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

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Political Headlines April 10, 2013: President Barack Obama unveils $3.77 trillion budget proposal

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama unveils $3.77 trillion budget proposal

Source: WaPo, 4-10-13

(JIM LO SCALZO / EPA)

Spending plan would cut more than $1 trillion from programs across the government in an effort to persuade congressional Republicans to join him in the job of cutting the federal debt….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency April 10, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Source: WH, OMB, 4-10-13

The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget demonstrates that we can make critical investments to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way.

The President believes we must invest in the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising and thriving middle class.  He is focused on addressing three fundamental questions: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do the jobs of the 21st Century? How do we make sure hard work leads to a decent living?  The Budget presents the President’s plan to address each of these questions.

To make America once again a magnet for jobs, the Budget invests in high-tech manufacturing and innovation, clean energy, and infrastructure, while cutting red tape to help businesses grow.  To give workers the skills they need to compete in the global economy, it invests in education from pre-school to job training.  To ensure hard work is rewarded, it raises the minimum wage to $9 an hour so a hard day’s work pays more.

The Budget does all of these things as part of a comprehensive plan that reduces the deficit and puts the Nation on a sound fiscal course.  Every new initiative in the plan is fully paid for, so they do not add a single dime to the deficit.  The Budget also incorporates the President’s compromise offer to House Speaker Boehner to achieve another $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced way.  When combined with the deficit reduction already achieved, this will allow us to exceed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, while growing the economy and strengthening the middle class.  By including this compromise proposal in the Budget, the President is demonstrating his willingness to make tough choices and his seriousness about finding common ground to further reduce the deficit.

Full Text Obama Presidency April 10, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech Announcing & Unveiling the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Sends Congress his Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

Source: WH, 4-10-13

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the FY 2014 budget in the Rose Garden, April 10, 2013President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the FY 2014 budget, in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 10, 2013. Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients accompanies the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama said that we must invest in the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising and thriving middle class.  He said that every day, we must ask ourselves these three questions:  “How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

This morning the President sent Congress his Budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which presents his plan to address each of these questions. He also spoke to the press about his proposal in the Rose Garden, and said that while our economy is poised for progress, we need to get smarter about our priorities as a nation. And that’s what his 2014 Budget represents — a fiscally-responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth:

To make America a magnet for good jobs, this budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.  We’ll spark new American innovation and industry with cutting-edge research like the initiative I announced to map the human brain and cure disease. We’ll continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change. And our Rebuild America Partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools, in turn attracting even more new business to communities across the country.

To help workers earn the skills they need to fill those jobs, we’ll work with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. And we’re going to pay for it by raising taxes on tobacco products that harm our young people. It’s the right thing to do.

We’ll reform our high schools and job training programs to equip more Americans with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy. And we’ll help more middle-class families afford the rising cost of college.

To make sure hard work is rewarded, we’ll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for anybody who is willing to work hard to climb them. So we’ll partner with 20 of our communities hit hardest by the recession to help them improve housing, and education, and business investment. And we should make the minimum wage a wage you can live on — because no one who works full-time should have to raise his or her family in poverty.

President Obama’s budget also replaces the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester with smarter ones, making long-term reforms, eliminating actual waste and programs that are no longer needed.

And finally, because he is willing to make tough choices and serious about finding common ground to further reduce the deficit, President Obama’s budget incorporates his compromise offer he made to House Speaker Boehner that achieves another $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction in a balanced way. When combined with the deficit reduction already achieved, this will exceed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, while growing the economy and strengthening the middle class.

Watch President Obama discuss his 2014 Budget on YouTube

Full Text President Obama’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Remarks by the President Announcing the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

Source: WH, 4-10-13

Rose Garden

11:00 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  Please, please have a seat.  Well, as President, my top priority is to do everything I can to reignite what I consider to be the true engine of the American economy:  a rising, thriving middle class.  That’s what I think about every day.  That’s the driving force behind every decision that I make.

And over the past three years, our businesses have created nearly 6.5 million new jobs.  But we know we can help them create more.  Corporate profits are at an all-time high.  But we have to get wages and incomes rising, as well.  Our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in years.  But we can do more to bring them down in a balanced and responsible way.

The point is, our economy is poised for progress — as long as Washington doesn’t get in the way.  Frankly, the American people deserve better than what we’ve been seeing:  a shortsighted, crisis-driven decision-making, like the reckless, across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting a lot of communities out there — cuts that economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year.

If we want to keep rebuilding our economy on a stronger, more stable foundation, then we’ve got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation.  And that’s what the budget I’m sending to Congress today represents — a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth.

For years, the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments necessary to grow our economy.  And this budget answers that argument, because we can do both.  We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits.  In fact, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing shrinks deficits faster than a growing economy.  That’s been my goal since I took office.  And that should be our goal going forward.

At a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, my budget begins by making targeted investments in areas that will create jobs right now, and prime our economy to keep generating good jobs down the road.  As I said in my State of the Union address, we should ask ourselves three questions every day:  How do we make America a magnet for new jobs?  How do we give our workers the skills they need to do those jobs?  And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?

To make America a magnet for good jobs, this budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.  We’ll spark new American innovation and industry with cutting-edge research like the initiative I announced to map the human brain and cure disease.  We’ll continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change.  And our Rebuild America Partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools, in turn attracting even more new business to communities across the country.

To help workers earn the skills they need to fill those jobs, we’ll work with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.  And we’re going to pay for it by raising taxes on tobacco products that harm our young people.  It’s the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

We’ll reform our high schools and job training programs to equip more Americans with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century economy.  And we’ll help more middle-class families afford the rising cost of college.

To make sure hard work is rewarded, we’ll build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for anybody who is willing to work hard to climb them.  So we’ll partner with 20 of our communities hit hardest by the recession to help them improve housing, and education, and business investment.  And we should make the minimum wage a wage you can live on — because no one who works full-time should have to raise his or her family in poverty.  (Applause.)

My budget also replaces the foolish across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting our economy.  And I have to point out that many of the same members of Congress who supported deep cuts are now the ones complaining about them the loudest as they hit their own communities.  Of course, the people I feel for are the people who are directly feeling the pain of these cuts — the people who can least afford it.  They’re hurting military communities that have already sacrificed enough.  They’re hurting middle-class families.  There are children who have had to enter a lottery to determine which of them get to stay in their Head Start program with their friends.  There are seniors who depend on programs like Meals on Wheels so they can live independently, but who are seeing their services cut.

That’s what this so-called sequester means.  Some people may not have been impacted, but there are a lot of folks who are being increasingly impacted all across this country.  And that’s why my budget replaces these cuts with smarter ones, making long-term reforms, eliminating actual waste and programs we don’t need anymore.

So building new roads and bridges, educating our children from the youngest age, helping more families afford college, making sure that hard work pays.  These are things that should not be partisan.  They should not be controversial.  We need to make them happen.  My budget makes these investments to grow our economy and create jobs, and it does so without adding a dime to our deficits.

Now, on the topic of deficits, despite all the noise in Washington, here’s a clear and unassailable fact: our deficits are already falling.  Over the past two years, I’ve signed legislation that will reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion — more than two-thirds of it through spending cuts and the rest through asking the wealthiest Americans to begin paying their fair share.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have more work to do.  But here’s how we finish the job.  My budget will reduce our deficits by nearly another $2 trillion, so that all told we will have surpassed the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that independent economists believe we need to stabilize our finances.  But it does so in a balanced and responsible way, a way that most Americans prefer.

Both parties, for example, agree that the rising cost of caring for an aging generation is the single biggest driver of our long-term deficits.  And the truth is, for those like me who deeply believe in our social insurance programs, think it’s one of the core things that our government needs to do, if we want to keep Medicare working as well as it has, if we want to preserve the ironclad guarantee that Medicare represents, then we’re going to have to make some changes.  But they don’t have to be drastic ones.  And instead of making drastic ones later, what we should be doing is making some manageable ones now.

