Political Buzz August 31, 2011: President Barack Obama Heeds to Speaker John Boehner’s Request to Change Date for Obama’s Joint Session of Congress for Jobs Speech — Address Changed to September 8

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Reuters

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA HEEDS TO SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER’S REQUEST TO CHANGE JOINT ADDRESS DATE TO SEPTEMBER 8

Full Text: President Barack Obama’s Letter to Congress & Speaker John Boehner’s Response

Obama to address joint session of Congress on Sept. 8: President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8 to lay out his plan for jobs and the economy, the White House announced Wednesday night. The date is one day later than the president requested earlier Wednesday, but that date conflicted with a scheduled debate of Republican presidential candidates, drawing objections from GOP lawmakers. House Speaker John A. Boehner responded by suggesting that Obama come to Capitol Hill on Thursday night, a date that now puts the president up against the first game of the NFL season.

“The president is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation’s leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people.” — White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

    • Obama shifts date of jobs address to September 8: President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress on September 8 instead of September 7 to unveil proposals to create new jobs, bowing to objections from Republicans, the White House said on Wednesday.
      Obama had requested originally to address Congress on the same night as Republican presidential candidates are holding a televised debate…. – Reuters, 8-31-11
    • Obama Reschedules Economy Speech at Boehner’s Request: President Obama acquiesced to a request from Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to move the date of his proposed address to a joint session of Congress to Thursday Sept. 8, after Mr. Boehner all but rejected Mr. Obama’s request to speak next Wednesday.
      Mr. Obama had asked to deliver a much anticipated speech outlining his proposals to boost employment and the economy on Sept. 7 — the same night as a scheduled Republican presidential debate, as it happens…. – NYT, 8-31-11
    • Obama moves address to Sept. 8: The date is one day later than the president requested earlier Wednesday, but that date conflicted with a scheduled debate of Republican presidential candidates in California, drawing objections from GOP lawmakers…. – WaPo, 8-31-11
    • House vs. White House over timing of Obama jobs speech: President Obama will outline his jobs program to a joint session of Congress next Thursday, the White House announced Wednesday night, following an hours-long standoff with Republicans over what day he would speak.
      Obama had requested to speak next Wednesday, Sept. 7, but House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had suggested the next night because of logistical difficulties. Other Republicans objected to Sept. 7 because Republican presidential candidates have a debate that night in California…. – USA Today, 8-31-11
    • Obama Agrees to One-Day Delay for Speech: President Barack Obama agreed to a one-day delay to address a joint session of Congress on his plans to increase U.S. jobs.
      The White House issued a statement that said Obama “welcomes the opportunity” to deliver the speech on Sept. 8, a day later than he had planned. House Speaker John Boehner objected to Sept. 7, the same night as a Republican presidential debate…. – Bloomberg, 8-31-11

“Today, the President asked to address the Congress about the need for urgent action on the economic situation facing the American people as soon as Congress returned from recess. Both Houses will be back in session after their August recess on Wednesday, September 7th, so that was the date that was requested. We consulted with the Speaker about that date before the letter was released, but he determined Thursday would work better. The President is focused on the urgent need to create jobs and grow our economy, so he welcomes the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, September 8th and challenge our nation’s leaders to start focusing 100% of their attention on doing whatever they can to help the American people.”

  • And…Sept. 8 it is, White House says: The White House just put out a statement that puts the onus for clearing Sept. 7 as a date for President Obama’s ballyhooed jobs speech on House Speaker John Boehner, and says the president will instead “welcome” the chance to speak on Sept. 8:
    It’s a quiet end to a day-long partisan kerfuffle. But Obama ultimately will still be able to cut off some of the free media oxygen of whatever narrative emerges from the debate by speaking to the nation the next day, which was almost certainly the goal of choosing the night of the face-off in the first place…. – Politico, 8-31-11
  • Obama agrees to move speech to Thursday, GOP debate goes on: After a day of political ping-pong between the House Speaker John Boehner’s office and the White House, CNBC and New York Times reporter John Harwood reported that President Barack Obama had agreed to address Congress next Thursday, instead of next Wednesday as the White House had previously requested.
    The first major Republican primary debate since Gov. Rick Perry entered the the presidential contest was scheduled to be held at the same time as Obama’s speech. Leading Republicans accused the White House of attempting to drown out coverage of the debate. The White House insisted that it had no such intentions…. – Houston Chronicle, 8-31-11
  • Obama Jobs Speech Thursday Night: President Gives In To Boehner Over Congress Joint Session Address: After a vacuous back-and-forth over whether or not the president would be invited to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Sept. 7, or Thursday, Sept. 8, the White House buckled to GOP demands and chose the latter date.
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney emailed a statement to the press Wednesday evening, emphasizing that the administration had consulted GOP leadership before it requested to speak on Wednesday. But, he added, the president was willing to move the date back to accommodate House Speaker John Boehner’s concerns…. – Huff Post, 8-31-11
  • E.J. Dionne Jr.: Obama’s paradox problem: Call it the Party-of-Government Paradox: If the nation’s capital looks dysfunctional, it will come back to hurt President Obama and the Democrats, even if the Republicans are primarily responsible for the dysfunction.
    Then there is the Bipartisanship Paradox: No matter how far the president bends over backward to appeal to or appease the Republicans — no matter how nice, conciliatory, friendly or reasonable he tries to be — voters will judge him according to the results. And the evidence since 2009 is that accommodation won’t get Obama much anyway.
    This creates the Election Paradox: Up to a point, Republicans in Congress can afford to let their own ratings fall well below the president’s, as long as they drag him further into negative territory. If the president’s ratings are poor next year, Democrats won’t be able to defeat enough Republicans to take back the House and hold the Senate. The GOP can win if the mood is terribly negative toward Washington because voters see Obama as the man in charge…. – WaPo, 8-31-11
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