Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th
1 Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:02 pm
2 Re: Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:19 pm
Boehner Asks Obama to Reschedule Economy Speech
By HELENE COOPER
4:33 p.m. | Updated House Speaker John A. Boehner all but rejected President Obama’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7 by offering an audience the following night.
Mr. Obama had asked to deliver a much anticipated speech outlining his proposals to boost employment and the economy on Wednesday, Sept. 7 — the same time as a scheduled Republican presidential debate, as it happens.
In a letter to Congressional leaders on Wednesday, Mr. Obama said it was his “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.”
Mr. Boehner responded with a letter saying that Sept. 7 is not so good for a presidential address before a joint session of Congress. Might he be able to reschedule to Sept. 8 instead?
“As the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, Sept. 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening,” Mr. Boehner wrote. “With the significant amount of time, typically more than three hours, that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks.”
That Mr. Obama was going to make his speech next week was expected. But it is remarkable that he would choose to do so in such an elevated setting as a joint session, and at the same time that Republican candidates for president will be laying out their own visions for how to get the country out of the economic doldrums. It is a challenging gesture from a president who appears set on laying out as stark a contrast as he can between where he would like to take the country and where the opposition would go.
“Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hard-working Americans continue to look for jobs,” Mr. Obama said in his letter to Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. “As I have traveled across our country this summer and spoken with our fellow Americans, I have 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,” Mr. Obama said. “We must answer this call.”
The Republican debate scheduled at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., would be the first since Gov. Rick Perry of Texas joined the race and promptly took a big lead in polls over former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.
Just before 3 p.m. Eastern, the sponsors of the debate said it would go on as planned on Sept. 7 — creating a lively opportunity for counter-programming. The sponsors did not specify a time for the debate, leaving open the possibility that it would take place after the presidential address.
“We are thrilled that we now have a terrific opportunity to hear from national leaders of both major parties about the most pressing domestic issues facing the country,” the sponsors said in a statement.
The Sept. 7 debate is sponsored by NBC News, Politico and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation; it is to be televised by MSNBC, CNBC and the Spanish-language network Telemundo and streamed on the Internet by Politico. It is to be moderated by NBC’s Brian Williams and Politico’s John Harris.
John Harris, the editor-in-chief of Politico and one of the co-moderators of the debate, called the split-screen moment with Mr. Obama “a terrific turn of events” and said that “it raises the profile of the whole evening, and in some ways makes it the first general election debate of the 2012 cycle.”
The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said “of course not” when asked whether White House officials chose the time of Mr. Obama’s speech to interfere with the Republican debate. “One debate of many was not reason not to have a speech when we wanted to have it,” he said.
And, another potential blip: Thursday September 8 is the first night of the NFL season.
But Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, quickly took to Twitter to criticize the president’s timing:
Next Wednesday is actually the third date for the Republican debate. It originally was to take place on May 2, but it was pushed up to Sept. 14 after the Reagan Foundation said that too few candidates had agreed to attend. Then that date was scrapped in favor of Sept. 7 because some of the campaigns indicated that they preferred for it to take place a week earlier.
3 Re: Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:06 pm
4 Re: Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:40 pm
5 Re: Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:13 pm
6 Re: Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:08 am
7 Re: Obama to address nation on jobs and economy on Sept.7th on Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:20 am
Obama agreed to schedule his address on Sept. 8 after Boehner, a Republican, balked at the president's request for a Sept. 7 speech.
The spat over the timing of the speech — normally a routine matter — underscored the intense partisan divide in Washington ahead of next year's presidential and congressional elections. If the mere timing of the speech is contentious, the subject — Obama's job plan — would seem to have little hope of winning support in the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Obama's address still gives him a grand stage to unveil his economic agenda, though it falls on the same evening as the opening game of the National Football League season. White House officials were working on the precise timing of the speech in hopes of avoiding a conflict.
The change will allow a planned Sept. 7 Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley, California, to proceed without Obama upstaging it.
Still, by seeking a rare joint session of Congress as his audience, Obama will get a nationally televised address that puts him face to face with Republican lawmakers who have bitterly opposed his agenda and who have vowed to vote down any new spending he might propose.
"It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy, and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that," Obama wrote Wednesday in a letter to Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday the dust-up dramatizes why "people are fed up" with Washington.
"It is such nonsense.This is what people hate about politics," Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said on NBC's "Today" show.
Carney said, "Our intention was merely for the president to address a joint session as soon as possible," to outline his plan for revving up the economy and taking the unemployment problem on head-on.
"Our interest is in not having a political back and forth here at all," Carney told MSNBC in an interview. He said the White House yielded when Boehner insisted the speech be next Thursday, instead of Wednesday.
"Americans are sick and tired of the partisan bickering" in the capital," Carney said. He argued that Obama's aim is to "focus on things we can do" to spur the economy.
In seeking a joint session of Congress to deliver his plan, the president is turning the effort into a public relations campaign.
Emphasizing that strategy and illustrating the fine line between governing and political campaigning, Obama issued a plea through his presidential campaign late Wednesday calling for public support in holding Congress accountable.
In an email, Obama said he would deliver details of his jobs plan to Congress next week. "Whether they will do the job they were elected to do is ultimately up to them," he wrote. "But both you and I can pressure them to do the right thing."
White House officials say not all details of the president's address have been decided, though he is expected to lay out proposals to increase hiring with a blend of tax incentives for business and government spending for public works projects.
At the same time, White House officials say, he will offer long-term deficit reductions to make up for any upfront spending.
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