Political Headlines February 25, 2013: President Barack Obama Enlists Governors to Help Get Sequester Deal

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Enlists Governors to Help Get Sequester Deal

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-25-13

With less than five days to prevent $85 billion in sweeping, automatic budget cuts, President Obama Monday asked the nation’s governors to help pressure Congress to compromise on a deal to avert the sequester.

“There are always going to be areas where we have some genuine disagreement,” the president told a meeting of the National Governors Association at the White House. “But there are more areas where we can do a lot more cooperating than I think we’ve seen over the last several years.”…READ MORE

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Political Headlines February 25, 2013: President Barack Obama Urges Congress to Find Compromise on Budget Cuts

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Urges Congress to Find Compromise on Budget Cuts

Source: NYT, 2-25-13

“These cuts do not have to happen,” President Obama told a gathering of the nation’s governors. “Congress can turn them off at any time with just a little bit of compromise.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency February 25, 2013: President Barack Obama & Vice President Joe Biden’s Speeches at Meeting of the National Governors Association — Warns Governors About Sequester

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama: I Look Forward to Working with Governors to Reignite America’s Economic Engine

Source: WH, 2-24-13

President Barack Obama has a meeting with the National Governors Association in the White House, Feb. 25, 2013President Barack Obama delivers remarks and participates in a Q&A during a meeting with the National Governors Association (NGA) in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 25, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Remarks by the President and Vice President at Meeting of the National Governors Association

Source: WH, 2- 25-13

State Dining Room

11:18 A.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you all.  I tell you what, I didn’t know Jack was as good as he is until I heard that rhyme last night.  (Laughter.)  Jack, if you had done that, I’d be introducing you here.  (Laughter.)

Thank you all very, very much.  I’m sorry — you guys are much more disciplined than the place I lived for 36 years, up on the Hill, and you’re running ahead of schedule.  And so the President is with me, and I want to thank you all for being here.
We have a lot to work on.  There’s a lot from fixing a broken immigration system to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, and this new word everybody in America is learning about — “sequester.”

This town, unlike many of your capitals, is I hope temporarily frozen in — not indifference but in sort of an intense partisanship, the likes of which in my career I’ve only see the last couple years.  But you know the American people have moved to a different place.  By the way, thanks for being so nice to my wife last night.  I like you a hell of better.  (Laughter.) We disagreed on some things.

But all kidding aside, I think the American people have moved — Democrats, Republicans, independents.  They know that the possibilities for this country are immense.  They’re no longer traumatized by what was a traumatizing event, the great collapse in 2008.  They’re no longer worried, I think, about our economy being overwhelmed either by Europe writ large, the EU, or China somehow swallowing up every bit of innovation that exists in the world.  They’re no longer, I think, worried about our economy being overwhelmed beyond our shores.

And I don’t think they’re any more — there’s no — there’s very little doubt in any circles out there about America’s ability to be in position to lead the world in the 21st century, not only in terms of our foreign policy, our incredible defense establishment, but economically.  I think the American people are ready to get up.  As a civil rights leader, when I was coming up as a kid, said, they’re just — the American people are tired of being tired.  I think they’re ready to get up and move.  And you guys know that because it’s happening in your states.  You probably feel it in your fingertips more than most of us do here in Washington.

And as I said, I think they know we’re better positioned than any nation in the world to lead the world.  And that’s why I think they’re so frustrated by what they see and don’t see happening here in Washington.  And I think their frustration is turning into a little bit of anger.

I found an interesting dynamic — without ruining any of your reputations and picking out any one of you — but whether it was a Democrat or Republican governor I had been talking to last night and over this past weekend, I heard from several of you, both parties, how do you deal with this going on up here?  How do you deal with the Congress?  No distinction, Democrat or Republican, depending who I was talking to, no distinction about who you’re dealing with — but how do you deal with this?  Because you guys deal and women deal with legislatures that are split.  Some of you represent a minority party as a governor, yet you get on very well with — you accomplish things in your home state.  And as I said, I’ve been here long enough — that’s the way it used to work, and I think we can make it work that way again.

But there’s a number of things we have to do immediately, and we may disagree on how to address them, but I don’t think anybody disagrees on the need for them to be addressed — from implementing the Affordable Care Act.  It’s the law.  You all are grappling with that.  Each of you are making different decisions, but you’re grappling with it.  You’re moving and you’re making your own judgments.

We also have to — I don’t think there’s much disagreement there’s a need for immigration reform.  I’ve not met a governor from the time of implementing the Recovery Act to now who doesn’t think that we have do something about our crumbling infrastructure in order to impact on our productivity here in this country — continue to attract, keep and bring back American business from abroad.

And there’s very little disagreement on the need to build an education system that has such immense possibilities for our people.

But on most of these issues we’re united by more than what divides us.  All these issues intersect at a place — the ones I just mentioned and others — they intersect at a place where both the state and federal governments engage.  So we’re going to have to work together.  They overlap in many cases.

We’ll have our differences, but we all should agree that the United States has to once again have the highest percentage of college graduates of any nation in the world.  I don’t think there’s any disagreement.  Everybody agrees and some of you governors have led the way on early education and the consequences for the prospects of success for our children not only of graduating, but avoiding the criminal justice system.  You’ve all led in knowing that we have to have reform of our high school system so that we — and not only finding a pathway for people who are going to four-year college and community college but go into the trades.

So there’s so much agreement that I think we ought to be able to get a fair amount done.  And we should all agree that to grow our economy we have to invest in manufacturing, clean energy, infrastructure, education.  The question is who invests and how much and how — we’re going to debate that.  But there’s not much disagreement about the need to invest.

And I think we’re all — I’ve never met a Democrat or Republican who’s been a governor who doesn’t think that the American people should have the sense that hard work is going to be rewarded, that there’s a chance that if you work hard, you got an opportunity.  I don’t know of any group of men or women who are a better living example of that than all of you sitting in front of me in your own experiences.

So the question is — we all use the phrase “move forward in a balanced way” — when one man’s balance is another man’s imbalance, but that’s what we got to talk about.  That’s what’s at stake.  But the one thing that I don’t think any of you lack is a vision about how great this country can be now that we’re coming back, that we ought to be able to reassert ourselves in a way that we own the 21st century.  And I know the guy I’m about to introduce believes that as strongly as all of you do.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the President — who’s back with the pastry chef and I’m wondering what he’s doing back there.  (Laughter.)  The President of the United States, my friend, Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)   Thank you.  Thank you, guys.  Please have a seat.  Well, welcome, everybody.  Thanks for being here.

We all have a lot on our plate, everything from our immigration system to our education system.  As Joe talked about, our goal is to make sure that we can be an effective partner with you.

I want to thank the members of my Cabinet who are here, and members of the administration.  I want to thank Jack and Mary for their leadership of the NGA.  And everybody else, I just want to say thanks to you for being on your best behavior last night.  (Laughter.)  I’m told nothing was broken.  No silverware is missing.  (Laughter.)  I didn’t get any calls from the neighbors about the noise — although I can’t speak for Joe’s after-party at the Observatory.  I hear that was wild.  (Laughter.)

Now, I always enjoy this weekend when I have a chance to see the governors.  As leaders, we share responsibility to do whatever we can to help grow our economy and create good middle-class jobs, and open up new doors of opportunity for all of our people.  That’s our true north, our highest priority.  And it’s got to guide every decision that we make at every level.

As I’ve said, we should be asking ourselves three questions every single day:  How do we make America a magnet for good jobs? How do we equip our people with the skills and the training to get those jobs?  And how do we make sure if they get those jobs that their hard work actually pays off?

As governors, you’re the ones who are on the ground, seeing firsthand every single day what works, what doesn’t work, and that’s what makes you so indispensable.  Whatever your party, you ran for office to do everything that you could to make our folks’ lives better.  And one thing I know unites all of us, and all of you — Democrats and Republicans — and that is the last thing you want to see is Washington get in the way of progress.

Unfortunately, in just four days, Congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts to kick in that will slow our economy, eliminate good jobs, and leave a lot of folks who are already pretty thinly stretched scrambling to figure out what to do.

This morning, you received a report outlining exactly how these cuts will harm middle-class families in your states.  Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.  Tens of thousands of parents will have to deal with finding child care for their children.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.  Tomorrow, for example, I’ll be in the Tidewater region of Virginia, where workers will sit idle when they should be repairing ships, and a carrier sits idle when it should be deploying to the Persian Gulf.

Now, these impacts will not all be felt on day one.  But rest assured the uncertainty is already having an effect.  Companies are preparing layoff notices.  Families are preparing to cut back on expenses.  And the longer these cuts are in place, the bigger the impact will become.

