Yesterday, the President admitted that people aren’t any better off than they were four years ago before he was President: “I don’t think that they’re better off than they were four years ago…I think that what we’ve seen is that we’ve been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy but the unemployment rate is still way too high.” It’s no surprise the economy isn’t getting better since job creators are hampered by uncertainty from the President’s flawed policies, job-destroying regulations, constant threats of tax increases and deficit spending.
House Republicans are trying to right the ship and are focusing on policies that will boost economic growth and produce an environment for job creation. This week, we are moving forward with legislation to prevent the EPA from imposing costly burdens on manufacturers and employers, and next week we will pass the free trade agreements to allow businesses to expand and compete. Instead of campaigning around the country, it is time for the President to work with us on areas of common ground to get people back to work and give Americans the opportunity to succeed again.
Today In History: In 1927, sculpting begins on the face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota. It would take another 12 years for the impressive granite images of four of America's most revered and beloved presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt--to be completed.
Birthdays: Rutherford B. Hayes, Alicia Silverstone, Anne Rice, Susan Sarandon and Liev Schreiber
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ....
State Of Play: Senate Democrats Continue To Mount Opposition To The President’s Proposal
Senior Dem Aide: Nobody Is All That Excited About The President’s Bill. Prospects for passage in the Senate appeared doubtful as most legislation needs support from both parties in order to advance. ... Moderate Democrats in the Senate have objected to some of the tax increases Obama has proposed to pay for the bill. "Nobody is all that excited about the president's jobs bill," a senior Democratic aide said. Reuters
- Reid, Durbin Slow Walk President Obama’s Bill As Senate Democrats Continue To Reject It. Even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly promised to call a vote on the president’s plan, he has slow-walked Obama’s jobs bill amid fractures within his caucus over how to pay for it. ... As Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told WLS Radio last week, Democrats may not even have the votes for a simple majority at this point. “There are some Senators who are up for election who say, ‘I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people,’” Durbin said. “So, we’re not gonna have 100 percent Democratic Senators.” Roll Call
- A Growing Divide: Phone Snafu Adds To Mounting Tensions Between Senate Democrats and President Obama. President Obama’s relations with Senate Democratic leaders are deteriorating along with his poll numbers. ... There have been recent flare-ups between the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his deputies, 13 months before the 2012 elections, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. ... Obama left his party’s top senators, who had assembled for a conference call, hanging on the phone for nearly 20 minutes before National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling came on the line with a seemingly vague notion of what the call was supposed to be about, Democratic sources said. ... Obama and Reid speak frequently on the phone, but the conversations can be terse. One Democratic source quipped that it’s often a contest to guess who will hang up on the other first. Reid, as it turns out, doesn’t have a habit of saying goodbye when he ends a call. ... “I think one of the problems with the White House is that it’s been too set apart. It’s been too Chicago-centric, and it needs to get out,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The Hill
State Of Play (2): House Republicans Ready To Act On Bipartisan Job Creation Measures
President Obama Finally Sends Long-Awaited Free Trade Agreements To Congress, A Key Component Of The House Republicans’ Jobs Plan. The Obama administration moved Monday to complete free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, submitting the deals for Congressional approval after resolving a standoff of months with Republicans over the details of a package both sides said they favored. .... The proposed agreement with South Korea could increase annual sales of American goods — including dairy products, pork, poultry, chemicals and plastics — by up to $10.9 billion, according to a 2007 estimate by a federal agency, the United States International Trade Commission. That estimate did not include sales services like banking and legal work, which are also likely to be considerable. The agreement with Colombia, a much smaller trading partner, would increase annual demand for American goods by about $1.1 billion, the commission estimated. It said the impact of the Panama agreement would be smaller; it did not provide an estimate. The White House said the deals would “provide a major boost to our exports.” Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, described the deals as “a key component of the House Republicans’ job plan.” Both sides said passing the agreements would create thousands of jobs. The New York Times
- Leader Cantor Introduces Bipartisan Free Trade Agreements As Legislative Texts. President Obama on Monday submitted the texts of three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) then introduced as stand-alone bills that the House will consider. Cantor and Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) introduced the Colombia FTA as H.R. 3078. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) joined Cantor in co-sponsoring the Panama FTA, which is H.R. 3079. And, House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) joined Cantor as a co-sponsor of the South Korea FTA, which is H.R. 3080. Levin's cosponsorship of the South Korea is significant, as Levin was a long-time opponent of that agreement until language was added that safeguards the U.S. market against possible surges of autos from South Korea. The Hill
Tone Check: America Isn’t Soft, President Obama’s Policies Are The Real Problem
Leader Cantor: The Real Issue Is President Obama’s Policies That Have Made It Harder For People To Earn Success. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday took President Obama to task for calling the United States "soft," saying the administration is to blame for any malaise afflicting the country. "Last week the president said that America has grown a little soft, and I just respond to that and say to the president, with all due respect, I disagree," said the Virginia Republican during his weekly briefly with reporters at the Capitol. "America is the greatest nation in the world. We are really the birthplace of game-changing innovations that have really changed the world." ... "The real issue is the Obama administration policies have taken away from that. And clearly, these polices have made it harder for people to succeed, to earn that success." The Washington Times
The Economy: President Obama Says Americans Aren’t Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago
President Obama Admits His Economic Policies Failed, Says Americans Aren’t Better Off Than They Were Four Years Ago. Stephanopoulos: There are so many people who simply don't think they're better off than they were four years ago. How do you convince them that they are? Obama: Well, I don't think they're better off than they were four years ago. USA Today
- Nearly 70% Of Americans Say President Obama Has Not Made Real Progress On The Economy. A new CBS News poll finds that nearly seven in 10 Americans believe President Obama has not made real progress in fixing the economy. Sixty-nine percent say the president has not made real progress on the economy, which voters overwhelmingly cite as their most important issue. ... Perceptions are not improving. The percentage who said Mr. Obama has made real progress has dropped 10 points from a survey 13 months ago, when 35 percent said he had made real progress. Just 35 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama's handling of the economy, and his approval rating on the issue has been below 40 percent since February. CBS News
In The Obama Economy Layoff Greeting Card Sales Are Booming. Hallmark moments are not what they used to be -- not with national unemployment at 9.1 percent. For more than 100 years, the famous family-owned card maker based in Kansas City, Mo., has had a card for life's triumphs and tribulations. But the bad economy has called for something else: The layoff greeting card. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Who Knew What, When? President Obama Was Warned About Solyndra’s Possible Collapse In May 2010. Administration officials and outside advisers warned that President Obama should consider dropping plans to visit a solar startup company in 2010 because its mounting financial problems might ultimately embarrass the White House. “A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” California investor and Obama fundraiser Steve Westly wrote to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in May 2010. “Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term.” The Washington Post
Raising More Questions: Docs Show Holder Was Informed Of Fast And Furious In 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder was issued multiple memos from senior Justice Department officials about a controversial gun-tracking operation months before he said he first became aware it, according to documents. In response to questions from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on May 3, 2011, Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he only recently learned about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious. The Hill
Off The Beaten Path
Verlander, Tigers Top Yankees 5-4, Take 2-1 Series Lead ... Game 4 Tonight – The Detroit News
Gamer Alert – Play Games. Heal Kids.
Bikers Beware: Texting While Riding May Soon Get You A Ticket In Chicago – The Chicago Tribune