Front and center at the White House this week: the economy. President Obama will appear in the Rose Garden this morning to blast Republicans for refusing to spend $30 billion to extend unemployment benefits for 2.5 million Americans. The President will have "strong words" for the GOP, we're told.
A White House aide says one of those words could be "hypocrisy." That's because, the aide points out, Republicans say the U.S. simply can't afford that $30 billion, but can afford $650 billion to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
It's not that the U.S. can't afford $30 billion for the unemployed, says Sen. Jon Kyl, the #2 Republican in the Senate. But “You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what Republicans object to."
Then shouldn't that $650 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy be offset too? No, says Kyl: "You should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.”
Besides, Republicans say, these tax cuts will stimulate the economy. The Democrats answer: You had these tax cuts over the last decade and we fell into a nasty recession anyway.
Also on the President's agenda this week, he'll welcome British Prime Minister David Cameron to the White House tomorrow (they'll hold a news conference); and Wednesday he'll sign that big Wall Street reform bill. It's Obama's second big legislative win in just four months. The White House is now turning its sights on an energy/climate bill and an immigration reform bill. Nothing's going to happen on either front until after the November mid-terms.
The President's Schedule
10:30: Rose Garden remarks on the economy
1:40: WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury
2:05: Sen. John Glenn (ret).
7:00: White House Music Series