We hope this message finds you well.
What Does $2,000 Dollars Mean to You?
“If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the President said. “A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can’t afford that right now.”
Watch the President’s remarks below:
Now the President wants you to share your story! Get involved in the fight for middle-class tax cuts by visiting WH.gov/My2K. You can also join the conversation online on Facebook and Twitter using the hastag #My2K to share what $2,000 means for you and your family. Read what Americans have already shared here.
If Congress does not extend the middle-class tax cuts families will see their income taxes go up by $2,200. Jason Furman, the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, wrote earlier this week on how increased taxes on the middle-class will also negatively impact businesses and retailers across the county. The National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisors released a report detailing these impacts. If taxes on the middle-class go up, in 2013 consumers could spend nearly $200 billion less than they otherwise would have.
To read full report by the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisors, click here.
Combatting Human Trafficking and Supporting Human Rights in Southeast Asia
Last week President Obama undertook a historic trip to Southeast Asia, making stops in Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia. Becoming the first U.S. President ever to visit Burma, President Obama pledged continued U.S. support for the Burmese people as they undertake significant reforms aimed at building democracy and ensuring human rights, including women’s rights. Following his landmark speech this September on U.S. government efforts to combat trafficking in persons, the President also secured new commitments from the Government of Burma and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on their anti-trafficking efforts. More about what the U.S. government is doing to end trafficking in Southeast Asia can be found here.
While traveling with the President in Cambodia, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, and Samantha Power, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council, met with several organizations in Phnom Penh to discuss a number of human rights issues. They also had the opportunity to meet with human trafficking survivors and several U.S. partners who are working in Cambodia to combat this terrible crime.
Samantha Power (left), Valerie Jarrett (center), and Ambassador William E. Todd meet with Cambodian human rights organizations in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. (Photo from U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Valerie and Samantha’s blog about their meeting with human rights defenders can be read here, and their meetings with trafficking survivors and advocates can be found here. You can also find pictures from these meetings by clicking here.
Finally, following the President’s trip, the Department of Labor announced a $10 million cooperative agreement to combat child labor in Cambodia’s agriculture, fishing, and domestic service sectors. Read about in here.
Judges Announced for Equal Futures App Challenge
The White House is pleased to announce the judges of our Equal Futures App Challenge – a challenge to create apps that promote civic education and inspire girls to serve as leaders in our democracy. The full list of judges can be found in the post below and includes leaders such as Jack Dorsey, Creator and Co-Founder of Twitter and Founder and CEO of Square; Geena Davis, Academy-Award Winning Actor and Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; Jocelyn Goldfein, Director of Engineering at Facebook; Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and others.
And you don’t need to have coding skills yourself to participate – if you have an idea, you can find someone who does have those skills and work as a team to create an app. The deadline to submit apps for this challenge is January 12, 2013 – and you can learn more about the challenge and submit your apps on equalfutures.challenge.gov. Lastly, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions about the challenge, feel free to email Brian Forde, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer on Mobile and Data Innovation, at email@example.com.
Honoring International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
This past Sunday, November 25th, marked the anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Vice President Biden reaffirmed a commitment to women and girls who experience violence in a statement on Sunday, which can be read in full below:
“Millions of women and girls around the globe face violence in their homes and neighborhoods, their schools and workplaces, refugee camps and conflict zones. We have made progress in addressing this violence, and our Administration has taken unprecedented steps to advance the status of women and girls worldwide. But for far too many women the daily threat of violence persists. Ending this problem requires the concerted effort of the international community, civil society, and the many unsung heroes who work tirelessly to stop violence against women in their own communities. On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we reaffirm our commitment to women and girls who suffer from violence. We believe that no country can move forward unless women and girls have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and we pledge to stand together in building a world where everyone can pursue their dreams without living in fear.”
Check out Vice President Biden’s 1 is 2 Many campaign to learn more about what the Administration is doing to fight violence against women.
In Case You Missed It!
As part of a culture change campaign, the Department of Veteran Affairs released a new public service announcement (PSA) to let women Veterans know that VA health care is “the right place” to meet their health care needs. The key messages in the PSA include: assuring women Veterans that VA is ready to serve them; encouraging viewers to rethink assumptions that all Veterans are male; and reminding Americans that women Veterans are coming home, separating from service, or returning to Guard or Reserve status. To read more about the PSA click here, and you can also watch the PSA here.
Ed. Note: Thanks for staying tuned during our hiatus last month. We’re back and eager to cover all of the latest developments on the fiscal showdown and other important issues.***
Last week, the president put out his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, including $1.6 TRILLION in new tax revenues, $1.5 TRILLION in spending cuts that have already been enacted, $400 BILLION in additional targeted spending cuts, and additional measures to stimulate growth, including an extension of emergency unemployment benefits and new investments in infrastructure.
While Republicans have laughed at the president’s plan, said it is not “serious,” and have already fabricated new myths in order to attack it, there’s one thing they haven’t done until today: offer any real alternative.
A prime example of the GOP’s refusal to offer their own credible alternative plan was on display yesterday when Speaker Boehner (R-OH) was pressed on the details of the GOP plan by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Boehner avoided any details and refused to say which tax deductions Republicans could cap or eliminate.
Just a couple hours ago, House Republicans finally offered an alternative: some of the worst of the GOP’s recent budget ideas along with $800 BILLION in new revenues from a tax plan that lowers rates and closes loopholes. And, unlike the new revenue proposed by the president, even this revenue is not locked in. It’s to come as a part of a yet to be determined tax reform plan to be put together by Congress.
If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It is similar to the plan that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan ran on — and lost. And now Republicans are trying to put it forward as a credible alternative to the policies the president ran on — and won.
Let’s review in brief why this GOP plan does not pass muster:
The Republican proposal states that it is based on a plan put forward last year by Erskine Bowles (not to be confused with a different plan put forward by both Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson). Bowles, however, denied that that was the case today and also noted that “circumstances have changed” since then.
BOTTOM LINE:Any plan that fails to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share and forces seniors and the middle class to shoulder the burden of dealing with our debt is neither balanced nor credible.
Sen. John McCain once offered an assessment of the Benghazi attack nearly identical to what he’s attacking Susan Rice for saying.
Bob Costas was right to talk about gun violence during Sunday Night Football.
Carbon emissions hit a troubling new record high last year.
Fears over Syria’s potential use of chemical weapons mount.
Allen West compares himself to Abraham Lincoln.
Corporate profits hit record high while worker wages hit record low.
Gov. Jan Brewer is shocked that a reporter would even ask about climate change.
When we look more like a Romney-Ryan election night gathering than an Obama-Biden election night gathering, were in trouble.
The EPA says BP’s “lack of business integrity” led it to suspend the company from new government drilling contracts.
S. 3313 would expand the types and availability of infertility treatment provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $568 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts. Enacting S. 3313 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you go procedures do not apply.
the Senate Convenes: 10:00amET December 4, 2012
At 12:00pm, the Senate will conduct a roll call vote on the Resolution of Advise and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
12:06pm The Senate began a roll call vote on adoption of the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2/3rds of those present and voting not having voted in the affirmative, the resolution is Not Agreed to: 61-38
The following amendments to S.3254, NDAA, have been agreed to by consent:
- Kyl #2927, as modified (National Nuclear Security Administration)
- Akaka #3019 (state trade and export promotion grant program)
- Toomey #3062 (GAO reports)
- Brown (OH) #3113, as modified (HUB Zones)
- Rubio #3175, as modified (Ticonderoga class cruisers)
- Carper #3241 (GAO Mandates Revision Act)
- Carper #3242 (Improper payments)
- Thune #3277, as modified (SoS spectrum reallocation)
- Moran #3285, as modified (conference/convention reports)
- Bennet #3226, as modified (troop to teacher program enhancements)
- Hatch #3117, as modified (air logistics for system program managers)
The managers of the bill are working on an agreement to complete action on the Defense bill this afternoon.
4:41pm The Senate began a roll call vote on McCain #3262, as modified (reports on Syria)’Agreed to: 92-6
5:07pm The Senate began a roll call vote on passage of S.3254, National Defense Authorization Act, as amended;Passed: 98-0
The Defense Authorization bill passed the Senate 98-0.
Following the vote, Senator Reid moved to proceed to Calendar #552, H.R.6156, Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012.
ROLL CALL VOTES
1) Adoption of the Resolution of Advice and Consent to Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; 2/3rds of those present and voting not having voted in the affirmative, the resolution was Not Agreed to: 61-38
3) Passage of S.3254, as amended; Passed: 98-0
Discharged the Agriculture Committee and passed S.1947, a bill to prohibit attendance of an animal fighting venture and for other purposes with a Blumenthal amendment by voice vote.
Adopted S.Res.543, a resolution to express the sense of the Senate on international parental child abduction with a committee-reported amendment to the preamble by voice vote.
Completed the rule 14 process of H.R.6429, STEM Jobs Act of 2012. (Republican request)
No EXECUTIVE ITEMS
The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on December 4, 2012.
|10:00:31 A.M.||The House convened, starting a new legislative day.|
|10:00:36 A.M.||The Speaker designated the Honorable Gregg Harper to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.|
|10:01:01 A.M.||MORNING-HOUR DEBATE – The House proceeded with Morning-Hour Debate. At the conclusion of Morning-Hour, the House will recess until 12:00 p.m. for the start of legislative business.|
|10:43:22 A.M.||The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. today.|
|12:00:27 P.M.||>The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of December 4.|
|12:00:47 P.M.||Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Dr. Glen Bohannon, College Acres Baptist Church, Wilmington, North Carolina|
|12:02:05 P.M.||POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – The Chair announced that he had examined the Journal of the last day’s proceedings and had approved it. Mr. Walz demanded that the question be put on agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal and by voice vote, the Chair announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Walz demanded the Yeas and Nays and the Chair announced that further proceedings on the question of agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal would be postponed until later in the legislative day.|
|12:03:36 P.M.||PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Mr. Walz of MN to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.|
|12:03:37 P.M.||CALL OF THE PRIVATE CALENDAR – Pursuant to clause 1(a) of rule XIII, the Chair announced that the call of the Private Calendar was in order on this day and would be considered after one minute speeches.|
|12:05:43 P.M.||ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches which by direction of the Chair, would be limited to 15 per side of the aisle.|
|12:28:41 P.M.||H.R. 1857||Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 1857 — “For the relief of Bartosz Kumor.”|
|12:28:59 P.M.||H.R. 1857||On passage Passed without objection.|
|12:29:03 P.M.||H.R. 1857||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:29:04 P.M.||H.R. 824||Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 824 — “For the relief of Daniel Wachira.”|
|12:29:20 P.M.||H.R. 824||On passage Passed without objection.|
|12:29:25 P.M.||H.R. 824||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:29:26 P.M.||H.R. 823||Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 823 — “For the relief of Maria Carmen Castro Ramirez and J. Refugio Carreno Rojas.”|
|12:29:41 P.M.||H.R. 823||On passage Passed without objection.|
|12:29:44 P.M.||H.R. 823||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:29:45 P.M.||H.R. 794||Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 794 — “For the relief of Allan Bolor Kelley.”|
|12:30:00 P.M.||H.R. 794||On passage Passed without objection.|
|12:30:02 P.M.||H.R. 794||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:30:04 P.M.||H.R. 357||Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 357 — “For the relief of Corina de Chalup Turcinovic.”|
|12:30:18 P.M.||H.R. 357||On passage Passed without objection.|
|12:30:19 P.M.||H.R. 357||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:30:31 P.M.||H.R. 316||<ACTION_DESCRIPTION>Considered from the Private Calendar. H.R. 316 — “For the relief of Esther Karinge.”|
|12:30:35 P.M.||H.R. 316||On passage Passed without objection.|
|12:30:36 P.M.||H.R. 316||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|12:30:38 P.M.||S. 285||Called up from the Private Calendar for consideration.|
|12:31:04 P.M.||S. 285||By request of Mr. Smith (TX) the House passed over the measure without prejudice.|
|12:31:23 P.M.||The Speaker announced that votes on suspensions, if ordered, will be postponed until a time to be announced.|
|12:31:31 P.M.||H.R. 6582||Mr. Whitfield moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. H.R. 6582 — “To allow for innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals, and to make technical corrections to existing Federal energy efficiency laws to allow American manufacturers to remain competitive.”|
|12:32:08 P.M.||H.R. 6582||Considered under suspension of the rules.|
|12:32:11 P.M.||H.R. 6582||DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 6582.|
|1:04:35 P.M.||H.R. 6582||At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.|
|1:04:50 P.M.||The Speaker announced that the House do now recess. The next meeting is scheduled for approximately 1:45 p.m. today.|
|1:45:33 P.M.||The House convened, returning from a recess continuing the legislative day of December 4.|
|1:45:34 P.M.||UNFINISHED BUSINESS – The Chair announced that the unfinished business was the question on adoption of a motion to suspend the rules and on the question of agreeing to the Speaker’s approval of the Journal, both of which had been postponed from earlier in the day.|
|1:46:08 P.M.||H.R. 6582||Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 6582 — “To allow for innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals, and to make technical corrections to existing Federal energy efficiency laws to allow American manufacturers to remain competitive.”|
|2:11:42 P.M.||H.R. 6582||On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 398 – 2, 1 Present (Roll no. 614).|
|2:11:43 P.M.||H.R. 6582||Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.|
|2:18:18 P.M.||On approving the Journal Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 290 – 106, 2 Present (Roll no. 615).|
|2:18:26 P.M.||>Mr. Ellison moved that the House do now adjourn.|
|2:34:45 P.M.||On motion to adjourn Failed by recorded vote: 3 – 393 (Roll no. 616).|
|2:35:13 P.M.||Mr. McHenry asked unanimous consent that when the House adjourns today, it adjourn to meet at 9:00 a.m. on December 5. Agreed to without objection.|
|2:36:10 P.M.||ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.|
|2:39:47 P.M.||>SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.|
|4:45:06 P.M.||Mr. Gohmert moved that the House do now adjourn.|
|4:45:13 P.M.||On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.|
|4:45:14 P.M.||The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order. The next meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on December 5, 2012.|