Our national debt is more than $14 trillion, we’re averaging trillion deficits each year and we continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Gas prices have skyrocketed to over $4 dollars a gallon nationwide, placing increased strain on family budgets and threatening to throw our economy in reverse. And far too many Americans remain unemployed. Yet despite these big challenges, the President is talking about his birth certificate. Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called this issue a sideshow. We fully agree. The White House shouldn’t engage political sideshows, particularly at a time when the challenges facing our country are so immense. Despite the excitement caused by the media circus this morning, House Republicans remain squarely focused on the things that truly matter to families and business owners throughout our country: getting our fiscal house in order, growing the economy, getting people back to work and promoting common sense energy policies to reduce the pain at the pump.
Today In History: In 1956, world heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano retires from boxing at age 31. Marciano ended his career as the only heavyweight champion with a perfect record--49 wins in 49 professional bouts, with 43 knockouts.
Birthdays: Ace Frehley, Casey Kasem, and Erica Elliott
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State of Play: Debt Limit Must Include Real Spending Reductions
Leader Cantor: The Debt Limit Must Include Spending Reductions That Produce Real Savings. America pays its bills. Everybody agrees that we've got to pay our bills. I don't think that comes at the exclusion of trying to fix the problem. We are in a debt crisis. The markets, global investors, the American people are expecting us to deliver on our commitment that we're going to change the spending crisis in Washington. So, together with the debt limit vote there has to be some real reforms, and I mean real, not the typical Washington, kick the can down the road stuff, but real things that can produce savings and actually begin to change the way that the culture works. CNBC’s Squawk Box
Americans Agree - Substantial Spending Cuts Need To Be Attached To The Debt Limit. The preferred option, drawing support from a plurality of voters overall, is "raising the debt limit, but only in exchange for substantial spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit." The days of "routine" debt limit increase votes may be history, with voters holding firm views about the debt ceiling vote in a time of concern over the economy and a pervasive view that "we have got to stop spending money we don’t have," ... When presented with three options, a plurality of voters supports raising the debt limit, "but only in exchange for substantial spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit." Forty-seven percent of registered voters overall prefer that approach, compared to 35 percent who oppose raising the debt limit under any circumstances and 11 percent who want to raise it without preconditions. Resurgent Republic
- The Wrong Approach: Majority Of Americans Reject The Democrat Approach Of Simply Raising The Debt Ceiling. President Obama’s policy of raising the federal debt limit without any preconditions relating to limiting spending, i.e. a "clean debt limit," is supported by only one-out-of-ten voters, the least popular option of three presented in a Resurgent Republic survey conducted jointly with the American Action Forum. Resurgent Republic
81% Of Americans Say The Deficit Is A Major Problem That Requires An Immediate Remedy. Americans increasingly see the budget deficit as a big problem that demands quick action ... 81 percent of Americans now call the deficit a major problem requiring immediate remedy, an 11-point jump. The Washington Post
Budget Talk: Americans (Including Seniors) Prefer The GOP’s “Path To Prosperity” Over The President's Budget Proposal
Seniors Prefer The GOP’s Budget Plan To The President’s. A new Gallup/USA Today poll contains a counterintuitive finding: the age group most receptive to House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's plan to deal with the budget - seniors. The poll finds 48 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) support Ryan's plan over President Obama's plan, while 42 percent back the president. That's the highest total among the age groups tested - a 47 percent plurality between the ages of 50 and 64 backed Ryan, and a 45 percent plurality of those between 30-49 backed Ryan. Hotline On Call
- Americans Favor The Republican Approach To Getting The Nation’s Fiscal House In Order. By 48% to 36%, more Americans prefer the Republicans in Congress to the Democrats in Congress for managing the federal budget. At the same time, Americans give equal support to the specific long-term budget plans recently issued by the Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan and President Obama. Gallup
Chairman Ryan’s Proposal Prevents President Obama’s Raid On Medicare. The Democratic Party is urging Americans to choose Medicare as we've always known it rather than a new plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would enroll seniors in private health insurance beginning in 2022. This choice is a hoax: Medicare as we've always known it is already gone. It was eviscerated by President Obama's health law. ... The fact is that Mr. Obama's law raids Medicare. Mr. Ryan's plan, on the other hand, stops the Medicare heist and puts the funds "saved" in this decade toward health care for another generation of retirees. ... The Ryan proposal also includes a $7,800 annual medical savings account to help low-income seniors with out-of-pocket costs. Amazingly, the CBO analysts exclude this $7,800 benefit from their calculations. ... Whatever decision the nation makes should not turn on the false claim that President Obama has protected Medicare. The Wall Street Journal
- Video – NBC News Catches Up With Chairman Ryan As He Discusses The GOP’s Path To Prosperity. NBC News
The Road Ahead: Republicans Ready Legislation To Expand Domestic Energy Production, Provide Much Needed Relief At The Pump
Leader Cantor: President Obama’s Energy Policies Are Preventing The Expansion Of Domestic Energy Production. “Now, the energy piece is what we are going to be dealing with when we get back next week. The House position is very clear, we want the government, we want the Administration and President Obama to stop denying the issuance of permits for exploration and production. We want the Obama Administration to lift its moratorium on drilling in part of our country offshore, and we've got other areas in our country offshore that want to actually begin exploration, and they're not going along with that.” Fox News
House Republicans To Bring Legislation To the Floor Aimed At Expanding Domestic Energy Production. House Republicans plan to highlight gas prices when they return from recess next week by introducing the first of three bills aimed at expanding domestic oil production. The measure most likely to move first would expedite approval for new offshore drilling permits by requiring the Interior Department to approve or deny them within 30 days, with two possible 15-day extensions. The following week, the GOP would bring two more bills to the floor that would open parts of the Gulf of Mexico and waters off of Virginia, Alaska and California to offshore drilling. House Republicans will also hold a hearing May 13 on administration policies they say are blocking or delaying renewable energy projects. The Wall Street Journal
Off The Beaten Path
Another Scientific Breakthrough – The “Healthy” Hot Fudge Sundae – The Consumerist
Ninjas Terrorize Pittsburgh – Boing Boing
Sony: PSN Users' Personal Information Obtained By "Unauthorized Person" –G4TV