July 28th, 2011
01:31 PM ET

Weekly Poll

Topics: Debt Ceiling talks • Poll
July 28th, 2011
01:15 PM ET

Did you know.....CBO fun facts

The Congressional Budget Office’s mandate is to provide the Congress with: Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

The CBO was founded on July 12, 1974. 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate jointly appoint the CBO Director, after considering recommendations from the two budget committees.

The term of office is four years, with no limit on the number of terms a Director may serve.

Alice Rivlin was the first director.  She was also the longest serving from 1975-1983.

The CBO currently employs about 250 people. The agency is composed primarily of economists and public policy analysts.

Workload: In fiscal year 2010, CBO issued 33 studies and reports, 12 briefs, 12 Monthly Budget Reviews, 35 letters, 14 presentations, and 2 background papers–along with 2 other publications and numerous supplemental data. CBO also testified before the Congress 14 times on a variety of issues. In calendar year 2010, CBO completed approximately 650 federal cost estimates as well as about 475 estimates of the impact of legislation on state and local governments, including the identification of any unfunded mandates contained in such legislation, and about 475 estimates of the impact of any unfunded mandates on the private sector.

Source: Congressional Budget Office

Topics: Did you know...? • The Buzz
White House briefing bites: still "optimistic" on debt ceiling deal getting done
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at Thursday's White House briefing with Press Secretary Jay Carney.
July 28th, 2011
12:51 PM ET

White House briefing bites: still "optimistic" on debt ceiling deal getting done

Update from Thursday's White House briefing:

Press Secretary Jay Carney says White House "optimistic" Congress will reach a debt compromise:

We continue to believe and remain optimistic that Congress will come to its senses, that cooler heads will prevail and that a compromise will be achieved. As I just spelled out, it really isn't that complicated at this point. What we need to do is get beyond voting on dead on arrival measures that aren't going to become law when we have so few days left to reach a compromise. We need to get that kind of political theater out of our system and get to work on something that can actually pass both Houses with bipartisan support and be signed by the president.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the chances for a "grand bargain" on the debt ceiling:

All I'm saying is the president was at the table, the potential agreement was on the table, the grand bargain, and the speaker walked away from the table over an issue that can be resolved quite easily.

If the political will is there, we can move back to those negotiations. If that isn't possible in the next five days, then there are ways that we can resolve this issue in a fair compromise that does the key things, which is lock in significant cuts and lift the cloud over our economy and ensure that we're not, you know, playing in this three-ring circus for the next six months.

...I think I've indicated, and I will say it explicitly, that the chances aren't great that we end up between now and August 2nd with a sweeping, grand compromise between the Republicans and Democrats that reduces the deficit $3 trillion to $4 trillion over 10 years, includes balance between entitlement reform and tax reform. That's not likely, but it's available if the political will is there.

Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation and former Republican congressman advice to his former Republican colleagues on dealing with the debt ceiling:

This is a time that I think most of us that have watched politics have never seen before. Because there are people in Congress who don't like the word compromise, who don't believe in it.

We need for people to come together, to set aside their own egos and a certain part of their own agenda for the American people to make sure we maintain the strongest economy in the world to send a signal to the world that we can get big things done.

Secretary LaHood urged Congress to pass bill to fund Federal Aviation Administration:

Since Congress failed to pass an FAA bill, nearly 4000 FAA employees have been furloughed and as many as 70,000 construction workers across America are out of work. Important airport modernization projects have been shut down in every state in the country.

Topics: Briefing Bites • Jay Carney • The News
The President's Schedule Thursday July 28
July 28th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

The President's Schedule Thursday July 28

President Obama has no public events Thursday as the clock ticks down on negotiations for a plan that would raise the nation's borrowing limit.

9:30AM           THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing/ Oval Office/ Closed Press

3:00PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of Treasury Geithner/ Oval Office/ Closed Press

3:30PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of State Clinton/ Oval Office/ Closed Press


11:00AM        Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney.