October 01, 2013

White House to hold health care blitz

President Obama will deliver remarks from the Rose Garden at 12:25 p.m. today -- some 12 hours after a government shutdown went into effect. The remarks will follow Obama's meeting in the Oval Office with Americans the White House says will benefit from today's opening of health insurance marketplaces.

The White House plans a full court press today on the president's health care law as the health insurance marketplaces open for business.

In addition to Obama's remarks, an interview with Vice President Joe Biden will air on more than 450 college radio stations in key states and markets acros the country, explaining what the White House says are the law's benefits. First Lady Michelle Obama will have an editorial in Yahoo!Shine, billed as "the leading women's lifestyle website with more than 30 million visitors per month.

  
 White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and HHS officials will do interviews with African-American radio shows, including  the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Al Sharpton Show, the Yolanda Adams Morning Show, Sway on Sirius HM, the Russ Parr Morning Show, Rickey Smiley Morning Show, and the Joe Madison Show, among others.

September 30, 2013

Obama nominates former Romney advisor to post

President Barack Obama today nominated Lanhee Chen, policy director for the Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, as a member of the Social Security Advisory Board.

The White House notes that Chen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, lecturer in public policy at Stanford University and lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, was policy director for the Romney-Ryan campaign, as well as Romney's chief policy adviser and a senior strategist on the campaign. Chen also served as domestic policy director of Romney's campaign in 2008.

President Obama accuses GOP of looking to refight election

With a government shutdown looking more likely by the hour, President Barack Obama on Monday warned that it would "throw a wrench into the gears" of a fragile economy.

"A shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away," Obama said, noting the federal government is the largest employer in the nation and that while paychecks may be stopped for some workers, bills won't. "Past shutdowns have disrupted the economy significantly. This one will too."

"The idea of putting the American people's hard-earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility, and it doesn't have to happen," he said, calling on the House to pass a clean bill.

"One faction, of one party, in one House of Congress, in one branch of government doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election," he said. "Keeping the people's government open is not a concession to me."

Continue reading "President Obama accuses GOP of looking to refight election" »

In case of a shutdown, Obama would retain a quarter of his staff

Just like everyone else in federal govenment, the White House is preparing for a shutdown.

In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the White House indicates 436 employees at the executive office of the president will remain on the job while 1,265 employees will be furoughed.

Those that remain include 15 at the executive residence, 12 at the vice president's office, 42 at national security and 118 at the Office of Management and Budget.

See the full list by agency here.

Boehner: "The House has done its work"

A defiant House Speaker John Boehner insisted Monday morning the House "has done its work" on the budget, and urged the Senate to go along.

That's unlikely to happen. The House voted Sunday to delay Obamacare for a year and repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax. The Democratic-led Senate is expected to reject those provisions later Monday.

"The House has done its work," Boehner said Monday in a House floor speech. "We passed a bill on Saturday night (actually early Sunday), sent it to the United States Senate - that would delay ObamaCare for one year, and would eliminate permanently the medical device tax that is costing us tens of thousands of jobs that are being shipped overseas.

“Senate decided not to work yesterday.  Well my goodness, if there’s such an emergency, where are they?  It's time for the Senate to listen to the American people just like the House has listened to the American people and to pass a one-year delay of ObamaCare and a permanent repeal of the medical device tax.”

Republicans would get most blame for shutdown--but Obama would get plenty

Republicans would get more of the blame for a government shutdown, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday.

The survey, conducted Friday through Sunday, found 46 percent would blame Republicans while 36 percent would blame President Barack Obama. Thirteen percent blame both sides. Unless Congress and Obama agree on a spending plan by midnight, parts of the government will begn shutting down.

The House of Representatives, run by Republicans, passed Sunday a plan to keep the government open, but the Democratic-led Senate is expected to reject it later Monday.

Obama gets some of the blame--people were split on whether he's acted like a responsible leader or a "spoiled child" during the budget debate. But 69 percent thought Republicans have acted like spoiled children.

The House budget bill delays implementation of the 2010 health care law--but 60 percent said it was more important to avoid a shutdown than change the health care law at the moment.

September 29, 2013

Next move in budget battle is up to the Senate, and Democrats are pessmistic

     The next move in the budget shutdown crisis is up to the Senate.  It is expected to reject the House’s Sunday action, which will then send the budget—with no delay in health care or any of the other add-ons—back to the House.

        It’s going to be rejected again and we’re going to face the prospect of shutting down, again," Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told CBS' "Face the Nation."

    Asked if he thought a shutdown was likely, Durbin said,  “I’m afraid I do,” after watching the House debate and vote early Sunday. The House voted to fund the government through November 15, delay implementing Obamacare for a year and repealing the 2.3 percent medical device tax.

    Here's where things stand at the moment:

Continue reading "Next move in budget battle is up to the Senate, and Democrats are pessmistic" »

House, in post-midnight Sunday votes, agrees to delay Obamacare

The House of Representatives set up a showdown with the Senate over funding the government, as Republicans pushed through their iniatives in a series of post-midnight votes Sunday.

First, the House passed a repeal of a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, 248 to 174.

Then, it approved a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act, 231 to 192.

Finally, the House okayed a plan to continue military pay in the event of a shutdown.

The Senate, though, is expected to reject the health care plans. Senators are due to return at 2 p.m. Monday. If Congress does not agree by midnight Monday on a spending plan to keep the government running when fiscal 2014 begins Tuesday, parts of the government will begin shutting down.

September 28, 2013

House votes on Obamacare delay expected around 11 Saturday night

The House Rules Committee formalized the rules for debating the Republican plan on the budget and health care, and final votes are now expected between 11 p.m. and midnight Saturday.

The Republican-dominated panel approved an hour of debate on plans to delay Obamacare for a year and repeal the medical device tax, which helps fund the health care law.

There will be another 40 minutes of debate on allowing military personnel to be paid in the event of a shutdown, and an hour debate on the rules themselves.

Republicans have a 233 to 200 seat House majority, and passage of all the measures is expected.

Carney: House Republicans are voting to shut down the government

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that House Republicans acted Saturday to shut down the federal government.

"Republicans in Congress had the opportunity to pass a routine, simple continuing resolution that keeps the government running for a few more weeks," he said in a statement. "But instead, Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law."

Carney said President Barack Obama is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway but that "he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy."

"Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown," he said. "It's time for the House to listen to the American people and act, as the Senate has, in a reasonable way to pass a bill that keeps the government running and move on."

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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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