Obama to congressional Republicans: Stop playing politics with our military
President Barack Obama speaks during the 113th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.
July 23rd, 2012
10:31 PM ET

Obama to congressional Republicans: Stop playing politics with our military

Reno, Nevada (CNN) - President Obama spoke to thousands of veterans Monday at the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, but he also delivered a message to congressional Republicans.

"Stop playing politics with our military," Obama told the crowd here.

Responding to recent congressional votes demanding details on the $1.2 trillion dollars in government spending cuts set to go into effect at the start of next year, President Obama tried to shift responsibility back to Capitol Hill. FULL POST

'Super Committee' fails to reach a debt deal
November 21st, 2011
07:09 PM ET

'Super Committee' fails to reach a debt deal

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama and congressional leaders traded blame Monday for the failure of the congressional "super committee" to forge a deficit reduction deal, but they also called for Congress to work out an agreement before painful automatic budget cuts take place in 2013.

Earlier, the co-chairs of the bipartisan special joint committee said in a statement that "after months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline."

Markets dropped as news spread of the panel's expected failure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 248 points Monday, with a minor recovery after being down more than 300 points earlier in the afternoon.

Initial reaction had Democrats and Republicans blaming each other for the inability of the bipartisan committee to negotiate at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures.

Obama said Republicans in Congress rejected what he called a balanced approach to deficit reduction that included tax increases on the wealthy.

"Despite the broad agreement that exists for such an approach, there are still to many Republicans in Congress that have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington," Obama told reporters after the super committee announced its failure.

For the full story, click here.

Obama's debt plan
September 19th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Obama's debt plan

Never mind about debt and deficits, today’s Rose Garden speech was largely about politics.

“I will not support. I will not support any plan that puts the burden on regular Americans," President Obama said today.

Burned after the summer's debt deal with Speaker John Boehner fell apart, the president is throwing down the gauntlet with a veto threat.

“I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share,” the president said. FULL POST

Obama to propose new tax rate for millionaires
President Obama to name new tax rate proposal after Warren Buffett, shown here meeting with the president in July. (Source: Pete Souza/The White House)
September 18th, 2011
02:53 PM ET

Obama to propose new tax rate for millionaires

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The White House will propose a new tax rate for people earning more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings in taxes as middle-income Americans, administration and White House officials told CNN on Sunday.

Called the Buffett Rule, the proposal will be part of a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that President Barack Obama will unveil on Monday, according to a senior administration official and White House sources who spoke on condition of not being identified. The information was first reported by The New York Times.

The plan's name refers to billionaire Warren Buffett, who has complained that wealthy Americans pay less than their fair share in taxes under the current tax code.

FULL POST

Biden: 14th amendment and terrorists
August 1st, 2011
06:44 PM ET

Biden: 14th amendment and terrorists

Here is more information from Democrats familiar with today’s closed-door House meeting, with Vice President Biden.

The Vice President said the 14th amendment was NOT an option for the President.  Context: Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) wanted to know why the President didn’t just use the 14th amendment. The VP explained the President had his legal scholars look into it and decided it was not appropriate. We’ve previously been advised that VP Biden consulted with the White House counsel’s office about options – including whether the 14th amendment could be invoked. He chaired the Judiciary Committee when he was in the Senate so is probably familiar with the issues.

On reports that the VP called tea party lawmakers “terrorists”: Multiple Democratic sources say the VP was listening to angry Democrats vent about Republicans who said they “negotiate like terrorists”  “how can you negotiate with hostage takers” and that they “feel pick pocketed”. As they vented the VP said “well now we’ve taken away their weapons of mass destruction,” meaning the Republicans can’t use the debt ceiling as leverage with Democrats in the future. In an interview with CBS' Scott Pelley the Vice President denied he compared tea party linked lawmakers to terrorists.

Kendra Barkoff, the Vice President's Press Secretary, responded to the accusations: “The word was used by several members of Congress. The Vice President does not believe it’s an appropriate term in political discourse.”