The reforms I’m proposing will strengthen Medicare for future generations without undermining that ironclad guarantee that Medicare represents.  We’ll reduce our government’s Medicare bills by finding new ways to reduce the cost of health care — not by shifting the costs to seniors or the poor or families with disabilities.  They are reforms that keep the promise we’ve made to our seniors:  basic security that is rock-solid and dependable, and there for you when you need it.  That’s what my budget represents.

My budget does also contain the compromise I offered Speaker Boehner at the end of last year, including reforms championed by Republican leaders in Congress.  And I don’t believe that all these ideas are optimal, but I’m willing to accept them as part of a compromise — if, and only if, they contain protections for the most vulnerable Americans.

But if we’re serious about deficit reduction, then these reforms have to go hand-in-hand with reforming our tax code to make it more simple and more fair, so that the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations cannot keep taking advantage of loopholes and deductions that most Americans don’t get.  That’s the bottom line.

If you’re serious about deficit reduction, then there’s no excuse to keep these loopholes open.  They don’t serve an economic purpose.  They don’t grow our economy.  They don’t put people back to work.  All they do is to allow folks who are already well-off and well-connected game the system.  If anyone thinks I’ll finish the job of deficit reduction on the backs of middle-class families or through spending cuts alone that actually hurt our economy short-term, they should think again.

When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met Republicans more than halfway.  So in the coming days and weeks, I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be.
So growing our economy, creating jobs, shrinking our deficits.  Keeping our promise to the generation that made us great, but also investing in the next generation — the next generation that will make us even greater.  These are not conflicting goals.  We can do them in concert.  That’s what my budget does.  That’s why I’m so grateful for the great work that Jeff Zients and his team have done in shaping this budget.  The numbers work.  There’s not a lot of smoke and mirrors in here.

And if we can come together, have a serious, reasoned debate — not driven by politics — and come together around common sense and compromise, then I’m confident we will move this country forward and leave behind something better for our children.  That’s our task.

Thank you, God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
11:11 A.M. EDT

Political Headlines April 9, 2013: As President Barack Obama releases 2014 budget, political void awaits

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

As Obama releases budget, political void awaits

Source: WaPo, 4-9-13

(Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

The White House will unveil Obama’s 2014 spending plan Wednesday, which administration officials say offers a path to compromise and a centrist course. But what happens next is murky….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 12, 2013: Paul Ryan Extends ‘Invitation to the President’ Barack Obama to Balance Budget at Press Conference Unveiling House Republicans 2014 Budget

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Paul Ryan Extends ‘Invitation to the President’ to Balance Budget

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-12-13

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

As House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan released his balanced budget blueprint Tuesday, the former Republican vice presidential nominee issued a direct challenge to President Obama to present his own plan to balance the federal government’s books.

“This is an invitation. Show us how to balance the budget,” Ryan, R-Wis., said at a Capitol news conference Tuesday. “If you don’t like the way we’re proposing to balance our budget, how do you propose to balance the budget?”….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency March 12, 2013: Press Secretary Jay Carney’s Statement on the House Republican Budget

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Statement by the Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

Source: WH, 3-12-13 

The President believes that there is an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to come together around a balanced plan to grow the economy and shrink the deficit by investing to create jobs, cutting wasteful spending, and strengthening programs like Medicare and Medicaid.  This approach will require both parties to compromise and make tough choices.

While the House Republican budget aims to reduce the deficit, the math just doesn’t add up.  Deficit reduction that asks nothing from the wealthiest Americans has serious consequences for the middle class.  By choosing to give the wealthiest Americans a new tax cut, this budget as written will either fail to achieve any meaningful deficit reduction, raise taxes on middle class families by more than $2,000 – or both.  By choosing not to ask for a single dime of deficit reduction from closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected, this budget identifies deep cuts to investments like education and research – investments critical to creating jobs and growing the middle class.  And to save money, this budget would turn Medicare into a voucher program–undercutting the guaranteed benefits that seniors have earned and forcing them to pay thousands more out of their own pockets.  We’ve tried this top-down approach before.  The President still believes it is the wrong course for America.

That’s why the President has put forward a balanced approach to deficit reduction with no sacred cows.  It includes more Medicare savings over the next decade than the House Republican budget, but it does so by cracking down on waste and fraud, not by asking middle class seniors to bear the burden.  It closes tax loopholes for the wealthiest and biggest corporations so we can still afford to create jobs by investing in education, manufacturing, infrastructure, and small businesses.  The President’s plan puts our nation on a fiscally sustainable path and grows our economy from the middle class out.

While the President disagrees with the House Republican approach, we all agree we need to leave a better future for our children.  The President will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to grow the economy and cut the deficit in a balanced way. This is the approach the American people overwhelmingly support, and that is what the President will continue to fight for each day.

Full Text Political Headlines March 12, 2013: Speaker John Boehner’s Statement on the 2014 Republican Budget “The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget” Released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Speaker Boehner: Balancing the Budget Is Key to Growing Our Economy, Expanding Opportunity

Source: Speaker Boehner Press Office, 3-12-13

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement in praise of The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget released today by Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Republicans on the House Budget Committee:

“We owe it to the American people to balance the federal budget — and Republicans have a plan to do it in 10 years. Our balanced budget is focused on growing our economy and expanding opportunities for all Americans. It cuts government waste, fixes our broken tax code to help create new jobs and increase wages for working families, repairs the safety net for struggling Americans, and protects and strengthens important priorities like Medicare and defense.

“I want to thank Chairman Ryan and all of the Republicans on the House Budget Committee for their work on putting together this balanced budget, and I would encourage President Obama and Senate Democrats to follow our lead. Washington’s long-time failure to address our country’s long-term challenges has been a stain on both parties. We can start setting things right by balancing the budget, and handing our children a booming economy instead of a mountain of debt.”

NOTE: Learn more about The Path to Prosperity – Republicans’ responsible, balanced budget – at budget.house.gov.

Full Text Political Headlines March 12, 2013: House Republicans’ Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

House Republicans’ Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

Source: Budget.House.gov, 3-12-13

The path to prosperity; a blueprint for american renewal

Washington owes the American people a responsible, balanced budget. House Republicans have put forth a plan to balance the budget in 10 years. Senate Democrats never balance—ever. It’s not fair to take more just to spend more in Washington. A balanced budget will foster a healthier economy and help create jobs….LEARN MORE

Full Text Political Headlines March 12, 2013: Rep. Paul Ryan’s Wall Street Journal Op-ed: The GOP Plan to Balance the Budget by 2023

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

The GOP Plan to Balance the Budget by 2023

The goal can be reached, with no new taxes, while increasing spending 3.4% annually instead of the current 5%.

Source: Paul Ryan, WSJ, 3-12-13

America’s national debt is over $16 trillion. Yet Washington can’t figure out how to cut $85 billion—or just 2% of the federal budget—without resorting to arbitrary, across-the-board cuts. Clearly, the budget process is broken. In four of the past five years, the president has missed his budget deadline. Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over 1,400 days. By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation’s debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis.

House Republicans have a plan to change course. On Tuesday, we’re introducing a budget that balances in 10 years—without raising taxes. How do we do it? We stop spending money the government doesn’t have. Historically, Americans have paid a little less than one-fifth of their income in taxes to the federal government each year. But the government has spent more….READ MORE

Political Headlines March 11, 2013: Paul Ryan’s Latest Budget Proposal to Be Unveiled Tuesday

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Paul Ryan’s Latest Budget Proposal to Be Unveiled Tuesday

Source: ABC News Radio, 3-11-13

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan will release the latest version of his budget blueprint on Tuesday in an attempt to set the federal government on a course to balance annual revenue and spending levels by the year 2023….READ MORE

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