So while you are in town, I hope that you speak with your congressional delegation and remind them in no uncertain terms exactly what is at stake and exactly who is at risk.  Because here’s the thing — these cuts do not have to happen.  Congress can turn them off any time with just a little bit of compromise. To do so, Democrats like me need to acknowledge that we’re going to have to make modest reforms in Medicare if we want the program there for future generations and if we hope to maintain our ability to invest in critical things like education, research and infrastructure.

I’ve made that commitment.  It’s reflected in proposals I made last year and the year before that, and will be reflected in my budget, and I stand by those commitments to make the reforms for smart spending cuts.

But we also need Republicans to adopt the same approach to tax reform that Speaker Boehner championed just two months ago.  Under our concept of tax reform, nobody’s rates would go up, but we’d be able to reduce the deficit by making some tough, smart spending cuts and getting rid of wasteful tax loopholes that benefit the well-off and the well-connected.

I know that sometimes folks in Congress think that compromise is a bad word.  They figure they’ll pay a higher price at the polls for working with the other side than they will for standing pat or engaging in obstructionism.  But, as governors, some of you with legislators controlled by the other party, you know that compromise is essential to getting things done.  And so is prioritizing, making smart choices.

That’s how Governor O’Malley in Maryland put his state on track to all but eliminate his deficit while keeping tuition down and making Maryland’s public schools among the best in America five years running.  That’s how Governor Haslam balanced his budget last year in Tennessee while still investing in key areas like education for Tennessee’s kids.  Like the rest of us, they know we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.  Cutting alone is not an economic policy.  We’ve got to make the tough, smart choices to cut what we don’t need so that we can invest in the things that we do need.

Let me highlight two examples of what we do need.  The first is infrastructure.  This didn’t used to be a partisan issue. I don’t know when exactly that happened.  It should be a no-brainer.  Businesses are not going to set up shop in places where roads and bridges and ports and schools are falling apart.  They’re going to open their doors wherever they can connect the best transportation and communications networks to their businesses and to their customers.

And that’s why I proposed what we’re calling “fix-it-first” — I talked about this in my State of the Union address — to put people to work right now on urgent repairs like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.  And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the entire burden, I also proposed a partnership to rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most — modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools that are worthy of our children.

I know that some people in Congress reflexively oppose any idea that I put forward, even if it’s an idea that they once supported, but rebuilding infrastructure is not my idea.  It’s everybody’s idea.  It’s what built this country.  Governor Kitzhaber, a Democrat in Oregon, has made clean-energy infrastructure a top priority.  Governor Brownback of Kansas, a Republican, has been fighting to upgrade water infrastructure there.

And folks who think spending really is our biggest problem should be more concerned than anybody about improving our infrastructure right now.  We’re talking about deferred maintenance here.  We know we’re going to have to spend the money.  And the longer we wait, the more it’s going to cost.  That is a fact.  I think Matt Mead, a Republican, put it pretty well in Wyoming’s state address.  He said failing to maintain our roads “is not a plan for being fiscally conservative.”  Well, what’s true in Wyoming is true all across the United States.

And we could be putting folks back to work right now.  We know contractors are begging for work.  They’ll come in on time, under budget, which never happens.   And we could make a whole lot of progress right now on things that we know we’re going to have to do at some point.  This is like fixing the roof or repairing a boiler that’s broken.  It will save us money in the long term.

I know that one of the biggest hurdles that you face when it comes to fixing infrastructure is red tape.  And oftentimes, that comes out of Washington with regulations.  In my first term, we started to take some steps to address that.  And we’ve shaved months — in some cases, even years — off the timeline of infrastructure projects across America.

So today, I’m accelerating that effort.  We’re setting up regional teams that will focus on some of the unique needs each of you have in various parts of the country.  We’re going to help the Pacific Northwest move faster on renewable energy projects.  We’re going to help the Northeast Corridor move faster on high-speed rail service.  We’re going to help the Midwest and other states, like Colorado, move faster on projects that help farmers deal with worsening drought.  We’re going to help states like North Dakota and South Dakota and Montana move faster on oil and gas production.  All of these projects will get more Americans back to work faster.  And we can do even more if we can get Congress to act.

The second priority that I want to talk about is education  — and in particular, education that starts at the earliest age. I want to partner with each of you to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.

