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America Must Pay Debts and Fix Infrastructure

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Guest LAW

Take off your horse blinders.

 

A recent CNN poll found that 57 percent of Americans blame the current economic woes on former President George W. Bush and the Republicans – compared to 29 percent on President Obama and the Democrats.

 

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/25/pessimism-overflowing-in-new-poll/

 

This afternoon I will bring to the floor a proposal I hope can break the impasse. This legislation would put to rest the specter of default. It would cut $2.7 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. It would not raise any new revenue or make any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits. All the cuts included in this package have previously been supported by Republicans.

 

This proposal provides everything House Republicans have said they needed from an agreement to avert default and cut the deficit.

 

I hope my colleagues on the other side still know a good deal when they see it. I hope they remember how to say “yes.”

 

Tea Party-led House of Republicans held up a resolution to these negotiations for weeks because they didn’t want oil companies, corporations that ship jobs overseas or millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.

 

If they now oppose an agreement that meets every one of their demands, it will be because they have put politics first and the good of this nation and its economy last.

 

I also hope they will not continue to insist on the kind of short-term fix they opposed a few short weeks ago – and that they know Democrats in the Senate will not pass and the President will not sign.

 

Economists have already said a short-term solution is no solution at all. It will not give the markets the certainty they need. And the credit rating agencies have said a short-term Band-Aid could have many of the same effects as default: a downgrade of U.S. debt, soaring interest rates and an effective tax increase on every American family and business.

 

The financial markets don’t trust the right wing, Tea Party-led House of Representatives not to hold this process hostage again in six months, or to make the right decision for our nation and the economy a second time.

 

This is what one market analyst said about a plan to avert default for only a few months:

 

“From the markets’ point of view, a two-stage plan is a non-starter because we now know it is amateur hour on Capitol Hill and we don’t want to be painted in this corner again.”

 

The markets need certainty. America needs certainty. The world needs certainty. And an agreement that provides that certainty is within our grasp.

 

Democrats have done more than meet Republicans in the middle – we’ve met them all the way. Now we’ll see whether Republicans are against any agreement at all, or whether they remember how to say “yes” when the compromise on the table gives them everything they’ve demanded.

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Guest Friend of U.S. Chamber

I am writing to ensure government makes good on its financial obligations and put its fiscal house in order. Now is the time for you as our elected leader to lead.

 

It is critical that the U.S. government not default in any way on its fiscal obligations. A great nation is relied upon to pay its debts when they become due. This is a Main Street not Wall Street issue. Treasury securities influence the cost of financing not just for companies but more importantly for mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student debt. A default would risk both disarray in those markets and a host of unintended consequences. The debt ceiling trigger does offer a needed catalyst for serious negotiations on budget discipline but avoiding even a technical default is essential. This is a risk our country must not take.

 

I hope our political leaders can agree to a plan to substantially reduce our long-term budget deficits with a goal of at least stabilizing our nation's debt as a percentage of GDP - which will entail difficult choices. The resulting plan must be long-term, predictable and binding. In order for Main Street to recover and resume job creation, they need confidence that, in the absence of a crisis, our government will not reverse course and return to large deficit spending.

 

Now is the time to put aside partisan differences and act in the nation's best interests. Our nation's economic future is reliant upon your action.

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Guest Wes Pruden

Everybody’s nervous about the resolution of the “crisis” in Washington, but when the Asian stock markets opened Monday there was no mass suicide on the trading floors, no frantic search for a building high enough to jump from. In fact, the traders and investors in both Europe and Asia appear to have been paying attention to the advice of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican majority whip. He told his caucus to “keep calm and carry on.” This was the philosophy of the late George Wallace, who, on losing an improbable race for the White House four decades ago, was asked what he intended to do next. “I guess I’ll just keep on keeping on.” It’s what all prudent men do when hysteria beckons.

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Guest LAW

If Republicans do not want compromise, then they should put politics aside and extend the debt ceiling until after the election. This our government the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already spent.

 

Address by the President to the Nation

 

East Room

 

9:01 P.M. EDT

 

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I want to talk about the debate we’ve been having in Washington over the national debt -- a debate that directly affects the lives of all Americans.

 

For the last decade, we’ve spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.

 

As a result, the deficit was on track to top $1 trillion the year I took office. To make matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more -– on tax cuts for middle-class families to spur the economy; on unemployment insurance; on aid to states so we could prevent more teachers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off. These emergency steps also added to the deficit.

 

Now, every family knows that a little credit card debt is manageable. But if we stay on the current path, our growing debt could cost us jobs and do serious damage to the economy. More of our tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on our loans. Businesses will be less likely to open up shop and hire workers in a country that can’t balance its books. Interest rates could climb for everyone who borrows money -– the homeowner with a mortgage, the student with a college loan, the corner store that wants to expand. And we won’t have enough money to make job-creating investments in things like education and infrastructure, or pay for vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

 

Because neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this problem, both parties have a responsibility to solve it. And over the last several months, that’s what we’ve been trying to do. I won’t bore you with the details of every plan or proposal, but basically, the debate has centered around two different approaches.

 

The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending. Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President. Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars. Let’s cut out waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare -- and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations. Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.

 

This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much. It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt. And the cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on our economy, or prevent us from helping small businesses and middle-class families get back on their feet right now.

 

This approach is also bipartisan. While many in my own party aren’t happy with the painful cuts it makes, enough will be willing to accept them if the burden is fairly shared. While Republicans might like to see deeper cuts and no revenue at all, there are many in the Senate who have said, “Yes, I’m willing to put politics aside and consider this approach because I care about solving the problem.” And to his credit, this is the kind of approach the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was working on with me over the last several weeks.

 

The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a different approach -- a cuts-only approach -– an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all. And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scale, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about –- cuts that place a greater burden on working families.

 

So the debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?

 

That’s not right. It’s not fair. We all want a government that lives within its means, but there are still things we need to pay for as a country -– things like new roads and bridges; weather satellites and food inspection; services to veterans and medical research.

 

And keep in mind that under a balanced approach, the 98 percent of Americans who make under $250,000 would see no tax increases at all. None. In fact, I want to extend the payroll tax cut for working families. What we’re talking about under a balanced approach is asking Americans whose incomes have gone up the most over the last decade -– millionaires and billionaires -– to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make. And I think these patriotic Americans are willing to pitch in. In fact, over the last few decades, they’ve pitched in every time we passed a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit. The first time a deal was passed, a predecessor of mine made the case for a balanced approach by saying this:

 

Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer.

 

Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan. But today, many Republicans in the House refuse to consider this kind of balanced approach -– an approach that was pursued not only by President Reagan, but by the first President Bush, by President Clinton, by myself, and by many Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate. So we’re left with a stalemate.

 

Now, what makes today’s stalemate so dangerous is that it has been tied to something known as the debt ceiling -– a term that most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before.

 

Understand –- raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it. President Reagan did it 18 times. George W. Bush did it seven times. And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won’t be able to pay all of our bills.

 

Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.

 

If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills -– bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.

 

For the first time in history, our country’s AAA credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, on mortgages and on car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis -– this one caused almost entirely by Washington.

So defaulting on our obligations is a reckless and irresponsible outcome to this debate. And Republican leaders say that they agree we must avoid default. But the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, would force us to once again face the threat of default just six months from now. In other words, it doesn’t solve the problem.

 

First of all, a six-month extension of the debt ceiling might not be enough to avoid a credit downgrade and the higher interest rates that all Americans would have to pay as a result. We know what we have to do to reduce our deficits; there’s no point in putting the economy at risk by kicking the can further down the road.

 

But there’s an even greater danger to this approach. Based on what we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from now. The House of Representatives will once again refuse to prevent default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach. Again, they will refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to give up their tax cuts or deductions. Again, they will demand harsh cuts to programs like Medicare. And once again, the economy will be held captive unless they get their way.

 

This 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.

 

Congress now has one week left to act, and there are still paths forward. The Senate has introduced a plan to avoid default, which makes a down payment on deficit reduction and ensures that we don’t have to go through this again in six months.

 

I think that’s a much better approach, although serious deficit reduction would still require us to tackle the tough challenges of entitlement and tax reform. Either way, I’ve told leaders of both parties that they must come up with a fair compromise in the next few days that can pass both houses of Congress -– and a compromise that I can sign. I’m confident we can reach this compromise. Despite our disagreements, Republican leaders and I have found common ground before. And I believe that enough members of both parties will ultimately put politics aside and help us make progress.

 

Now, I realize that a lot of the new members of Congress and I don’t see eye-to-eye on many issues. But we were each elected by some of the same Americans for some of the same reasons. Yes, many want government to start living within its means. And many are fed up with a system in which the deck seems stacked against middle-class Americans in favor of the wealthiest few. But do you know what people are fed up with most of all?

 

They’re 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.

 

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government. So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.

 

America, after all, has always been a grand experiment in compromise. As a democracy made up of every race and religion, where every belief and point of view is welcomed, we have put to the test time and again the proposition at the heart of our founding: that out of many, we are one. We’ve engaged in fierce and passionate debates about the issues of the day, but from slavery to war, from civil liberties to questions of economic justice, we have tried to live by the words that Jefferson once wrote: “Every man cannot have his way in all things -- without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society.”

