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.
Obama's Twitter Townhall
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama made history by being the first president to ever tweet when he wrote "in order to reduce the deficit,what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep – bo." He didn't keep his answers to 140 characters during his Twitter townhall on Wednesday afternoon but he did take 18 questions and gave feedback on 6 responses to his first-ever tweet.
Here's a running log of the Twitter townhall by CNN producers:
So, does that make this a successful forum to look towards in the future? Surely the pundits will bounce that around later.
[Updated at 3:03 p.m.] Welfare spending question gets a reaction from the audience.The person asking the question basically said that people won't try hard if everything is handed to them.
"Some welfare programs in the past were not well-defined, and did encourage dependency," Obama acknowledged.
However, Obama said the focus in social programs should be to give folks the tools to get in the work force and "let them know that we are there to support you and encourage you as long as you're showing responsibility."///
[Updated at 2:55 p.m.] CNN's Becky Brittain (@beckybcnn) notes: POTUS takes a break from economy and energy and answers question re: #NASA.
Obama discusses how private sectors will take the lead on the commercial aspect and the government on some groundbreaking innovations.
CNNMoney.com's @AnnCensky enjoys part of the response: "Obama: Let’s ultimately get to Mars – a good pit stop is an asteroid! @townhall #askobama
To see the entire live blog transcript, click here.
July 6th, 2011
12:52 PM ET
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney held an off camera briefing with reporters Wednesday (known around these parts as a “gaggle.”) President Obama's meeting Thursday with congressional leaders mostly dominated the discussion.
- Even though CNN has confirmed President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner over the weekend, the White House still won’t say if the meeting occurred:
July 6th, 2011
07:26 AM ET
President Obama and Speaker Boehner's Not-so-secret meeting
Looks like it wasn't just a weekend of barbecue and fireworks for President Obama. Turns out he held a secret meeting with House Speaker John Boehner about the ongoing issue surrounding the nation's debt ceiling.
CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar has the details:
POTUS' Day Ahead: Wednesday, July 6
Good morning from the White House. It's a morning of high-level meetings for President Obama: first with senior advisers and then with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. A likely topic at both meetings? The negotiations surrounding the debt ceiling, which the president himself ratcheted up yesterday during a rare appearance in the White House briefing room.
Then comes a private lunch with Vice President Biden ahead of what the White House is calling the first Twitter town hall. But don't expect a free-flowing, anything-goes affair: the president will field preselected questions from users of the social media website in front of an East Room audience that was also pre-screened by the White House. He will only address questions related to jobs and the economy.
Full schedule after the jump: