December 7th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
3 months ago

President Obama to propose $200 billion for jobs creation

Washington (CNN) – President Obama will propose using $200 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to support creating jobs, White House officials confirmed Monda

The president, in an economic speech before the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, will argue that the money would be well spent by funding projects to build bridges and roads, weatherize homes, and provide other assistance for small businesses as well as the unemployed.
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Filed under: President Obama • TARP
December 7th, 2009
12:06 PM ET
3 months ago

Senate health care debate to focus on abortion

It is unclear if a Senate vote on Sen. Nelson's amendment regarding abortion would occur Monday.
It is unclear if a Senate vote on Sen. Nelson's amendment regarding abortion would occur Monday.

Washington (CNN)– Senate debate on a sweeping health care bill proceeds to one of the most controversial issues Monday - an amendment to tighten restrictions on federal funding for abortion.

The amendment by moderate Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska would mirror language from the health care bill passed by the House last month that prevents any health plan receiving federal subsidies from offering coverage for abortion. It was unclear if a Senate vote on Nelson's amendment would occur Monday.

Anti-abortion legislators say the House language that Nelson seeks to adopt maintains the current level of restriction by preventing any federal funding for abortion, except in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother.

Opponents of the tougher language argue that the amended language would expand the current level of restriction because women receiving coverage under a federally subsidized health care plan would be barred from purchasing abortion coverage with their own money.
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Filed under: Abortion • Health care • Senate
December 7th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
3 months ago

Citizens lay down law on U.S. debt

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - When it comes to managing the country's purse strings, Washington gets a failing grade from several groups of citizens and experts across the country.

Those groups, part of the Concord Coalition's Fiscal Stewardship Project, went to Capitol Hill on Monday to deliver a report to their lawmakers detailing their suggestions for how best to address the long-term fiscal storm facing the United States if lawmakers do nothing.

The approaching storm is not a surprise to anyone in Washington.

Indeed, the debt issues threatening to consume the federal budget over time have been in the making for years. The economic crisis of the past year isn't the underlying problem, but it accelerated the timetable lawmakers face for dealing with the country's fiscal problems.

There are many ways to fix what's broken. What's been lacking is the political will.

Some experts believe that all will be much better once the economy recovers. A strong economy means more jobs, more taxable income and more government revenue. And when government has more money coming in, it has to borrow less to pay its bills.

That would be swell. But it's not enough.

Full story


Filed under: national debt
December 7th, 2009
11:09 AM ET
3 months ago

Obama on Springsteen: I'm the president but he's 'The Boss'

ALT TEXT

"I'm the president but he's 'The Boss,'" Obama said Sunday night about famed rocker Bruce Springsteen, left. . (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Legendary performers mingled with Washington heavyweights as the 32nd annual Kennedy Center Honors were celebrated Sunday night.

"On a day like this, I remember, I'm the president, but he's 'The Boss,'" President Barack Obama said as he paid tribute to Bruce Springsteen The singer and songwriter was honored for his lifetime of contributions to the performing arts, as were writer, composer, actor, director and producer Mel Brooks; pianist and composer Dave Brubeck; opera singer Grace Bumbry; and actor, director and producer Robert De Niro.

Notables such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, broadcaster Barbara Walters and television personality Jon Stewart helped fete the performers.
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Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
December 7th, 2009
11:07 AM ET
3 months ago

BREAKING: Initial Afghan surge troop deployment announced

The Pentagon announced Monday that Marines from Camp Lejeune will be heading to Afghanistan later this month.
The Pentagon announced Monday that Marines from Camp Lejeune will be heading to Afghanistan later this month.

Washington (CNN) - The Pentagon announced Monday the first step in the surge of more U.S. forces to Afghanistan, saying 1,500 troops from an infantry battalion task force at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina will deploy later this month.

Another 13,500 troops will deploy by the end of spring 2010, including an additional 6,200 Marines from Regimental Combat Team-2 at Camp Lejeune; 800 from I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California; 3,400 troops from a Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, New York; and 4,100 support forces, according to the Department of Defense.

President Barack Obama announced last week he would deploy a total of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan in the surge, with plans to begin withdrawing them as soon as July 2011.

Related: Obama aides fine-tuning meaning of Afghan withdrawal date


Filed under: Afghanistan
December 7th, 2009
10:34 AM ET
3 months ago

Administration to slash TARP cost $200 billion

New York (CNNMoney.com) - The Obama administration is expected to slash the estimated cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program by $200 billion, which could help trim the nation's bloated deficit.

The latest projection, which will be officially unveiled by the White House in the coming days, would cut the long-term cost of TARP to $141 billion, according to a Treasury Department official.

As recently as August, the administration had projected that the long-term costs of running TARP would reach $341 billion.

But that outlook has improved as banks have raced to repay taxpayer funds to the government in recent months. To date, banks have returned some $71 billion to taxpayers, according to the Treasury Department.

Full story


Filed under: Obama administration • TARP • Treasury Department
December 7th, 2009
10:30 AM ET
December 7th, 2009
09:32 AM ET
3 months ago

Liberal group takes aim at Lieberman

Sen. Joe Lieberman is coming under fire for his opposition to a public option as part of health care reform.
Sen. Joe Lieberman is coming under fire for his opposition to a public option as part of health care reform.

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman is under fire from a liberal political organization, which is airing a new television commercial this week critical of the Independent's opposition to a public option as part of health care reform.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is airing a 30-second ad on stations in Connecticut and the nation's capital in an effort to "pressure" Lieberman to vote for the public option in the Senate health care bill. Lieberman has repeatedly stated he does not support the idea.

The initial ad buy is for $40,000 to air the commercial on broadcast channels in Connecticut and cable outlets in Washington, DC. A fundraising email will be sent this morning asking people to donate money to help keep it on the air. Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said previous fundraising solicitations to pay for commercials aimed at Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, and Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, "easily passed $100,000."

Follow Mark Preston: on Twitter: @prestoncnn


Filed under: Connecticut • Health care • Joe Lieberman
December 7th, 2009
09:02 AM ET
3 months ago

Frank to endorse Sestak's bid to unseat Specter

(CNN) - Rep. Joe Sestak gets the backing of a big name Monday morning as House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank endorses his fellow Democrat's bid for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

According to a press release from the Sestak campaign, Frank will endorse the representative from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district when the two men team up at a news conference in Philadelphia.

Specter, up for re-election next year, is fighting for a sixth term in the Senate. The longtime Republican switched his party identity from Republican to Democrat earlier this year. Even though Specter has the backing of the Democratic Party and the White House, he's facing a primary challenge from Sestak, a former Navy admiral who first won election to Congress in 2006.

In published interviews, Frank has been critical of Specter's party switch.

Polls in Pennsylvania indicate that Specter's large primary lead over Sestak has shrunk to the low double digits.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Barney Frank • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
December 7th, 2009
04:48 AM ET
3 months ago

Matalin: With Afghan surge, Obama resembles George W. Bush

On State of the Union Sunday, Republican strategist Mary Matalin said President Obama's Afghan surge is 'a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.'
On State of the Union Sunday, Republican strategist Mary Matalin said President Obama's Afghan surge is 'a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.'

Washington (CNN) – A leading Republican strategist and one-time aide to former Vice President Cheney said Sunday that President Obama’s recently announced decision to send an additional 30, 000 troops to Afghanistan is “a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.”

“The [Bush] doctrine is no safe havens [for terrorists intent on harming the United States] and we go after those that provide a harbor [for such terrorists]. That’s the doctrine,” Republican strategist Mary Matalin explained Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Obama’s decision to surge additional troops into Afghanistan is “solid policy,’ in Matalin’s view and “a reassertion of the Bush doctrine.”

“Every strategic element is from the Bush doctrine. The tactics are from the Bush surge [in Iraq],” she said.

Matalin added that when civilian contractors and forces supplied by NATO allies are considered “there are enough troops” in Afghanistan.

But, Matalin also said Sunday that, by announcing a date to begin to remove some American troops, Obama had sent a mixed message about the United States’ commitment in Afghanistan.
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