 

History is scattered with the stories of those who held fast to rigid ideologies and refused to listen to those who disagreed. But those are not the Americans we remember. We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.

 

That’s who we remember. That’s who we need to be right now. The entire world is watching. So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth –- not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation.

 

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

 

END

9:16 P.M. EDT

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Guest HUMAN

My group is not the ones with the blinders on.

 

Your group is so scared of "Cap-Cut-and Balance" that your group would not even bring it up for debate.

 

It does show who is deflecting.

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Take off your horse blinders.

 

A recent CNN poll found that 57 percent of Americans blame the current economic woes on former President George W. Bush and the Republicans – compared to 29 percent on President Obama and the Democrats.

 

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/25/pessimism-overflowing-in-new-poll/

 

This afternoon I will bring to the floor a proposal I hope can break the impasse. This legislation would put to rest the specter of default. It would cut $2.7 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. It would not raise any new revenue or make any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits. All the cuts included in this package have previously been supported by Republicans.

 

This proposal provides everything House Republicans have said they needed from an agreement to avert default and cut the deficit.

 

I hope my colleagues on the other side still know a good deal when they see it. I hope they remember how to say “yes.”

 

Tea Party-led House of Republicans held up a resolution to these negotiations for weeks because they didn’t want oil companies, corporations that ship jobs overseas or millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.

 

If they now oppose an agreement that meets every one of their demands, it will be because they have put politics first and the good of this nation and its economy last.

 

I also hope they will not continue to insist on the kind of short-term fix they opposed a few short weeks ago – and that they know Democrats in the Senate will not pass and the President will not sign.

 

Economists have already said a short-term solution is no solution at all. It will not give the markets the certainty they need. And the credit rating agencies have said a short-term Band-Aid could have many of the same effects as default: a downgrade of U.S. debt, soaring interest rates and an effective tax increase on every American family and business.

 

The financial markets don’t trust the right wing, Tea Party-led House of Representatives not to hold this process hostage again in six months, or to make the right decision for our nation and the economy a second time.

 

This is what one market analyst said about a plan to avert default for only a few months:

 

“From the markets’ point of view, a two-stage plan is a non-starter because we now know it is amateur hour on Capitol Hill and we don’t want to be painted in this corner again.”

 

The markets need certainty. America needs certainty. The world needs certainty. And an agreement that provides that certainty is within our grasp.

 

Democrats have done more than meet Republicans in the middle – we’ve met them all the way. Now we’ll see whether Republicans are against any agreement at all, or whether they remember how to say “yes” when the compromise on the table gives them everything they’ve demanded.

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Guest John A

Cutting taxes for the rich and wealthy was supposed to boost the economy because the rich and wealthy are the "job creators." They've had their tax cuts for 10 years now and look where the unemployment rate is. Where are all the jobs, job creators with too much money?

 

Hey GOP: find a new lie.

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Guest Ron Paul 2012



Read Transcript

Imagine you had a pesky neighbor who somehow took out a mortgage on his house in your name and by some legal trickery you were obligated to pay for it. Imagine watching this neighbor throw drunken parties, buy expensive cars, add more rooms to the house, and hire dozens of people to wait on him hand and foot. Imagine that he also managed to take out several credit cards in your name. One by one, he would max them out and then use your good name and credit to obtain another credit card, then another and then another. Each time, this neighbor would claim that he needed the new credit card to pay interest on the other maxed out credit cards. If he defaulted on those cards, your credit score would be hurt and when you wanted to buy something for yourself, it would be more difficult to get a loan and the interest you paid would be higher. Imagine that you mulled this over, and time after time, said nothing as he filled out more credit applications so he would not have to default on the other debt taken out in your name. Meanwhile, another shiny new Mercedes appears in his driveway. At what point do you think you might get tired of this game? And, even though you are left with no really good options, do you think you might eventually tell him to go ahead and default, just stop spending your money!

This analogy demonstrates the position we are in with our government and the debt ceiling. The government has run up a huge debt in the name of the American people, who are sick and tired of being on the hook for it. There are no really good options left. Defaulting on a portion of the debt may not be without costs, but it is better than handing the government yet another credit card.

The government is using the usual scare tactics to strong-arm the people into going along with more spending. Remember the rhetoric surrounding the big bailout of October 2008? We were told, not that this would be calamitous for the banks, but for the people, who would continue to experience massive job losses and foreclosures. We were told that the economy would sink into a deep recession if this money was not handed out to too-big-to-fail corporate cronies. So, after much hand-wringing, leaders from both parties, against unprecedented public outcry, agreed to shower money on the banks and increase the debt. The banks learned nothing, except that Washington will come to their rescue, no matter what. The people, however, continued to lose their jobs and houses anyway, and here we are, still in a deep recession.

When you read the above example, your first reaction might have been to dismiss the neighbor’s debt as illegitimate and in no way your responsibility or your problem. You would be right. No fair-minded legal system would hold you responsible for such a debt, and would instead cart your thieving neighbor off to jail. Yet Congress can impose liabilities on you, your children, and grandchildren without your consent, and even without your knowledge. This is another example of government holding itself above the law. Much like the TSA claims the right to molest us, yet arrested a woman who turned the tables last week, stealing somehow becomes legitimate when the government does it.

We supposedly live in a nation of laws. For once, government needs to heed the law regarding the debt ceiling.

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Guest Army Mom

What was up with the Speaker wearing a green tie??? What happened to red, white, or blue? Maybe it was a secret message to the rich NWO. Boehner's speech was just all meaningless words strung together. Just BS. We need that paycheck Mr. Speaker.

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Guest American4Progress

The GOP’s New-Old Plan to Default, Destroy Entitlements

 

After refusing last Friday to even return the president’s phone calls and then eventually walking out on negotiations to avoid default — now just one week away — Speaker Boehner has rolled out yet another Tea Party-oriented debt plan. This new plan is no better than any of the previous GOP plans and is likely to just be another waste of precious time as we hurtle toward default. In fact, due to strong opposition from Democrats, the Tea Party, and conservative groups, the plan appears to be on life support.

 

A vote is currently scheduled for tomorrow.

 

Here’s what you need to know about the GOP’s latest disastrous default plan:

 

Automatically Precipitates Another Default Crisis: The Boehner plan only raises the debt ceiling enough to get us through the next few months. If a newly-created “Super Committee” of 12 members of the House and Senate cannot agree on $1.8 TRILLION in new cuts by year’s end and those cuts are not enacted by both the House and Senate, then the debt ceiling is not raised any further. In other words, we will be right back to where we are today in just a few short months.

 

Means No New Revenues — Period: The first step of the Boehner plan includes no new revenues and Boehner promised that if the Super Committee proposes any new revenues in round two of the plan, the House will vote them down.

 

Will Result in Deep Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: Since the first slice of the Boehner plan’s cuts — $1.2 TRILLION worth — come entirely from discretionary spending, the additional $1.8 TRILLION to be identified in the second stage would almost by definition have to come from entitlements programs (more on this from ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky here). The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Robert Greenstein said, “If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.”

 

Would Still Mean a Downgrade of the United States’ AAA Credit Rating: A Standard & Poor’s source told CNN’s Erin Burnett that Boehner’s plan doesn’t cut enough to guarantee that they won’t downgrade the U.S. credit rating anyway. The source also noted that the Democratic plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would avoid such a downgrade.

 

Opposed by President Obama and Democrats: This afternoon, the White House issued an official veto threat. Senator Reid also called a press conference this afternoon and called the Boehner plan “dead on arrival” in the Senate and repeated three times that “Democrats will not vote for it.” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said “very few” Democrats in the House would vote for it.

Opposed by Conservative Groups: The Cut, Cap, and Balance Coalition, a collection of more than 60 Tea Party and other right-wing groups, came out in loud opposition to the plan yesterday. They have been followed today by other influential groups, including Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth.

 

Opposed by Tea Party Extremists in the House: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of 178 extremely conservative House Republicans, announced that he will opposed the plan, adding that “[he is] confident as of this morning that there were not 218 Republicans in support of this plan.” (218 is the number of votes typically needed to pass a bill in the House.) Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann also announced her strong opposition to the plan, calling it “wrong” at a campaign stop today in Iowa.

 

ThinkProgress Whip Count Against the Boehner Plan: Boehner can lose just 23 GOP votes if all Democrats stand united against the plan (which is unlikely, though the number of defections is expected to be very small). Here is the ThinkProgress whip count of Republicans and potentially wavering Democrats who have confirmed that they will vote against the plan:

 

Jim Jordan (R-OH) [The Hill]

Michele Bachmann (R-MN) [ThinkProgress]

Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) [The Hill]

Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) [The Hill]

Jeff Landry (R-LA) [National Review]

Phil Gingrey (R-GA) [Twitter]

Trey Gowdy (R-SC) [NYT]

Tom Graves (R-GA) [Twitter]

Louis Gohmert (R-TX) [National Review]

Dennis Ross (R-FL) [National Review]

Joe Walsh (R-IL) [MSNBC]

Steve Southerland (R-FL) [RCP]

Ron Paul (R-TX) [Call to office]

Paul Broun (R-GA) [Call to office]

Heath Shuler (D-NC) [The Hill]

 

In one sentence: Instead of wasting more time on extreme plans that can’t pass, it’s time for Speaker Boehner and Republicans to agree to a compromise plan that avoids both default and devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other vital government programs and services.

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Guest HUMAN

Anyone getting this strange feeling that Obama is Leading from behind? Just like the democrats didn't pass the 2011 budget. Just like ObamaCare where he didn't do anything, and left it up to his own party.

 

Just like Obama does not have his own budget plan.

 

Just like the Democrats plan of 2.4 trillion in borrowing and spending cuts of 2.7 trillion with a grand total of 300 million dollars of "LOL" savings.

 

Anyone getting this strange feeling that Obama is just not up to the job?

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Everybody’s nervous about the resolution of the “crisis” in Washington, but when the Asian stock markets opened Monday there was no mass suicide on the trading floors, no frantic search for a building high enough to jump from. In fact, the traders and investors in both Europe and Asia appear to have been paying attention to the advice of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican majority whip. He told his caucus to “keep calm and carry on.” This was the philosophy of the late George Wallace, who, on losing an improbable race for the White House four decades ago, was asked what he intended to do next. “I guess I’ll just keep on keeping on.” It’s what all prudent men do when hysteria beckons.

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Guest Phil

I see no real leadership anywhere. Obama placates to moderate Republicans. Boehner placates to conservative Tea Partiers. Reid is so soft spoken that I wonder if he has a voice at all. The three waste so much taxpayer money doing nothing, but scaring the crap out of everyone.

 

We need to start agreeing with each other and getting something for the sake of everyone's sanity.

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Guest LAW

Anyone getting this strange feeling that Obama is Leading from behind? Just like the democrats didn't pass the 2011 budget. Just like ObamaCare where he didn't do anything, and left it up to his own party.

 

Just like Obama does not have his own budget plan.

 

Just like the Democrats plan of 2.4 trillion in borrowing and spending cuts of 2.7 trillion with a grand total of 300 million dollars of "LOL" savings.

 

Anyone getting this strange feeling that Obama is just not up to the job?

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

House Speaker John Boehner was forced last night to postpone a floor vote on his plan, because he forgot to do the math and did not meet his own mark by a $150 billion. :lol: This is a good example of why Republican leaders should not cut funding for education. ;)

 

CBO Letter to the Honorable John Boehner

 

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as posted on the Web site of the Committee on Rules on July 25, 2011. The legislation would:

 

Establish caps on discretionary spending through 2021,

Allow for certain amounts of additional spending for "program integrity" initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of improper benefit payments,

Make changes to the Pell Grant and student loan programs,

Establish procedures for Congressional consideration of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution,

Establish procedures to increase the debt limit by up to $2.5 trillion,

Reinstate and modify certain budget process rules, and

Create a joint Congressional committee to propose further deficit reduction.

 

In total, if appropriations in the next 10 years are equal to the caps on discretionary spending and the maximum amount of funding is provided for the program integrity initiatives, CBO estimates that the legislation would reduce budget deficits by about $850 billion between 2012 and 2021 relative to CBO's March 2011 baseline adjusted for subsequent appropriation action. As requested, CBO has also calculated the net budgetary impact if discretionary savings are measured relative to its January baseline projections. Relative to that baseline, CBO estimates that the legislation would reduce budget deficits by about $1.1 trillion between 2012 and 2021.

 

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/123xx/doc12336/HouseBudgetControlAct.pdf

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Guest greenzen

The Senate seems to understand the importance of compromise. Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky sounded a conciliatory note in an appearance Tuesday.

 

"We need to get an outcome. And to get an outcome, a Republican House, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic president would have to reach an agreement," McConnell said. "So I'm prepared to accept something less than perfect, because perfect is not achievable."

 

But the House is looking more like it will not budge. Democrats are worried that they are right. "Of course that's still a worry," said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove. "I also think the president had best begin to prepare to use Amendment 14 of the U.S. Constitution, because I think Republicans are going to lock down on this and say no to any compromise."

 

Section 4 of the Civil War-era amendment says that the "validity of the public debt...shall not be questioned."

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Guest MidwestTom

A Pew Research survey was conducted July 20-24, 2011 by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

 

Roughly two-thirds of Americans (65%) believe that their own personal finances would be affected if a deal is not struck by Aug. 2. There is little difference across party lines in this view.

 

68% of Americans say that lawmakers who share their views on this issue should compromise, even it means striking a deal they disagree with. Just 23% say lawmakers who share their views should stand by their principles, even if that leads to default.

 

Clear majorities of Democrats (67%) and independents (63%) say the best way to reducing the deficit includes both major program cuts and tax increases. By contrast, Republicans are more divided: 46% favor an approach that includes both tax increases and program cuts, while 39% say the best approach mostly focuses on program cuts.

 

Just a quarter (25%) of the public approves of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing, while far more (66%) disapprove.

 

Job ratings for Democratic leaders in Congress are not much better than those of GOP leaders. Just 30% of the public approves of their job performance while twice as many (60%) disapprove.

 

As views of national conditions worsen, Barack Obama’s job ratings remain mixed: 48% disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 44% approve. This is little changed from June (46% approve, 45% disapprove).

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Guest Riverjump

Tea partiers and repugnants keep spouting out about not raising taxes but fail to add that the taxes won't be raised on everyone. Just cutting off breaks and subsidies for huge corporations and those fortunate to "make" a ton of money off the rest of us. Heres a novel idea: Tie any breaks or subsidies in the creation of long term American only jobs. That's what the repugs were spouting when they convinced the voters to elect them. WELL??? Crap or get off the pot.

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Guest HUMAN

None of you Democrats are going to be happy until you get your grand total of 300 million in savings. LOL

 

It's funny and sad at the same time, and it's not even funny.

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tea partiers and repugnants keep spouting out about not raising taxes but fail to add that the taxes won't be raised on everyone. Just cutting off breaks and subsidies for huge corporations and those fortunate to "make" a ton of money off the rest of us. Heres a novel idea: Tie any breaks or subsidies in the creation of long term American only jobs. That's what the repugs were spouting when they convinced the voters to elect them. WELL??? Crap or get off the pot.

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Guest Janice McEwen

On July 15, 2011 Treasury Department today released U.S. reserve assets data for the latest week. As indicated in this table, U.S. reserve assets totaled $143,292 million. Does this mean $143 Billion? That is not much. Somebody please clarify.

 

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/IR-Position/Pages/07152011.aspx

 

Also, it appears that gold is not counted. Can someone help. We are talking about this and I just cannot figure it out.

 

(4) gold (including gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped) 3

 

 

11,041

 

--volume in millions of fine troy ounces

 

 

261.499

 

I used a currency converter

 

http://coinmill.com/XAU_calculator.html

 

420,821,659,443.74

 

Why don't we sell our gold. That is a half trillion dollars just sitting there. I am not an economics major, but I know that I need some working capital, so we keep the 120 billion and sell the rest.

 

Just a thought.

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Guest LAW

The Republican plan will raise taxes on all Americans (including the wealthy) by devaluing the dollar and increasing debt interest rates.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced late Wednesday that the entire Senate Democratic caucus has signed a letter to House Speaker John Boehner stating they will vote against his short-term plan to raise the debt ceiling should it pass the House.

 

According to published reports, the Speaker, in an effort to quell a rebellion among conservatives in his caucus, pressed his case for House passage by predicting that the Senate would “fold like a cheap suit” and accept his plan. The letter, signed by all 51 Senate Democrats and two independents, shows otherwise.

 

“We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill,” the Senators wrote “We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why.”

 

The senators continued: “In addition to risking a downgrade and catastrophic default, we are concerned that in five or six months, the House will once again hold the economy captive and refuse to avoid another default unless we accept unbalanced, deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security, without asking anything of the wealthiest Americans.

 

In the last two days, the Speaker’s plan to raise the debt ceiling has faced mounting difficulty. Since Tuesday, the Speaker faced opposition from House conservatives who rejected the proposal in favor of the “Cup, Cap and Balance” plan. Also, CNN has reported that S&P would likely downgrade America’s credit rating if the Boehner plan was signed into law.

 

Today, while hastily rewriting portions of the legislation, Speaker Boehner went before his caucus seeking to secure enough votes to pass the measure. His claim that the Senate would simply pass whatever the House sent them was part of this final pitch. The Democratic caucus’ letter tonight officially disproves that claim.

 

July 27, 2011

 

Speaker John Boehner

U.S. Capitol, H-232

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Speaker Boehner:

 

With five days until our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, we need to work together to ensure that our nation does not default on our obligations for the first time in our history. We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill. We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why.

