Briefing Bites: G-20, Iranian nuclear edition
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) and US President Barack Obama prior to the start of a round-table meeting on November 3, 2011 during the G20 Summit of Heads of State and Government in Cannes.
November 3rd, 2011
05:36 PM ET

Briefing Bites: G-20, Iranian nuclear edition

Today’s G-20-themed briefing came in from Cannes, France and was brought to you by Press Secretary Jay Carney with special guests Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman.

Much of the briefing was spent explaining that President Obama will be focusing throughout the G-20 meetings on the global economic climate and the European economic crisis more specifically. The big question on Americans' minds is how a possible economic default in Greece might spread to other European countries and how much it might impact the U.S. recovery. Here's what the deputies had to say:

Q    Answer this question as it relates to Greece, since that’s the country that’s in crisis right now, and if they go, are you worried about the contagion effect?

MR. FROMAN:  I think right now the highest priority in Greece is stabilizing the situation.  But the program that Greece has is also about reforming its system and engaging in structural reforms so that it could become more competitive and therefore grow as part of the euro area.

MR. RHODES:  I just want to make one very quick point, which is that you’ve seen at these other G-20s often this discussion of growth and fiscal consolidation.  I think what’s represented at this G-20 is a broad understanding that you need both; that there are going to have to be steps to promote growth and job creation in the global economy, and there’s going to have be, again, that kind of deficit reduction over the medium and long-term that many of the leaders have worked on.

And similarly, in the United States, President Obama is pursuing an approach where we have an immediate growth package represented in the jobs act, and the other steps that we’re taking to promote growth and job creation at home.  And we have a plan for significant deficit reduction in the medium and long-term as well.

On other matters, the two deputies were asked about the impending International Atomic Energy Agency report on the Iranian nuclear program and the significance of the president’s comments on it during this morning’s bilateral meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Here’s what the president said: FULL POST

Topics: Briefing Bites • G-20
White House: Military families at risk by leaderless Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Holly Petraeus, assistant director for service member affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, participates in a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on November 3, 2011. The committee heard testimony from Petraeus on protecting veterans and active service members and their families in the consumer financial marketplace.
November 3rd, 2011
03:29 PM ET

White House: Military families at risk by leaderless Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The White House is again pressuring Republicans in the Senate to support the nomination of Richard Cordray as head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The latest pressure point: military families.  In a conference call with reporters, White House officials cited the importance of the CFPB in the lives of service members  to protect them from predatory lenders, certain types of installment loans and debt collectors who often harass service members during active duty.

Pegging this latest push to today’s testimony before the Senate banking committee by Holly Petraeus – head of Servicemember Affairs at the CFPB – representatives from the Treasury Department, the National Economic Council and the Executive Office of the President explained why the CFPB’s ability to help military families was effectively neutered by not having a director.

"The way the statute works, until such time as the CFPB gets a director it will not have the authority to supervise and enforce all these various consumer protection laws, with respect to payday lenders, debt collectors, etcetera, etcetera, the kinds of firms that we're talking about…that are preying on military families,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Neil Wolin.

Cordray’s nomination recently passed out of the banking committee on a party-line vote, with all 10 Republican members voting in opposition, and Senate Republicans have vowed to block his nomination if it ever comes to the floor. On today’s call Stephanie Cutter – a deputy senior advisor to President Obama – used Mrs. Petraeus’ testimony as proof that military families are hurt by such Republican opposition.

Citing a specific question from Republican Sen. Richard Shelby about whether the CFPB had enough resources to do its job, Cutter quoted Mrs. Petraeus as saying that while the resources are there to the job, “they're not able to actually do the work.” FULL POST

The president at G-20 Summit
President Obama greeted by French President Sarkozy arrived at G-20 Summit Thursday in France.
November 3rd, 2011
09:16 AM ET

The president at G-20 Summit

The stakes couldn't be higher as President Obama arrived at the summit of the leaders of the world's top economies.  ( read the latest on

President Obama's Schedule:

7:25AM          THE PRESIDENT arrivesCote D’AzurAirport/  Nice,France/ Travel Pool Coverage

 9:30AM          THE PRESIDENT arrives EspaceRivieraand is greeted by President Nicolas Sarkozy ofFrance


                        Limited Pool Coverage FULL POST

Topics: Daily Schedule