The Obama admin is “considering a range of new measures to boost economic growth” including “tax cuts” and a “new nationwide infrastructure program.” The WH economic team has “met frequently in recent days to list ways to bolster the struggling recovery.” On the list of possible actions: additional tax cuts for small businesses, possible payroll tax cuts for business and individuals. Efforts to boost growth “have taken on urgency” as the economy has shown signs of flagging and is among voters’ chief concerns (Solomon/Weisman, Washington Post, 9/1).
Washington Post’s Gerson writes, “This is a president who has lost control of his public message” on the economy. “It wanders unleashed from park to alley, stopping to sniff every cable news story along the way. Some blame a political and communications team that is reactive and undisciplined. But there is another possibility. Perhaps the president doesn’t talk about job creation because he doesn’t have much to say” (9/1).
VP Biden, on the politics of the economy: “Our overwhelming focus is to make sure we continue the tax cuts for the middle class. And we provide additional tax cuts for small businesses that actually hire people. That’s what we hope when the congress comes back in session. The Republicans will stop filibustering the tax cut for small businesses and the senate for small business. … We hope the Republicans will begin to join us. Pete Sessions, the Congressman who is in charge of the reelection efforts in the House, said that ‘when we take control, if we take control, we’re going to go back to the same, exact agenda we had before.’ That’s the agenda that drove us into a deep recession. That is no answer. The answer is to do what we’ve done in Iraq, begin to cooperate. And provide for the incentives for small businesses. Cut taxes for the middle class. And continue to try to stimulate the economy” (“Good Morning America,” ABC, 9/1)
Three Big Chess Pieces
Obama is “attempting a triple play this week” that has eluded his predecessors for the past two decades: Israeli-Palestinian peace, Iraq and Iran — “in hopes of creating a virtuous cycle in a region prone to downward spirals.” History “shouts” that “all the odds are agianst him.” But WH officials “eager to show concrete progress on the hardest foreign policy challengers” contend Obama “has changed the political climate in all three arenas and has the best shot in years at creating positive and interlocking results.” Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: “There are three big chess pieces here, and in each of those places we are now poised for success. Victory begets victory, and success will be reinforcing” (Sanger, New York Times, 9/1).
New York Times’ Friedman writes, “Obama is embarking on something I’ve never seen before — taking on two Missions Impossible at the same time…The guy’s got audacity. I’ll provide the hope. But kids, don’t try this at home.” Obama, Hillary Clinton, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the newly elected leaders of Iraq “need to now raise their games to a whole new level to seize this moment” — or “their opponents will” (8/31).
The President That Never Sleeps
Obama is “stepping up his fundraising” for Dems holding an event in New York City 9/22 to raise money for the DSCC and DCCC. For $15.2K donor will be allowed to attend the dinner and get a “presidential photo reception” (Bresnahan, Politico, 9/1).
Raising The Red Flag
The Obama admin “formally challenged” a court order barring the federal gov’t from funding embryonic stem cell research. DoJ spokesperson Tracy Schmaler: “The government is seeking a stay of the court’s injunction to prevent the irreparable harm and financial harm that could occur if these lifesaving research projects are forced to abruptly shut down. The great potential for significant additional medical breakthroughs is at risk if this research is halted pending the appeals process” (Stein, Washington Post, 9/1).
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Former Rep. Bill Goodling (R-PA), who served 26 years in the House representing York County, PA, died Sunday at age 89. Goodling, who succeeded his father George Goodling in 1975, "faced few serious opponents over the years, winning 13 consecutive terms. He retired in 2001." He also served as chair of the House Education and Labor Committee from 1995-2001.
"Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, and Kellyanne Conway are dropping Secret Service protection, Fox News has confirmed. The move to get rid of round-the-clock protection came after Trump Jr. wished to have more privacy. Other family members of the president will remain under Secret Service protection." Conway dropped the protection after the threat level against her dropped from earlier in the administration.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson "will resign as Foreign Secretary before the weekend if Theresa May veers towards a 'Swiss-style' arrangement with the EU in her Brexit speech in Florence, The Telegraph understands." He "believes he will have no option but to walk out of the Cabinet if the Prime Minister advocates permanently paying for access to the single market."
"Senate Republicans are considering writing a budget that would allow for up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade. ... A budget that creates fiscal room for a $1.5 trillion tax cut, if adopted, would then be followed by a tax bill that would specify rate cuts and other policy changes that don’t exceed that figure. Calling for a tax cut in the budget would let Republicans lower tax rates while making fewer tough decisions on what tax breaks to eliminate to help pay for the cuts."
"The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping defense policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senators passed the legislation by an 89-8 vote Monday."