Full Text October 15, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address at a GM Plant in Detroit, Michigan Highlights the Bipartisan Trades Bill Passed by Congress

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

From a GM plant in Detroit, President Obama highlights landmark trade agreements which will support American jobs, level the playing field for American workers and help us meet our goal of doubling our exports.

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 10/14/11

Weekly Address: “Made in America”

Source: WH, 10-15-11

From a GM plant in Detroit, President Obama highlights the landmark trade agreements passed this week which will support tens of thousands of American jobs, level the playing field for American workers, and help us meet our goal of doubling our exports.

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POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Working Together to Create Jobs

Speaking to the American people from Detroit, Michigan, President Obama highlighted the landmark trade agreements passed in a bipartisan way this week which will support tens of thousands of American jobs, level the playing field for American workers, and help us meet our goal of doubling our exports.  The President will continue to urge Congress to do more and pass the American Jobs Act so we can grow our economy and create jobs now.  Republicans in Congress will get a chance to support these common-sense measures or explain why they oppose providing tax breaks for working Americans, putting teachers, firefighters, and cops back to work, and repairing our crumbling infrastructure.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 15, 2011

I’m here in Detroit visiting workers at a GM plant in the heart of a resurgent American auto industry.  And I brought a guest with me – President Lee of South Korea.

We’re here because this week, Congress passed landmark trade agreements with countries like Korea, and assistance for American workers that will be a big win for our economy.

These trade agreements will support tens of thousands of American jobs.  And we’ll sell more Fords, Chevys and Chryslers abroad stamped with three proud words – “Made in America.”

So it was good to see Congress act in a bipartisan way on something that will help create jobs at a time when millions of Americans are out of work and need them now.

But that’s also why it was so disappointing to see Senate Republicans obstruct the American Jobs Act, even though a majority of Senators voted “yes” to advance this jobs bill.

We can’t afford this lack of action.  And there is no reason for it.  Independent economists say that this jobs bill would give the economy a jumpstart and lead to nearly two million new jobs.  Every idea in that jobs bill is the kind of idea both parties have supported in the past.

The majority of the American people support the proposals in this jobs bill.  And they want action from their elected leaders to create jobs and restore some security for the middle class right now.  You deserve to see your hard work and responsibility rewarded – and you certainly deserve to see it reflected in the folks you send to Washington.

But rather than listen to you and put folks back to work, Republicans in the House spent the past couple days picking partisan ideological fights.  They’re seeing if they can roll back clean air and water protections.  They’re stirring up fights over a woman’s right to make her own health care choices.  They’re not focused on the concrete actions that will put people back to work right now.

Well, we’re going to give them another chance.  We’re going to give them another chance to spend more time worrying about your jobs than keeping theirs.

Next week, I’m urging Members of Congress to vote on putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back in the classroom, cops back on the streets, and firefighters back on the job.

And if they vote “no” on that, they’ll have to tell you why.  They’ll have to tell you why teachers in your community don’t deserve a paycheck again.  They’ll have to tell your kids why they don’t deserve to have their teacher back.  They’ll have to tell you why they’re against commonsense proposals that would help families and strengthen our communities right now.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have them vote on the other parts of the jobs bill – putting construction workers back on the job, rebuilding our roads and bridges; providing tax cuts for small businesses that hire our veterans; making sure that middle-class families don’t see a tax hike next year and that the unemployed and our out-of-work youth have a chance to get back in the workforce and earn their piece of the American Dream.

That’s what’s at stake.  Putting people back to work.  Restoring economic security for the middle class.  Rebuilding an economy where hard work is valued and responsibility is rewarded – an economy that’s built to last.  And I’m going to travel all over the country over the next few weeks so that we can remind Congress that’s their job.  Because there’s still time to create jobs and grow our economy right now.  There’s still time for Congress to do the right thing.  We just need to act.

Thank you.

Full Text Debt Ceiling Showdown July 29, 2011: President Obama Addresses the Nation on Debt Crisis — Asks for White House Followers to #Compromise on Twitter

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

THE HEADLINES: DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS:

President Barack Obama makes a statement to the press
White House Photo, Pete Souza, 7/29/11

Time for Compromise

The President urges Democrats and Republicans to reach a bipartisan solution to avoid default and calls on the American people to make their voices heard in the ongoing debate on our national debt.

President Obama Calls on the American People to Make their Voices Heard

Source: WH, 7-29-11

This morning, President Obama spoke on the status of the debt ceiling negotiations from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. The President urged Republicans and Democrats in Congress to find a bipartisan solution to avoid default that he can sign by Tuesday. Though we are almost out of time, the President made it clear that there are multiple ways to resolve this problem:

Now, keep in mind, this is not a situation where the two parties are miles apart.  We’re in rough agreement about how much spending can be cut responsibly as a first step toward reducing our deficit.  We agree on a process where the next step is a debate in the coming months on tax reform and entitlement reform –- and I’m ready and willing to have that debate.  And if we need to put in place some kind of enforcement mechanism to hold us all accountable for making these reforms, I’ll support that too if it’s done in a smart and balanced way.

So there are plenty of ways out of this mess.  But we are almost out of time.  We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time, as we always have — bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.  Keep in mind, if we don’t do that, if we don’t come to an agreement, we could lose our country’s AAA credit rating, not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills — we do — but because we didn’t have a AAA political system to match our AAA credit rating.

And make no mistake -– for those who say they oppose tax increases on anyone, a lower credit rating would result potentially in a tax increase on everyone in the form of higher interest rates on their mortgages, their car loans, their credit cards.  And that’s inexcusable.

President Obama reiterated that the power to reach a balanced solution is in our hands:

There are a lot of crises in the world that we can’t always predict or avoid -– hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks.  This isn’t one of those crises.  The power to solve this is in our hands.  And on a day when we’ve been reminded how fragile the economy already is, this is one burden we can lift ourselves.   We can end it with a simple vote –- a vote that Democrats and Republicans have been taking for decades, a vote that the leaders in Congress have taken for decades.

It’s not a vote that allows Congress to spend more money.  Raising the debt ceiling simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up.  I want to emphasize that.  The debt ceiling does not determine how much more money we can spend, it simply authorizes us to pay the bills we already have racked up.  It gives the United States of America the ability to keep its word.

Finally, the President called on the American people to continue to make their voices heard in this debate:

Now, on Monday night, I asked the American people to make their voice heard in this debate, and the response was overwhelming.  So please, to all the American people, keep it up.  If you want to see a bipartisan compromise -– a bill that can pass both houses of Congress and that I can sign — let your members of Congress know.  Make a phone call.  Send an email.  Tweet.  Keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this.

And for my part, our administration will be continuing to work with Democrats and Republicans all weekend long until we find a solution.  The time for putting party first is over.  The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now.  And I am confident that we can solve this problem.  I’m confident that we will solve this problem.  For all the intrigue and all the drama that’s taking place on Capitol Hill right now, I’m confident that common sense and cooler heads will prevail.

But as I said earlier, we are now running out of time.  It’s important for everybody to step up and show the leadership that the American people expect.

 

The Time for #Compromise is Now

Source: WH, 7-29-11

“The time for compromise on behalf of the American people is now,” said President Obama during a statement on debt negotiations this morning. On Twitter, people are using the hashtag #compromise in response to his speech. Here @whitehouse, we’ve been using Twitter all week for our new White House Office Hours series, where senior staff have been answering your questions on the debt debate and the economy in 140 characters or less.

Here are a some ways you can stay engaged in the conversation on Twitter:

  • Use the hashtag #compromise on Twitter to respond to the President’s remarks
  • Keep on using the hashtag #WHChat to ask White House staff question during Office Hours
  • Retweet or reply to our live tweeting of the President’s remarks (below)
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Political Buzz Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 26, 2011: Boehner Delays Debt Plan Vote to Thursday — Rewriting Debt Plan to Gain Support of Opposing Conservative Republicans & Meet Congressional Budget Office Standards

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

THE HEADLINES: DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

House Speaker John Boehner, (right) Ohio Republican, and Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (center), Texas Republican, listen as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, speaks July 26, 2011, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

House Speaker John Boehner, (right) Ohio Republican, and Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (center), Texas Republican, listen as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, speaks July 26, 2011, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

JULY 26, 2011: BOEHNER DELAYS HOUSE DEBT VOTE AS TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS BALK FROM THE PLAN

Boehner delays debt vote: House Republicans have delayed a vote on their bill to lift the debt ceiling as they scrambled Tuesday night to rewrite portions of the measure to ensure that accompanying spending cuts were large enough, according to three senior GOP aides. Budget analysts said hours earlier the plan would only create $850 billion in savings as opposed to the sought-after $1.2 trillion. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the vote could now happen Thursday.

“As we speak, Congressional staff are looking at options to adjust the legislation to meet our pledge. This is what can happen when you have an actual plan and submit it for independent review — which the Democrats who run Washington have refused to do.” — Speaker of the House John Boehner in a Statement

Speaker Boehner on GOP Spending Cut Plan: “It’s Reasonable, It’s Responsible, It Can Pass”: At a press conference with Republican leaders today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urged President Obama to support Republicans’ common-sense, two-step plan to cut spending and prevent a national default. Following are text and video of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:
“I think I made it pretty clear last night: the President is looking for a blank check. We have a bill that is a reasonable approach negotiated with the Senate leadership that really is commonsense. There’s more cuts in spending than you have an increase in the debt limit. There’s real caps and a real process for cutting spending before the end of this year. And it provides for – I think – the best effort to get a Balanced Budget Amendment enacted into the Constitution.
“It’s reasonable, it’s responsible, it can pass the House and it can pass the Senate – and I hope the President will consider signing it into law.”

“President Obama has run up a dangerous amount of debt since taking office, and I greatly appreciate Speaker Boehner for courageously leading the fight to stop him from running up even more. Speaker Boehner has now put forth two plans; that would be exactly two plans more than what the President has offered. The debt limit is a line in the sand where Republicans can force the tough decisions to fix our nation’s finances, and taxpayers cannot afford for us to back down now. I am for the plan that will cut spending, cap it, and pass a balanced budget amendment, but unfortunately this latest bill does not accomplish that.” — Tim Pawlenty now rejects John Boehner debt plan

Eric Cantor: The House plan is consistent with our commitment to change Washington, stop spending money we don’t have, and focus on growing America’s economy. The President has yet to offer a plan.

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solvethis problem through compromise, send that message.” -– President Obama

    • Debt ceiling poll: Voters with Obama: Most Americans would like to see a mix of spending cuts and tax increases be part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, a new poll finds, aligning the majority with President Barack Obama’s position. Of those surveyed for a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday, 56 percent said they want to see a mix of approaches used in an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. The poll was conducted overnight Monday, as Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) voiced their views on the impasse in negotiations in back-to-back televised primetime speeches.
      Just 19 percent of Americans said they favor a plan like Boehner’s, which would rely solely on spending cuts to existing programs to reduce the deficit. Twelve percent said they would prefer a plan to reduce the deficit only by raising taxes.
      Americans’ blame for the impasse is spread all around, though is particularly strong against congressional Republicans, with 31 percent of those surveyed saying they are responsible for it. Twenty-one percent blamed Obama and nine percent blamed congressional Democrats…. – Politico 7-26-11
    • New polls confirm Obama’s Democratic base crumbles: …”More than a third of Americans now believe that President Obama’s policies are hurting the economy, and confidence in his ability to create jobs is sharply eroding among his base,” the Post reports.
      Strong support among liberal Democrats for Obama’s jobs record has plummeted 22 points from 53% down below a third. African Americans who believe the president’s measures helped the economy have plunged from 77% to barely half.
      Obama’s overall job approval on the economy has slid below 40% for the first time, with 57% disapproving. And strong disapprovers outnumber approvers by better than two-to-one. – LAT, 7-26-11

Congressional Budget Office — Plan would cut spending by $850 billion during the next decade — about $150 billion less than the $1 trillion increase proposed for the debt ceiling

INFOGRAPHIC: Where does our national debt come from?: One of the fundamental things to understand when considering the debate about reducing our national debt is how we accumulated so much in the first place.
To explain the impact various policies have had over the past decade, shifting us from projected surpluses to actual deficits and, as a result, running up the national debt, the White House has developed a graphic for you to review and share. – WH, 7-26-11

  • Another Chart for Your Debt Ceiling Discussions: Here is another chart to the same effect, released this afternoon by the White House. It is a more comprehensive accounting of the forces that turned the large projected federal surplus as of 2001 into the large structural deficits that are dominating our politics as of 2011. Thus it attempts to explain a $12.7 trillion negative swing in public finance — from the $2.3 trillion surplus forecast by Bill Clinton ten years ago, to the $10.4 trillion total debt Barack Obama encounters now.
    The chart is more comprehensive in including not just policy changes — deliberate adoption and extension of tax cuts, spending on TARP and other programs — but also the effects of external pressures and shocks, mainly the recession starting in 2008. See for yourself, and click for a more detailed view…. – The Atlantic, 7-26-11
  • Boehner rewriting debt limit plan as clock ticks: Neither the House nor the Senate has a clear path forward for must-pass legislation to allow the government to continue to borrow to pay its bills, putting lawmakers and financial markets alike on edge less than a week before the deadline for heading off the nation’s first-ever default.
    House Speaker John Boehner was forced late Tuesday to postpone a floor vote on his plan, which originally had been scheduled for Wednesday, after nonpartisan congressional scorekeepers said the proposal would cut spending less than advertised. He promised to rewrite the measure, but the move means the House can’t vote on it until Thursday at the earliest.
    Boehner, R-Ohio, needs to do more than pump up the legislation. He needs to shore up his standing with tea party-backed conservatives demanding deeper spending cuts to accompany an almost $1 trillion increase in the government’s borrowing cap. Many conservatives already had promised to oppose it…. – AP, 7-27-11
  • GOP headwinds delay House budget-debt vote: House leaders delayed a vote on a Republican U.S. debt reduction plan after congressional budget officials said it would save $150 billion less than advertised.
    The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said House Speaker John Boehner’s plan would cut spending $850 billion over a decade, not $1 trillion as he said it would.
    The budget office conclusion Tuesday night capped a day in which the Ohio Republican’s plan faced a barrage of conservative criticism that the cuts were not nearly deep enough.
    Four Republican senators with Tea Party links wrote to their House colleagues urging them to vote against the measure. The Club for Growth — which advocates limited government, lower taxes and less government spending, while scoring lawmakers on their fiscally conservative votes — also came out against the plan.
    So did other conservative groups including the Heritage Foundation and a national coalition of Tea Party groups, The New York Times reported.
    In addition, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called it “dead on arrival in the Senate, if they get it out of the House.” And the White House said President Barack Obama would veto the bill if it reached his desk.
    Boehner’s congressional staffers planned to work through the night to rework the measure to achieve the amount of cuts originally pledged, Boehner’s office said Tuesday night…. – UPI, 7-27-11
  • Vote on Boehner Plan Delayed Amid Opposition: House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings.
    The pushback on the bill was the latest chaotic twist in the fiscal fracas on Capitol Hill, as the clock ticked closer to Aug. 2, when the Obama administration has warned that the nation risks defaulting on its bills. The scramble to come up with a plan that could be put to a vote, now moved from Wednesday to Thursday, represents a test of Speaker John A. Boehner’s ability to lead his restive caucus. The expected showdown over the legislation is the culmination of months of efforts by Tea Party-allied freshmen and fellow conservatives to demand a fundamentally smaller government in exchange for raising the federal borrowing limit.
    Mr. Boehner rolled out a two-stage plan on Monday that would allow the $14.3 trillion federal debt limit to rise immediately by about $1 trillion in exchange for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. The plan tied a second increase early next year to the ability of a new bipartisan Congressional committee to produce more reductions.
    The plan was met with skepticism — and in many cases outright rejection — by several conservative House members who said its savings did not go far enough. President Obama and most Congressional Democrats also have rejected the proposal, saying it is only a short-term solution and could lead to market uncertainty and instability.
    Mr. Boehner’s troubles piled up late Tuesday afternoon when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said his plan would cut spending by $850 billion during the next decade — about $150 billion less than the $1 trillion increase proposed for the debt ceiling.
    Mr. Boehner was forced to quickly retreat from the bill. Republican leaders said they would probably rework it to in a way that would reflect the decreased savings by raising the debt limit by less than $850 billion. Such a change would mean that the Obama administration would need to make another request for an increase in a matter of months, making the deal even less palatable to Democrats…. – NYT, 7-26-11
  • Boehner, Reid scramble to build support for rival debt-limit plans: Washington barreled closer to crisis Tuesday as House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid scrambled to build support for rival plans to control the national debt, but both appeared doomed without significant bipartisan modifications.
    House Republicans delayed a vote on Boehner’s bill, which had been set for Wednesday, after congressional budget analysts dealt the legislation a potentially devastating setback by saying it would save far less over the next decade than the $1.2 trillion advertised. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the spending cuts would save only about $850 billion over that period.
    The news from the CBO alarmed conservatives, who were already balking at what they considered timid spending reductions. It also meant Boehner’s bill would not meet his own demand that the cuts exceed the size of the $900 billion debt-limit increase.
    House Republicans were racing Tuesday night to rewrite portions of the measure to bring the numbers into line. The vote could now come Thursday…. – WaPo, 7-26-11
  • Analysis: Little by little, the sides are budging in debt debate: The differences are narrowing, not widening, as the U.S. government struggles to avoid a financial default that neither President Barack Obama nor the leaders of Congress say they want.
    That helps explain why day-old legislation unveiled by the House Republican leadership pulled off something of a political trifecta Tuesday before being scrapped.
    Several rank-and-file GOP conservatives in Speaker John Boehner of Ohio’s own party attacked it.
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada labeled it “dead on arrival” in his Democratic-controlled chamber.
    Then the White House said that if the measure cleared Congress, “the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto this bill.”
    Yet the legislation also represented significant movement from a bill the House passed last week, such as roughly half of its mandated spending cuts, just as Reid no longer insists on tax increases as part of any plan to cut deficits. “We have a bill that is reasonable and responsible,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said earlier…. – AP, 7-27-11
  • Republican debt plan struggles in House: Speaker John Boehner and other party leaders push into overdrive to try to rescue the measure, even as an independent analysis challenges its figures.
    A go-it-alone House Republican plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling teetered on the edge of failure late Tuesday as leaders struggled to rally reluctant lawmakers and to make last-minute changes to curry conservative support.
    Leaders postponed a planned Wednesday vote in the House, an indication of the problems besetting the effort. Even if the plan passes this week, it would face an uncertain fate in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and White House officials said they would recommend President Obama veto it.
    The uphill task, led by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), grew more difficult when an independent analysis posed a new challenge to the figures used in the plan, saying its projected savings would be less than initially estimated.
    Boehner’s challenge arrived at a pivotal moment for both the Republican Party and the country, after months of political deadlock. Just days remain before the federal government hits the $14.3-trillion limit on how much it can borrow, after which it could be unable to pay all of its bills and obligations.
    In proposing their own plan, House Republicans aimed to demonstrate that they could lead the nation away from the brink of economic disaster. But on Tuesday, they largely showed off the deep divisions that have dogged the GOP and Boehner’s leadership all year.
    GOP leaders pushed into overdrive to try to rescue the measure, using arguments, empathy, sweeteners and even a tough-guy movie clip — yes, a movie clip — to rally support.
    To push a plan through the House, Boehner must amass 217 votes. There are 240 Republicans in the House, and few, if any, Democrats are expected to support his plan. So Boehner can afford to lose no more than about 23 members of his party — a difficult task given the opposition of many conservatives to any increase in the nation’s debt limit under any circumstances…. – LAT, 7-27-11
  • Boehner plan runs into GOP rebellion CBO scoring necessitates reworking: Facing a growing revolt in their own ranks, House Republican leaders said Tuesday they are rewriting their debt-limit increase bill after the Congressional Budget Office said Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan does not save as much money as he had claimed.
    The vote had been scheduled for Wednesday, but CBO’s numbers sent the Republicans scrambling to make changes, fouling up the schedule and pushing Congress ever closer to the Aug. 2 date when the government bumps up against its borrowing limit.
    “We’re here to change Washington — no more smoke and mirrors, no more ‘phantom cuts,’ ” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement to reporters. “We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit, with no tax hikes, and we will keep that promise.”
    The CBO said Mr. Boehner’s reductions in future spending would save only $850 billion over the next decade, which is less than the $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling he is proposing. That discrepancy meant the bill violated his pledge to have cuts exceed the dollar amount of the debt increase.
    The delay could also give the party’s leaders time to twist arms among conservative lawmakers, many of whom said Tuesday they cannot vote for the plan, and which one influential lawmaker said is short of the support needed.
    “There are not 218 Republicans in support of this plan,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, who heads the powerful conservative caucus in the House and who said he’s voting against the measure.
    Democratic leaders said Mr. Boehner was unlikely to get much support from them.
    “Very few. I don’t want to give a number on it, but I would think very few,” said the House Democrats’ chief nose counter, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.
    Whenever it occurs, the vote is shaping up as a key test of Mr. Boehner’s leadership. If successful, it would give momentum to a two-step debt increase that also would ensure votes on a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
    But if unsuccessful, it could give the edge to Senate Democrats’ plan, which immediately would raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion, reduce future new discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion and create a commission to recommend other budget fixes…. – Washington Times, 7-26-11
  • House GOP revolts against Boehner plan: House Republicans do not have enough support to pass their debt-ceiling increase plan on their own, a top conservative said Tuesday as his party’s leaders tried to cobble together a coalition of Republicans and Democrats to put the bill over the top.
    “There are not 218 Republicans in support of this plan,” Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who heads the powerful conservative caucus in the House, told reporters Tuesday morning.
    If Mr. Jordan is right, that would mean Speaker John A. Boehner would have to rely on Democrats to pass the $1.2 trillion spending cuts plan — support Democrats’ top vote-counter said he’ll be hard-pressed to gain. Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said “very few” Democrats will vote for the Boehner plan, though he acknowledged there could be some.
    A vote in the House is expected Wednesday, and Republican leaders are trying to round up enough support to pass their version. They hope that if it can pass the House, that will pressure Senate Democrats to drop their alternative and accept the GOP’s plan.
    Mr. Boehner’s bill would reduce future discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion, grant an immediate debt increase of $1 trillion, and set up a committee to work on trillions of dollars in future deficit reduction either through more spending cuts or tax increases, which would then earn another future debt increase. It would also require both the House and Senate to hold votes on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution…. – Washington Times, 7-26-11
  • CBO: John Boehner’s debt bill comes up short: New cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office could pose a problem for Speaker John Boehner as he tries to rally conservative support for his two-step plan to raise the federal debt ceiling and avert default next week.
    The first installment of $900 billion is contingent on enacting 10 year caps on annual appropriations which the leadership had hoped would save well over $1 trillion. But CBO late Tuesday came back with a report showing the legislation would reduce deficits by $850 billion when measured against the agency’s most current projections for spending.
    At one level, Boehner is the victim of his own success, since that same baseline is $122 billion lower in direct spending because of concessions the speaker won in the April government shutdown fight. But that won’t help him much with restless conservatives and this could force him now to readjust the bill with tighter caps to meet his goals…. – Politico, 7-26-11
  • Tea Party Warns GOP: A Vote for Boehner’s Debt Plan Violates Our Pledge: The Tea Party is causing more headaches for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over his debt proposal. A coalition of several hundred Tea Party chapters declared Tuesday that a vote for Boehner’s debt plan constitutes a violation of its pledge, which 51 Republican lawmakers have signed. The group, known as the Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition, notified its members of its position in a Tuesday memo entitled, “Clarification of the CCB Coalition Stance on the Speaker’s Proposal.”
    “The greatest concern to the Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition is the integrity of the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge that was signed by 39 House Members and 12 Senators, and whether voting for the proposed deal constitutes a Pledge violation,” reads the memo.” “We hold that is does violate the pledge, on several grounds.”… – Huff Post, 7-26-11
  • Perry: Obama debt ceiling speech was condescending: Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he thought President Barack Obama’s speech on the debt ceiling debate was condescending, saying he heard the president tell Americans they “just wouldn’t understand” the issue. The potential Republican presidential candidate spoke Tuesday at a ceremonial bill signing in Amarillo.
    Perry says he was stunned Obama “would think that Americans aren’t paying attention” to the debate. In his speech, Obama said the term “debt ceiling” is one most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before…. – AP, 7-26-11
  • Michele Bachmann opposes House GOP debt limit plan: Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says she opposes GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to increase the federal borrowing authority.
    Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, is telling Iowans that she will vote against any measure in Congress to raise the debt ceiling. The three-term House member says blocking the increase will force Congress to cut spending…. – AP, 7-26-11
  • Debt-irked voters shut down Congress’ websites, phones: President Barack Obama asked Americans to reach out to Congress to make their voices heard on the debt ceiling debate – and so they did.
    Thousands of callers flooded the Capitol switchboard Tuesday, and email traffic swamped congressional servers. The website of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., crashed briefly, as did those of did Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Reps. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.
    “It’s been pretty busy today,” said Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. “The poor interns are having a good time.”
    The Capitol, which typically handles 20,000 calls per hour, saw spikes of up to 40,000 Tuesday, rivaling the 50,000-an-hour rate of the health care debate.
    “Congress and Capitol Hill have been flooded, with emails and phones, switchboards are jammed, servers going down. So it’s clear the American people are frustrated by the lack of compromise in Washington,” said David Plouffe, the president’s senior adviser, who was clearly getting exactly the response the White House had sought when the president on Monday called Washington a town “where compromise has become a dirty word.”… – McClatchy Newspapers, 7-26-11
  • Debt-ceiling showdown: The legal battleground: President Barack Obama says he will not bypass Congress and cite an obscure part of the Constitution to prevent a government debt default, but legal experts say it would prove difficult to challenge him in court should he change his mind.
    Former President Bill Clinton argued last week that the 14th Amendment that states the “validity” of government debt “shall not be questioned” means that Obama could simply ignore the congressionally imposed debt ceiling and go on borrowing.
    Obama has indicated he considered the possibility, but on Tuesday his spokesman, Jay Carney, appeared to rule it out.
    “The Constitution makes clear that Congress has the authority, not the president, to borrow money and only Congress can increase the statutory debt ceiling. That is just a reality,” Carney told reporters.
    But if the country is about to go into default, the temptation to act to avert calamity will grow. Legal experts say if the president were tempted to act unilaterally he might escape without his actions being overturned in court.
    Regardless of how controversial a 14th Amendment maneuver might be, a legal challenge would be very hard to mount and so far, no one has stepped forward to say they would challenge him in court.
    Nor has anyone said they would sue him if he took the alternative, equally controversial, step of using his broad authorities as guardian of the constitutional order to unilaterally raise the borrowing threshold.
    Theoretically, there are aggrieved parties who might consider legal action, including Congress, individual citizens or interest groups, and investors such as foreign governments…. – Reuters, 7-26-11
  • Abolish the Debt Ceiling: James Surowiecki, in The New Yorker, has a strong article out arguing that the debt ceiling shouldn’t exist at all. He writes:

    The truth is that the United States doesn’t need, and shouldn’t have, a debt ceiling. Every other democratic country, with the exception of Denmark, does fine without one. There’s no debt limit in the Constitution. And, if Congress really wants to hold down government debt, it already has a way to do so that doesn’t risk economic chaos—namely, the annual budgeting process. The only reason we need to lift the debt ceiling, after all, is to pay for spending that Congress has already authorized. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, we’ll face an absurd scenario in which Congress will have ordered the President to execute two laws that are flatly at odds with each other. If he obeys the debt ceiling, he cannot spend the money that Congress has told him to spend, which is why most government functions will be shut down. Yet if he spends the money as Congress has authorized him to he’ll end up violating the debt ceiling.

    He adds that the ceiling is an artifact of a time when it was useful for reining in the president, because before 1974 Congress didn’t pass a comprehensive budget, and the president had much more freedom over spending. So why does it live on?

    Advocates of the ceiling like the way it turns the national debt into front-page news, focussing the minds of voters and politicians; they think it fosters accountability, straight talk, transparency. In reality, debt-ceiling votes merely perpetuate the illusion that balancing the budget is easy. That’s why politicians like the debt ceiling: it allows them to rail against borrowing more money (which voters hate) without having to vote to cut any specific programs or raise taxes (which voters also hate).

    And, Surowiecki says—and current events certainly confirm—”by turning dealmaking into a game of chicken, the debt ceiling favors fanaticism.” That is the most painful part of the present mess: that fanaticism appears to be prepared to bring down the national economy…. – Forbes, 7-26-11

  • Patricia Campion: Debt Ceiling Crisis Doubles as Countdown to Obama’s Political Armageddon: By definition, default is a failure to meet an obligation. In one week, if Obama and Congress cannot reach a debt ceiling agreement, the United States of America faces sovereign default for the first time in our history. In the event of a nuclear economic meltdown, as president, Obama knows he will be standing at ground zero.
    Economists say interest rates will skyrocket and the stock market will plummet, sending ripples through the global economy. Moody’s is threatening to lower the U.S. credit rating and, because the interest rates consumers pay are tied to what the federal government pays, interest rates for consumers will also rise. And the wheels on the bus go round and round …
    Flashback: While facing default on their $24 billion deficit in 2009, California Democrats refused to allow budget cuts to solve the state debt crisis. The Republicans wouldn’t allow tax increases. Sound familiar?
    When Obama revealed his FY2012 plan in February, it became clear he planned to tax his way out of debt. Offering only $1 trillion in spending cuts, he proposed 43 tax hikes to gouge an additional $1.5 trillion from Americans over the next decade.
    Perhaps someone should inform the fiscally naive president that California’s record tax increase of $13 billion didn’t solve that state’s economic problem.
    Obama gave another speech from the White House Monday saying that Republicans want “an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all.” He forgets that the top 10 percent already pay 70 percent of the nation’s revenue, according to The Heritage Foundation, and American businesses already pay the highest corporate taxes on the planet, per the Daily Caller…. – Associated Content, 7-26-11
  • Analysis: Debt differences narrowing, despite talk: Pitched partisan rhetoric aside, the differences are narrowing, not widening, as the divided U.S. government struggles to avert a financial default that neither President Barack Obama nor the leaders of Congress say they want.
    Which helps explain why day-old legislation unveiled by the House Republican leadership pulled off something of a political trifecta on Tuesday.
    Several rank-and-file conservatives in Speaker John Boehner’s Republican party attacked it from the right.
    From other points on the political spectrum, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid labeled it “dead on arrival” in his Democratic-controlled chamber. And moments later the White House said if the measure somehow managed to clear Congress, “the president’s senior advisers would recommend that he veto this bill.”
    Yet the legislation also represents significant movement from a bill the House passed last week, roughly half of its mandated spending cuts, for example. Just as Reid no longer is insisting on having tax increases as part of any plan to cut deficits. “We have a bill that is reasonable and responsible,” said Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel.
    Clearly, not everyone sees it that way. So the crisis continues, and efforts to avoid a market-shattering default could yet falter in the run-up to an Aug. 2 deadline…. – AP, 7-26-11
debt_chart_wh_0.jpg

Political Buzz Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 26, 2011: Democrats and Republicans Divided between Reid and Boehner Debts Plans with less than 8 Days to Debt Ceiling Deadline

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

THE HEADLINES: DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is pictured alongside other Republicans as he speaks to the press about U.S. debt reduction talks on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 25, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

JULY 26, 2011: REACTIONS TO OBAMA & BOEHNER’S DEBT PLAN ADDRESSES TO THE NATION

Americans increasingly unhappy with Washington’s effort on jobs, poll finds: More than a third of Americans now believe that President Obama’s policies are hurting the economy, and confidence in his ability to create jobs is sharply eroding among his base, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Americans are also unhappy with congressional Republicans: 65 percent disapprove of the GOP’s handling on jobs, compared with 52 percent for the president.

“They can do far more. I do believe this plan is enough … I would ask all my colleagues, Democrat and Republican, to look a this common sense plan, this common sense way forward that will avoid default and put American fiscal house back to other.” — Speaker of the House John Boehner

“Republicans have offered the only proposal that attempts to get at the root of the problem — and which actually has a chance of getting to the president’s desk. That’s why we’ll continue to press for the legislation Speaker Boehner has proposed. And that’s why we’ll fight against anything that pretends to solve the problem but doesn’t. The Majority Leader proposed a plan yesterday that’s nothing more than another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people” — Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed. But those are not the Americans we remember. We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union. That’s who we need to be right now. The entire world is watching.” — President Barack Obama Address to the Nation, July 25, 2011

  • Boehner presses debt plan opposed by Democrats; IMF urges raise in debt limit: With a debt-limit deadline now a week away, House Speaker John A. Boehner pressed ahead Tuesday with a two-stage deficit-reduction plan that President Obama and most congressional Democrats reject, and the International Monetary Fund warned of “serious spillovers” worldwide if the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised.
    Responding to Obama’s appeal in a speech Monday night for Americans to contact their members of Congress to urge them to adopt his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, callers flooded Capitol telephone circuits Tuesday morning, and several lawmakers’ Web sites — including Boehner’s — reportedly crashed Monday night as huge numbers of people tried to send them messages…. – WaPo, 7-26-11
  • McConnell disses Reid plan: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined fellow Republicans critical of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to raise the debt ceiling, calling it “another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people.”
    The Senate’s top Republican didn’t outline any specific objections to the plan, which calls for slashing $2.7 trillion over the next decade in exchange for raising the debt limit by a similar amount through the 2012 elections.
    But Republicans in both chambers have blasted a major provision in the bill which counts a $1 trillion in savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, something they dismiss as an accounting “gimmick” since those savings had already been expected.
    Instead, McConnell said Republicans will push for a rival plan by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that would raise the debt limit in two stages between now and early 2012
    “Republicans have offered the only proposal that attempts to get at the root of the problem — and which actually has a chance of getting to the president’s desk,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “That’s why we’ll continue to press for the legislation Speaker Boehner has proposed. And that’s why we’ll fight against anything that pretends to solve the problem but doesn’t. “The Majority Leader proposed a plan yesterday that’s nothing more than another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people,” he added…. – Politico, 7-26-11
  • Boehner says his debt plan can pass House and Senate: House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said Tuesday his two-stage deficit reduction plan could pass through the House and the Senate.
    Boehner is advancing a plan that would start with an initial $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years, but would only increase the debt limit for a few months. Senate Democrats have proposed a single-step plan to raise the debt ceiling through 2012 that would reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion over the next decade…. – Reuters, 7-26-11
  • GOP leaders seek to build support for Boehner debt plan: House Republican leaders tried to sell their deficit reduction proposal as the only “bipartisan” plan on the table, but acknowledged they don’t yet have the votes to pass the bill through the House.
    At a morning press conference, House Speaker John Boehner said despite some push back from high-profile House conservative he’s optimistic the House will pass the plan tomorrow.
    “I do think we have some work to do to get it pass but I think we can do it,” Boehner told reporters.
    If House Democrats remain largely united against the bill – as they claim they will – Boehner will need all but roughly 20 of his GOP members. Five Democrats already voted for a stricter version of the Boehner plan.
    Asked if the plan would do enough to calm the markets, Boehner emphasized that more deficit reduction would be coming later in the year when a committee devises a plan for at least $1.8 trillion in spending reductions.
    “They can do far more,” Boehner said. “I do believe this plan is enough … I would ask all my colleagues, Democrat and Republican, to look a this common sense plan, this common sense way forward that will avoid default and put American fiscal house back to other.”… – LAT, 7-26-11
  • What was accomplished in Obama and Boehner speeches?: President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner gave televised addresses Monday night that seemed to emphasize how far Washington is from a debt-ceiling deal.
    For weeks now, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have been speaking past each other at the negotiating table – unable to find compromise on a deal to trim the deficit and raise the national debt ceiling. Monday night, they continued that trend on national television.
    In separate primetime televised speeches, Messrs. Obama and Boehner told the country what has been well known for more than a month. The president wants Republicans to pass a bill that would compel the wealthiest Americans to “share in the sacrifice” of a deal through new tax revenues. The Republicans do not.
    It is, they both agree, a fundamental difference in how each views the political world. And yet on Monday night neither Obama nor Boehner offered an inkling as to how that gap is to be bridged before the federal government runs out of money to pay all its bills on Aug. 2. If anything, their speeches gave the impression of the two entrenching more deeply…. – CS Monitor, 7-26-11
  • Does John Boehner have the leverage in debt-ceiling crisis?: With a week to go until a potentially calamitous federal default, talks that began three months ago with an overt gesture toward bipartisanship appear to have ended in a high-stakes game of chicken.
    Both President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner set their hot rods on a collision course Monday evening, with neither side showing much interest in compromise even as the clock continues to tick.
    Both men appeared to center the thrust of his appeals to the audience at home around the same set of political players, the insurgent Republicans in the House. To Obama, they represent irrationality and a failure to seek compromise for the good of the nation. To Boehner, they are a growing power base that must be courted if his plan has any hope to pass…. – LAT, 7-26-11
  • Web errors hit Hill after Obama, Boehner speeches: Shortly after President Obama’s address on the debt ceiling negotiations Monday night, problems were reported with the web pages of at least two Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
    An error message on Boehner’s site said “The web page cannot be found,” and Bachmann’s website said the “Server is too busy.”
    “There were temporary issues with sites hosted by outside vendors – many have been resolved,” a spokeswoman for House Administration Committee said. Both websites were operating normally by early Tuesday…. – CNN, 7-26-11
  • What the Obama-Boehner bond is (and isn’t): President Obama’s and House Speaker John Boehner’s best efforts to become collegial negotiators hit a roadblock Monday night, with Boehner delivering a speech that suggests all their work together in recent months has meant little to the current debate.
    Obama played a round of golf with Boehner last month, and earlier in the debt-limit talks he praised the speaker as “a good man,” but on Monday night, he appeared to have lost an ally, as the two descended on a very stiff deadline to extend the federal debt limit.
    Really, though, that’s reading too much into relationship they were supposed to have forged. And it’s also reading too much into their public posturing…. – WaPo, 7-26-11
  • Cool Obama meets hot Boehner in dueling debt ceiling speeches: President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, the two men at the center of the ongoing debate over whether to raise the debt limit, both addressed the country on the topic tonight. And that’s where the similarities between the two speeches ended.
    Obama was all cool reason — making a case for why passing the debt ceiling is necessary to keep the economy on firm footing and quoting the likes of Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson to argue that compromise is part of being American.
    Boehner was all white hot passion — blasting President Obama for his “business as usual” approach to governing in Washington and repeatedly insisting that it was the president not the Congress who was standing in the way of debt limit deal.
    The wildly variant tones from the two men make clear not only the gap that remains between the two sides with just eight days remaining before the country defaults on its loans but also the differing constituencies at whom the speeches were aimed…. – WaPo, 7-26-11
  • Obama changes tone in public debate over debt ceiling: “Don’t call my bluff,” President Obama reportedly warned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) during a tough bargaining session over the debt ceiling July 13. “I’m going to the American people with this.”
    It was no empty threat. As the high-stakes negotiations with Congress to avoid financial default Aug. 2 have bogged down, Obama has taken his case directly to the public with increasing urgency. This month, he has appeared in front of reporters at the White House briefing room four times, taken the stage before a friendly crowd of 1,200 in a town hall-style event at the University of Maryland and delivered a rare televised prime-time address to the nation Monday night from the East Room.
    The gambit is aimed at winning public support that could give him an upper hand at the negotiating table, though polls suggest Americans are frustrated both with the president and his Republican rivals.
    With each appearance, Obama has not altered his message as much as his persona: He verged from poised early in the process — the “only adult in the room” strategy aimed at contrasting him against a squabbling, childish Congress — to frustrated and emotional by the end of last week, when House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) abruptly left Obama “at the altar.” He returned to a more collected and determined demeanor Monday night, as he tried to leave the public with a lasting impression with just a week left until the deadline.
    Along the way, Obama has perhaps revealed more public emotion than he has during his 2 1/2 years in office…. – WaPo, 7-26-11
  • John Boehner Debt Ceiling Plan May Still Trigger S&P Downgrade: Report: Minutes before House Speaker John Boehner delivered a prime-time address in which he framed his latest deficit-reduction deal as a silver bullet for the nation’s economic uncertainty, reports surfaced that the plan being crafted by the Ohio Republican would potentially lead to a downgrading of the AAA credit rating of the United States.
    In an address that immediately followed the president’s own, Boehner argued that if the president were to merely sign into law his latest deficit-reduction bill — which slashes more than a trillion dollars in spending before requiring a second tranche of cuts and a second vote — “the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear.”
    It was a fairly bold selling of a plan that — in terms of both the size of cuts and structural reforms — fell far short of what the Speaker had been negotiating with the White House prior to those negotiations ending this weekend. It also was delivered with an unfortunate backdrop. Just minutes before Boehner spoke, CNN’s Erin Burnett relayed word from her sources on Wall Street that the newest Republican plan would not satisfy the credit rating agencies, which have soured on the idea of a short-term solution to the debt ceiling debate. Rather, it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s approach (padded by counting the savings from the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq) that would calm their nerves…. – Huff Post, 7-26-11
  • Washington Day Ahead: Obama, Boehner Draw Lines in Debt Debate: In separate televised remarks, President Barack Obama warned of economic danger ahead unless a compromise is reached before the Aug. 2 deadline for a possible U.S. default, while the U.S. House of Representatives’ top Republican, Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, said that he had made a “sincere effort” to work with the White House and that Republicans weren’t going to hand the president a “blank check.”
    President Barack Obama warned of a “deep economic crisis” without a compromise to avert an Aug. 2 U.S. default as he dueled Republican House Speaker John Boehner in back-to-back speeches on increasing the debt limit.
    House Speaker John Boehner often attacks the spendthrift ways of Washington. “In Washington, more spending and more debt is business as usual,” the Republican leader from Ohio said in a televised address yesterday amid debate over the U.S. debt. “I’ve got news for Washington — those days are over.” Yet the speaker, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all voted for major drivers of the nation’s debt during the past decade: Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug benefits. They also voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, that rescued financial institutions and the auto industry…. – Bloomberg, 7-26-11
  • Treasury 10-Year Note Yields Rise to Two-Week High on U.S. Debt Deadlock: Treasury 10-year note yields touched a two-week high after speeches by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner showed they still disagree on how to raise the borrowing limit.
    Yields on two-year notes fluctuated after matching a two- week high before today’s $35 billion auction of the securities. The difference between yields on 10-year notes and inflation- linked debt reached to the widest since May on concern the U.S. credit rating may be lowered. The dollar fell to a record against the Swiss franc….
    Obama warned in a televised speech yesterday in Washington of a “deep economic crisis” unless Republicans and Democrats can agree on how to raise the $14.3 trillion federal borrowing limit and find accord on reining in future spending. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, who spoke afterwards from the U.S. Capitol, said Obama was asking for a “blank check.”
    Earlier in the day, Boehner and the Democratic leader in the Senate, Harry Reid of Nevada, announced competing plans to raise the debt ceiling. Reid dropped Democrats’ insistence on tax increases, a move favored by Obama.
    Treasuries with the longest maturities will have the biggest declines if the U.S. loses its top-level debt rating, said Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross, who manages the world’s biggest bond fund, in a Twitter posting…. – Bloomberg, 7-12-11
  • Obama argues debt case to nation Boehner rebuts in another speech as divide deepens, default looms: President Obama, reminding lawmakers “the whole world is watching,” exhorted them last night to break through partisan bickering and pass a comprehensive budget deal that protects Americans from the pain of a government default in one week.
    The prime-time address to the nation came hours after House and Senate leaders released dueling plans that promised to spark days of battles between the chambers and within the parties. No clear path to a resolution emerged….
    Republicans appear to be hoping that their plan will be the only viable one still standing as the deadline of Aug. 2 for a government default approaches.
    “If you get to the 11th hour and you actually have some legislation that’s doable – if there’s not a lot of time for negotiations – it really puts pressure on Obama,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor at Princeton University…. – Boston Globe, 7-25-11
  • Boehner introduces debt plan, says can pass Senate: House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, introduced a new plan on Monday to approve an increase in the debt ceiling based on the principles of the “cut, cap and balance” plan that can pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Boehner said it would be irresponsible for President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to veto the Republican debt plan…. – Reuters, 7-25-11
  • Challenging Obama, House GOP unveils new debt bill: In a blunt challenge to President Barack Obama, House Republicans drafted legislation Monday to avert a threatened Aug. 2 government default — but along lines the White House has already dismissed. U.S. financial markets shrugged off the uncertainty.
    “Compromise has become a dirty word,” Obama lamented as congressional leaders groped for a way out of a looming crisis.
    According to a GOP aide familiar with the emerging House bill, it would provide for an immediate $1 trillion increase in the government’s $14.3 trillion debt limit in exchange for $1.2 trillion in cuts in federal spending.
    The measure also envisions Congress approving a second round of spending cuts of $1.8 trillion or more in 2012, passage of which would trigger an additional $1.6 trillion in increased borrowing authority.
    While the bill marked a retreat from legislation that conservatives muscled through the House last week, the two-step approach runs afoul of Obama’s insistence that lawmakers solve the current crisis in a way that avoids a politically charged rerun next year in the middle of the 2012 election campaign…. – AP, 7-25-11

Political Buzz Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 25, 2011: President Obama & Speaker John Boehner Each Address the Nation on Crisis & Competing Debt Ceiling Plans — Each Blames the Other

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

THE HEADLINES: DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

Pool photo by Jim Watson, left; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner each addressed the nation on Monday.

JULY 25, 2011: PRESIDENT OBAMA & SPEAKER BOEHNER ADDRESS NATION ON COMPETING DEBT CEILING PLANS

Obama urges Congress to reach deal on debt ceiling: President Obama said in a prime-time speech Monday night that, unless Congress agrees quickly to a long- term increase in the federal debt ceiling, “we would risk sparking a deep economic crisis, this one caused almost entirely by Washington.” He asked Americans to urge their lawmakers in Congress to strike a deal on the issue. He said he would not agree to a short-term increase, as proposed by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), saying it amounted to “kicking the can down the road.” He added: “We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.”

Boehner: ‘The solution to this crisis is not complicated’: House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a prime-time address Monday night that he intends to continue pushing a short-term raise in the federal debt ceiling, despite President Obama’s objection that such a move does not solve the problem.
“The solution to this crisis is not complicated. … We are up to the task, and I hope President Obama will join us,” Boehner said. The speaker said that, in negotiations with Obama over a long-term debt deal, “I made a sincere effort to work with the president. … I gave it my all. Unfortunately, the president could not take yes for an answer.” He added: “The president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today,. This is not going to happen.”

President Obama Addresses the Nation on Debt Ceiling Crisis, Blames House Republicans, Suggests Raising Taxes

Speaker John Boehner’s Address to the Nation on the Republican’s (GOP) Plan for America’s Debt Crisis — Response Blames President Obama’s Inability to Agree on a Deal

 

  • Parties Head to Showdown as Obama Warns of a ‘Crisis’: The Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House on Monday barreled toward a showdown on competing plans to cut spending and raise the debt limit as a resolution to the intensifying crisis remained farther from sight just one week before a possible federal default.
    With President Obama trying to employ the power of the presidency to force an agreement, House and Senate leaders said votes could occur as early as Wednesday on competing proposals to slash spending in exchange for increasing federal borrowing authority that the Treasury Department says will be exhausted Aug. 2, raising the prospect that federal bills will go unpaid.
    It was a day of legislative chess moves, back-to-back party caucuses and closed-door meetings that ended with a nationally televised presidential address and a rebuttal by the House speaker, John A. Boehner. Their separate speeches reflected that the two sides are farther apart than ever — just a week ago, the two men were in private negotiations on a “grand bargain” of spending cuts and additional revenue, what Mr. Obama called “a balanced approach.”
    “The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a different approach, a cuts-only approach — an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all,” Mr. Obama said in his address. “And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about — cuts that place a greater burden on working families.”
    Even as he sought to set Republicans up for blame for any crisis, Mr. Obama offered assurance that a crisis would be averted. He called on Americans to contact their lawmakers in support of a compromise. “We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis — this one caused almost entirely by Washington,” he said. “Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate.
    In response to Mr. Obama, Mr. Boehner said: “The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.”
    Mr. Boehner urged the president to sign a Republican plan to raise the debt limit. “If the president signs it,” he said, “the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised.”… – NYT, 7-25-11
  • Obama urges GOP to break ‘stalemate’ over debt talks: President Obama on Monday used a nationally televised address to urge House Republicans to stop standing in the way of a deal to tame the nation’s debt and raise the federal limit on borrowing, making his most direct appeal to the American people in the confrontation over the debt.
    Obama said failure to raise the debt ceiling within the next week “would risk sparking a deep economic crisis.” He said he would not be able to pay all of the government’s bills, including Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits.
    The president endorsed a Senate Democratic plan unveiled Monday that would save $2.7 trillion in spending over 10 years in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling through 2012. He rejected a competing House Republican plan that could save up to $3 trillion while raising the debt ceiling in two stages — the first lasting six months.
    Obama reserved his harshest words for House Republicans as he called on them to join him in breaking a “stalemate” and forging a compromise that balances cuts in government spending with new tax revenues from the wealthy and corporations.
    “The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a cuts-only approach – an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all,” Obama said in the East Room of the White House.

    In a response following the president’s statement, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Republicans had fought to rein in the national debt, but that Obama had refused to compromise.
    “I want you to know I made a sincere effort to work with the president to identify a path forward,” Boehner said. “Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.” “The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more,” the speaker said. “Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.” “The United States cannot default on its debt obligations,” Boehner said.
    “The solution to this crisis is not complicated: If you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, you need to spend less of it,” he said. “I’ve always believed, the bigger [the] government, the smaller the people.”… – WaPo, 7-25-11

  • Debt ceiling speeches given by Obama, Boehner: President Barack Obama used a rare prime-time address Monday to rally support behind the Democratic plan for raising the debt limit, a high-stakes bid to isolate Republicans with only a week left to avert a government default.
    In a 15-minute speech from the White House, Obama made the case for compromise between Democrats and Republicans, saying it is the only way to prevent default that could be catastrophic to the economy.
    “Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach,” Obama said. “If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills — bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.”
    Obama called for unity, on one hand, but he also bashed Republicans, arguing that their tactics “risk sparking a deep economic crisis — one caused almost entirely by Washington.”
    “Defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate,” Obama said. “And Republican leaders say that they agree we must avoid default. But the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now. In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem.”
    In an extraordinary contrast, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) delivered a response only minutes later from the Capitol. The back-to-back speeches underscored the deep divide that remains between the two central figures in the debt-limit drama.
    “The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today,” Boehner said. “That is just not going to happen.”
    Obama decided to deliver the prime-time address after three days of little progress…. – Politico, 7-25-11
  • Obama Warns ‘World Is Watching’ as Boehner Says GOP’s Efforts on Debt Have Been Rejected: President Obama on Monday night urged a “balanced approach” in crafting a deal to raise the debt ceiling, saying a Republican proposal to temporarily extend the debt limit would lead the country back to the same arguments on spending and taxes in six months from now.
    “That is no way to run the greatest country on Earth. It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now. … We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare,” the president said in a televised address to the nation.
    Instead, Obama said he wants tax increases paired with spending reductions that will put the U.S. debate past the next election and keep the country from defaulting on its loans to creditors, set to come due on Aug. 2.
    “The entire world is watching. So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth,” Obama said. “The debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done.”
    House Speaker John Boehner, delivering the Republican response after Obama spoke — the first such live response aside from the State of the Union in nearly four years — said Obama was looking for a “blank check” to fund his administration’s “spending binge.” He accused Obama of not negotiating in good faith…. – Fox News, 7-25-11
  • Obama urges Americans to back ‘balanced’ debt plan: President Obama asked Americans tonight to pressure congressional Republicans to accept a “balanced plan” to reduce the federal debt through taxes as well as budget cuts in order to stave off a government default that will kill jobs and slow the economy.
    “The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” Obama said during a prime-time speech at the White House.
    House Speaker John Boehner — who is promoting an alternative debt plan with no tax increases — said in a responding speech that Obama’s definition of balance means “we spend more and you pay more.”… – USA Today, 7-25-11
  • Obama takes debt case to American people: With just eight days left before a possible economic catastrophe, President Obama on Monday took his argument for a “balanced” debt limit agreement to the American people, arguing in a prime time address that voters should call their members of Congress in support of a deal that “asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much.”
    Speaking from the White House, the president lambasted Republicans for what he cast as a refusal to compromise, arguing that the nation faces a possible “deep economic crisis- one caused almost entirely by Washington.”
    “Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach,” Mr. Obama said. “If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills – bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.”
    “It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now,” he warned. “People are fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word.”
    Mr. Obama continued to ask Republicans to accept revenue increases for the wealthiest Americans, saying they and large corporations should “give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.”
    Arguing that Republican leaders were acting outside of the interests of their constituents, Mr. Obama called on voters to “make your voice heard.”
    “The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” he said. “So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.”… – CBS News, 7-25-11
  • Obama Speaks to Nation as Debt Talks Intensify; Boehner to Give GOP Response: President Obama, in a nationally televised address to the nation Monday, urged a “balanced approach” in crafting a deal to raise the debt ceiling and reduce the federal deficit ahead of the Treasury’s Aug. 2 deadline, when the country is said to risk default on its debt.
    “The entire world is watching. So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth,” Obama said. “Not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation,”
    He said that, although some Democrats are reluctant to make deep cuts to domestic programs, “enough are willing to accept them if the burden is fairly shared,” rather than the “cuts-only” approach of the Republicans that Obama said would “place a greater burden on working families.”
    House Speaker John Boehner was scheduled to deliver the Republican response after Obama speaks.
    Republicans and Democrats outlined separate deficit-reduction proposals Monday afternoon, pushing ahead with bills that have a questionable chance of passing as the showdown over the debt ceiling intensified…. – Fox News, 7-25-11
  • A ‘Unique Opportunity’ on the Debt Ceiling, Lost: Leaders of both parties have said for months that the need to raise the nation’s borrowing limit offered a “unique opportunity” for a bipartisan deal that would constrain the mounting federal debt. Instead, it is shaping up to be a lost opportunity.
    Whatever deal Congress and President Obama devise in this final week to allow the government to keep paying its bills after Aug. 2 and avert an economy-rattling default, it almost certainly will fall short of the compromise that Mr. Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, nearly struck last week — before details of the negotiations leaked, opponents in both parties protested and Mr. Boehner left the table.
    The difference between that attempted “grand bargain” and what Congress is coming up with is not just a matter of dollars. Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner did tentatively agree to more than $3 trillion in savings over 10 years — at least hundreds of billions more than is called for in the fallback plans now bandied about in Congress to clear the way for a vote to increase the $14.3 trillion borrowing ceiling by next Tuesday.
    But the more significant difference is in where the savings would come from. The Congressional proposals mainly seek caps on annual spending for domestic and military programs and no additional revenues…. – NYT, 7-25-11

Full Text Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 25, 2011: Speaker John Boehner’s Address to the Nation on the Republican’s (GOP) Plan for America’s Debt Crisis — Response Blames President Obama’s Inability to Agree on a Deal

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

Speaker Boehner’s Address to the Nation on GOP Plan to Address America’s Debt Crisis

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) this evening addressed the nation regarding the Republican plan for addressing America’s debt crisis and creating a better environment for private-sector job growth. Following are Speaker Boehner’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Remarks by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) United States Capitol, Washington, DC As Prepared for Delivery July 25, 2011
Good evening. I’m John Boehner. I serve as Speaker of the whole House — of the members of both parties that you elect. These are difficult times in the life of our nation. Millions are looking for work, have been for some time, and the spending binge going on in Washington is a big part of the reason why. Before I served in Congress, I ran a small business in Ohio. I was amazed at how different Washington DC operated than every business in America. Where most American business make the hard choices to pay their bills and live within their means, in Washington more spending and more debt is business as usual.I’ve got news for Washington – those days are over.

President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual — yet another routine increase in the national debt limit — we in the House said ‘not so fast.’ Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.

Here’s what we got for that spending binge: a massive health care bill that most Americans never asked for. A ‘stimulus’ bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.

The United States cannot default on its debt obligations. The jobs and savings of too many Americans are at stake.

What we told the president in January was this: the American people will not accept an increase in the debt limit without significant spending cuts and reforms.

And over the last six months, we’ve done our best to convince the president to partner with us to do something dramatic to change the fiscal trajectory of our country. . .something that will boost confidence in our economy, renew a measure of faith in our government, and help small businesses get back on track.

Last week, the House passed such a plan, and with bipartisan support. It’s called the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ Act. It CUTS and CAPS government spending and paves the way for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, which we believe is the best way to stop Washington from spending money it doesn’t have. Before we even passed the bill in the House, the President said he would veto it.

I want you to know I made a sincere effort to work with the president to identify a path forward that would implement the principles of Cut, Cap, & Balance in a manner that could secure bipartisan support and be signed into law. I gave it my all.

Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president’s demands changed.

The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more. Having run a small business, I know those tax increases will destroy jobs.

The president is adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs. As the father of two daughters, I know these programs won’t be there for them and their kids unless significant action is taken now.

The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen.

You see, there is no stalemate in Congress. The House has passed a bill to raise the debt limit with bipartisan support. And this week, while the Senate is struggling to pass a bill filled with phony accounting and Washington gimmicks, we will pass another bill – one that was developed with the support of the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.

Obviously, I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate, and be sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs it, the ‘crisis’ atmosphere he has created will simply disappear. The debt limit will be raised. Spending will be cut by more than one trillion dollars, and a serious, bipartisan committee of the Congress will begin the hard but necessary work of dealing with the tough challenges our nation faces.

The individuals doing this work will not be outsiders, but elected representatives of the people, doing the job they were elected to do as outlined in the Constitution. Those decisions should be made based on how they will affect people who are struggling to get a job, not how they affect some politician’s chances of getting reelected.

This debate isn’t about President Obama and House Republicans … it isn’t about Congress and the White House … it’s about what’s standing between the American people and the future we seek for ourselves and our families.

You know, I’ve always believed, the bigger government, the smaller the people. And right now, we have a government so big and so expensive it’s sapping the drive of our people and keeping our economy from running at full capacity.

The solution to this crisis is not complicated: if you’re spending more money than you’re taking in, you need to spend less of it,

There is no symptom of big government more menacing than our debt. Break its grip, and we begin to liberate our economy and our future.

We are up to the task, and I hope President Obama will join us in this work.

God bless you and your families, and God bless America.

Full Text Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 25, 2011: President Obama Addresses the Nation on Debt Ceiling Crisis, Blames House Republicans, Suggests Raising Taxes

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the Nation
White House Photo, Pete Souza, 7/25/11

President Obama Addresses the Nation: Both Parties Have a Responsibility to Solve the Debt Ceiling Problem

Source: WH, 7-25-11

With eight days until our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, the President addressed the nation on the consequences the stalemate in Congress could have on the stability of our economy.   A full video of the address will be posted here soon.

Here are some key passages from his remarks

The debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices.  Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done.  Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.  How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries?  How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?

He also warned that we could be facing a  “deep economic crisis”

Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.

If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills – bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.

For the first time in history, our country’s Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet.  Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, on mortgages and on car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people.  We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis – this one caused almost entirely by Washington.

The President stressed the need for a bipartisan solution and reminded Washington that compromise is not “a dirty word.” He spoke to the frustrations ordinary Americans feel with the political process.

They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word.  They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table.  And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington.  They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans.  They are offended by that. And they should be.

He also reminded Americans that history celebrates leaders who “put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.”

We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good.  We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.

That’s who we remember.  That’s who we need to be right now.  The entire world is watching.  So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth – not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation.

Address by the President to the Nation

East Room

9:01 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening.  Tonight, I want to talk about the debate we’ve been having in Washington over the national debt — a debate that directly affects the lives of all Americans.

For the last decade, we’ve spent more money than we take in.  In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus.  But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.

As a result, the deficit was on track to top $1 trillion the year I took office.  To make matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more -– on tax cuts for middle-class families to spur the economy; on unemployment insurance; on aid to states so we could prevent more teachers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off.  These emergency steps also added to the deficit.

Now, every family knows that a little credit card debt is manageable.  But if we stay on the current path, our growing debt could cost us jobs and do serious damage to the economy.  More of our tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on our loans.  Businesses will be less likely to open up shop and hire workers in a country that can’t balance its books.  Interest rates could climb for everyone who borrows money -– the homeowner with a mortgage, the student with a college loan, the corner store that wants to expand.  And we won’t have enough money to make job-creating investments in things like education and infrastructure, or pay for vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Because neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this problem, both parties have a responsibility to solve it.  And over the last several months, that’s what we’ve been trying to do.  I won’t bore you with the details of every plan or proposal, but basically, the debate has centered around two different approaches.

The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending.  Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President.  Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars.  Let’s cut out waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare — and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations.  Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.

This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much.  It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt.  And the cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small businesses and middle-class families get back on their feet right now.

This approach is also bipartisan.  While many in my own party aren’t happy with the painful cuts it makes, enough will be willing to accept them if the burden is fairly shared.  While Republicans might like to see deeper cuts and no revenue at all, there are many in the Senate who have said, “Yes, I’m willing to put politics aside and consider this approach because I care about solving the problem.”  And to his credit, this is the kind of approach the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was working on with me over the last several weeks.

The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a different approach — a cuts-only approach -– an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all.  And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scale, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about –- cuts that place a greater burden on working families.

So the debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices.  Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need.  The debate is about how it should be done.  Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.  How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries?  How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?

That’s not right.  It’s not fair.  We all want a government that lives within its means, but there are still things we need to pay for as a country -– things like new roads and bridges; weather satellites and food inspection; services to veterans and medical research.

And keep in mind that under a balanced approach, the 98 percent of Americans who make under $250,000 would see no tax increases at all.  None.  In fact, I want to extend the payroll tax cut for working families.  What we’re talking about under a balanced approach is asking Americans whose incomes have gone up the most over the last decade -– millionaires and billionaires -– to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make.  And I think these patriotic Americans are willing to pitch in.  In fact, over the last few decades, they’ve pitched in every time we passed a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit.  The first time a deal was passed, a predecessor of mine made the case for a balanced approach by saying this:

“Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment?  And I think I know your answer.”

Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan.  But today, many Republicans in the House refuse to consider this kind of balanced approach -– an approach that was pursued not only by President Reagan, but by the first President Bush, by President Clinton, by myself, and by many Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate.  So we’re left with a stalemate.

Now, what makes today’s stalemate so dangerous is that it has been tied to something known as the debt ceiling -– a term that most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before.

Understand –- raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money.  It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up.  In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine.  Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it.  President Reagan did it 18 times.  George W. Bush did it seven times.  And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won’t be able to pay all of our bills.

Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.

If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills -– bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.

For the first time in history, our country’s AAA credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet.  Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, on mortgages and on car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people.  We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis -– this one caused almost entirely by Washington.

So defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate.  And Republican leaders say that they agree we must avoid default.  But the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now.  In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem.

First of all, a six-month extension of the debt ceiling might not be enough to avoid a credit downgrade and the higher interest rates that all Americans would have to pay as a result.  We know what we have to do to reduce our deficits; there’s no point in putting the economy at risk by kicking the can further down the road.

But there’s an even greater danger to this approach.  Based on what we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from now.  The House of Representatives will once again refuse to prevent default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach.  Again, they will refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to give up their tax cuts or deductions.  Again, they will demand harsh cuts to programs like Medicare.  And once again, the economy will be held captive unless they get their way.

This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth.  It’s a dangerous game that we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now.  Not when the jobs and livelihoods of so many families are at stake.  We can’t allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington’s political warfare.

Congress now has one week left to act, and there are still paths forward.  The Senate has introduced a plan to avoid default, which makes a down payment on deficit reduction and ensures that we don’t have to go through this again in six months.

I think that’s a much better approach, although serious deficit reduction would still require us to tackle the tough challenges of entitlement and tax reform.  Either way, I’ve told leaders of both parties that they must come up with a fair compromise in the next few days that can pass both houses of Congress -– and a compromise that I can sign.  I’m confident we can reach this compromise.  Despite our disagreements, Republican leaders and I have found common ground before.  And I believe that enough members of both parties will ultimately put politics aside and help us make progress.

Now, I realize that a lot of the new members of Congress and I don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues.  But we were each elected by some of the same Americans for some of the same reasons.  Yes, many want government to start living within its means.  And many are fed up with a system in which the deck seems stacked against middle-class Americans in favor of the wealthiest few.  But do you know what people are fed up with most of all?

They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word.  They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table.  And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington.  They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans.  They’re offended by that.  And they should be.

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.  So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard.  If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.  If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.

America, after all, has always been a grand experiment in compromise.  As a democracy made up of every race and religion, where every belief and point of view is welcomed, we have put to the test time and again the proposition at the heart of our founding:  that out of many, we are one.  We’ve engaged in fierce and passionate debates about the issues of the day, but from slavery to war, from civil liberties to questions of economic justice, we have tried to live by the words that Jefferson once wrote:  “Every man cannot have his way in all things — without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society.”

History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed.  But those are not the Americans we remember.  We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good.  We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.

That’s who we remember.  That’s who we need to be right now.  The entire world is watching.  So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth –- not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

END
9:16 P.M. EDT

Political Buzz Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 25, 2011: Reid & Boehner Unveil Debt Plans — Obama Supports Reid Plan — Addresses Nation at 9PM on Debt Crisis

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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

THE HEADLINES: DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

https://i0.wp.com/www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_606w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/06/21/Production/Blogs/2chambers/Images/Congress_Democrats_06b70-125.jpg

JULY 25, 2011: REID & BOEHNER UNVEIL DEBT PLANS — WHITE HOUSE SUPPORT REID PLAN — PRESIDENT OBAMA TO ADDRESS NATION AT 9PM

Obama to address nation on debt at 9 p.m. ET: President Obama will address the nation on the “stalemate over avoiding default and the best approach to cutting deficits” Monday at 9 p.m. ET, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced via Twitter.

White House: Obama backs a proposal by Sen. Harry Reid to cut spending by $2.7 trillion, raise debt limit through 2012.

House Leaders Call for Short-Term Rise in Debt Ceiling: House Republicans intend to push for a vote this week on a two-step plan that would allow the federal debt limit to immediately rise by about $1 trillion and tie a second increase next year to the ability of a new joint Congressional committee to produce more deficit reduction.
Top Republicans were to try to sell the proposal to their rank-and file in a crucial meeting Monday afternoon as House Republicans and Senate Democrats readied competing plans in an effort avoid a federal default next week.
The proposal would cut current spending and put legal limits on future spending, saving what Republicans estimate to be about $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The plan calls for no new revenue.

“We’re about to go over a cliff here.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV

“Speaker Boehner’s plan, no matter how he tries to dress it up, is simply a short-term plan, and is, therefore, a non-starter in the Senate and with the president.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

“Republicans are more interested in trying to embarrass the president than trying to do what’s right for the country.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

“Does anyone think it would be a good idea to do this all over again in six months? … This is an offer that Republicans can’t refuse.” Sen. Charles Schumer

“Senator Reid’s plan is a reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties, and we hope the House Republicans will agree to this plan so that America can avoid defaulting on our obligations for the first time in our history. The ball is in their court.” — Press Secretary Jay Carney

“I know the president’s worried about his next election. But my God, shouldn’t we be worried about the country?” John Boehner on “Fox News Sunday”

Eric Cantor: The House plan will responsibly prevent default and meets the President’s request for a debt limit increase over time. The President’s reason for opposing this plan is to avoid an election year fight on spending and taxes.

Mitch McConnell: “Congressional leaders of both parties have shown they are willing to work in good faith. I would suggest that the President reconsider their offer rather than veto the country into default.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney’s Statement that the Obama White House Supports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Debt Plan

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Statement that Obama Should Reconsider the Bipartisan Debt Proposal to Prevent Default

