White House budget director huddles with House Democrats
White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew met with House Democrats Wednesday morning at their closed-door caucus meeting, a week after meeting with Senate Democrats and days ahead of the release of President Obama's budget on Monday.
In addition to Lew, several others gave presentations at Wednesday's caucus meeting, including House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.); Stan Collender, managing director of Qorvis Communications and a former congressional budget analyst; and Bob Greenstein, founder of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
At a news conference ahead of the meeting, Van Hollen, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) and Vice Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) said that House Democrats remain committed to job-creation and economic issues.
Becerra also alluded to the renewed debate over abortion funding playing out on Capitol Hill in the form of two House Republican-led bills; proponents of the measures argue that they're in line with the goal of cutting spending, while opponents contend they're a distraction from economic issues.
"We're hoping our Republican colleagues will join us in trying to do what President Obama focused on all of his first two years, and that is creating jobs in America, rather than getting into these cultural wars, rather than getting into these mindless games about whodunit, who-didn't-do-it," Becerra said. "So we're hoping to work together in the House of Representatives in the near future, but time is ticking; the clock is ticking, and we have yet to see one proposal to meaningfully create jobs in America come out of this new House majority."
The House Democratic leaders also weighed in on Tuesday night's vote on a measure extending key provisions of the Patriot Act, which unexpectedly fell seven votes short of the two-thirds needed for passage.
"There's a lot of new members over there on the Republican side; I think they're a little bit in disarray themselves, and I don't think they've really found their center yet in terms of, from which they're going to govern," Larson said. "They have the responsibility of governing, and it seems right now they're coming apart at the seams."
House Republicans on Tuesday night pointed the finger at Democrats for the failure of the measure, which the White House has supported.
"Democrats in Congress voted to deny their own administration's request for key weapons in the war on terror," said Erica Elliott, spokesperson for House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
| February 9, 2011; 9:28 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
Save & Share: Previous: Michelle Obama on 'Today' show: President doesn't dye his hair (video)
Next: Ron Paul holds first hearing on Federal Reserve
Posted by: rteske | February 10, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kstobbe1 | February 10, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: illogicbuster | February 9, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: kitchendragon50 | February 9, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse