Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good for Boehner!

Good for John Boehner....Obama has really got guts...he says he wants to get above politics and craps on the political event long planned by the republicans....All Obama knows is playing politics....he spent over a week in Martha's Vineyard and up to a few days ago he was still supposedly working on his jobs speech, but now everyone else has to change their plans because he's finally ready to talk...and he wants a huge stage to deliver what we all know will be the same old, same old repackaged crap.....I'm glad Boehner told him to change his date....

Boehner Asks Obama to Delay Jobs Speech

By Kate Andersen Brower and Margaret Talev - Aug 31, 2011 4:56 PM CT .

House Speaker John Boehner rebuffed President Barack Obama’s request to address a joint session of Congress on the same night as a Republican presidential debate in California.

Boehner, an Ohio Republican, cited a lack of time to prepare for the speech that Obama wants to deliver on Sept. 7 and instead asked for the address to be given a day later, according to a letter addressed to the president that was released by the speaker’s office.

Obama earlier in the day said he wants to deliver the address to announce his proposals to create jobs and jump-start the economy. A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity said the administration consulted with Boehner’s office before releasing the request and no objections were raised. Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said the speaker’s office didn’t agree to the timing of the speech and that the White House "ignored" protocol for working out an agreeable time before making an announcement.

The unprecedented public dispute over the timing of the presidential address sets the stage for a battle to lead the political debate on the economy going into next year’s election. Obama is proposing measures he says would boost growth and bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate. He’s confronted by Republicans who won control of the House from Democrats in 2010 on a campaign that stressed criticism of Obama’s economic stewardship and the $830 billion stimulus he pushed through Congress in 2009.

Donald A. Ritchie, the U.S. Senate historian, said he and his staff had not found any other public examples in which a president had requested a joint session date and been turned away.

Private Negotiations
Ritchie said he isn’t aware of an example of a president publicly requesting a date for a joint session without first checking privately with House and Senate leaders. “The emphasis is on the word public,” he said. “We don’t know what kind of negotiations have gone on” in private.

Ritchie said there are factors beyond politics to consider. “Congress will just be coming back from a month-long recess. Monday’s a holiday. So it’s a rather truncated week to start with. All of that factors into it.”

Obama’s request to address Congress at 8 p.m. Washington time on Sept. 7 drew criticism from Republicans earlier because that also is the time that eight of the candidates running for the party’s presidential nomination are scheduled to debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

‘All Politics’
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a message on Twitter that Obama’s plan to give the address on the night of the debate is “further proof” that the Obama White House “is all politics all the time.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the criticism, saying the scheduling was “coincidental.” Asked at a White House briefing whether the administration intended to interfere with the Republican debate, Carney said, “No, of course not.”

In his letter, Boehner made no mention of the conflict with the Republican debate. He said the House wasn’t scheduled to hold votes until 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 and it would require more than three hours to conduct a security sweep of the House chamber before a presidential address. Both houses must adopt a resolution to allow a joint session, he said.

Moving the address to the next evening would “ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks,” Boehner wrote.

NFL Opening Game
A Sept. 8 address would conflict with the opening game of the National Football League season.

Boehner said he was recommending the change of dates “on behalf of the bipartisan leadership and membership of both the House and Senate.”

House Democratic leaders weren’t consulted by Boehner about requesting a different day, according to an aide to minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The White House official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, declined to say how far in advance of Obama’s announcement the request for a joint session was made or who in Boehner’s office was involved in the discussions.

Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, said picking Sept. 7 for his address gives Obama an advantage.

‘Unfiltered Gateway’
“He wants an unfiltered gateway to the American voters and what better way of doing that than when Brian Williams is somewhere else?” she said, referring to the NBC News anchor. The Republican presidential debate is sponsored by NBC News and Politico.

“If you want to bypass mainstream media then you pick a day when half of them are busy,” Schiller said.

In his request to address both chambers of Congress, Obama wrote to Boehner and Reid that, “It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the middle class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order.”

The request would place Obama in a forum that presidents traditionally reserve for their annual State of the Union addresses and occasions such as national crises as he opens the fall political season with a new economic agenda.

Health-Care Speech
Besides his annual State of the Union addresses and a speech delivered just after he took office, Obama used the forum of a joint session of Congress once before, in September 2009, when he was prodding lawmakers to act on his proposal to overhaul the U.S. health-care system.

Among the provisions Obama has been considering for his jobs agenda are more infrastructure spending, tax incentives to spur hiring, a reduction in the employer portion of the payroll tax and changes to unemployment insurance to subsidize worker retraining, according to people familiar with discussions.

Obama has spent much of the year pressing Congress to act on a familiar set of plans: renewal of a 2-percentage-point cut in the employee-paid portion of the payroll tax and extended unemployment benefits, which are both scheduled to expire on Dec. 31; establishment of an infrastructure bank to fund public works spending; ratification of free-trade deals; and overhauling patent law. Obama has said those also will remain priorities.

‘Unprecedented’ Challenges
Obama said in his letter that the nation, with an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, faces “unprecedented” economic challenges. More than two years after the recession’s official end, the jobless rate is just one percentage point below its post-financial crisis peak of 10.1 percent, which it reached in October 2009.

Concern about the economy has increased as growth weakened during the first half of the year to its slowest pace of the recovery and financial markets turned tumultuous amid concern about the European debt crisis.

The signs of weakness have led private economists to increase their forecasts for the unemployment rate next year, when Obama faces re-election. The median forecast for unemployment during next year’s fourth quarter is 8.5 percent, according to 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News Aug. 2 through Aug. 10.

Since World War II, no U.S. president has won re-election with a jobless rate above 6 percent, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, who faced 7.2 percent unemployment on Election Day in 1984. The jobless rate under Reagan had come down more than 3 percentage points during the prior two years.

Economic Forecast
The administration will give its updated forecast on the economy and the deficit tomorrow in its mid-session budget review.

Obama wrote that on his three-day bus tour in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois in mid-August, he “heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call.”

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