Full Text Obama Presidency February 2, 2015: President Barack Obama’s 2016 Budget – PDF

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 114TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama’s 2016 Budget

Source: WH, 2-2-15

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016 contains the Budget Message of the President, information on the President’s priorities, budget overviews organized by agency, and summary tables.

To download “Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016″ as a single PDF click here (150 pages, 2.3 MB)

Document

Size

File Format

Descriptions of The Budget Documents and General Notes 75 K PDF
The Budget Message of the President 44 K PDF
Building on a Record of Economic Growth and Progress 110 K PDF
Investing in America’s Future 396 K PDF
A Government of the Future 130 K PDF
Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings 132 K PDF
Summary Tables 1366 K PDF

 

Full Text Obama Presidency January 17, 2014: President Barack Obama Speech at Appropriations, 2014 Spending Bill Signing

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Appropriations Bill Signing

Source: WH, 1-17-13 

New Executive Office Building
Washington, D.C.

5:05 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Have a seat, have a seat.  Now, this is not usually where I do bill signings.  (Laughter.)  But in addition to the opportunity to take a walk — and whenever I get a chance to take a walk I seize it — we wanted to make sure that we did this bill signing here because it represents the extraordinary work of so many of you.

Obviously, over the last several years, we’ve been dealing with the need to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.  And that involved making sure we were investing in, first and foremost, the American people; that we were helping businesses stay open; that we were helping to make sure the financial system was back on track — that we reformed it so that we wouldn’t see the kind of crisis that we saw again; and most importantly, that we did everything we can to lay the foundation so that we have a middle class in this country that is thriving and growing, and we’ve got ladders of opportunity for everybody who wants to work hard and get ahead.

And we’ve made remarkable progress over the last five years, but we have not made enough.  Part of the reason we hadn’t made as much progress as we needed to was we had a series of self-inflicted wounds in this town in which a mindless sequester impeded growth, in which we were governing by crisis and brinksmanship.  And not only did that slow our ability to generate a full recovery, and not only did that hamper economic growth, but it also had an enormous impact on all of you.  And I know the Office of Management and Budget was one of the hardest hit during the sequester and a lot of you were furloughed.  A lot of you who remained during some of these furloughs had to carry extraordinary burdens, and so it took a personal toll on you and it took a personal toll on your family.

And yet, in part because of your dedication and your strength and your devotion to doing your jobs well, in part because of the strong leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Rogers — Chairman Rogers, we now have a bill that will fund our government, all our vital services, make sure that we are able to provide the needs for our veterans; to make sure that we are doing everything we need to do to advance our research agenda in this country and innovate; to make sure that we’re investing in the job training that young people desperately need in order to get the skills to find that good-paying job.

Across the board, our government is going to be operating without hopefully too many glitches over the next year.  And not only is that good for all of you and all the dedicated public servants in the federal government, but most importantly, it’s good for the American people because it means that we can focus our attention where we need to — on growing this economy and making sure that everybody gets a fair shot as long as they try.

We would not be here and we would not be able to sign this legislation if it hadn’t been for your work and your dedication.  And so this is my way of saying thank you.  I want to say thank you to Sylvia and Brian and the whole team here, and everybody represented because, goodness gracious, that is a big piece of business.  (Laughter.)  That is a big bill.  (Laughter.)  And I’m always interested and I’m like, where do they have the boxes for the really big ones?  (Laughter.)  Somebody makes them.

But what that represents is just hours and hours and weekends and nights where people are really paying attention and sweating the details.  And that’s what you do.  So these aren’t numbers; these are homeless folks who are getting housing.  These are a laid-off worker who suddenly is enrolling in that community college and finding that job that allows them to save a home and get back on track.  That’s some young scientist who is maybe going to find a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s.  That’s what those numbers represent.  And that’s because of you.

So thank you for your good work.  And without further delay, so you guys can start your weekends — (laughter) — and I’ve got to get back because somebody is having a birthday today.  (Laughter.)  I’ve got to make sure I pay them some attention.  I’m going to go ahead and sit down and sign the bill.  (Applause.)

END
5:10 P.M. EST

Political Musings December 12, 2013: Rare display of bipartisanship, House passes bipartisan budget bill 332-94

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

In a rare instance of bipartisanship the House of Representatives passed Thursday evening, Dec. 12, 2013 by a large majority the two-year budget bill 332 to 94 making sure at least for the near future there will be no…READ MORE

Political Musings November 3, 2013: Obama dedicates weekly address to passing a budget after conference first meets

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama dedicates weekly address to passing a budget after conference first meets

By Bonnie K. Goodman

After spending a week defending his embattled health care law, who has had a bumpy time with the rollout of the insurance marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, President Barack Obama decided to dedicate his weekly address released Saturday morning, Nov. 2…READ MORE

Political Musings October 20, 2013: President Obama looks forward with agenda, GOP criticizes Obamacare in weekly addresses

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama looks forward with agenda, GOP criticizes Obamacare in weekly addresses (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

 

Both President Barack Obama and the GOP looked past the government shutdown to upcoming battles in their respective weekly addresses released Saturday morning, Oct. 19, 2013. President Obama continued and reiterated the agenda he laid out…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 17, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the Reopening of the Government after Shutdown, Lays Out Year-End Agenda

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President on the Reopening of the Government

Source: WH, 10-17-13

President Obama Speaks on Reopening the Government

President Obama Speaks on Reopening the Government

State Dining Room

11:00 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  Please have a seat.

Well, last night, I signed legislation to reopen our government and pay America’s bills.  Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over.  The first default in more than 200 years will not happen.  These twin threats to our economy have now been lifted.  And I want to thank those Democrats and Republicans for getting together and ultimately getting this job done.

Now, there’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown.  But let’s be clear:  There are no winners here.  These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy.  We don’t know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it slowed our growth.

We know that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend on.  We know that potential homebuyers have gotten fewer mortgages, and small business loans have been put on hold.  We know that consumers have cut back on spending, and that half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months.  We know that just the threat of default — of America not paying all the bills that we owe on time — increased our borrowing costs, which adds to our deficit.

And, of course, we know that the American people’s frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher. That’s not a surprise that the American people are completely fed up with Washington.  At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we’ve got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back.  And for what?

There was no economic rationale for all of this.  Over the past four years, our economy has been growing, our businesses have been creating jobs, and our deficits have been cut in half. We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy — but nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.

And you don’t have to take my word for it.  The agency that put America’s credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy “remains more dynamic and resilient” than other advanced economies, and that the only thing putting us at risk is — and I’m quoting here — “repeated brinksmanship.”  That’s what the credit rating agency said.  That wasn’t a political statement; that was an analysis of what’s hurting our economy by people whose job it is to analyze these things.

That also happens to be the view of our diplomats who’ve been hearing from their counterparts internationally.  Some of the same folks who pushed for the shutdown and threatened default claim their actions were needed to get America back on the right track, to make sure we’re strong.  But probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we’ve seen these past several weeks.  It’s encouraged our enemies.  It’s emboldened our competitors.  And it’s depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership.

Now, the good news is we’ll bounce back from this.  We always do.  America is the bedrock of the global economy for a reason.  We are the indispensable nation that the rest of the world looks to as the safest and most reliable place to invest — something that’s made it easier for generations of Americans to invest in their own futures.  We have earned that responsibility over more than two centuries because of the dynamism of our economy and our entrepreneurs, the productivity of our workers, but also because we keep our word and we meet our obligations.  That’s what full faith and credit means — you can count on us.
And today, I want our people and our businesses and the rest of the world to know that the full faith and credit of the United States remains unquestioned.

But to all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change.  Because we’ve all got a lot of work to do on behalf of the American people — and that includes the hard work of regaining their trust.  Our system of self-government doesn’t function without it.  And now that the government is reopened, and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that’s grow this economy; create good jobs; strengthen the middle class; educate our kids; lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.  That’s why we’re here.  That should be our focus.

Now, that won’t be easy.  We all know that we have divided government right now.  There’s a lot of noise out there, and the pressure from the extremes affect how a lot of members of Congress see the day-to-day work that’s supposed to be done here. And let’s face it, the American people don’t see every issue the same way.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t make progress.  And when we disagree, we don’t have to suggest that the other side doesn’t love this country or believe in free enterprise, or all the other rhetoric that seems to get worse every single year.  If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on, and get some stuff done.

Let me be specific about three places where I believe we can make progress right now.  First, in the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, a budget that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further.

At the beginning of this year, that’s what both Democrats and Republicans committed to doing.  The Senate passed a budget; House passed a budget; they were supposed to come together and negotiate.  And had one side not decided to pursue a strategy of brinksmanship, each side could have gotten together and figured out, how do we shape a budget that provides certainty to businesses and people who rely on government, provides certainty to investors in our economy, and we’d be growing faster right now.

Now, the good news is the legislation I signed yesterday now requires Congress to do exactly that — what it could have been doing all along.

And we shouldn’t approach this process of creating a budget as an ideological exercise — just cutting for the sake of cutting.  The issue is not growth versus fiscal responsibility — we need both.  We need a budget that deals with the issues that most Americans are focused on:  creating more good jobs that pay better wages.

And remember, the deficit is getting smaller, not bigger.  It’s going down faster than it has in the last 50 years. The challenges we have right now are not short-term deficits; it’s the long-term obligations that we have around things like Medicare and Social Security.  We want to make sure those are there for future generations.

So the key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don’t need, closes corporate tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs, and frees up resources for the things that do help us grow — like education and infrastructure and research.  And these things historically have not been partisan.  And this shouldn’t be as difficult as it’s been in past years because we already spend less than we did a few years ago.  Our deficits are half of what they were a few years ago.  The debt problems we have now are long term, and we can address them without shortchanging our kids, or shortchanging our grandkids, or weakening the security that current generations have earned from their hard work.

So that’s number one.  Number two, we should finish fixing the job of — let me say that again.  Number two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.

There’s already a broad coalition across America that’s behind this effort of comprehensive immigration reform — from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement.  In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support that would make the biggest commitment to border security in our history; would modernize our legal immigration system; make sure everyone plays by the same rules, makes sure that folks who came here illegally have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, meet their responsibilities.  That bill has already passed the Senate. And economists estimate that if that bill becomes law, our economy would be 5 percent larger two decades from now.  That’s $1.4 trillion in new economic growth.

The majority of Americans think this is the right thing to do.  And it’s sitting there waiting for the House to pass it.  Now, if the House has ideas on how to improve the Senate bill, let’s hear them.  Let’s start the negotiations.  But let’s not leave this problem to keep festering for another year, or two years, or three years.  This can and should get done by the end of this year.

Number three, we should pass a farm bill, one that American farmers and ranchers can depend on; one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need; one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the long-term certainty that they deserve.

Again, the Senate has already passed a solid bipartisan bill.  It’s got support from Democrats and Republicans.  It’s sitting in the House waiting for passage.  If House Republicans have ideas that they think would improve the farm bill, let’s see them.  Let’s negotiate.  What are we waiting for?  Let’s get this done.

So, passing a budget; immigration reform; farm bill.  Those are three specific things that would make a huge difference in our economy right now.  And we could get them done by the end of the year if our focus is on what’s good for the American people. And that’s just the big stuff.  There are all kinds of other things that we could be doing that don’t get as much attention.

I understand we will not suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed.  Democrats and Republicans are far apart on a lot of issues.  And I recognize there are folks on the other side who think that my policies are misguided — that’s putting it mildly.  That’s okay.  That’s democracy.  That’s how it works.  We can debate those differences vigorously, passionately, in good faith, through the normal democratic process.

And sometimes, we’ll be just too far apart to forge an agreement.  But that should not hold back our efforts in areas where we do agree.  We shouldn’t fail to act on areas that we do agree or could agree just because we don’t think it’s good politics; just because the extremes in our party don’t like the word “compromise.”

I will look for willing partners wherever I can to get important work done.  And there’s no good reason why we can’t govern responsibly, despite our differences, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.  In fact, one of the things that I hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective government is important.  It matters.  I think the American people during this shutdown had a chance to get some idea of all the things, large and small, that government does that make a difference in people’s lives.

We hear all the time about how government is the problem.  Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways.  Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries.  It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe.  It helps folks rebuild after a storm.  It conserves our natural resources.  It finances startups.  It helps to sell our products overseas.  It provides security to our diplomats abroad.

So let’s work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse.  That’s not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government.  You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position.  Go out there and win an election.  Push to change it. But don’t break it.  Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building.  That’s not being faithful to what this country is about.

And that brings me to one last point.  I’ve got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who’ve either worked without pay or been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks, including most of my own staff: Thank you.  Thanks for your service.  Welcome back.  What you do is important.  It matters.

You defend our country overseas.  You deliver benefits to our troops who’ve earned them when they come home.  You guard our borders.  You protect our civil rights.  You help businesses grow and gain footholds in overseas markets.  You protect the air we breathe and the water our children drink.  And you push the boundaries of science and space, and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. Thank you.  What you do is important.  And don’t let anybody else tell you different.  Especially the young people who come to this city to serve — believe that it matters.  Well, you know what, you’re right.  It does.

And those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can.  We come from different parties, but we are Americans first.  And that’s why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction.  It can’t degenerate into hatred.  The American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours.  Our obligations are to them.  Our regard for them compels us all, Democrats and Republicans, to cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of our nation –- one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Thanks very much.

END
11:20 A.M. EDT

Political Musings October 17, 2013: Shutdown over: Obama signs, House, Senate pass budget and debt ceiling bill

HISTORY MUSINGS

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HISTORY & POLITICAL HEADLINES

Shutdown over: Obama signs, House, Senate pass budget and debt ceiling bill (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The 16-day partial government shutdown is over after both the Senate and House of Representatives passed a short term spending bill and raised the debt ceiling limit late Wednesday evening, Oct. 16, 2013, President Barack Obama promptly signed the…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 16, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Statement on a Deal to End the Government Shutdown

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Statement by the President of the United States

Source: WH, 10-16-13

President Obama Delivers a Statement

President Obama Delivers a Statement

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

8:28 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening, everybody.  Tonight, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together around an agreement that will reopen our government and remove the threat of default from our economy.

The Senate has now voted to approve this agreement, and Democrats and Republicans in the House still have an important vote to take, but I want to thank the leaders of both parties for getting us to this point.  Once this agreement arrives on my desk, I will sign it immediately.  We’ll begin reopening our government immediately, and we can begin to lift this cloud of uncertainty and unease from our businesses and from the American people.

I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow.  And I’ve got some thoughts about how we can move forward in the remainder of the year and stay focused on the job at hand, because there is a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that has been lost over the last few weeks.  And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:  I am willing to work with anybody, I am eager to work with anybody — Democrat or Republican, House or Senate members — on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term.  I’ve never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas.  And despite the differences over the issue of shutting down our government, I’m convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together to make progress for America.

In fact, there are things that we know will help strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year is out.  We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system.  We still need to pass a farm bill.  And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, and that helps hardworking people all across this country.

And we could get all these things done even this year if everybody comes together in a spirit of how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us.  That’s what I believe the American people are looking for — not a focus on politics, not a focus on elections, but a focus on the concrete steps that can improve their lives.  That’s going to be my focus.  I’m looking forward to Congress doing the same.

But, once again, I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done.  Hopefully, next time, it won’t be in the 11th hour.  One of the things that I said throughout this process is we’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.  And my hope and expectation is everybody has learned that there is no reason why we can’t work on the issues at hand, why we can’t disagree between the parties while still being agreeable, and make sure that we’re not inflicting harm on the American people when we do have disagreements.

So hopefully that’s a lesson that will be internalized, not just by me but also by Democrats and Republicans, not only the leaders but also the rank and file.

Thanks very much, everybody.

Q    Mr. President, isn’t this going to happen all over again in a few months?

THE PRESIDENT:  No.  (Laughter.)

END
8:31 P.M. EDT

Political Musings October 16, 2013: Senate again responsible for deals ending shutdown and raising the debt ceiling

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Senate again responsible for deals ending shutdown and raising the debt ceiling

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The Senate is again responsible for passing bills to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling before the deadline, after the House GOP on Tuesday evening, Oct. 15, 2013 failed another attempt to secure a plan ending the…READ MORE

Political Musings October 16, 2013: House GOP fails again to agree on deal to end shutdown, raise debt ceiling

HISTORY MUSINGS

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HISTORY & POLITICAL HEADLINES

House GOP fails again to agree on deal to end shutdown, raise debt ceiling

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Republican leadership in the House of Representatives tried again on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 to create short-term bills to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling limit, to avert any further crisis, which failed to lead even…READ MORE

Political Musings October 14, 2013: Senate at impasse over shutdown and debt deals with US sitting on the brink

HISTORY MUSINGS

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HISTORY & POLITICAL HEADLINES

Senate at impasse over shutdown and debt deals with US sitting on the brink

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Nearly two days after commencing negotiations, and two weeks after the start of the government shutdown at the end of Sunday, October 13, 2013, the Senate Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse in agreeing on a deal that would…READ MORE