Now, this is an area where we’ve already seen great bipartisan work at the state level.  I was just in Governor Deal’s state to highlight this issue because Georgia has made it a priority to educate our youngest kids.  And in the school district where I visited in Decatur, Georgia, you’re already seeing closing of the achievement gap.  Kids who are poor are leveling up.  And everybody is seeing real improvement, because it’s high-quality, early childhood education.

Study after study shows that the sooner children begin to learn in these high-quality settings, the better he or she does down the road, and we all end up saving money.  Unfortunately, today fewer than three in 10 four-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program.  Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week in additional income for these kinds of preschool programs.  And poor kids, who need it most, lack access.  And that lack of access can shadow them for the rest of their lives.  We all pay a price for that.

Every dollar we invest in early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on — boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing incidents of violent crime.

And again, I’m not the first person to focus on this. Governor Bentley has made this a priority in Alabama.  Governor Snyder is making it a priority in Michigan.  Governor Tomblin has made this a priority in West Virginia.  Even in a time of tight budgets, Republicans and Democrats are focused on high-quality early childhood education.  We want to make sure that we can be an effective partner in that process.

We should be able to do that for every child, everywhere — Democrat, Republican, blue state, red state — it shouldn’t matter.  All of us want our kids to grow up more likely to read and write and do math at grade level, to graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own.  That will be better for every state.  That will be better for this country.  That’s what high-quality early childhood education can deliver.  And I hope that you’re willing to partner with us to make that happen.

Let me just close with this.  There are always going to be areas where we have some genuine disagreement, here in Washington and in your respective states.  But there are more areas where we can do a lot more cooperating than I think we’ve seen over the last several years.  To do that, though, this town has to get past its obsession with focusing on the next election instead of the next generation.

All of us are elected officials.  All of us are concerned about our politics, both in our own party’s as well as the other party’s.  But at some point, we’ve got to do some governing.  And certainly what we can’t do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.  As I said in the State of the Union, the American people have worked hard and long to dig themselves out of one crisis; they don’t need us creating another one.  And unfortunately, that’s what we’ve been seeing too much out there.

The American people are out there every single day, meeting their responsibilities, giving it their all to provide for their families and their communities.  A lot of you are doing the same things in your respective states.  Well, we need that same kind of attitude here in Washington.  At the very least, the American people have a right to expect that from their representatives.

And so I look forward to working with all of you not just to strengthen our economy for the short term, but also to reignite what has always been the central premise of America’s economic engine, and that is that we build a strong, growing, thriving middle class where if you work hard in this country, no matter who you are, what you look like, you can make it; you can succeed.  That’s our goal, and I know that’s the goal of all of you as well.

So I look forward to our partnering.  And with that, what I want to do is clear out the press so we can take some questions. (Applause.)

END
11:40 A.M. EST

Featured Historians February 25, 2013: Julian Zelizer: If spending is cut, GOP will get the blame

FEATURED HISTORIANS

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HISTORY OP-EDS

If spending is cut, GOP will get the blame

Source: Julian Zelizer, CNN, 2-25-13

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Julian Zelizer: Washington’s budget fight will grab public’s attention if no deal reached
  • He says painful cuts will lead the public to blame Republicans for Washington’s dysfunction
  • Americans don’t like government spending in general but like specific programs, he says
  • Zelizer: GOP needs to rethink its reliance on deficit reduction as a prime strategy

Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” and “Governing America.”

Until now “sequestration” has been a word that only means something to people living inside the Beltway or to political junkies who depend on their daily dose of Politico and The Hill. But if Congress and the president do not reach a deal by March 1, which appears likely, Americans will quickly learn what it means — namely deep spending cuts….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 24, 2013: President Barack Obama Hosts National Governors Association for Annual Gala Dinner

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Hosts Governors for Annual Gala Dinner

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-24-13

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The National Governors Association’s winter meeting is under way in the nation’s capital and on Sunday night, the state executives descended on the White House for their annual black-tie dinner.

President Obama hosted the governors for the social affair, remaining mainly apolitical in his brief remarks to the leaders.  He thanked each one for the accomplishments of their states, commenting on how he had seen it firsthand during cross-country travel….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 25, 2013: First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Best Picture Winner Argo at the Oscars via Satellite

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Michelle Obama Makes a Star Turn at the Oscars (via Satellite)

Source: NYT, 2-25-13
 

Via video from the White House, Michelle Obama revealed the winner of Best Movie at the Academy Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles, with help on stage from the actor Jack Nicholson.

Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Via video from the White House, Michelle Obama revealed the winner of Best Movie at the Academy Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles, with help on stage from the actor Jack Nicholson.

Michelle Obama made an appearance at the Oscars from the Diplomatic Room of the White House to present the best picture award to “Argo.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines February 24, 2013: White House Previews State & Local Impacts of Sequester

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

White House Previews Local Impacts of Sequester

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-25-13

The National Governors Association’s winter meeting is under way in the nation’s capital, and while President Obama hosted the state executives for their annual black-tie dinner in the White House on Sunday, his administration is pushing a new angle over the partisan bickering around the sequester: how it relates to individual states.READ MORE

 

Political Headlines February 24, 2013: Democrats and Republicans Agree Sequester is Coming on March 1st

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Sequester Is Coming, Democrats and Republicans Agree

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-25-13

Believe it or not, there is some bipartisan agreement in Washington, D.C.  The problem is Republicans and Democrats agree those automatic spending cuts known as the “sequester” will probably start on Friday, the deadline for a budget agreement….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency February 24, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the National Governors Association Dinner

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at National Governors Association Dinner

Source: WH, 2-24-13

State Dining Room

THE PRESIDENT:  Welcome, everybody.  It is wonderful for us to have you here at the White House.  Michelle and I are so happy to host you, and I want to start by acknowledging your outstanding chair, Jack Markell — (applause) — and your vice chair, Mary Fallin.  (Applause.)  But more importantly, I want to recognize the First Lady of Delaware and the First Gentleman of Oklahoma because we know that the spouses put up with an awful lot.  (Laughter and applause.)   And we hope that you all get a chance to celebrate a little bit tonight.

Last year, I got to see firsthand some of the great work that our governors are helping to accomplish all across the country.  Now, it’s true that I had the chance to see some accomplishments in some states more than others — Ohio — (laughter) — Iowa –(laughter) —  Colorado — (laughter) — Virginia.  But I hope to see more of you this year, the rest of you.

But all of you have helped to steer your states through some of the nation’s toughest times.  You’ve had to make hard choices.  You’ve had to make wise investments and mobilize the constituencies to do what needs to be done to grow your state.  And that work is paying off.  Companies are bringing jobs back to our shores.  New homes are popping up in our neighborhoods.  Small businesses are revitalizing our communities.

And many of you also had to deal with some incredible natural disasters.  And, obviously, it’s always painful to see the loss and the hardship that our families have suffered, but it’s always wonderful to see the way in which governors in particular are able to lead and mobilize their states and their communities, rallying around neighbors, friends in communities.

So we know we’ve got more work to do — more jobs to create and more children to educate, and more roads to repair.  The task before us is to find smart, common-sense solutions to each of these challenges that we can move forward on.  And I’m looking for good partners.  Because while nobody in this room sees eye to eye on everything, we know that when we work together –- Democrats and Republicans, North, South, East and West — we can accomplish so much more than we can on our own.  Whether it’s helping our citizens rebuild from a horrific hurricane or a turbulent economic storm, we’re stronger when we work together as a team.

One of my predecessors, a former governor himself, put it well — America is nothing if it consists merely of each us — if it consists merely of each of us, Woodrow Wilson said. “It’s something only if it consists of all of us.”

And nearly one hundred years later, I expect that those words continue to be true, and they should be guiding all of our efforts.

So I want to wish everybody a toast.  To the good that we’ve accomplished together, for the good that’s yet to be done. I look forward to a year of progress working with all of you.  I am grateful for your service.  To those who were recently elected, congratulations.  We look forward to seeing you again over the next several years.  Cheers.

And with that — Jack Markell.  (Applause.)

GOVERNOR MARKELL:  Well, we have, my fellow governors, to the President and Mrs. Obama, I offer you this toast, I hope with humor and little drama.  (Laughter.)  To the two of you and the Bidens, who hail from my home state, we appreciate your hospitality, we  all look forward to this date.  On this one night it’s a relief — politics doesn’t drive the conversation.  We don’t speak of partisan issues or presidential aspirations; instead, we gather to reflect on the blessings we’ve received — to serve our states and country the best it’s ever been conceived.  You’ve tackled the big issues, there are many to address and dealing with them all at once is much like 3D chess.  One thing for sure is certain — you don’t let issues fester.  You get to deal with education and health care, and even the sequester.  (Laughter and applause.)