 

A short-term extension like the one in your bill would put America at risk, along with every family and business in it. Your approach would force us once again to face the threat of default in five or six short months. Every day, another expert warns us that your short-term approach could be nearly as disastrous as a default and would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating. If our credit is downgraded, it would cost us billions of dollars more in interest payments on our existing debt and drive up our deficit. Even more worrisome, a downgrade would spike interest rates, making everything from mortgages, car loans and credit cards more expensive for families and businesses nationwide.

 

In addition to risking a downgrade and catastrophic default, we are concerned that in five or six months, the House will once again hold the economy captive and refuse to avoid another default unless we accept unbalanced, deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security, without asking anything of the wealthiest Americans.

 

We now have only five days left to act. The entire world is watching Congress. We need to do the right thing to solve this problem. We must work together to avoid a default the responsible way – not in a way that will do America more harm than good.

 

Sincerely,

 

Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)

Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)

John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)

Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)

Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)

Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)

Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Tim Johnson (D-S.D.)

Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

Tom Carper (D-Del.)

Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)

Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)

Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.)

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

Jim Webb (D-Va.)

Bob Casey (D-Pa.)

Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

Jon Tester (D-Mont.)

Mark Udall (D-Colo.)

Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

Mark Warner (D-Va.)

Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

Al Franken (D-Minn.)

Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)

Chris Coons (D-Del.)

Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

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Guest American4Progress

While the government’s coffers are nearly empty (not unlike the wallets of millions of Americans), Big Oil is still flush with cash — including some of the $4 BILLION in taxpayer-funded handouts they’ll get from Uncle Sam this year. This week, the government-subsidized oil giants once again reported tens of billions of dollars in profits.

 

As the nation teeters on the brink of default, the GOP wants us to “kiss Medicare goodbye” (along with Medicaid and Social Security), but they still refuse to touch a dime of the $77 BILLION in taxpayer handouts that we’ll give to the most profitable industry the world has ever known over the next 10 years.

 

Here are the numbers you need to know:

 

$3.4 BILLION

 

ConocoPhillips’ second quarter profit.

 

$5.6 BILLION

 

BP‘s second quarter profit, which investors called “disappointing.”

 

$8 BILLION

 

Shell’s second quarter profit.

 

$10.7 BILLION

 

ExxonMobil’s second quarter profit.

 

17.6 Percent

 

ExxonMobil’s effective federal tax rate.

 

20.4 Percent

 

The average American’s individual effective tax rate.

 

41 Percent

 

The increase in ExxonMobil’s second quarter profits.

 

$77 BILLION

 

The cost of taxpayer-funded subsidies for Big Oil from 2011-2021.

 

In one sentence: Even as ExxonMobil made more than $118 MILLION a day in profits last quarter, it is still paying a lower tax rate than the average American.

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Guest LAW

The debt ceiling theatrics are almost over. Last night was an embarassment for the Speaker and his party of Maybe (establishment) and No (Tea Party Caucus). They all know the Boehner bill is dead on arrival. Americans and markets around the globe are getting more agitated that the Republican House is holding the world economy hostage. Republicans should have taken the Obama - Boehner Grand Plan when they had the chance. Both sides would have been able to go back to their voters victorious in getting the other side to compromise.

 

Even though the Speaker has walked out twice on the President through this long process, the President is still willing to negotiate with him. Republican leadership needs to realize that debt ceiling political theatrics will not extend during the holiday spending season. It will tank our economy. The time has come to make a deal. I wish both sides the best today.

 

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, 7/28/2011

 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

 

11:03 A.M. EDT

 

MR. CARNEY: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for being here for this early briefing today.

 

I will be here, obviously, to take your questions on all issues. I have with me today at the top of the briefing the Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, because while we've been paying attention, for obvious reasons, on one congressional stalemate, there is another one that also affects the economy and jobs, and that's why Secretary LaHood is here to speak with you. He'll take some questions afterwards, and then like I said, I will follow him.

 

And with that, I turn the podium over.

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Good morning. Since Congress failed to pass an FAA bill, nearly 4,000 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. And let me just say parenthetically, one of the highest unemployment segments in the country is in the construction area, in the building trades. And for all of my friends on Capitol Hill who give speeches every day about jobs, the importance of jobs, putting people to work, this is not the time to be laying off 70,000 construction workers. These are friends and neighbors to people who live in communities. These are people who work hard -- and we're right smack dab in the middle of the construction season. This is not the time to be laying off 70,000 people.

 

I have been meeting with and talking to members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, asking them to pass another clean extension of the FAA bill, which they have done on 20 occasions. So they need to come back to the negotiating table; Congress needs to pass a clean bill so our 4,000 FAA employees -- who are without a paycheck since last Saturday -- can come back to work, these construction projects can start again, our friends and neighbors can go back to work.

 

I think -- if some of you have been paying attention, you know that I've said we have the safest and the best aviation system in the world. This is not the way to run it, to have 4,000 of our people that run the system not at their desks, not doing their work, and to have these construction projects suspended.

 

Transportation has always been bipartisan. I served on the House Transportation Committee for three terms. It was always bipartisan. It's always been bipartisan. And I ask Congress in a bipartisan way to come back, pass a clean bill, finish the negotiations, and then get to a bigger FAA bill.

 

MR. CARNEY: With that, we'll take questions.

 

Erica, start with you.

 

Q Mr. Secretary, do you have any advice to your former House GOP colleagues on dealing with the debt ceiling?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Well, as some of you know, I've been in public service and politics 35 years -- 17 years as a staffer, 14 years as a member, and now two and a half years in this job.

 

During the time that I was a staffer, I was chief of staff for Bob Michel, who served during the time that Ronald Reagan was President and Tip O'Neill was the Speaker of the House. During the time that Tom Foley was Speaker, Bob Michel was also the Republican leader. And during the time that President Clinton was President, Bob Michel was Republican leader. That whole period of time was a very rich history and legacy of compromise.

 

That's how Congress has always solved problems -- through compromise, through people working things out, through people putting aside their own agendas and their own egos, deciding what's important for the American people.

 

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. That's what we need today. We need for people to come together, set aside their own egos, 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, Washington can still get big things done.

 

This is about continuing to have a strong economy and continuing to compromise -- and take maybe a couple chapters out of Tip O'Neill, Bob Michel, Ronald Reagan, President Clinton, people that have served in this town with distinction and gotten big things done through compromise.

 

MR. CARNEY: Jake.

 

Q Some House Republicans say that they've already compromised, and that's what the Boehner bill is; it is a compromise.

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Well, I'm going to let Jay --

 

Q Come on. (Laughter.)

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: I'm going to let Jay do his job here. I'm not here to take his job. I'm here to try and put forth a message that in one of the highest unemployment sectors in the country, where we have friends and neighbors all over the country that are out of work during the construction season -- they ought to go back to work. They shouldn't be held hostage. These projects shouldn't be held hostage. And we have 4,000 FAA employees -- hardworking people who come to work every day and do their jobs.

 

Q Can you explain what the bottleneck is on the FAA bill, from your perspective?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Yes, certainly I can. It's the idea that there's a couple of provisions that could probably be worked out if they would pass a clean extension again, as they've done on 20 other occasions, as Congresses always have done, that could probably be worked out I think within the next 30 days.

 

In my discussions with people in leadership in both the Senate and House, they believe the labor issue and the Essential Air Service issue, those are probably the two big issues -- there are a few little ones -- probably could be worked out over the next 30 days. And that's really what I've been saying to members of Congress: Don't hold hostage common, ordinary citizens who want to work, who want to do construction jobs, who make their living doing that, and are FAA employees. It's just -- it's not the way -- it's not really the way to run the best aviation system in the world.

 

Bill.

 

Q Mr. Secretary, without the FAA there, there's nobody to collect the federal tax on airline tickets. So what's happening to that money? Is it going back to customers and consumers?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Well, I have talked to the largest aviation association here in Washington that represents all the airlines, and I have told them that I am not happy about the fact they continue to add to citizens' ticket price -- now, these are people who are planning vacations, who are planning to fly, people who live on a budget. They're collecting this money and it's going to their bottom line, and I think that is not right. And I simply think it's not fair for them to do that, and I've made that known to them.

 

I think the airlines should not be collecting this amount of money under the umbrella that it's a tax. It's not. They shouldn't be collecting it, and they shouldn't be adding it on to passengers' price of a ticket.

 

Q It's not their money. I mean, it's theft, isn't it? If they're taking money that's due the federal government and putting in their pocket?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Well, look, Treasury is working on this and we're working with Treasury on it. And the important point is here, passengers shouldn't have to be paying this particular amount of money. They shouldn't.

 

Q Mr. Secretary, thank you. You are smart. You're doing a good job.

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Oh, thank you.

 

Q Yes, on the aviation subject, sir. To what extent do you think it has been caught up in the tone and the rough and tumble of the overall debt ceiling hassle?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: You know, that's a good question. I don't happen to believe it has, because when I've talked to members of Congress, particularly those that are in leadership, this really is I think some people's way of saying that these two issues that I mentioned, the EAS, the Essential Air Service, and the union provision, they want to get to those. They want to get them solved.

I think it can be done with a clean bill, another extension. I think it could be done very quickly with the discussions I've had with people in leadership in the House and Senate. And I hope that -- I really hope that will happen.

 

Q Given the current situation, is there any hope that your issue is going to be handled before they deal with the debt ceiling issue?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Debt and deficit are center stage.

 

Q Mr. Secretary, one more on the aviation windfall. Which airlines have you talked to? And second, does -- do you or does the government have the power to order a refund?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Under deregulation we can't set ticket prices, okay? So we can't do that. We're talking with our friends and colleagues in Treasury about the way forward and how we figure out what happens with this money.

 

Q So there's not a chance of a refund?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: I don't know the answer to that. We're trying to figure that out.

 

Q Okay. Which airlines did you talk to?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Well, I've talked to a number of airlines, but more importantly, I've talked to the air transportation -- or the Aviation Transportation Association, which represents most of the airlines. But I've talked to some of the airlines personally about this.

 

Q And they have names?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: You know what their names are. (Laughter.)

 

Q If I could ask, as a former congressman, a Republican congressman, and before that in the Reagan era the chief of staff to the House Republican leader, could you comment on this debt limit impasse and whether you think your colleagues -- or successors in the House Republican caucus should have accepted the deal that was on the table with the President and Mr. Boehner?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Look, I'm not going to get into that aspect of it. I've probably said pretty much what I want to say about this. I'm going to leave the details to Jay and others that work in government affairs to do that. I'm going to --

 

Q Mr. Secretary?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Yes.

 

Q At what point does the FAA impasse become a public safety issue, or could it possibly?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: There is no public safety issue here. Flying is safe. Air-traffic controllers all over America went to work today. They're guiding planes in and out of airports. Thousands of people will board planes all day today, fly all over America and all over the world. Safety is not compromised.

 

And, frankly, the flying public's travel plans will not be compromised. The people that have been furloughed, the 4,000 people, are people who are working on next-generation technology research and things like that. So safety is not compromised.

 

Yes, ma'am.

 

Q Do you have an estimate on the revenue loss from this?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: In terms of the tax? Yes, it's about -- it's about $200 billion a month.

Q Two hundred billion dollars a month?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Two hundred million dollars a month. All right. I'm going to restart. (Laughter.) Two hundred million dollars a week -- is that right? All right, blame Jill if I'm wrong. (Laughter.)

 

Let me go back to this gentleman.

 

Q Will that money have to be made up? Is that going to put a crimp in financing for future aviation projects? I mean, that's a fair amount of money you'll be losing.

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: It's -- you know what it is? It's real money to the treasury. For all the talk around here and debt and deficit, that money is being lost to the treasury. And we're trying to figure out if it can be made up or not. So for people who really care about debt and deficit, pass a clean bill, let's get back on track, let's get our workers back to work, let's get construction projects going again, and let's start collecting the tax that goes into the federal treasury.

 

That it, Jay? Look, I know you want me to stay up here a lot longer than -- (laughter.)

 

MR. CARNEY: I am so happy you're here.

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Yes, I know. (Laughter.) There's two reasons for me to be here -- so he can relax a little bit -- okay, you get the last question.

 

Q Thank you. I know you said you're talking to Treasury. Is there any way to get -- retroactively get the money back?

 

SECRETARY LaHOOD: Well, that's what we're talking to Treasury about. We're trying to figure this out.

 

This is complicated and we want to -- first of all, we want to do right by passengers. That's number one. That's why I've been talking to the airlines and to the ATA. And secondly, we want to make sure, legally, where this takes us, because a lot of money is being lost to the treasury.

 

Thank you all very much.

 

Q Thank you.

 

MR. CARNEY: Okay. Just want to be clear for Jackie that the Secretary did address your question, so you can look for that answer.

 

And with that, we'll get back to other topics, I assume.

 

Erica.

 

Q Plouffe said today that "There's an easy compromise here." Can you describe what that looks like?

 

MR. CARNEY: The senator -- the bill that Senator Reid has put forward cuts spending significantly -- cuts spending significantly more than the measure that's currently in the House. It also sets up a process, as the measure in the House does, to create a committee in Congress that would address the issues that would be lost in this if we can't get a grand bargain at this moment, which are the tough issues of tax reform and entitlement reform, and it would create a mechanism by which that committee would produce a product that would have fast-track status and an up or down vote.

And it would be -- it is in the interest of all parties, and certainly this President, that Congress does take action. In fact, the committee, if it's set up through this mechanism, could use, and should use, that as a starting point -- a product that will get them very far down the road if they're looking to find a balanced approach towards further deficit reduction through looking at entitlement spending and spending in the tax code. And that's the plan and the compromise that was close to fruition, that was being worked on for so long by the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and the President of the United States -- the Obama-Boehner plan, if you will.

 

That is a product that provides a lot of guideposts to how you get to a bipartisan compromise on those tough issues.

 

So, really, if we can't get that grand bargain -- let me start. We still believe that's possible, that deal is on the table. If there is the political will to make it happen, it could happen before August 2nd. If that isn't possible before August 2nd, there are certainly -- what a compromise looks like is pretty clear: significant deficit reduction, a mechanism by which Congress would take on the tough issues of tax reform and entitlement reform, and a lifting of the debt ceiling beyond -- into 2013, so that we do not have the cloud of uncertainty that is hanging over our economy right now and getting darker and stormier as every day passes for another three months, four months, five months, six months, 10 months.

 

We have to -- our primary objective here has to be to protect the economy and protect the American people from economic harm. So if everyone has that objective in mind as we move forward, compromise is pretty easy.

 

Q And could you clarify, yesterday you said that Treasury would detail prior to August 2nd who would get paid, who not, in event of a default.

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, let me -- I appreciate the question and I want to clarify what I said. I did -- I think Mark was sitting over there in the radio seat and he asked a lot of questions, and I said, "well said," and I implied things -- levels of specifics that I did not mean to. What I can tell you is that as we get closer to that date the Treasury Department will explain how it will manage a situation that is essentially an impossible situation. I refer you to Treasury for how that will look, but I think they will explain that when that time comes. I don't have any more specifics than that.

 

Caren.

 

Q Just to follow up on that, are you saying that you will prioritize the debt if you have to?

 

MR. CARNEY: Look, I am saying that -- two things: First, 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. We believe that's going to happen.

 

It is a matter of due diligence and responsible governance that Treasury will -- if we approach that date, as we get closer to that date -- explain how it would manage a situation that would be created by the failure of Congress to act, and would create a situation where for the first time in our history we have lost our borrowing authority and risk default. I leave it to them to -- and to them, and at that time to give further details on that process.

 

Q You just said you think there will ultimately be a deal. You've been saying that all week. Do you think that -- are you equally as confident that a downgrade of the credit rating can be avoided?

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, here's what I know, is that we control -- we in Washington -- and in particular in this case Congress -- controls our fate as regards whether or not we will lift the debt ceiling and allow the United States to continue to pay its bills and meet its obligations.

 

The rating agencies are obviously independent and it is up to them. What we can do is take actions that make clear that the United States is still the gold standard when it comes to investments; that it is the safest of safe harbors, as it has been for 100 years or more, and -- because Washington functions and can compromise and can do the right thing by the economy. We do that and we think that will help enormously in terms of how international investors look at the United States and our treasuries as a potential place to put their money.

 

Q What about staying in contact with the rating agencies? Is that something that you're doing on a daily basis at this point?

 

MR. CARNEY: I don't really have any information on that. I would refer you to Treasury Department for that. I think Treasury is the right place to answer that question. I don't know of any contact that we have here.

 

Jake.

 

Q Republicans in the House say that they're voting for a compromise; Speaker Boehner's bill is a compromise.

 

MR. CARNEY: Then what is the compromise that is inside of it?

 

Q Well, I don't speak for them --

 

MR. CARNEY: Right.

 

Q -- but I can tell you that they say that it doesn't cut as much as they want, it raises the debt ceiling. It does a number of things that they're not in favor of. They would like deeper cuts. And some members of Congress obviously don't want to raise the debt ceiling at all.

 

So if that is their attitude, why are you confident that Speaker Boehner can compromise any more? The President has spoken extensively about the difficulty Boehner has with his caucus.

 

MR. CARNEY: We're confident because, Jake, we believe that the American people have made clear that they want a compromise. They are so frustrated by what they see as dysfunction here, as unnecessary fighting over issues that could be and should be easily resolved. They want to see Washington work on the problems that affect them directly. They don't want to see Washington, because of partisan and political posturing, do things that actually hurt them economically.

 

And there is no question that if Congress does not compromise and does not act, that allowing the United States to default for the first time in its history would have severe economic consequences and would -- everyone, every family that owns a home and has a mortgage would be affected. Every American who has a car and a car payment would be affected; a student loan, a credit card. And that's just the beginning of the terrible consequences for individuals.

Q All of those facts have been true for months.

 

MR. CARNEY: That is -- well, and Congress has a way of waiting until the last minute to do the right thing. We remain confident that it will.

