Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration wants to boost the staggering U.S. economy by boosting exports and offering small-business tax credits, but the prospects for additional stimulus spending are weak, the president's top political adviser conceded Sunday.
"Everybody agrees we have to do more," David Axelrod told CNN's "State of the Union." He said the administration has boosted the economy with its first stimulus package, which it pushed through Congress shortly after taking office in 2009, and Obama has pledged to double U.S. exports in five years, but, "We
have to accelerate that."
But with members of Congress expressing increasing concern about the budget deficit, which already tops $1 trillion for a budget year that ends in September, Axelrod admitted there's "not a great desire" for additional government spending.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers come back to work Monday facing a tough decision: Whether it's more important to spend money to keep the economic recovery going or to watch their pennies.
One camp, made up mostly of Democrats, is arguing that Congress must spend to help cash-strapped states and people who are hurting from the downturn.
The other side - mainly Republicans but also a few fiscally conservative Democrats - says that adding to the nation's deficit poses an even bigger economic problem. They don't mind helping the unemployed and the states, as long as the measures are paid for.
Lawmakers don't have much time to argue. They'll be in session for a month before leaving for the extended August recess. And when they return after Labor Day, they'll be wrapped up in the November elections and likely will get little done.
There are three pressing issues that lawmakers will wrestle with in July.
Washington (CNN) – It may be no surprise, but a new poll indicates that Tea Party supporters and those opposed to the movement don't see eye to eye on some of the top issues facing the nation.
According to a USA Today/Gallup survey released Monday, 61 percent of self-described Tea Party movement supporters say that the federal government's debt is an extremely serious threat to the country, with only 29 percent of self-described Tea Party opponents saying that the debt is an extremely serious threat.
Forty-nine percent of Tea Party supporters say the size and power of the federal government is an extremely serious threat, with only 12 percent of Tea Party opponents agreeing.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Saxby Chambliss says the U.S. debt is "one of the most dangerous threats confronting America."
The Georgia Republican made his comment in this week's Republican address, and come on the same day that, in the presidential radio and internet address, President Obama criticized Senate Republicans for their attempts to delay the extension of unemployment benefits and tax credits to people and small businesses hurt by the recession.
Republican leaders objected to the measure because it would have added to the national debt. They offered alternative bills that would have paid for unemployment benefits with unused stimulus funds.
While never referring explicitly to the legislative battle over unemployment benefits, Chambliss hammers home the GOP perspective.
Racine, Wisconsin (CNN) - President Barack Obama acknowledged Wednesday that the federal deficit is a significant concern, but he also criticized Republicans for obstructing what he called commonsense legislation and siding with big business.
In a campaign-style speech and in answering questions from a crowd of about 1,400 people in economically hard-hit Racine, Wisconsin, Obama depicted Republican opponents as obstructionists to necessary progress for continuing recovery from what the president called "the great recession" that started under the previous GOP administration.
"We already tried the other side's ideas," Obama said, adding that the choice now facing the nation is to "return to the failed economic policies of the past" or to keep working to build a stronger future.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama sent a weekend letter to congressional leaders seeking approval for previously proposed spending measures intended to protect the nation's economic recovery, but initial response Sunday was mixed.
The Saturday letter to the leaders of the House and Senate asked for the Senate to approve an $80 billion measure offering extended jobless benefits as well as tax breaks and better access to credit for small businesses. In the letter, Obama also sought congressional support for proposals totaling about $50 billion to help state and local governments avoid layoffs and service reductions.
Obama's letter also noted that his administration was holding down some annual spending and had created a bipartisan commission intended to devise a deficit reduction strategy.
"Ultimately, reining in our deficit will take major steps, including the effective implementation of health reform and laying the conditions for the success of the bipartisan fiscal commission," Obama's letter said. "Only through this approach of aggressive and well-designed targeted and temporary actions, alongside measures to ensure a sustainable and responsible long-term budget outlook, will we be able to fulfill our economic potential."
David Axelrod, Obama's senior adviser, said Sunday that Obama's letter was intended to "underscore the urgency" of continuing to support economic recovery.
Among other things, Boehner notes that the Democratically-led Congress is yet to produce a budget more than two months after the historical deadline for doing so.
“This is a stunning failure of leadership – the kind of leadership President Obama promised to provide," Boehner says in the address.
(Read Boehner's full remarks after the jump)
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Congressional budget scorekeepers said that a grab-bag bill of spending and tax measures to be taken up this week would increase federal deficits by $134 billion over a decade.
The bill, which is likely to become a flash point in the debate over the federal debt, would raise $40 billion worth in additional revenue, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
But that's not enough to fully offset the $174 billion in additional federal outlays that would occur as a result under the bill. CBO released its cost estimate late Friday.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Congress is finally close to checking Wall Street reform off its to-do list. Then it will turn to a bevy of spending and tax measures. Individually, the measures may not inspire sticker shock, but together they add up.
In coming weeks, Congress will consider measures that combined could increase the deficit by close to $500 billion over 10 years. And that doesn't include the big kahuna on this year's agenda: extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which could cost anywhere from several hundred billion dollars to more than $2 trillion.
While it is expected that many measures will be paid for with revenue-generating provisions, the total cost of all that's on the table would not be fully offset. That's in large part because several measures are exempt from the new "pay-as-you-go" law.