FROM Lori Montgomery
Congress Has Just Days to Pass a 'Cease-fire' Budget Deal For the first time in two years, House and Senate Committee leaders may have forged a budget agreement. But it's been done in secret and may be as noteworthy for what it does not do as for what it does. Lori Montgomery is economic policy reporter for the Washington Post .
Washington’s Debate Over the Shutdown and Debt Default Continues The top leaders of both parties in the House and the Senate were scheduled to meet with the President and Vice President at the White House this afternoon. Earlier, Mr. Obama joined furloughed public workers who were volunteering at a food pantry.
Congress Scrambles to End Air Traffic Furloughs With most members on their way to the airport for a week-long recess, the House today joined the Senate with a vote to end the furloughs of air-traffic controllers. Iowa Republican Tom Latham stated, "We are taking this action to end the administration's political games that threaten our passengers' rights and their safety." The vote was 361 to 41, but Democratic whip Steny Hoyer said it didn't go far enough. "Instead of dressing this serious wound with a small band-aid, let's get to work on a real solution." Lori Montgomery reports on economic policy for the Washington Post .
Obama Budget: New Consensus or Continued Gridlock? Partisanship has left the budget process in shambles since 2010, but this year the Republican Congress and Democrats in the Senate have both passed spending plans. Having refused to start the proceedings in February, as required by law, President Obama has waited to weigh in. Tomorrow, he's expected to take what Washington calls a "risk" by proposing social-program reductions that infuriate many Democrats. The White House calls that "conciliatory," and hopes that Republicans will agree. But they're likely to balk at the tax increases on which his cuts are conditioned. Social Security, Medicare and "the Sequester" are part of the package, with the deficit, tax reform and the debt limit looming on the horizon. We hear what to expect from the White House, with both parties already thinking about the mid-term elections next year.
Boehner Open to Higher Taxes on Incomes over $1 Million As the fiscal cliff deadline gets closer and closer, House Speaker John Boehner was back at the White House today. White House spokesman Lori Montgomery is economic policy reporter for the Washington Post .
Negotiations and the 'Fiscal Cliff' After the election three weeks ago, leaders of both parties posed for pictures at the Obama White House and vowed to avoid another dramatic confrontation over the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming at the end of the year. Making a real deal is another matter. This week, the President is conducting a very public campaign to raise taxes on three million families who make more than $250,000 a year. At the same time, Republicans have been drawing their own lines in the sand. What are the prospects of Democrats and Republicans reaching a deal? Would it be so bad if they didn’t?
What if the US Goes over the 'Fiscal Cliff?' Just after the election three weeks ago, leaders of both parties posed for pictures at the Obama White House and vowed to avoid another dramatic confrontation over the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming at the end of the year. Making a real deal is another matter, with both sides back to familiar public posturing with no reports of progress in private. This week, the President is conducting a very public campaign to raise taxes on three million families who make more than $250,000 year. At the same time, Republicans have been drawing their own lines in the sand. Would actually going over the "cliff" be so bad after all? Would it really send the economy spinning back into recession? Would it set off a scramble to resolve long-term issues once and for all? We hear predictions of financial disaster, and from the "Thelma and Louise Caucus," which says the best action is no action at all.
Congressional Budget Office Warns Avoid the 'Fiscal Cliff' In January, the Congressional Budget Office, which advises both parties, said failure to cope with looming tax increases and spending cuts in January would trigger a mile recession . Today, it upped the ante and predicted that the recession could be " significant ." Lori Montgomery is financial reporter for the Washington Post .
President Obama Urges Compromise…Again In the absence of legislation to hold off a debt-ceiling crisis, President Obama said today the issue's more urgent than ever, and repeated his call for Americans to demand action. He urged them to keep the pressure on Washington by contacting their congressional representative and urging them to find a bipartisan compromise "that can pass both houses of Congress" and that he can sign. As Speaker John Boehner struggled to round up enough House Republicans, Harry Reid, the leader of Democrats in the Senate said he's willing to compromise."
Debt Ceiling Meeting at the White House With a final deadline of August 2 to raise the debt ceiling, House Republican leaders met the President at the White House today. They're demanding spending cuts equal to the increase in federal borrowing. Speaker John Boehner urged that "we work together and… not kick the can down the road one more time." Lori Montgomery is financial reporter for the Washington Post .
Compromise between Republicans and Democrats on Taxes? Next week's lame-duck session of Congress will try to cope with the Bush tax cuts before they run out on December 31, bringing a tax increase for almost every American. Before leaving South Korea, President Obama repeated a familiar theme of making sure taxes don't go up for middle-class families. He also reiterated "that it would be fiscally irresponsible" to permanently extend the high-income tax cuts, as Republicans have made it their top priority to deal with the deficit. Lori Montgomery is a financial reporter for the Washington Post .
The Battle over the Budget in an Election Year When it comes to the economy, the President is pulling no punches. He's caught between the need to create more jobs while trying to reduce a crushing deficit. He claims Republicans caused the problem, and calls his $3.8 trillion budget a blueprint for avoiding disaster. Republicans call it just more taxes and increased spending. We talk with a top White House advisor and others about what it means for corporations, the wealthy and the middle class. Does the growing deficit threaten America's leadership role in the world? Would healthcare reform help get the country out from under water?
With Unemployment at 9.5 Percent, Is the Stimulus Working? President Obama's $800 billion stimulus package is under fire because it has failed to meet expectations. National unemployment has risen to 9.5 percent, higher than the 8 percent peak predicted by the Obama administration when it was selling the package to Congress.
With 7 Million Unemployed, Is the Stimulus Working? By orders of magnitude, unemployment is rising faster than the new jobs promised from the $800 billion stimulus package . National unemployment has risen to 9.5 percent, higher than the 8 percent peak predicted by the administration when it was selling the package to Congress. Some economists and some Democrats want another package. The President says, "Give this one more time." Republicans already are saying, "I told you so." Meantime, just one job is available for every six unemployed workers. Are schools and workplace developers training people for jobs that don't exist? Who finds work and who doesn't? Will the so-called "green economy" pick up the slack?
Obama on the Hill to Sell His Stimulus Plan President-elect Barack Obama meets with Senate Democrats today to push for high-speed approval of his huge economic stimulus proposal . Congressional Democrats are already wrangling with the Obama Administration and Republicans over the final size and shape of the package. Lori Montgomery, financial reporter for the Washington Post, is following the story .
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.