Every Monday, The Takeaway looks at the big news stories from the week ahead. Republican presidential candidates head to Colorado, Minnesota and Maine this week; Colorado and Minnesota's caucuses are tomorrow. In Washington, President Obama holds talks on the European debt crisis with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti while Congress takes up the STOCK Act.
What happens in the Florida Primary is not just important to Florida, Romney, Gingrich and the gang. This is a campaign year for everyone in the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate. And while Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is in a safe seat in his own district he's leading the charge to get more GOP members into the House and Senate.
Last night the University of South Florida hosted a GOP presidential debate, the first of two scheduled in Florida leading up to the state's January 31 primary. The crowd was silenced by a no-applause policy which seems to have muted the effect of Newt Gingrich, who in the past has received accolades from the audience after partisan broadsides. The debate sets the agenda for the next week as candidates prepare for a primary which may ultimately decide the nominee to challenge President Obama in November.
This week, President Obama delivers the State of the Union, then travels to five states that promise to be key battlegrounds for this year's election: Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan. As the President begins his swing state tour, Republican candidates will be setting up camp in Florida, preparing for two debates in the next primary state.
Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich looks at two major stories playing out inside the halls of Congress this week. The White House is attempting to push recalcitrant Senate Republicans to confirm former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Forty-five Senate Republicans signed a letter in May vowing to block any nominee unless Congress was given more oversight of the bureau. Zwillich also spent time on Capitol hill talking to lawmakers about GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
On Monday, Politico reported that Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment by two female employees while he was head of the National Restaurant Association. The women left their jobs after reaching settlements with the industry group. Cain vehemently denied the accusations later in the day at the National Press Club in Washington, but went on to make contradictory statements about the incidents on Fox News.
The Democrats and Republicans on the deficit reduction 'Super Committee' remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart, just weeks shy of the Thanksgiving deadline. And that's not the only action on the economy this week. They'll also vote on an infrastructure plan, which would provide funds to repair roads and bridges, with money raised from higher taxes on millionaires. The Takeaway's Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich fills in the details.
The 2012 Election is more than a year away, but the president and Republican presidential hopefuls are already campaigning, and setting their sights on potential swing states. Tuesday night, the Republican presidential candidates will debate once again, this time in the swing state of Nevada. Meanwhile, President Obama is traveling through the swing state of North Carolina, hoping to rally support for his jobs bill.
Yesterday, Senate Republicans pitched a jobs plan called "The Real American Jobs Act," which includes lowering tax rates and broadening the tax base, and repealing "Obamacare," the Democratic health care reforms. The bill is mainly a round-up of two dozen GOP bills.
In a moment of bipartisanship, Congress passed three trade bills on Wednesday that had been embroiled in a political stalemate for years. The deals will promote foreign trade with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. Consensus on the matter supports the idea that both parties think free trade will help the country's ailing economy. The action comes one day after the Senate defeated President Obama's Jobs Bill.
A vote scheduled by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on a stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution, to keep the government funded through November 18 has become unexpectedly controversial. The government could be headed for a shutdown, as Democrats have vowed to block a provision of the bill concerning funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The bill includes $1 billion in immediate funding for cash-strapped FEMA, but offsets the spending with cuts to the Energy Department's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, has the latest on the story.
President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress and television viewers across the country last night, presenting a $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending meant to increase jobs in America. Obama urged Congress to "pass this jobs plan right away." After the speech, House speaker John Boehner said "The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration." Will Obama's plan pass through Congress and, more importantly, will it work?
In advance of tomorrow night's Republican presidential debate — the second for GOP candidates hoping to run in the 2012 election, and first for Texas Gov. Rick Perry — former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney unveiled a plan to boost economic growth, in a speech yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada. It hasn't seemed to boost his standing yet — a new poll shows Perry in the lead over Romney and other GOP candidates.
Last week, we discussed the state of the nation’s job market, and the news was not good. No new jobs were created in August, meaning unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent. How to get the job market moving will be the subject of intense debate this week, as Congress returns from its summer recess and the President outlines his strategy. We’ll also see the first meeting of the deficit reduction committee responsible for cutting $1.5 trillion from the budget. So it’s a big week for Congressmen and women, who recently haven’t shown a fondness for compromise.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday that Congress has struck a deal to fund the Federal Aviation Administration, ending a weeks-long partisan impasse that kept 4,000 FAA workers off the job, and tens of thousands out of work in airport construction. The Senate will ensure that a deal can be made before lawmakers leave for August vacation, and the bill will fund the agency through September 16.
The fight over the debt ceiling is over in Washington, but another showdown over government funding is still dividing Congress. Since July 22, the Federal Aviation Administration has been partially shutdown, waiting for Congress to make a decision on its funding. As a result, thousands of F.A.A. workers are being furloughed — and won’t get back to work until after the recess in September.
With the debt deal in place, our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich looks to what the political costs may be — and what groups have been pitted against each other for 2012. (Troops vs. Medicare? Wealthy Americans vs. Troops?) How will this debate play out for the Republican presidential candidates? Plus, what will we see before 2012, when the next deficit reduction package has to pass in the fall of this year?
The August 2 deadline for Congress to agree on a budget deal and avoid defaulting is looming uncomfortably close. Last night, President Obama and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said tonight that congressional leaders of both parties have agreed on a plan to lift the debt ceiling. They will present the plan to their caucuses this morning, and hope for the measure to pass through votes by both the House and Senate, in order to avoid a U.S. default by August 2.
Despite plenty of drama and public rhetoric in the battle over the U.S. debt ceiling, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have not yet reached a compromise. The deadline is looming as is the possibility the country will have to default on its $14.3 trillion of debt. As time marches on, analysts are starting to think seriously about what would happen if no deal can be reached. A vote was expected today in the House on Boehner’s last bid to increase the debt limit and cut spending — but that all fell apart last night when Tea Party Republicans refused to vote for it.
President Obama stood before the nation and pleaded with Congress to come to an agreement as soon as possible, in a prime-time speech to the American public last night. "We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," he said. House Speaker John Boehner immediately followed Obama's speech with his response, agreeing that the debate needs to be resolved, but urging Obama to sign on to the Republican proposal to raise the debt limit.