November’s jobs report is an early Christmas present for President Obama. Despite the devastating impact Hurricane Sandy had on the Northeast, unemployment in November fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in October and the economy added 146,000 jobs, according to the report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
The unexpectedly positive report is likely to further strengthen the White House’s negotiating positions in the fiscal fight with House Republicans, since the collapse of talks could stall the momentum people see in the employment report - Read more at The Fiscal Times
JUST THE TWO OF US House Speaker John Boehner told the other congressional leaders on Thursday to step away from the negotiating table and leave it up to him and the president to sort out the country’s fiscal mess.
The speaker’s staff and the White House have also agreed to largely shut down public communication about the talks as the deadline to reach an agreement nears. - Read more at The New York Times
SCHOOLS LOBBY AGAINST CLIFF CUTS With more than $16 billion in federal funds and grants at stake, the education sector is the most active group pushing back against the more than $100 billion in across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to automatically trigger on Jan 2.
Colleges, universities, research institutions, labor unions and other education advocates have spent a collective $67 million on lobbying on behalf of education and against the massive cuts, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group.
Of the 421 groups that hired lobbyists this year, 91 are education groups. By comparison, just 26 organizations have lobbied against sequestration on behalf of the defense industry. - Read more at The Fiscal Times
HOUSE DEMS UP PRESSURE ON TAXES Almost all of the centrist Democrats who previously helped the GOP kill the Senate-passed proposal to extend the Bush-era tax rates to 98 percent of Americans in August have had a change of heart.
Fifteen of the 19 Democrats that shot down the earlier measure are now backing a discharge petition that needs 218 signatures to bring that same bill back to the House floor this month.
“We have an obligation to take action on this discharge petition, or any reasonable legislative effort that ensures tax relief for the middle class and small businesses,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, one of the 15 converts. “It is no longer an option to do nothing.” - Read more at The Hill
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