 

Now, look, I mean, they've said a lot of other things. If they think this is compromise, they've said, as we've heard today, "Let's stick it to him," or let's -- the Speaker of the House said yesterday that his alleged bipartisan compromise bill is hated by the President, hated by the Minority Leader in the House and hated by the Majority Leader in the Senate. I think that demonstrates their view on whether or not this is a compromise. The truth of the matter is that it's not. And they've been quite clear about it.

 

Look, politics is part of this town. We understand that. We participate in it. And some of these things happen because they have to happen, part of the political process. But we are now at a moment where those Americans who were elected to represent people in their home districts and states need to decide about what is the greater good here. Is it holding out to get exactly what you want -- holding out for a bill, by the way, that creates a mechanism that would force the adoption of draconian cuts more severe than are in the Ryan budget that was rejected already by Congress and overwhelmingly opposed by the American people, or is it a compromise where nobody gets everything they want, but the cloud of uncertainty on our economy is lifted and we make some significant cuts in our deficit and set up a mechanism to do even more. I think that is the compromise that people are looking for, and I believe, we believe, the President believes, that in the end, that's the compromise we will get.

Q Isn't the Boehner bill better than nothing?

 

MR. CARNEY: We don't believe that nothing is -- that's a false choice. Nothing is not what will be the alternative here. Compromise will be the alternative. Everyone in this town -- rather, everyone who was elected in this town is on the hook for the economy. Everyone will have to answer to his or her constituents about what they did. Where were they when decisions were made about whether or not to allow the United States to default, whether or not to allow everybody's interest rates to go up, whether or not to allow a situation that would severely impact the ability of the economy to create jobs?

 

And I think, in the end, enough members of Congress of both parties will say, we have to do the right thing here even if it's not the ideal thing, and they will get it done.

 

Q Is there any negotiation going on specifically between Vice President Biden and the Senate Republican leader about what happens when and if the Senate rejects the Boehner bill? What happens then?

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, the Senate will reject the Boehner bill, but the -- as has been made clear by not just Democrats but a number of Republicans who reject the Boehner bill in the Senate.

 

Q Because it's too liberal.

 

MR. CARNEY: They reject it, okay? So there's no question that this bill is a political act that has no life beyond its current existence in the House.

 

We are having conversations at every level. I'm not going to detail the individuals who are talking to members, but you can be sure that members of the President's team are continuing the conversations that we have been having for weeks -- and months, even. And that goes on every day.

 

Q But there is a plan?

 

MR. CARNEY: Look, there are a variety of ways to achieve a compromise here. And we are obviously, as are members and leaders of Congress, engaged in discussions about what those plans look like and what the best way forward will be as the clock clicks down here -- ticks down. Sorry.

 

Yes, Dan.

 

Q Thank you. Plouffe this morning, and also Dan Pfeiffer tweeting, were talking about the Boehner bill and how it would mean dealing with the debt ceiling over the Christmas holiday season, which is an important time for the economy. Is this new narrative then suggesting that the administration would embrace some sort of two-stage plan if it's past the holiday season?

 

MR. CARNEY: No. We have always said that we need to extend this into 2013. Now, there are mechanisms -- Mitch McConnell, speaking of the Republican Senate leader, had a proposal that would have created cycles of lifting the debt ceiling but it would have made clear -- the whole idea of his proposal was to ensure that the debt ceiling -- there would be no doubt that the debt ceiling would continue to be raised in order for the United States to pay its bills into 2013.

 

So there are different ways to do this. Our objection is to -- any proposal that puts us through this three-ring circus again in any short period of time -- because it's already had significant negative impact on the economy -- it will only have even more and more severe negative impact on the economy. The reason why we talk about the holiday season is because, as constructed now, the measure that the Speaker of the House has put forward would almost certainly require this -- all of us to go through this again before the end of the year, in the most important economic season in the country and at a time when people don't want to worry about whether or not their interest rates are going to go up, their mortgage payments and their car payments and their student loan bills and their credit card payments, especially as they're buying gifts for the holidays.

 

If we care about the economy, how could that possibly be the answer? It's not. So we are opposed to that, for economic reasons -- not political reasons, for economic reasons.

 

Because one thing that's clear, Dan, is -- on the suggestion that this is about politics -- I don't think anybody in this room who's looked at a poll could argue with the idea that we're winning this argument on the merits as a political matter. But you know what, the President is not here to win political arguments. He's here to make sure that the economy is protected and the American people are protected. This is too serious a matter. We've got to get this done and do it in a way that does not further harm the economy.

 

Q So you're admitting that you're losing the argument?

 

MR. CARNEY: No, I just -- didn't I just say we were winning it? That was the verb I used, yes.

 

Q Did you say -- okay, sorry. (Laughter.) Okay. When you talk about these conversations --

 

MR. CARNEY: I'm tired, but not that tired. (Laughter.)

 

Q When you talk about these conversations that are ongoing, are we talking about negotiations here, or just talks, just back-and-forth phone calls? Anything serious being negotiated behind the scenes?

 

MR. CARNEY: I think every conversation we have about this issue with every member of Congress and every key staffer in Congress is serious. And it's about -- and when it's about this issue it is obviously part of negotiations. But I don't have any more to tell you about specific ideas being traded or plans or proposals, just that you can be sure that we continue to have conversations. Even as the House goes through this exercise that will not bring us any closer to compromise, because time is so tight we are obviously continuing to have conversations with folks on the Hill.

 

Norah.

 

Q Jay, will we hear from the President after the vote is taken in the House?

 

MR. CARNEY: I don't have any scheduling announcements to make about the President. And as you know, in this process we have -- the President has come before you many times both to take your questions and to make statements, and on the occasion Monday night to speak to the nation directly during primetime. So anything is possible, but I don't have any announcements to make.

 

Q Does the President still want to be part of the debate, or has he pretty much said now it's Congress's --

 

MR. CARNEY: No, I think that -- first of all, he has been very visible in this, calling meetings, coming out and talking to you. The fact that he's not standing here in front of you I can assure you does not mean he's not intensely engaged in this debate, because of his responsibilities, because of what he thinks is most important, which is that we ensure that we don't do anything that hurts the economy, that affects growth and job creation. So he is absolutely engaged.

 

Q What does the President and officials here believe that they've achieved in this debt ceiling negotiations? The current bill that's being considered in the House and may become the vehicle in the Senate does not include tax revenues, it does not include the size of cuts that he'd like, does not include the types of agreements on long-term entitlement changes. So what does the administration feel it's achieved?

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, we certainly haven't gotten an end result. The President's primary goal here is that, at the very least -- and he said this several weeks ago -- we make sure that we lift the cloud that's hanging over our economy and ensure that the United States does not default.

There was a real and serious opportunity to do something far more significant. And as most of you here know, there was an immense amount of detail attached to the proposals that the President and the Speaker were passing back and forth.

 

There really is an opportunity here -- if there is political will, there is a real opportunity here to do something significant -- politically hard, but significant -- and politically hard for Democrats and Republicans. And I know that's what the American people want and expect.

 

So that -- however this short-term process ends, if you will, before August 2nd, whatever compromise we reach to lift that cloud, to make sure that we're locking in some significant deficit reduction, this conversation will continue, because what those -- in spite of the fact that the Speaker walked away from the negotiations twice, they did outline together real areas of potential compromise for doing something significant, for tackling our deficits and debt in a way that would strengthen our economy, put our fiscal house in order, strengthen our entitlement programs, simplify our tax code -- a lot of really hard, good things. And the President will keep fighting to do that.

 

Q You've used the metaphor before about trains heading into the station. It seems like the only train heading into the station right now is the Boehner bill.

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, that's absolutely false, because there is a -- the Senate Majority Leader has a bill that significantly cuts deficits more, reduces spending more -- you're right, it doesn't include tax increases or any revenues in it up front. And if you were a Republican, you might say, well, gosh, that looks like a compromise to me in my direction. The size of the cuts, you might say, well, gosh, that's a compromise. The Democrats have moved towards us on this.

And the fact that it allows for this dollar-for-dollar requirement that is completely confected, but has created a hostage situation in terms of our economy, it even does that. You might, if you were reasonable, say -- as a Republican say, you know what, I didn't get everything I wanted out of this but I got a lot, and it's the right thing to do for the economy.

 

Look, what I know about the Speaker's proposal in the House right now is that there are already, I believe, 55, 56, 57, 58 senators -- Democrats and Republicans -- who oppose it. It ain't going anywhere in the United States Senate. So we need to start doing things that actually can pass both houses and be signed into law.

 

Q So on that, is one of the trains heading into the station -- I just was surprised to hear you talk about the grand bargain again -- that that's now back on the table?

 

MR. CARNEY: It's never been off the table. Well, no, it's a fair question. It's never been off the table.

 

Q The President hasn't spoken to the Speaker in several days.

 

MR. CARNEY: How do you know?

 

Q Has he?

 

MR. CARNEY: I'm not going to detail conversations or name individuals. 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 keys things, which is lock in significant cuts and lift the cloud over our economy and ensure that we're not playing in this three-ring circus for the next six months.

 

Q This will just be a stab and then I'll let others have a chance. But are you just raising that just sort of as a Hail Mary pass, or -- that there's -- could you give us any indication that that's really any -- alive at all?

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, look, 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.

In the short term, there are other options to do what we need to do at the bare minimum and then we can return in a serious way to tax reform and entitlement reform.

 

Mr. Henry.

 

Q Thank you, Jay. I want to follow on Jake, because when he asked you whether the Boehner bill is better than nothing you seemed to indicate it's not better than nothing. So I want to know what is the President willing to put on the table in these final hours if we're really in such a desperate situation --

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, I want to be --

 

Q -- will he give on spending cuts? Will he give on having a debt ceiling vote early next year? What is he willing to put on the table now?

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, I appreciate the question. Absent a willingness to do something big and historic on the part of the Speaker and other Republicans, our bill is -- we have indicated pretty strongly our support for Senator Reid's bill. And what is he willing to do? He's willing to take the cuts put forward in Senator -- Speaker Boehner's bill and increase them dramatically, which is what is in the Speaker's -- in the Senate Majority Leader's bill.

 

He's willing to allow for a mechanism, which he thinks is very important, that if we can't get the grand bargain now, that would make it a time-specific period where this committee would consider these options. He will hand over the reams of paper to that committee that could form the basis of serious entitlement reform and tax reform in a bipartisan way, and certainly is willing to consider measures that are enforcement mechanisms to move that process forward.

 

What he is not willing to do is allow this obviously damaging situation -- damaging to our economy -- continue. People have asked -- and I can't remember if it was you or others -- about a previous vote; the fact that under previous Presidents there have been numerous votes to raise the debt ceiling. And the fact is, while these votes were often unpleasant for Congress they were routine. And we never had a situation like this where -- there were sometimes confrontations over this, and I read from the letter from President Reagan -- but the overwhelming number of times is the -- Congress acted because this was not a question. There wasn't this one-for-one thing. There wasn't the question that I am going to blow up the economy, if you will, if you don't do what I want. It's just crazy.

 

Q But what I hear you saying is he's still not happy with the Boehner bill, you want the Reid bill. But if the Reid bill is not able to get through the House and all you have to sign is some version of the Boehner bill, are you now saying that he's still willing to --

 

MR. CARNEY: But the Boehner bill won't --

 

Q -- hold on, but he's still willing to veto it, and basically all these awful consequences you've laid out -- maybe a stock market crash, all these other things -- he's willing to let all that happen --

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, I understand one of the things that's come out of the House conference is this desire to stand firm and then stick the President with default, I think is one quote that came out of there, which is really incredibly juvenile, right? Is this the game that the idea here is who can be blamed for doing serious harm for our economy? Shouldn't the idea be, what can we do to compromise to make sure that doesn't happen?

 

First of all, the bill being considered in the House cannot be an option because it will not pass the Senate, so it's dead on arrival.

 

Q But you won't know that until it goes to the Senate floor.

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, and you don't know that it can't pass the House before Senator Reid's measure is voted on. And you don't know that, until the votes happen, that it won't emerge as a viable option.

 

Q This weekend, Boehner may be the last thing standing.

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, a lot of things may happen.

 

Q So if it's Boehner bill or default, you'll go default.

 

MR. CARNEY: Look, we've made clear how we feel about the Boehner bill, the Speaker Boehner bill, because it is incredibly bad for the economy to have this kind of circus to go on in Washington with folks saying that we're going to force default; we will not let the United States pay its bills unless you do what we want, unless you enact spending cuts that were rejected already that are more draconian than are in the Ryan bill that would do significant damage to Social Security and Medicare; force incredible cuts in education and clean energy programs -- all these sorts of things, all those things that nobody -- nothing close to a majority supported and certainly not in the country. Otherwise, we'll just default. That's not a mechanism that is good for us, good for the economy, good for the American people. So that's what we oppose.

 

Beyond that, there are a lot of ways to get to compromise here and that is what the American people, I think, really want us to do is to compromise, not stick it to anybody, not score political victories and see who can be blamed for the economic damage that would be done by the fight here. People want these fights to result in -- they're happy to have -- because they vote every two years, every four years for President and obviously people feel strongly that they send representatives to Congress with points of view and they want those points of view to be expressed and to guide votes. But in the end, they want the fights to result in good things, not bad things.

 

Q Last thing, in the 2008 campaign as a candidate, the President said if he's elected, he'd put the health care negotiations on C-SPAN. Didn't happen, but he got the health care reform through. And he later told "60 Minutes" that he regretted it. He said, "There's a price to that. People then felt like what's going on behind closed doors isn't so good for us. I think it hurt us politically."

 

The last couple of days you seem to be arguing that it's better to do these things behind closed doors, because if it's all public, interest groups are going to blow it up, right? So do you have any regrets now that we're at this precipice that -- the President has put some details on the table, but if you had put more of the details on the table earlier, you might be further along in this process because it would have been more transparent?

MR. CARNEY: Well, I appreciate the question. And the answer is no, because if the President had gone into a room and said, here's my bipartisan compromise, guess who would not have been in the room with him? A Republican leader, okay? And his interest in the end was to sit down with the Speaker of the House and other Republican leaders, Majority Leader Cantor as well, and try to work out a deal -- and understanding that this was politically hard and that the only kind of compromise you could achieve would be one that was reached between the leaders and then presented to members of Congress of both parties to evaluate. And then those who were the architects of the deal could say, here's why we think it is not perfect, but on balance the right thing to do.

 

And you're a veteran Washington reporter. There are a lot of you here. And I think we all understand how that works, that if you lay out a proposal that's politically -- by yourself that's extremely politically hard for your party, whether you're Republican or Democrat, it's like putting a clay pigeon in the air. It's ensuring its defeat. And that's -- and maybe that's a sad statement, perhaps, about how Washington works, but it's an incredibly realistic statement about how Washington works.

 

And the fact of the matter now, Ed -- and you and I have talked about this and others -- is there is no plan that has been offered, certainly in the last several months, about which more detail is known or has been specified than the Obama-Boehner plan, okay, in terms of the cuts in domestic spending, both defense and non-defense discretionary; the savings coming out of entitlements programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; the kind of tax reform that was envisioned and the mechanisms by which tax revenue would be a hard thing for Republicans to accept but was part of the deal -- that would be $800 billion, that would be part of this proposal.

 

Everybody knows these details. There is -- and it's not that people are hiding the details of the Boehner plan or the Reid plan, it's just there's a lot less to them than the plan that was worked on by the President and the Speaker of the House, and now, in the aftermath, the details of which are very well known by so many people.

 

Mike.

 

Q You say everybody is on the hook for how they behave in their votes on the economy and on this plan. Does default inevitably arise if the debt ceiling is not lifted?

 

MR. CARNEY: What happens if the debt ceiling is not lifted is that we lose our borrowing authority.

 

Q But that's different from default.

 

MR. CARNEY: Correct. And we've been through this -- I will at some point refer you to the transcript yesterday. But what happens then is that we no longer have the ability to borrow money, but we have bills coming due and a limited amount of cash in our pockets. Even as money flows in -- there's no question because revenue flows in -- it will not even come close to being enough to pay our bills. And that leads to a process of default. How quick that is depends on a lot of different factors, and I refer you to Treasury.

 

But this is not --the moment that we send the signal that the United States government has ceased -- no longer has the ability to borrow money but has bills that, for every dollar we have in a bill we only have 60 cents to pay, you've created essentially a crisis situation -- what we've described as an impossible situation -- that leads to horrendous choices about how we go about paying our bills and making choices about which bills to pay and which not.

 

Q I'm going to follow up -- in your answer to Erica, I thought it was interesting the way you phrased it. Last week or maybe in the week --

 

MR. CARNEY: If it was interesting it was probably unintentional. (Laughter.)

 

Q Last week or the week before you indicated that if they're close to compromise, if it's a matter of crossing the t's, dotting the i's, then the President would go along with a short-term extension and not let process get in the way of an agreement. And then you said that the basis of a compromise is already there. Are we at the point where the President would agree to a short-term extension beyond August 2nd? And what -- if not, what is the threshold?

 

MR. CARNEY: We are not at that point. We are not at that point. The fact is there is -- what a compromise would look like, if you're lowering your sights and accepting that you can't get a grand bargain, is clear, and it requires us to get through our system the votes on bills that can't pass, and then look at what can pass in a bipartisan way through the House and the Senate on the pretty simple measures that are out there -- that would involve, basically, targets for -- real numbers, but targets, unspecified discretionary spending cuts, and mechanisms to create a committee to allow for, hopefully, further reductions through entitlement reform and tax reform.

 

And we remain confident that as these hours churn on and the days go by that we will get to that point and that compromise will be reached. But it is -- we are not the only actor in this play and we need to make sure that others understand the stakes and are willing to reach that compromise. We're confident they will.

 

Q Okay. And finally, you say this is a matter of economics, not politics; you're wanting to avoid another vote on raising the debt limit around Christmas or whenever it is that the Boehner plan would necessitate a vote. But one of the agreements that's been on the table in virtually every compromise or every plan out there is for this super committee to come up with a way to handle entitlements and overhaul -- a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code by a date certain. That's no garden party right there. I mean, that would be an intense debate around the same time that would speak to the government's ability, much like the debate we're having now, to handle debt and tell the world and the rating agencies and the markets and everybody else --

 

MR. CARNEY: No question. And we would hope that a bipartisan consensus and majority would be created out of that process to do something big and historic. It would be hard --

 

Q As wrenching as everything we're going through now?

 

MR. CARNEY: No, no, no, not as wrenching as the potential for default for the first time in our history. And that is the key. We cannot link the successful passage of further spending reductions through that process to raising the debt ceiling again, precisely for the reason that you just enumerated -- the reasons you just enumerated. We cannot hold the American economy hostage to that process.

 

Members of Congress were sent here to make hard decisions and get things done, right? And they should be able to do that. And, look, we are open to, and have always been open to -- and this was also part of some of the discussions that the President had -- to mechanisms, enforcement mechanism, to force Congress, whether it's through a committee or other means, to act on measures that would create more deficit reduction -- measures -- entitlement reform and tax reform being the toughest ones. We are very much in favor of that because we want the kind of Damocles sword hanging over Congress to force it to make a decision and act.

 

What that enforcement mechanism cannot and -- should not and cannot be is if you don't do this we won't extend the borrowing authority of the United States, again -- so we go through this whole process again with all the resulting damage done to the economy, the uncertainty it creates -- uncertainty, we've been told, and we agree, by so many people from so many political persuasions, is the number one thing that affects -- that dampens economic growth or decisions made by private businesses about how are they going to invest and the kind of -- how they're going to hire.

 

There is nothing comparable to the kind of uncertainty that this has created. So let's get rid of it and move on.

 

Q Can I just follow?

 

MR. CARNEY: Let me get around here.

 

Q Two quick ones.

 

MR. CARNEY: Yes.

 

Q On the prioritization, isn't it too late to wait until Monday for people to understand really -- I mean, enough time for people who get Social Security checks and veteran checks to know --

 

MR. CARNEY: I don't -- I have exhausted my ability to talk about that. I just refer you to Treasury.

 

Q I know you don't have the answer about what is going to be prioritized. But isn't just the fact that we may not know until Monday what's going --

 

MR. CARNEY: Again, I'd just refer you to the Treasury Department for that.

 

Q Okay. And then on the grand bargain real quick, you had said that -- even today and also last week -- that this is easily solvable. Can you just tease out what you mean by the fact that it's easily solvable?

 

MR. CARNEY: The differences that -- because of the serious and good-faith work that was done, the differences that remain on the table could be resolved. And what the President I believe said to you from here on Friday is that he never issued any ultimatums. If there was something on the table that was unlivable then we can work it out. And that was true -- that's $400 billion that we're talking about. And that was certainly true with the last-minute insertion in this process, going back to triggers, of, oh, let's have a trigger of -- use the individual mandate as a trigger -- if Congress doesn't do that, then we'll just remove the individual mandate.

 

And the hypocrisy of that, besides being obviously political, is that that actually increases the deficit, right, because as CBO has scored, the individual mandate reduces spending, reduces the deficit.

 

But these were not -- these were things that we could talk about. Okay, you can't live with this? We can't live with this? Let's -- we have done so much negotiating here and come so close, let's get to the end here, and we can do that. And what happened is there was not a willingness to do that.

 

Q So you're willing to take the $400 billion --

 

MR. CARNEY: I'm not here to negotiate the specifics here, but I think I've made pretty clear that we are willing to talk about that.

 

I've got about two more minutes because I've got to go see the boss.

 

Q Following up on a question you said you'd check into yesterday -- speaking of the boss. Has he consulted with other Presidents who have faced this same thing?

 

MR. CARNEY: You know, I apologize, I did not get an answer to that question. And I'll see --

 

Q Can you post it?

 

MR. CARNEY: Yes.

 

Q Thanks.

 

Q A quick one. The President said the other night the whole world is watching. There are many concerns abroad, Jay. Why is the President not viewing this as a national security issue, basically take it into his own hands and stop the political wrangling once and for all?

 

MR. CARNEY: Because Congress has the authority to raise the debt ceiling.

 

Q But he has plenty of authority himself, does he not?

 

MR. CARNEY: Well, he certainly does. He's President of the United States. But the fact is that the -- it is Congress that has to act to ensure that Congress pays its bills -- or that the bills that Congress ran up are paid. So that's the process. That's the country we live in.

 

This is my last one.

 

Q One quick one. Once the House votes, why doesn't the President call everybody back here and get them back to the table?

 

MR. CARNEY: I don't have any scheduling announcements to make, but thanks for asking. (Laughter.)

 

See you.

 

END

11:57 A.M. EDT

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Guest Dr. Who

Are we not following the "West Wing" routine end the world scenario. Write a one sentence bill and be done with it. Whoever wrote this piece should be running the country.

 

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Guest ALWAYSRED

What is your definition of compromise?

 

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made the following remarks on the House floor tonight regarding the Budget Control Act of 2011:

 

“My colleagues, I’d like to cut through all the fog here rather quickly. Today’s report on the economy reminds us that our economy is still not creating enough jobs. Americans are worried about finding work. They’re worried about our economy. And they’re worried about the mountain of debt that’s facing them and their children. Today we have a chance to end this debt limit crisis.

 

“With this bill, I think we’re keeping our promise to the American people that we will cut spending by more than the increase in the debt limit. The Congressional Budget Office has certified this common-sense standard, and it has been backed by more than 150 distinguished economists from across the country. We’re also imposing caps to restrain future spending so that we can stop the expansion of government while giving our economy a chance to grow and to create jobs. And we’re advancing the great cause of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

 

“What this bill now says is that before the President can request an additional increase in the debt limit, two things have to happen: a joint committee of the Congress must produce spending cuts larger than the increase in the debt limit, and both houses of the Congress must send to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment.

 

“Listen, the Balanced Budget Amendment – it’s time for this to happen. It enjoys support in both houses of this Congress, and it enjoys bipartisan and widespread support across our country.

 

“The bill also ends this crisis without raising taxes, which would cripple our economy. And there’s no gimmicks. There’s no smokescreens here that represent the old ways of doing things.

 

“Now, the bill before us still isn’t perfect. No member would argue that it is. It’s imperfect because it reflects an honest and sincere effort to end this crisis by sending a bill over to the Senate that at one time was agreed to by the bipartisan leadership of the United States Senate.

 

“And to my colleagues in the Senate, if they were here, I would say this: if this bill passes, this House has sent you not one, but two different bills to cut spending by trillions of dollars over the next decade while providing an immediate increase in the debt ceiling.

 

“And to the American people, I would say: we’ve tried our level best. We’ve done everything we can to find a common-sense solution that could pass both houses of Congress and end this crisis. We’ve tried to do the right thing by our country. But some people continue to say ‘no.’

 

“My colleagues, I have worked since the first week of this session when we were sworn in in January to avoid being where we are right this moment. But two days after we were sworn in, the Treasury Secretary sent us a letter asking us to increase the debt ceiling. I immediately responded by saying we would not increase the debt ceiling without serious cuts in spending, and serious reforms to the way we spend the people’s money.

 

“We’ve passed a budget. The other body – it’s been over 800 days, and still no budget. No plan. This will be the second bill we’ve sent over to the Senate, and yet not one piece of legislation out of the Senate that has passed that deals with this crisis.

 

“And my colleagues, I can tell you that I’ve worked with the President and the Administration since the beginning of this year to avoid being in this spot. I have offered ideas. I have negotiated. Not one time – not one time – did the Administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do is criticize what I put out there.

 

“I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the President of the United States. I stuck my neck out a mile. And I put revenues on the table, in order to try to come to an agreement to avert us being where we are.”

 

"But a lot of people in this town can never say yes. A lot of people can never say yes. This House has acted, and it is time for the Administration and time for our colleagues across the aisle: put something on the table. Tell us where you are.

 

"And yes, people can be critical of what we’ve done, but where are the other ideas? At this point in time, the House is going to act, and we’re going to act again. But it is time for our colleagues across the aisle to tell us what they’re for. Tell us how we can end this crisis.

 

"You know, Ronald Reagan has been quoted throughout this debate over the last few weeks. And Ronald Reagan would probably be flattered I’m sure if he were here.

 

"But Ronald Reagan, on his desk, had a little placard. And that little placard was real simple. It said: ‘It CAN be done.’ I have a replica of that placard on my desk. And let me tell you, members of this House, it CAN be done. It MUST be done. And it WILL be done, if we have the courage to do the right thing.

 

"So for the sake of our economy, for the sake of our future, I’m going to ask each of you – as representatives of the people of the United States – to support this bill, to support this process, and end this crisis now."

 

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Guest greenzen

US Senate votes 59-41 to table House debt bill. Only one bill left. What does it mean. I don't know.

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Guest HUMAN

It means that your side "Democrats" want it all there way. My side "Republicans" are NOT the Obstructionists here.

 

As long as your side believes that they have the Latino vote these types of games WILL continue.

 

 

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US Senate votes 59-41 to table House debt bill. Only one bill left. What does it mean. I don't know.

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