  • Two proposals, but no clear path toward debt ceiling deal: The Republican leader in the House and Democratic leader of the Senate issued dueling proposals Monday to allow the federal debt ceiling to be raised – both with steep spending cuts, but neither with a clear route to ending the standoff over the government’s ability to pay its bills.
    Both plans will face key tests on Wednesday, when Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) each plan to bring their proposals to the floors of their respective chambers.
    In the House, the issue will be whether conservative Republicans will remain united behind Boehner even though his plan received mixed reviews from conservatives, with some influential Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers and groups denouncing it as too weak. In the Senate, the question will be whether Reid can attract the seven Republican votes he would need to cut off a threatened filibuster and claim bipartisan backing for his plan.
    President Obama was scheduled to address the nation at 6:30 Pacific about the importance of quickly resolving the impasse as the threat to the economy was imminent. Boehner will deliver the Republican response shortly after…. – LAT, 7-25-11
  • White House backs Reid debt plan: The White House on Monday endorsed a deficit reduction plan put forward by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, saying it would remove the cloud of a possible default from the U.S. economy through 2012.
    “Senator Reid’s plan is a reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties, and we hope the House Republicans will agree to this plan,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “The ball is in their court.”…. – Reuters, 7-25-11
  • Senate and House Still Far Apart on Debt in 2 New Plans: The Democratic Senate and Republican House put themselves on a legislative collision course Monday as they moved forward with significantly different plans on how to raise the debt limit and avert a possible federal default next week.
    House Republican leaders pushed for a vote Wednesday on a two-step plan that would allow the federal debt limit to immediately be raised by about $1 trillion and tie a second increase next year to the ability of a new joint Congressional committee to produce more deficit reduction.
    But top Senate Democrats called the proposal a “non-starter” and said they would advance their own plan to reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion and raise the debt ceiling until after next year’s elections, saying it met the conditions that Republicans had laid down during the ongoing debt fight….
    Hoping to beat the Senate to the punch, the House Republican leadership was trying to sell its plan to the party membership in the hopes of forcing it through the House by Wednesday…. – NYT, 7-25-11
  • Democrats offer debt plan they say GOP “can’t refuse”: Senate Democrats unveiled a plan to raise the debt ceiling Monday that abandoned President Obama’s call for revenue increases as part of a deal, putting forth a plan they said would cut spending by $2.7 trillion.
    The plan would include a $1.2 trillion reduction in both defense and non-defense discretionary spending. It also counts $1 trillion in spending cuts from winding down the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, something critics say should not count in the total savings.
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, joined by Sen. Charles Schumer, unveiled the plan Monday afternoon in a combative news conference in which they ruled out a rival plan from Senate Republicans that would create a two-step process for a debt limit increase…. – CBS News, 7-25-11
  • House, Senate leaders unveil dueling debt-limit plans: House and Senate leaders formally unveiled dueling backup plans Monday afternoon to raise the federal debt limit after a weekend of intense negotiations failed Sunday to break a partisan impasse that threatens to throw the government into default next week.
    The White House promptly threw its support behind a Democratic plan advanced by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and heaped criticism on House Republicans, accusing them of intransigence in trying to balance the budget “on the backs of seniors and the middle class.”
    House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) proposed a two-step plan to cut spending by nearly $3 trillion, laying out the details to his rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement. Shortly afterward,Reid outlined a plan to slash $2.7 trillion.
    Rather than heading toward a compromise to meet the Aug. 2 deadline, however, the two leaders publicly dug in for a fight. Neither of their rival strategies appeared sure to win approval in their respective chambers, as opposition remained high in some quarters. The result was to leave Congress locked in bitter and messy legislative warfare, even as financial markets reopened Monday for the first time since Boehner abruptly abandoned debt-limit talks with the White House on Friday…. – WaPo, 7-25-11
  • John Boehner’s debt ceiling plan pushes even deeper spending cuts: Speaker John Boehner’s two-step plan to raise the debt ceiling by upwards of $2.5 trillion would require the White House to accept much deeper spending cuts than he was negotiating only last week with President Barack Obama.
    Unveiled Monday, the proposal appears to take back Boehner’s prior offers to allow an $800 billion increase in tax revenues but his new spending demands are significant in themselves and could amount to $600 billion more over 10 years when compared with the White House talks.
    Two installments on the debt increase are anticipated, according to a summary document released prior to a House Republican conference on the proposal…. – Politico, 7-25-11
  • Last-ditch GOP debt plan emerges: With skittish markets preparing for the possibility of economic catastrophe, lawmakers worked behind closed doors Monday to craft dueling plans that they hope could somehow, someway get a polarized Washington to pass an increase in the debt limit.
    House Speaker John Boehner, who walked out of negotiations with the White House Friday, planned to present his caucus Monday afternoon with a nearly $3 trillion package that broke the process into two parts.
    Senior GOP aides familiar with the negotiations said the deal would mandate immediate cuts and caps in discretionary spending, potentially saving $1.2 trillion over a decade. (The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to score the proposal.) In exchange, the debt ceiling would be raised by less than $1 trillion, enough to last the nation through the end of the year. The as-yet-unspecified spending caps would trigger automatic across-the-board spending cuts if not met…. – CBS News, 7-25-11
  • GOP whip holds firm to balanced budget amendment: The man charged with rounding up Republican votes in the House said he expects that whatever debt-ceiling plan initially makes its way through that chamber will include some kind of balanced budget amendment — or a plan to implement one soon.
    “I think it will have some form,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.”
    “Maybe it has a balanced budget amendment right now, maybe it has some vote in the near future,” McCarthy added.
    The House majority whip said that Friday’s 51-46 party-line Senate vote to not move forward on the House-approved “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill doesn’t mean it’s over for that approach right now. “It did not get rejected; it got tabled,” he said…. – MSNBC, 7-25-11
  • Treasurys dip as debt ceiling debate continues: Treasury bond prices are edging lower as Washington continues to debate plans to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline.
    A failure to raise the debt ceiling could lead the U.S. government to default on its bond payments. Treasury bonds are considered the safest and most liquid investments in the world…. – AP, 7-25-11
  • Obama still pushing deficit deal with tax revenue: President Barack Obama is reiterating his call for a deficit-cutting plan that cuts spending and that also increases tax revenue by making the wealthy and corporations pay more to help stabilize the long-term debt. The president made his comments to the National Council of La Raza on Monday as congressional leaders struggled against time to come up with a plan to meet an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Obama said the wealthy and big corporations have to “pay their fair share, too.” And he alluded to the difficulty of cutting a deal, saying “compromise is becoming a dirty word.” – AP, 7-25-11
  • Analysis: The politics behind Boehner’s two-step debt hike: So many Americans are so sick of political acrimony over raising the U.S. debt limit that it might seem unfathomable to have to do it all over again early next year. But that is exactly what the top U.S. Republican, John Boehner, is proposing for some practical political reasons.
    If Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, prevails, President Barack Obama will sign legislation by August 2 to raise U.S. borrowing authority by about $1 trillion, or just enough to carry the government through March.
    That would set up a second tortured debt limit debate to avert default just as the U.S. presidential campaign heats up…. – Reuters, 7-25-11
  • Dueling debt-ceiling plans: Can either pass Congress?: House Republicans and Senate Democrats introduced their plans to resolve the debt-ceiling impasse before Aug. 2. But bipartisan hopes appear thin.

    With eight days before the US loses its authority to borrow funds, House and Senate leaders launched dueling plans to resolve the crisis.
    Both deliberately avoid calls to raise taxes – a nonstarter for Republicans that derailed previous bids at a solution. But neither plan can yet claim a clear or even likely path to a bipartisan majority.
    “What they have in common is that neither one is likely to pass – even its own house,” says Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. “Here’s a case where you really do need a bipartisan agreement, and there’s no bipartisanship left…. – CS Monitor, 7-25-11

  • Ezra Klein: Obvious compromise between Reid and Boehner debt plans: When it comes to cutting the national deficit, the plans proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner are much more similar than they are different. It’s on the issue of raising the debt ceiling that the consensus cracks.
    Both plans call for $1.2 trillion in reductions to discretionary spending. Both envision the formation of a bipartisan “supercommittee,” which would try to find consensus on a larger deficit-reduction package that, if it won a majority on the panel, would be immune to amendments and filibusters and be fast-tracked for an up-or-down vote in the House and the Senate…. – WaPo, 7-25-11
  • Emily Miller: Congress agrees: Keep spending Democratic and Republican leaders preserve status quo on Capitol Hill: Congressional Democrats and Republicans waged a war of words on Monday over their debt-ceiling plans, but their agendas amount to pretty much the same thing. Washington just can’t kick its spending habit.
    Both the blueprints cooked up by House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, claim 10-year domestic spending reductions equivalent to a bit over $1 trillion with the creation of new committees to find more spending reforms. Neither leader will provide hard numbers for budget reductions in 2012, the only enforceable year. That means borrowing is immediate and spending cuts delayed. Neither plan raises taxes. The primary distinction between them is that Mr. Boehner seeks a smaller debt-ceiling increase, forcing President Obama to come back hat-in-hand in 2012 for more borrowing authority…. – Washington Times, 7-25-11
  • Congress Can Learn From 1995-96 Debt-Ceiling Debate: Failure to raise the Federal debt ceiling limit could “roil the financial markets and cause severe economic problems,” “cause profound damage to our country,” and have “dire consequences.” So wrote the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and New York Times. But the year was 1995, not 2011.
    Other ills predicted during that contentious debate were rising unemployment, reduced GDP growth, and soaring interest rates. That was at a time when President Clinton and Democrats were fighting off attempts by Republicans to link cutting the deficit to the increase in the debt ceiling.
    Then as now, there was a widespread misperception that failure to increase the debt ceiling would produce a default: “congressional Republicans are threatening to provoke the nation’s first-ever default” (Washington Times). The Los Angeles Times reported: “the first real risk of a government default could occur November 15 [1995].” Even the then Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, warned that congressional Republicans should drop their efforts, declaring: “To default for the first time in the history of this nation is not something anyone should take in any tranquil manner.” … – Fox News, 7-25-11

Full Text Debt Ceiling Showdown, July 25, 2011: Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Statement that Obama Should Reconsider the Bipartisan Debt Proposal to Prevent Default

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

DEBT CEILING SHOWDOWN: OBAMA VS CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: President Should Reconsider Bipartisan Proposal to Prevent Default

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Monday regarding a bipartisan proposal to avoid default and reduce Washington spending:

“I’d like to say a few words now about the ongoing debt ceiling discussions.

“I think the American people can be excused for being a little confused at this point as to what’s going on here in Washington, and a little bit frustrated. I am too, frankly.

“There is no reason in the world that the American people should have had to wake up this morning unsure of whether Washington was going to resolve this problem.

“Candidly, as of Saturday afternoon, I had no doubt that a solution was at hand.

“After the President’s performance on Friday, leaders from both parties in both houses got together and decided we needed to come up with a way forward on our own.

“And that’s just what we did.

“We came together in good faith and decided to do the right thing. Everyone agreed that default wasn’t an option, so we put together a responsible proposal that prevented default while reducing Washington spending.

“Republicans and yes, some Democrats, have been clear for months that tax hikes couldn’t be part of the package.  We’ve also been clear that serious cuts would have to part of any package.

“So taking all this into consideration, the responsible path forward was clear to everyone: a plan that avoided default and required additional savings before any further increase in the debt limit.

“Leaders from both parties in both houses agreed that this was the right path forward legislatively. The only thing to do at that point was to present this bipartisan solution to the President.

“And what was the President’s response: to demand the largest single debt limit increase in history, half a trillion more than the previous biggest increase Democrats approved two years ago when they controlled both Congress and the White House.

“And this was the President’s justification — as he put it on Friday, `The only bottom line I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.’

“There is absolutely no economic justification for insisting on a debt-limit increase that brings us through the next election.

“It’s not the beginning of a fiscal year.

“It’s not the beginning of a calendar year.

“Based on his own words, it’s hard to conclude that this request has to do with anything, in fact, other than the President’s re-election.

“Look: Congress has raised the federal debt limit 63 times since 1972. The average length of an increase over that period is just over seven months. But now the President says it has to be nearly two years. Why? So he can continue to spend as he pleases.

“This weekend, we offered the President a bipartisan proposal to avoid default so we could have the time we need to put together a serious plan for getting our house in order, and he rejected it out of hand. Not for economic reasons. But, as he put it, `to extend this debt ceiling through the next election.’

“Time is running out. And with all due respect to the President, we have more important things to worry about than getting through the next election.

“A bipartisan plan to resolve this crisis was within reach this weekend.  The President has to know that this approach is the responsible path forward. It should be back on the table.

“Congressional leaders of both parties have shown they are willing to work in good faith. I would suggest that the President reconsider their offer rather than veto the country into default.”

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