Political Musings October 14, 2013: Senate at impasse over shutdown and debt deals with US sitting on the brink

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Senate at impasse over shutdown and debt deals with US sitting on the brink

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Nearly two days after commencing negotiations, and two weeks after the start of the government shutdown at the end of Sunday, October 13, 2013, the Senate Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse in agreeing on a deal that would…READ MORE

Political Musings October 13, 2013: Obama, GOP focus on ending government shutdown, debt deal in weekly addresses

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama, GOP focus on ending government shutdown, debt deal in weekly addresses (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

For the second week in a row both President Barack Obama and the Republican Party devoted their weekly addresses released on Saturday morning, Oct. 12, 2013 to the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis. The addresses were delivered over…READ MORE

Political Musings September 29, 2013: Obama sells healthcare law implementation while slamming GOP opposition

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama sells healthcare law implementation while slamming GOP opposition (Video)

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Days before the Affordable Cart Act will be start being implemented for individuals and small businesses President Barack Obama has taken to the road to again to sell the unpopular law to Americans while Congressional Republicans staunchly oppose the law…READ MORE

Political Musings July 31, 2013: President Barack Obama meets with House and Senate Democrats at Capitol on fall battles with GOP

POLITICAL MUSINGS

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama meets with House and Senate Democrats at Capitol on fall battles with GOP

By Bonnie K. Goodman

United States President Barack Obama headed to Capitol Hill today, July 31, 2013 to meet with House of Representatives and Senate Democrats to discuss his legislative agenda for the fall session. Obama has renewed his focus on the economy in…READ MORE

Political Headlines March 17, 2013: Senate Aims to Pass Six-Month Stopgap Budget Bill to Fund Government

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Senate Aims to Pass Six-Month Stopgap Bill to Fund Government

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-17-13

This week, the Senate will attempt to stave off a government shutdown by working to pass a continuing resolution in order to keep the government funded.

The continuing resolution, known in Washington shorthand as the CR, is a stopgap appropriations measure. Congress is up against a March 27 deadline to keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in September….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 4, 2013: House of Representatives Likely to Pass Continuing Resolution Stopgap Budget Measure on Thursday

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

House Likely to Pass Continuing Resolution on Thursday

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-4-13

House Republicans unveiled a stopgap measure Monday to fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year, a move intended to mollify a deeply divided Congress that has fought through three years of bruising budget battles.

The continuing resolution, known around Washington as a CR, is subject to sequestration levels in its entirety, setting the top-line overall rate of spending at $982 billion, down from $1.047 trillion the previous fiscal year….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency February 19, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the Sequester Pressures Congress for Deal to Avert Automatic Spending Cuts

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama: Automatic Budget Cuts Will Hurt Economy, Slow Recovery, and Put People Out of Work

Source: WH, 2-19-13
Watch this video on YouTube

Remarks by the President on the Sequester

Source: WH, 2-19-13 

South Court Auditorium

10:50 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  (Applause.)  Please have a seat.  Well, welcome to the White House.

As I said in my State of the Union address last week, our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good, middle-class jobs.  That’s our top priority.  That’s our North Star.  That drives every decision we make.  And it has to drive every decision that Congress and everybody in Washington makes over the next several years.

And that’s why it’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite.  It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.

Here’s what’s at stake.  Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion.  More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts.  The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.  And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year.  And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth.  And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter.  That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.

Unfortunately, Congress didn’t compromise.  They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday.

Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research.  It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day.  It doesn’t make those distinctions.

Emergency responders like the ones who are here today — their ability to help communities respond to and recover from disasters will be degraded.  Border Patrol agents will see their hours reduced.  FBI agents will be furloughed.  Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go.  Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, which means more delays at airports across the country.  Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off.  Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings.

And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf.  And as our military leaders have made clear, changes like this — not well thought through, not phased in properly — changes like this affect our ability to respond to threats in unstable parts of the world.

So these cuts are not smart.  They are not fair.  They will hurt our economy.  They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls.  This is not an abstraction — people will lose their jobs.  The unemployment rate might tick up again.

And that’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists, they’ve already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as sequestration, are a bad idea.  They’re not good for our economy.  They’re not how we should run our government.

And here’s the thing:  They don’t have to happen.  There is a smarter way to do this –- to reduce our deficits without harming our economy.  But Congress has to act in order for that to happen.

Now, for two years, I’ve offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that would prevent these harmful cuts.  I outlined it again last week at the State of the Union.  I am willing to cut more spending that we don’t need, get rid of programs that aren’t working.  I’ve laid out specific reforms to our entitlement programs that can achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that were proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.  I’m willing to save hundreds of billions of dollars by enacting comprehensive tax reform that gets rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well off and well connected, without raising tax rates.

I believe such a balanced approach that combines tax reform with some additional spending reforms, done in a smart, thoughtful way is the best way to finish the job of deficit reduction and avoid these cuts once and for all that could hurt our economy, slow our recovery, put people out of work.  And most Americans agree with me.

The House and the Senate are working on budgets that I hope reflect this approach.  But if they can’t get such a budget agreement done by next Friday — the day these harmful cuts begin to take effect — then at minimum, Congress should pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would prevent these harmful cuts — not to kick the can down the road, but to give them time to work together on a plan that finishes the job of deficit reduction in a sensible way.

I know Democrats in the House and in the Senate have proposed such a plan — a balanced plan, one that pairs more spending cuts with tax reform that closes special interest loopholes and makes sure that billionaires can’t pay a lower tax rate than their salary — their secretaries.

And I know that Republicans have proposed some ideas, too.  I have to say, though, that so far at least the ideas that the Republicans have proposed ask nothing of the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations, so the burden is all on first responders or seniors or middle-class families.  They double down, in fact, on the harsh, harmful cuts that I’ve outlined.  They slash Medicare and investments that create good, middle-class jobs.  And so far at least what they’ve expressed is a preference where they’d rather have these cuts go into effect than close a single tax loophole for the wealthiest Americans.  Not one.

Well, that’s not balanced.  That would be like Democrats saying we have to close our deficits without any spending cuts whatsoever.  It’s all taxes.  That’s not the position Democrats have taken.  That’s certainly not the position I’ve taken.  It’s wrong to ask the middle class to bear the full burden of deficit reduction.  And that’s why I will not sign a plan that harms the middle class.

So now Republicans in Congress face a simple choice:  Are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and health care and national security and all the jobs that depend on them?  Or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?  That’s the choice.

Are you willing to see a bunch of first responders lose their job because you want to protect some special interest tax loophole?  Are you willing to have teachers laid off, or kids not have access to Head Start, or deeper cuts in student loan programs just because you want to protect a special tax interest loophole that the vast majority of Americans don’t benefit from? That’s the choice.  That’s the question.

And this is not an abstraction.  There are people whose livelihoods are at stake.  There are communities that are going to be impacted in a negative way.  And I know that sometimes all this squabbling in Washington seems very abstract, and in the abstract, people like the idea, there must be some spending we can cut, there must be some waste out there.  There absolutely is.  But this isn’t the right way to do it.

So my door is open.  I’ve put tough cuts and reforms on the table.  I am willing to work with anybody to get this job done. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want.  But nobody should want these cuts to go through, because the last thing our families can afford right now is pain imposed unnecessarily by partisan recklessness and ideological rigidity here in Washington.

As I said at the State of the Union, the American people have worked too hard, too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause yet another one.  And it seems like every three months around here there’s some manufactured crisis. We’ve got more work to do than to just try to dig ourselves out of these self-inflicted wounds.

And while a plan to reduce our deficit has to be part of our agenda, we also have to remember deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan.  We learned in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was President, nothing shrinks the deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs.  That should be our driving focus — making America a magnet for good jobs.  Equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs. Making sure their hard work leads to a decent living.  Those are the things we should be pushing ourselves to think about and work on every single day.  That’s what the American people expect.  That’s what I’m going to work on every single day to help deliver.

So I need everybody who’s watching today to understand we’ve got a few days.  Congress can do the right thing.  We can avert just one more Washington-manufactured problem that slows our recovery, and bring down our deficits in a balanced, responsible way.  That’s my goal.  That’s what would do right by these first responders.  That’s what would do right by America’s middle class.  That’s what I’m going to be working on and fighting for not just over the next few weeks, but over the next few years.

Thanks very much, everybody.  Thank you, guys, for your service.  (Applause.)

END
11:05 A.M. EST

Political Headlines February 5, 2013: GOP Blasts President Barack Obama’s Deficit Reduction Proposals & Budget Plans as ‘Last Thing Americans Need’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Blasts Obama’s Deficit Reduction Proposals as ‘Last Thing Americans Need’

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-5-13

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Republicans criticized President Obama’s call Tuesday for a short-term deficit reduction package of spending cuts and tax revenue to postpone the deep automatic cuts known as sequestration that would begin the first week of March if a deficit cutting deal is not reached….

Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. released an official statement on President Obama’s remarks on budget sequestration, saying that Obama has failed to address the issue for more than a year and promising to introduce their own piece of legislation that will not increase taxes, as Obama’s plan would….READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines February 5, 2013: Speaker John Boehner’s Press Conference Highlights House Action to Force the President to Get Serious About Producing a Balanced Budget

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Speaker Boehner Highlights House Action to Force the President to Get Serious About Producing a Balanced Budget

Source: Speaker Boehner Press Office, 2-5-13

At a press conference with Republican leaders today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discussed President Obama and Senate Democrats’ failure to offer a serious budget or plan to replace the president’s sequester, and highlighted the action House Republicans are taking to hold them accountable. Following is the text of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

“You know, every month under President Obama kind of feels the same: high unemployment, rising prices, and more debt for our kids and our grandkids.  And if government spending were what the president believes creates economic growth, we shouldn’t be having any of these problems at all.

“Solving America’s problem starts with what every family does every month: they’ve got to do a budget.    But the president’s budget is late again. Senate Democrats haven’t done a budget in nearly four years. And none of them have a plan to replace the ‘sequester.’

“That’s why Republicans passed the No Budget, No Pay Act to force Senate Democrats to finally take action.  And it’s why we’re going to pass Tom Price’s bill that would require the president to submit a plan that would actually balance the budget.  And the sooner we solve our spending problem, the sooner our jobs problem will go away as well.” 

Political Headlines February 5, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech Offers Deficit Savings Budget Plan to Head Off Automatic Spending Cuts

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Offers Deficit Savings to Head Off Automatic Cuts

Source: NYT, 2-5-13

President Obama spoke from the briefing room of the White House on Tuesday.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

President Obama spoke from the briefing room of the White House on Tuesday.

President Obama urged lawmakers on Tuesday to pass a package of limited spending cuts and tax changes to avoid the across-the-board reductions set to take effect on March 1….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency February 5, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Urges Congress to Pass Short-Term Budget Plan to Avoid Sequester & Delay Spending Cuts

POLITICAL BUZZ


OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President

Source: WH, 2-5-13 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

1:16 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.

I wanted to say a few words about the looming deadlines and decisions that we face on our budget and on our deficit — and these are decisions that will have real and lasting impacts on the strength and pace of our recovery.

Economists and business leaders from across the spectrum have said that our economy is poised for progress in 2013.  And we’ve seen signs of this progress over the last several weeks. Home prices continue to climb.  Car sales are at a five-year high.  Manufacturing has been strong.  And we’ve created more than six million jobs in the last 35 months.

But we’ve also seen the effects that political dysfunction can have on our economic progress.  The drawn-out process for resolving the fiscal cliff hurt consumer confidence.  The threat of massive automatic cuts have already started to affect business decisions.  So we’ve been reminded that while it’s critical for us to cut wasteful spending, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.  Deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security will cost us jobs, and it will slow down our recovery.  It’s not the right thing to do for the economy; it’s not the right thing for folks who are out there still looking for work.

And the good news is this doesn’t have to happen.  For all the drama and disagreements that we’ve had over the past few years, Democrats and Republicans have still been able to come together and cut the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion through a mix of spending cuts and higher rates on taxes for the wealthy.  A balanced approach has achieved more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction.  That’s more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists and elected officials from both parties believe is required to stabilize our debt.  So we’ve made progress.  And I still believe that we can finish the job with a balanced mix of spending cuts and more tax reform.

The proposals that I put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others are still very much on the table.  I just want to repeat:  The deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.

I’ve offered sensible reforms to Medicare and other entitlements, and my health care proposals achieve the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.  These reforms would reduce our government’s bill — (laughter.)  What’s up, cameraman?  (Laughter.)  Come on, guys.  (Laughter.)  They’re breaking my flow all the time.  (Laughter.)

