Briefing bites: Carney says August 2 ‘hard and fast’ deadline
July 27th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

Briefing bites: Carney says August 2 ‘hard and fast’ deadline

Jay Carney did his best to instill continued urgency ahead of the August 2 debt ceiling deadline during the White House press briefing Wednesday:

It is only a matter of days before the August 2nd deadline. And while at midnight on August 2nd we don't all turn into pumpkins, we do as country lose our borrowing authority for the first time in our history. And that would be a very bad thing.

Carney added that if the deadline did pass, the government would have to make difficult decisions about which financial obligations to honor.

Choices then have to be made and it's a Sophie's choice, right? Who do you save? Who do you pay? That's an impossible situation that this country has never faced and should never face if Congress does what it was elected to do and does its job.

Carney also reiterated the president is not for a deal that only raises the debt ceiling for a matter of months, contending that it will be more difficult to reach a deal during an election year than now.

Do you believe that it will be any easier in an election year? We all know as veterans of Washington and understand how cycles work, it gets a lot harder to do hard things in an election year, right? And that's not a question of who it helps or hurts politically. You could argue because the public is overwhelmingly in support of the president's position that we should do this in a balanced way that this fight is good politically. But it's bad for the country and it's bad for the economy.

Obama administration gets court win over stem cells
July 27th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Obama administration gets court win over stem cells

The Obama administration got a win in federal court Wednesday that knocked down a lawsuit which had been successful in temporarily blocking federal funding for embryonic stem cell research:

Washington (CNN) - A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday that tried to block funding of stem-cell research on human embryos.

A federal appeals court in April lifted a previous injunction on continued funding, and U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth has now agreed with the Obama administration that the lawsuit brought by two scientists should be dismissed.

The 38-page decision is a victory for supporters of federally funded testing for a range of diseases and illnesses.

More HERE


Topics: The News
Picture of the week
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
July 27th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Picture of the week

A World Series ring sits on a table prior to an event where President Obama welcomed the World Series champions San Francisco Giants to the East Room of the White House on Monday, July 25, 2011. The Giants defeated the Texas Rangers in the 2010 World Series, giving the franchise their first World Series championship since 1954, and the first since relocating to San Francisco in 1958.

POTUS's schedule for Wednesday, July 27, 2011
July 27th, 2011
08:56 AM ET

POTUS's schedule for Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's beginning to feel a bit like Groundhog's Day as the debt talks continue. The president has nothing on his public schedule today besides his usual morning briefings so he will have plenty of time to meet behind closed doors with Congressional leaders if the need arises. We'll keep you posted on any changes in the schedule.

Click below for the full White House schedule: FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • The Vault
July 26th, 2011
08:09 PM ET

Obama sidelined in debt talks?

When all of this started, President Obama- by choice- kept his distance, tasking Vice President Joe Biden instead to do his bidding with Congress. He eventually got very involved and was negotiating with Speaker Boehner for the last several weeks. Now his role has changed again as House Republicans try to eject the president from the conversation but can he really be sidelined?

White House issues (soft?) veto threat
July 26th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

White House issues (soft?) veto threat

The White House issued an official veto threat to the debt ceiling bill proposed by House Speaker John Boehner, amid speculation President Obama would consider signing the bill if it passed both houses of Congress.

But the phrasing of the statement notably appears to allow President Obama a little wiggle room on the matter, perhaps offering Republicans a glimmer of hope the Boehner-backed measure would be signed if it scored full congressional approval and was the only option.

"The Administration strongly opposes House passage of the amendment in the nature of a substitute to S. 627," the White House said in a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP). "If S. 627 is presented to the President, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill."

Past veto statements by the White House have directly said the president would veto a bill instead of declaring senior advisors would recommend he do it.

The statement came on the heels of a growing sense on the Hill that Obama might sign the GOP-backed plan because he notably did not threaten to veto it in his primetime speech Wednesday. Still the president has long threatened to veto any bill that proposes raising the ceiling in a two-step process, as Boehner’s does.

When asked about a veto threat during his daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dismissed the issue all together, saying the subject was moot because the administration does not even expect the measure to pass the Senate.


Topics: President Obama
Message of condolence
July 26th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Message of condolence

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited the Norwegian ambassador's residence in D.C. to "offer condolences to the people of Norway after the tragic killings that occurred last week," according to a White House statement.

POTUS's schedule for Tuesday, July 26, 2011
July 26th, 2011
08:04 AM ET

POTUS's schedule for Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Following President Obama's primetime speech last night, he'll have a quiet day, at least in terms of public appearances. He has his usual briefings, a little bit later than usual, and then this afternoon, he and Vice President Biden will meet with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in the Oval Office. All of those meetings are closed to the press. There's plenty of time on his schedule for him to be making phone calls to Congressional leaders or perhaps they'll even add a face-to-face meeting later in the day. At this point, there's nothing official but we'll let you know if anything changes.

For the full White House schedule, click below. FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • The Vault
July 26th, 2011
07:00 AM ET

Did you know?

The East Room is most often used for entertaining, press conferences, ceremonies, and occasionally for a large dinner.  Yet "the room has unfortunately served much more somber ends: The bodies of both Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy have lain in state in the East Room. Additionally, during the Civil War, Union troops were at one point quartered in the room."     Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov

 

Obama uses bully pulpit to push for debt deal
July 25th, 2011
10:06 PM ET

Obama uses bully pulpit to push for debt deal

President Obama's strongest words were directed at Washington's business as usual Monday night while urging both parties to come together on a debt deal:

[Americans are] 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.

In his seventh prime time televised address, Obama sought to increase pressure for congressional leaders to reach a deal that would allow the government to continue borrowing money pay its debts after August 2.

And the president singled out House Republicans for intransigence and said the political showdown 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.

More HERE