Much is being made of the President's gestures toward House Republicans...he's had them over at the White House for a meal and took a trip to the Capitol to meet on their turf. (Presidents don't usually do this.)
Democrats are worried that the President may 'give' too much to get a budget compromise - especially when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. Others suggest he may be wasting his time because Republicans will never compromise with him.
So is it just a photo opportunity? Maybe...but Obama doesn't have to run for office anymore. We know what that means as far as the GOP is concerned....but what about Democrats? Does he have to be as beholding to his party as he was the first term?
Maybe he's just trying to get something done! He will need support from both parties to get this budget deal and the American people want to see this.
Still, Progressive Democrats don't want to see the poor and the needy abandoned when it comes to America's signature entitlements (unsustainable as they currently are) ...Social Security and Medicare.
The Huffington Post describes a meeting between the President and Senate Progressive Democrats who expressed concerns over what his 'entitlement reform' might look like.
"A top administration official noted that increasing Medicare's eligibility age, which the president was willing to do in 2011, has been repeatedly ruled out of current negotiations. But Obama is scheduled to meet with House Republicans on Wednesday, and Senate Republicans on Thursday. The GOP members are expected to push Obama to broach the subject again.
Heading into those discussions, some Democrats said they lack a clear picture of exactly what Obama will and won't negotiate."
Sequester, or no Sequester, (notice we didn't hear the word as much this week?), the GOP continues its strategy of no cooperation with the White House. Not only that, there is movement (and probably a plan) to roll back Obama's most significant achievement -- health care reform, or 'Obamacare' as they call it.
Lisa Miscaro of the LATimes reported this week:
"Republicans in Congress are renewing their political assault on the nation’s new healthcare law, trying to repeal President Obama's signature domestic achievement as part of the next battle over the federal budget."
The President had lunch Thursday with Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee -- not sure it helped. The Washington Post reports Ryan's playing the same tune (the one that didn't help him win the national election or his home state.)
On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rolled out a 10-year spending plan that would revive the most controversial prescriptions from last year’s GOP budget, including a partial privatization of Medicare and a repeal of the health-care law that is Obama’s signature policy achievement.
Dinner with Bill and Hillary...or is it Hillary and Bill?
President Obama had a private dinner with the Clintons this past week. Yeah..I know, who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. And, not just because of the political talk of a possible Hillary 2016 run --no, I think most of us recognize that these are three extremely bright people who have fascinating opinions on our country and where it's headed. So many topics they could cover -- climate change, hunger in America, the Arab Spring, immigration, education reform...three of our nation's greatest minds...leading the country, leading the world. I think there is much mutual respect among these three.
Who's on the Export Council?
This past week the President met with his export council to discuss trade and export-related issues. Here's a video of the excerpts:
Wonder who's on the council? Look below (from the International Trade Administration website)
Private Sector Members (Appointed by the President)
- W. James McNerney, Jr., PEC Chair, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Boeing Company
- Ursula M. Burns, PEC Vice Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Corporation
- Mary Andringa, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vermeer Corporation
- Stephanie A. Burns, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dow Corning
- Scott Davis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, UPS
- Richard L. Friedman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Carpenter & Company, Inc.
- Gene Hale, Founder and President, G&C Equipment Corporation
- William Hite, General President, United Association
- Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company
- Charles R. Kaye, Co-President, Warburg Pincus
- Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Dow Chemical Company
- Gary W. Loveman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Caesars Entertainment Corporation
- Denise Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of Campbell Soup Company
- Alan Mulally, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company
- Raul Pedraza, Founder and President, Magno International L.P.
- Ivan Seidenberg, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Verizon
- Glenn Tilton, Non-Executive Chairman, United Continental Holdings, Inc. and Chairman of the Midwest, JPMorgan Chase
- James S. Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ernst & Young
- Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Archer Daniels Midland Company
President Obama's First Term
A Look Back at Week 7 - 2009:
(Excerpts from my National Scene blog, March 12, 2009)
- As Barack Obama completes his first 50 days in office—and while critics are suggesting his agenda is too ambitious—the President continues to tackle the major issues of our time. Introducing new proposals for health care reform, stem cell research, and an overhaul of the education system, Obama stressed the need for government leaders to multitask. Acknowledging a change from business-as-usual in Washington, Obama insists all of these issues, as well as the economic crisis, need to be addressed simultaneously to move America forward.
- Happy Birthday to Ted Kennedy. In a surprise appearance, President Obama led a chorus of “Happy Birthday” for Senator Ted Kennedy at the Kennedy Center, celebrating the senator's 77th birthday this past February. The event featured dignitaries from the world of politics and entertainment, including Bill Cosby, Lauren Bacall, and members of Senator Kennedy’s family. Kennedy was presented the Profile in Courage Award.
- Ban on Stem Cell Research Reversed.Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Barack Obama removed restrictions on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research put in place by the Bush administration.
- First Lady Honors Courageous Women.First Lady Michelle Obama joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in honoring women from around the world who lead the fight for women’s rights. Eight women were presented with the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award. Mrs. Obama saluted the women saying, “The women we honor today teach us three very important lessons. One, that as women, we must stand up for ourselves. The second, as women, we must stand up for each other. And finally, as women, we must stand up for justice for all.”
The First Lady takes to Twitter to answer questions about her "Let's Move" program.
Follow @FLOTUS and@LetsMove on Twitter for updates and news about the Let’s Move! initiative and how you can get involved.