You’re probably jealous of the First Lady, she’s Jimmy Fallon’s trainer — (laughter) — while you, on the other hand, deal with Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner.  (Laughter.)  Tonight, we leave out the specifics of the issues of the day, except one on which we all agree, and on which I’d like to convey our thanks for the efforts of the First Lady, Dr. Biden, and many other groups who work so hard on behalf of families of our military troops.  Our soldiers and our sailors, our airmen and marines, so often leave their families because they know what freedom means.  In return, we take care of the objects of their affection, and for all of us it’s more important than party or reelection.

Mr. President, we’re grateful for your service, for your leadership and grit, for your belief in the American dream and I expect that all of us commit to work together and to strive to leave our nation stronger.  Our time in office is rather limited so I won’t go on much longer.  (Laughter.)

To the President and First Lady, and to the Bidens, here’s our toast.  We may come from the mountain states or from the South or plains or coast, we’re one country and one people, in important ways we are united, and for the chance to offer you our greatest thanks, I really am delighted.  (Applause.)

Political Headlines February 23, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address: Urges Congress to Stop the Sequester

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s Weekly Address: Urging Congress to Stop the Sequester

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-23-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

In recent days, Obama administration officials have warned of the devastating things that will happen if upcoming spending cuts go into effect.  Now in his weekly address, President Obama urges Republicans in Congress to take action to avoid the looming sequester cuts, saying, “Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise.”

The president warns that if the sequester — set to take effect March 1 — goes on, the economy will suffer, jobs will be lost, national security will be compromised, and education and health care programs will see deep cuts….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 21, 2013: Bob Woodward: Obama’s sequester deal-changer

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s sequester deal-changer

Source: Bob Woodward, WaPo, 2-23-13

Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 23, 2013: GOP Weekly Address: Sen. John Hoeven Offers the Keystone XL Pipeline Project to Help Avoid Sequestration

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Sen. John Hoeven Offers the Keystone XL Pipeline Project to Help Avoid Sequestration

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-23-13

Office of Senator John Hoeven

In this week’s Republican address, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven calls for the president to work with Republicans in Congress to avoid sequestration and advises the president to consider the Keystone XL pipeline project….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Reaches Out to GOP Congressional Leaders in Effort to Avert Sequester

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Reaches Out to GOP Leaders in Effort to Stave Off Sequester

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-22-13
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON)

The White House is hoping good conversations will lead to good results as the administration steps up efforts to avoid deep automatic spending cuts a week from Friday that could waylay the economic recovery.

Up to now, President Obama and Republican leaders have found no common ground to avert the sequester on March 1, the first in a series of spending reductions totaling $1.2 trillion over a decade….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Thanks Jimmy Carter’s Grandson for ’47 Percent’ Tape

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Thanks Jimmy Carter’s Grandson for ’47 Percent’ Tape

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-21-13

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama has finally thanked Jimmy Carter’s grandson for helping him win the 2012 presidential election.

It was James Carter, grandson of the former president, who brought the now-famous “47 percent” tape to light, connecting Mother Jones columnist David Corn to the source who secretly filmed it at a Mitt Romney fundraiser….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 21, 2013: VP Joe Biden Speech on Gun Violence in Connecticut ‘Moral Price to Be Paid for Inaction’ on Guns

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Biden: ‘Moral Price to Be Paid for Inaction’ on Guns

Source: ABC News Radio,  2-21-13

Speaking just over 10 miles away from Sandy Hook Elementary on Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden warned Congress that there is a “moral price” that will be paid if action is not taken to prevent gun violence.

“I say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to this, I say to you, if you’re concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children, and guess what? I believe the price to be paid politically will go to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward because America’s changed on this issue.  You should all know the American people are with us,” Biden said at a conference on gun violence at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn. “There’s a moral price to be paid for inaction.”…READ MORE

History Buzz February 21, 2013: Robert Caro wins $50,000 American History Book Prize from the New York Historical Society

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Robert Caro wins $50,000 history prize

Source: AP, 2-21-13

  Historian Robert Caro.

Historian Robert Caro

Robert Caro has won yet another literary prize, this one worth $50,000.

