Sperling cautiously optimistic on economy, offers few hints on budget
February 20th, 2014
11:14 AM ET
5 months ago

Sperling cautiously optimistic on economy, offers few hints on budget

Washington (CNN) - While warning there is much more to be done to get to a healthy economy, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said, "I would still be cautiously optimistic that the general notion is that there are positive trends in the economy."

Sperling said that he believes data that has been coming out about the economy weakening, including slow housing starts, will probably turn out to be weather related. But he did concede that while the economy is on the right track it is, "not good enough," adding that the country "needs stronger growth."

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Filed under: Budget • Economy • Gene Sperling • President Obama
January 5th, 2014
10:15 AM ET
7 months ago

White House warns Republicans against fighting economic fixes

Washington (CNN) – The President’s top economic adviser warned Republicans that threatening default on the debt limit was risking political peril.

The White House's Director of the National Economic Council told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday morning that Republicans not only risk doing irreparable damage to the economy if they were to risk the full faith and credit of the United States in another political showdown with the Obama administration, but they could also destroy their chances at the polls in November.

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Obama economic adviser's refrain: No debt ceiling negotiations
September 15th, 2013
08:00 PM ET
11 months ago

Obama economic adviser's refrain: No debt ceiling negotiations

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama and his closest advisers are making it clear: They will not negotiate on the looming debt ceiling.

In an interview on Sunday with ABC, Obama said he "will not negotiate...on the debt ceiling" because making a debate over the credit of the United States the norm would alter "the constitutional structure of this government entirely."
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Filed under: Economy • Gene Sperling • President Obama
March 3rd, 2013
10:05 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama worked the phones, adviser says

(CNN) - One day after ordering $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to go into effect, President Barack Obama was on the phone with members of both parties Saturday, trying to find the "bipartisan compromise that we need to get out of this," said Gene Sperling, the president's senior economic aide.

"He's reaching out to Democrats who understand we have to make serious progress on long-term entitlement reform, and Republicans who realize if we have that type of entitlement reform, they'd be willing to have tax reform that raises revenues to lower the deficit," Sperling said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
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Filed under: Debt • Deficit • Gene Sperling • President Obama • State of the Union
March 3rd, 2013
09:01 AM ET
1 year ago

Sperling on Woodward: ‘I think he's a legend’

(CNN) - Gene Sperling, a senior economic aide to the president, said he hopes he and veteran journalist Bob Woodward can look past their recent dustup, which made national headlines and divided the inside-the-Beltway crowd over the interpretation of one word: "regret."

"Bob and I have known each other for 20 years, and we've always had a friendly and respectful relationship," Sperling said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
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Filed under: Bob Woodward • Debt • Deficit • Gene Sperling • TV-State of the Union
White House defends the drop in unemployment
October 16th, 2012
04:18 PM ET
2 years ago

White House defends the drop in unemployment

(CNNMoney) - The Romney-Ryan camp is trying to discredit the falling unemployment rate, claiming it's due mainly to workers dropping out of the labor force. But Obama administration official Gene Sperling shot back Tuesday: "That just ain't so."

Sperling, who heads the White House's National Economic Council, pointed to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% last month, down from 9.0% a year earlier. Most of that decline is due to workers getting jobs - not people dropping out of the labor force, Sperling said at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Meeting in New York Tuesday.

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Filed under: Gene Sperling • unemployment • White House
Sperling: House won’t ‘disrupt’ Senate compromise
December 18th, 2011
10:40 AM ET
3 years ago

Sperling: House won’t ‘disrupt’ Senate compromise

Washington (CNN) – The director of the National Economic Council said Sunday there was little chance the House would reject a Senate plan to extend the payroll tax cut for two months, but Gene Sperling also expects more political drama over the issue in the next two weeks and added that a longer agreement is possible before the end of the year.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sperling noted the Senate measure to extend the reduced payroll tax rate and unemployment benefits for two months passed Saturday with strong support from both parties,
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White House to Congress: Avoid the pain
July 31st, 2011
01:14 PM ET
2 years ago

White House to Congress: Avoid the pain

Washington (CNN) – Gene Sperling, the director of President Obama's National Economic Council, said Sunday the White House will accept a compromise that only contains mutually acceptable spending cuts, as part of the initial deficit reduction package.

Sperling, who has been at the center of the ongoing negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders, said the second phase of the plan would tackle more significant deficit reduction, entitlement reform and tax reform that raises revenues.
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Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Gene Sperling • TV-State of the Union
March 11th, 2010
06:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Sperling not yet offered OMB job

Sources tell CNN that Gene Sperling will fill the No. 2 job at the Office of Management and Budget.
Sources tell CNN that Gene Sperling will fill the No. 2 job at the Office of Management and Budget.

Washington (CNN) – Two Obama administration sources told CNN Thursday that plans are in the works to shift Gene Sperling from a senior Treasury Department role to the No. 2 job at the Office of Management and Budget. But the No. 1 man at the OMB, Director Peter Orzag, sent word late in the day that he "has not offered the job to anyone."

That statement, delivered through Orzag deputy and lead spokesman Kenneth Baer, the OMB's assistant director for communications and strategic planning, reflected internal tensions over the prospect of Sperling moving to the OMB.

Sperling now serves as counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The job of deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget became vacant last month when
Robert Nabors left the No. 2 budget job to become a senior adviser to chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The Washington Post reported back then that Sperling was among the candidates to replace Nabors.

The two sources, who spoke to CNN on Thursday, said Sperling was the White House choice for the job, and was undergoing the vetting process. The OMB job requires Senate confirmation; Sperling's current Treasury position did not. A third source was somewhat less definitive, saying the shift was "probable," but not certain because the vetting process was not completed. All three sources are administration officials involved in economic policy who discussed the issue only on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter.

After seeing a brief CNN report on the issue, Baer contacted CNN and disputed the process was as far along as the other sources had suggested. "Director Orzag has talked with Gene about this job," Baer said. "He also has talked with other candidates. He has not offered the job to anyone … Nothing has been decided. No job has been offered."

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