparently some are saying Speaker (she’ll always be my speaker) Pelosi is in favor of the President’s using the 14th Amendment relating to the debt ceiling (sorry to link to HuffPo):

    I don’t know enough about the 14th Amendment to have an opinion, but I think I heard the White House does not believe it fits the situation.

  36. Senate debt vote delay is sign of hope

    7/30/11 11:58 AM EDT Updated: 7/31/11 12:16 AM EDT – By DAVID ROGERS – POLITICO

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is in active negotiation with the White House on a debt ceiling deal, and Democrats agreed late Saturday night to postpone a partisan-tinged cloture vote to give time for both sides to find a compromise.

    “There are many elements to be finalized, and there is still a distance to go before any arrangement can be completed,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “But I believe we should give everyone as much room as possible to do their work.”

    “I’m glad to see this move toward cooperation and compromise. I hope it bears fruit.”

    Just hours before Reid had sparred on the floor with McConnell over the seriousness of his efforts, and Reid’s change of tone — and tactics — suggested that real progress had been made. “We’re getting close,” said one GOP leadership aide, with knowledge of the discussions.

    “In the category of getting serious, I have spoken to both the president and the vice president within the last hour,” McConnell had told reporters earlier in day in a joint appearance with Speaker John Boehner. “We are now fully engaged, the speaker and I, with the one person in America out of 307 billion people who can sign a bill into law. I’m confident and optimistic that we’re going to get an agreement in the very near future and resolve this crisis in the best interests of the American people.”

    Read more:

  37. Good Sunday morning everyone! I HOPE that there is resolution to the debt ceiling problem and that you have a good day! 🙂

    • Pelosi: Boehner Chose To Go To The Dark Side

      July 30, 2011 sanfranciscocbslocal

      “The Speaker chose, when he didn’t have the votes, instead of to reach out in a bipartisan way to see how we could work together, he chose to go to the dark side. (Hooting/cheers). Let me repeat. And I repeat, he chose to go to the dark side by putting forth a bill that he himself told his Members would sink in the Senate — and I add, lead to default, lead to default. We cannot default. We are the greatest country that ever existed in the history of the world. We are the United States of America.”

      “It’s perfectly absurd for them to say that the bill they brought to the floor yesterday, the Boehner bill that they brought to the floor, was an agreement of the four leaders of the House and Senate, Democrat and Republican. Either you don’t know what you’re talking about or it’s a perfect absurdity.” When another member asks her to yield, Pelosi said, “I will not yield to you.”

      Meantime, officials said late Saturday that White House and Republican leaders in Congress were making significant progress toward a last-minute agreement to avoid a default threatened for next week.

      These officials say the two sides are discussing a plan to raise the debt limit by about $2.4 trillion and enact spending cuts of a slightly larger amount in two stages.

      The deal under discussion would also require Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but not require its approval.

      The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the discussions.


    7/31 POLITICO44

    David Plouffe, President Obama’s senior adviser and top political consigliere, says a lot of work needs to be done to finalize a debt ceiling deal — but suggested the final savings by 2013 could be as much as $4 trillion.

    When ABC’s Christiane Amanpour asked Plouffe if there was a deal, he said, “No there’s not.”

    Well, now we’re going to do it in two stage, but ultimately we need the same outcome, which is we need significant deficit reduction, $3 trillion or $4 trillion over 10 years, really begin to reduce the deficit in the years after that, and it’s got to be done in a balanced way.”

    Plouffe, who will face a backlash from a base disgusted with a series of deals tilted toward GOP priorities, took a hard rhetorical line, arguing that the second part of the deal would have to include tax reform in exchange for any cuts to entitlements.

    “I think that what’s clear is that pretty much both parties agree that there’s going to be a first stage of deficit reduction, over a trillion dollars, that there is going to be a process, as George talked about, a congressional committee. And what that’s going to work on is the items that the president was focused on with Speaker Boehner. You’re not going to reduce the deficit without tax reform, without entitlement reform.”

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