Debt talks at White House Monday
President Obama meeting Monday with Democratic and Republican Congressional leadership on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
July 11th, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Debt talks at White House Monday

With an August 2 deadline looming President Obama is meeting with Democrat and Republican House and Senate leaders to try to reach a compromise to raise the nation’s borrowing limit. As the press pool entered the Cabinet Room for a quick photo of the meeting, the president said "Ok this the same photo op you got yesterday except we're wearing ties.  Thank you." He answered no questions.  (read more here) 

Political leaders plan another day of deficit-reduction talks
July 10th, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Political leaders plan another day of deficit-reduction talks

By CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Jessica Yellin

Washington (CNN) - A day after a 75-minute session, talks will resume Monday to try to reach a deficit-reduction deal and pave the way for a hike in the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, a White House spokesman said Sunday.

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said on his Twitter account on Sunday night that congressional leaders will return to the White House for further negotiations on Monday. At 11 a.m. that same morning, President Barack Obama will hold a press conference in the White House briefing room, according to his official schedule.

These announcements are the first formal fall-out of Sunday's night talks on the subject, led by the president and involving top politicians from the House and Senate.

When asked before the meeting's start if a deal could be reached within 10 days, Obama told reporters, "We need to."

FULL POST


Topics: Congress • Deficit reduction • The News
Debt ceiling talks
July 7th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

Debt ceiling talks

The latest meeting between the White House and Congressional leaders has officially begun and for the first time, cameras were let in. Well, they were let in at the top of the meeting and for only 37 seconds while the president and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and other leaders engaged in small talk over the sandstorms in Arizona. We'll have to wait until this afternoon for the White House briefing to hopefully get an official readout of the talks.


Topics: Congress • Deficit reduction • The News
Deficit reduction deadline looming
July 7th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Deficit reduction deadline looming

Washington (CNN) – The President and Speaker Boehner have discussed a potential compromise that includes broad tax reform and entitlement reform, putting all three entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) on the table, according to a Republican source familiar with negotiations.

The tax reform proposal discussed is to reduce the individual and corporate rates and simplify the tax code, eliminating deductions/credits/loopholes that corporations and individuals currently use to vastly reduce what they pay in taxes.  This broad reform might appeal to Republican critics like Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who warned against “cherry-picking” certain tax loopholes to close instead of dealing with them separately as part of a comprehensive approach to tax reform.

The Republican source also stresses there has been no offer, no deal and this is just a discussion between the President and Speaker, and does not expect any agreement to come out of talks today.
FULL POST

Debt Talks – Dems want a BIG deal
July 6th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Debt Talks – Dems want a BIG deal

From CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin:

Democratic officials familiar with the deficit negotiations are now saying that the White House is talking about doing a deal larger than the roughly $2 trillion deal we’ve heard discussed in recent weeks.  “The President doesn’t want a small deal that kicks the can down the field,” says an official.  One official said he thinks there are leaders in both houses of Congress who want to reach “a significant deficit reduction deal…something big and meaningful.”

Officials on both sides of the aisle say this could be in the range of a $3-4 trillion deal.

Sources tell CNN that the president thinks there are “leaders and members in both chambers” who want to reach “a significant deficit reduction deal,” “something big and meaningful” and “not the path of least resistance.”

Why up the ante, especially given the difficulty the two sides have had reaching agreement over a smaller roughly $2 trillion deal? Discussions with aides on capitol hill indicate some Republicans might like the idea of a larger deal – easier to sell to deficit hawks who want major cuts, and it could include more for everyone. Others say not so fast, insisting the larger deal would require major entitlement and tax code reforms that can’t be completed before the August 2nd deadline.

There’s politics and expectations at play here. With the bigger goal, Democrats and Congressional leaders can position themselves as pushing for something big and if it falls short, they tried. It’s not on them. This bigger option also sets up a straw man – a position to bargain down from so the $2 trillion looks like a compromise. Plus it gets negotiators that much farther away from the push for a short term deal.


Topics: Deficit reduction • The News