Full Text Obama Presidency March 4, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Remarks Before at First Cabinet Meeting of Second Term Discusses the Sequester

POLITICAL BUZZ


OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President Before a Cabinet Meeting

Source: WH, 3-4-13 

Cabinet Room

1:08 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, this is my 17th meeting with my Cabinet; the first one in a second term.  And, obviously, we’ve got some familiar faces, we have some new faces, we have some familiar faces in new positions.  I want to make sure that I say thank you to all of you for the work that you’ve already done and the work that you’re going to be doing.

I want to welcome Jack Lew, former Chief of Staff and OMB Director, and now Secretary of the Treasury.  We’re thrilled to have him in that position.  I want to welcome Mr. Chuck Hagel, who’s in the position of Secretary of Defense.  And to all of you, I appreciate everything that you’ve done.

Obviously, we’re going to be spending some time talking about the potential impact of the sequester on all the agencies and missions across the board.  It is an area of deep concern and I think everybody knows where I stand on this issue.  We are going to manage it as best we can, try to minimize the impacts on American families, but it’s not the right way for us to go about deficit reduction.

It makes sense for us to take a balanced approach that takes a long view and doesn’t reduce our commitment to things like education and basic research that will help us grow over the long term.  And so I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things.

In the meantime, we’re going to do our best to make sure that our agencies have the support they need to try to make some very difficult decisions, understanding that there are going to be families and communities that are hurt, and that this will slow our growth.  It will mean lower employment in the United States than otherwise would have been.

But we can manage through it, and we’re going to rely on the outstanding leadership of all these agencies to make sure that we do whatever it is that we need to get done to help America’s families.

Now, my agenda obviously is broader than just the sequester, because I laid out both in the inauguration and during the State of the Union a very robust agenda to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to grow this economy and to help families thrive and expand their opportunities.  We want to make sure we’ve got a growing middle class and more ladders of opportunity into the middle class.

So in addition to talking about budget issues, we’re also going to spend some time talking about making sure that we have comprehensive immigration reform done.  And I want to again thank members of Congress who on a bipartisan basis are moving forward on that agenda.  We’re going to have the opportunity to talk about initiatives like early childhood education that can have an enormous impact on our kids and, ultimately, our growth and productivity.  We’ll have a chance to hear from Joe and other members of the Cabinet about progress in reducing gun violence in this country.

So one of the things that I’ve instructed not just my White House but every agency is to make sure that, regardless of some of the challenges that they may face because of sequestration, we’re not going to stop working on behalf of the American people to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to continue to grow this economy and improve people’s prospects.

Thank you very much, everybody.

END
1:12 P.M. EST

Political Headlines March 4, 2013: President Barack Obama Vows at Cabinet Meeting to Manage Sequester ‘As Best We Can’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Vows to Manage Sequester ‘As Best We Can’

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-4-13

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

President Obama on Monday vowed to continue working with Republicans to develop a long-term deficit reduction plan, while making clear the sequester will not prevent him from pursuing his broader second-term agenda.

“I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things,” Obama told reporters at the first Cabinet meeting of his second term….READ MORE

Political Headlines January 24, 2013: John Kerry Tears Up During His Secretary of State Senate Confirmation Hearing

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

John Kerry Tears Up During His Confirmation Hearing

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-24-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

First there were near-tears, and then a protester had to be forced out, but Sen. John Kerry took it all in stride.

Kerry choked up at his secretary of state confirmation hearings Thursday morning when discussing his father’s history in the U.S. Foreign Service, and how he was “equally proud” of both that history and his own as part of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If you confirm me, I would take office as secretary proud that the Senate is in my blood, but equally proud that so, too, is the Foreign Service,” the Massachusetts Democrat told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 28, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at First Cabinet Meeting Since Presidential Election

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Holds a Cabinet Meeting

Source: WH, 11-28-12

President Barack Obama holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet RoomPresident Barack Obama holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Nov. 28, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, President Obama held his first full Cabinet meeting since the election took place.

He first thanked Cabinet members for doing “a remarkable job on behalf of the American people, across the board, on a range of issues” including growing our economy, putting people back to work, and keeping Americans safe around the world.

But there’s still much work to be done, he reminded them. In today’s meeting, President Obama said the Cabinet would discuss efforts to help communities recover and rebuild after Hurricane Sandy, as well as something that’s on the minds of many American families across the country: making sure taxes on the middle class don’t go up.

There is no reason why taxes on middle-class families should go up. It would be bad for the economy.  It would be bad for those families. In fact, it would be bad for the world economy. And so I think it’s very important that we get that resolved, and I am very open to a fair and balanced approach to reduce our deficit and provide the kind of certainty that businesses and consumers need so that we can keep this recovery going.

Earlier in the day, President Obama called on Americans to make their voices heard about how a $2,000 tax increase in 2013 would impact their family by visiting WH.gov/My2K, using the hashtag #My2K on Twitter, or speaking out on Facebook.

Watch his full remarks at the Cabinet meeting below:

Remarks by the President at a Cabinet Meeting

The Cabinet Room

3:11 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Is that brighter than usual? (Laughter.) Yes, that’s serious.

Well, listen, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to meet with my full Cabinet for the first time since the election took place. The primary purpose from my perspective is to say thank you, because everybody here, in their respective agencies, has done a remarkable job on behalf of the American people, across the board on a wide range of issues. They’ve always prioritized how do we make sure that we have a strong middle class, how do we grow our economy, how do we put people back to work, and how do we keep the American people safe and continue to extend our influence and our ideals around the world. And I could not have a better collection of people, many of whom have stayed here throughout my first term. And I think we’ve had as little turnover as any President during the course of a first term, and the reason is because everybody has done such a remarkable job.

So my main purpose is to say thank you to them, but also to remind them that we’ve got a lot of work to do. There are going to be a few specific issues that we spend a lot of time on. One in particular that I should note is that the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy is still being felt by families all across New York and New Jersey, parts of Connecticut. We are very pleased that under the leadership initially of Janet Napolitano and FEMA, but now Shaun Donovan, who’s heading up a task force, we’re focusing not only on recovery, but now on rebuilding and making sure those communities come back stronger than ever and people get the help that they need. So that will be an important topic because it’s really going to be an interagency concern.

The second thing that we’ll be talking about, obviously, is what’s on the minds of a lot of American families across the country, and that is making sure that we’ve got this fiscal cliff dealt with and that middle-class taxes don’t go up. I already spoke extensively about that today. I’ll just repeat: There is no reason why taxes on middle-class families should go up. It would be bad for the economy. It would be bad for those families. In fact, it would be bad for the world economy. And so I think it’s very important that we get that resolved, and I am very open to a fair and balanced approach to reduce our deficit and provide the kind of certainty that businesses and consumers need so that we can keep this recovery going.

And obviously, we’ll be spending some time talking about national security issues as well.

But I just want to say thank you to this extraordinary Cabinet for a job well done. And I will take this opportunity to publicly embarrass two members of the Cabinet whose birthdays are either today or tomorrow: Ric Shinseki, who is the Department of Veterans Affairs. Happy birthday to you. And that is actually today. (Applause.) And Janet Napolitano’s birthday is tomorrow. (Applause.)

All right, guys. Thank you. We want to get back to work.

Q Mr. President, do you think the Hill is being fair to Susan Rice in its meetings?

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much guys.

Q Any thoughts on that at all?

THE PRESIDENT: Susan Rice is extraordinary. I couldn’t be prouder of the job that she’s done as the USPR. (Applause.)
END
3:15 P.M. EST

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