The New-York Historical Society announced Thursday that Caro had won its American History Book Prize for the fourth volume of his Lyndon Johnson series, The Passage of Power….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Confident Immigration Reform Will Pass Despite Leaked Plan in Univision Interview

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Confident Immigration Reform Will Pass Despite Leaked Plan

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-21-13 

President Obama insisted on Wednesday that Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, saying that a leaked copy of a White House proposal that irked Republicans working on a bipartisan bill won’t jeopardize the effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.

During an interview with Univision San Antonio affiliate KWEX, the president claimed, “The negotiations are still moving forward.  Information floats out of Washington all the time; that shouldn’t prevent anybody from moving forward.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines February 20, 2013: Conan O’Brien to Headline White House Correspondents Dinner

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Conan O’Brien to Headline White House Correspondents Dinner

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-20-13

Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien is set to headline the White House Correspondents Association’s annual dinner, association president Ed Henry announced on Wednesday….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 20, 2013: Sen. Marco Rubio, PM Benjamin Netanyahu Bump Water Bottles in Israel

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Rubio, Netanyahu Bump Water Bottles in Israel

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-20-13

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

Sen. Marco Rubio’s water bottle incident turned global Wednesday when he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.

A photo posted on Twitter showed the two bumping water bottles across a table where they met Wednesday….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 20, 2013: Pew Research Center Poll: Public’s View of Marco Rubio Mixed, Poll Shows

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Public’s View of Marco Rubio Mixed, Poll Shows

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-20-13

A Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday shows 26 percent of those polled viewed Rubio favorably, while 29 percent held an unfavorable opinion of the Florida senator. Forty-six percent said they were unable to offer a rating for Rubio….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 20, 2013: Sen. John McCain Defends Immigration Plan at Arizona Town Hall Event

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

John McCain Defends Immigration Plan at Testy Town Hall

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-20-13

Sen. John McCain defended his immigration reform proposals during a contentious town hall event on Tuesday in his home state.

The Republican senator from Arizona is a member of a bipartisan group of eight senators crafting a bill that contains a pathway to citizenship for many of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. But he heard an earful from constituents who were unhappy about the plan and want more to be done to secure the border….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 20, 2013: Quinnipiac University Poll: Gov.Chris Christie Reaches Record Approval Rating in New Jersey

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Poll: Chris Christie Reaches Record Approval Rating in NJ

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-20-13

“How high is up?”  That’s the question Wednesday from Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which is out with a new New Jersey poll that’s a record breaker.

It shows a 74 percent approval rating for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the highest of any New Jersey governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac surveys.  New Jersey voters also say 71 to 23 percent that Christie deserves reelection this year….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 20, 2013: President Barack Obama Calls Republican Senators on Immigration

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Calls Republican Senators on Immigration

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-20-13

President Obama made his first direct overture to Republicans on immigration Tuesday night, placing calls to the three key GOP players on the issue in the Senate:  John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Marco Rubio (Fla)….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 19, 2013: President Barack Obama Warns of ‘Meat-Cleaver’ Sequester Spending Cuts Coming March 1

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Warns of ‘Meat-Cleaver’ Cuts Coming Soon

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-19-13

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

With sweeping, indiscriminate spending cuts on the horizon, President Obama on Tuesday warned of the real-life impact on thousands of Americans.

“It’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that… won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people,” he said of the so-called “sequester,” surrounded by cops and emergency responders in a White House auditorium….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency February 19, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Statement on General John Allen’s Retirement

POLITICAL BUZZ


OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Statement from the President on General John Allen

Source: WH, 2-19-13 

Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family. I told General Allen that he has my deep, personal appreciation for his extraordinary service over the last 19 months in Afghanistan, as well as his decades of service in the United States Marine Corps. General Allen presided over the significant growth in the size and capability of Afghan National Security Forces, the further degradation of al Qaeda and their extremist allies, and the ongoing transition to Afghan security responsibility across the country. He worked tirelessly to strengthen our coalition through his leadership of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and to improve our relations with the Afghan government. Above all, he cares deeply for the men and women in uniform who serve our nation – as well as their families – and I am grateful for the sacrifices made by his family in supporting him during his service. John Allen is one of America’s finest military leaders, a true patriot, and a man I have come to respect greatly. I wish him and his family the very best as they begin this new chapter, and we will carry forward the extraordinary work that General Allen led in Afghanistan.

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