These reforms would reduce our government’s bills by reducing the cost of health care, not shifting all those costs on to middle-class seniors, or the working poor, or children with disabilities, but nevertheless, achieving the kinds of savings that we’re looking for.

But in order to achieve the full $4 trillion in deficit reductions that is the stated goal of economists and our elected leaders, these modest reforms in our social insurance programs have to go hand-in-hand with a process of tax reform, so that the wealthiest individuals and corporations can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.
Leaders in both parties have already identified the need to get rid of these loopholes and deductions.  There’s no reason why we should keep them at a time when we’re trying to cut down on our deficit.  And if we are going to close these loopholes, then there’s no reason we should use the savings that we obtain and turn around and spend that on new tax breaks for the wealthiest or for corporations.  If we’re serious about paying down the deficit, the savings we achieve from tax reform should be used to pay down the deficit, and potentially to make our businesses more competitive.

Now, I think this balanced mix of spending cuts and tax reform is the best way to finish the job of deficit reduction.  The overwhelming majority of the American people — Democrats and Republicans, as well as independents — have the same view.  And both the House and the Senate are working towards budget proposals that I hope reflect this balanced approach.  Having said that, I know that a full budget may not be finished before March 1st, and, unfortunately, that’s the date when a series of harmful automatic cuts to job-creating investments and defense spending — also known as the sequester — are scheduled to take effect.

So if Congress can’t act immediately on a bigger package, if they can’t get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months until Congress finds a way to replace these cuts with a smarter solution.

There is no reason that the jobs of thousands of Americans who work in national security or education or clean energy, not to mention the growth of the entire economy should be put in jeopardy just because folks in Washington couldn’t come together to eliminate a few special interest tax loopholes or government programs that we agree need some reform.

Congress is already working towards a budget that would permanently replace the sequester.  At the very least, we should give them the chance to come up with this budget instead of making indiscriminate cuts now that will cost us jobs and significantly slow down our recovery.

So let me just repeat:  Our economy right now is headed in the right direction and it will stay that way as long as there aren’t any more self-inflicted wounds coming out of Washington.  So let’s keep on chipping away at this problem together, as Democrats and Republicans, to give our workers and our businesses the support that they need to thrive in the weeks and months ahead.

Thanks very much.  And I know that you’re going to have a whole bunch of other questions.  And that’s why I hired this guy, Jay Carney — (laughter) — to take those questions.

Thank you, everybody.

END
1:23 P.M. EST

Political Headlines February 5, 2013: President Barack Obama Seeks Short-Term Budget Plan to Delay Sequester

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Seeks Short-Term Plan to Delay Sequester

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-5-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama is asking Congress for a short-term package of spending cuts and tax revenue to head off deep across-the-board budget cuts set to kick in March 1.

With the clock ticking, the president will call on lawmakers to pass a smaller package “to avoid the economically harmful consequences of the sequester for a few months, which will allow Congress more time to reach a solution that permanently avoids the sequester and significantly reduces the deficit in a balanced way,” according to a White House official….READ MORE

Political Headlines February 2, 2013: GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Susan Brooks Optimistic About Creating Federal Budget

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Brooks Optimistic About Creating Federal Budget

Source: ABC News Radio, 2-2-13

United States Congress

Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., says Democrats fail to see the value in creating and passing a budget for federal spending, but that Americans may still have cause to be optimistic about Washington’s efforts to boost the economy.

“On their watch,” Rep. Brooks says referring to congressional Democrats, “we’ve been operating without a national budget, piling up debts that now exceed $16 trillion and unemployment levels that remain stubbornly high.”

With the House’s passage of the No Budget No Pay Act, Brooks notes in this week’s Republican address that this new challenge will force lawmakers to “finally live up to one the most basic responsibilities of governing — passing a budget …”…READ MORE

Full Text Political Headlines January 26, 2013: GOP Weekly Address: Sen. John Thune on Creating a Clear Federal Spending Blueprint

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Weekly Address: Sen. Thune on Creating a Clear Federal Spending Blueprint

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-26-13

United States Senate

With the fiscal cliff debate nearly a month behind us, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says now is the time to address “the real cause of Washington’s fiscal mess — out-of-control spending.”

“Washington is addicted to spending your money,” Thune says of the growing national debt, which now totals more than $16 trillion.

In this week’s Republican address, Thune urges Congress to approve a federal budget, complete with a “clear spending blueprint” and plans for entitlement reforms….READ MORE

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