Thursday, September 01, 2011
By Justin Krebs : IAFC Blogger
-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Reid issued a statement Thursday afternoon. It reads: “I am pleased to announce that we have been able to broker a bipartisan compromise between the House and the Senate to put 74,000 transportation and construction workers back to work. This agreement does not resolve the important differences that still remain. But I believe we should keep Americans working while Congress settles its differences, and this agreement will do exactly that.”
President Obama applauded the deal in a statement: "I'm pleased that leaders in Congress are working together to break the impasse involving the FAA so that tens of thousands of construction workers and others can go back to work. We can't afford to let politics in Washington hamper our recovery, so this is an important step forward."
In essence, the deal amounts to a temporary disarmament from both Republicans and Democrats. According to Senate aides, the Senate is prepared to accept the House's bill, the one that pared back the Essential Air Service subsidy program for rural airports. BUT the Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will use his authority to waive that provision.
Translation: The Senate swallows the House bill it hated, but the Obama Administration uses its authority to keep actual policy where it was.
A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) confirmed the deal.
The Senate could push the deal through as early as Friday.
LaHood issued this statement moments after Reid announced the deal: "This is a tremendous victory for American workers everywhere. From construction workers to our FAA employees, they will have the security of knowing they are going to go back to work and get a paycheck -- and that's what we've been fighting for. We have the best aviation system in the world and we intend to keep it that way."
Notice the part of Reid's statement making it clear that difficult issues still remain between Republicans and Democrats on the FAA. The Essential Air Service issue will still have to be solved, as will a bruising fight over Obama Administration rules that made it easier for workers airline and rail employees to unionize. We'll be back at this in September.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
By Solomon Kleinsmith : IAFC Blogger
-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
By Alec Hamilton : Assistant Producer, WNYC News
President Obama and Congress reached a deal on raising the debt ceiling today, averting a potential debt default just hours ahead of midnight deadline.
The framework for the deal, which was announced on Sunday by Congressional leaders, raises the debt ceiling in two stages - an initial $1 trillion now to stave off the threat of immediate default, and a second, $1.4 trillion to be proposed by a newly created congressional committee that would have to agree upon cuts.
Monday, August 01, 2011
House members left town Monday evening after passing their default-dodging debt limit deal. And they did it with an impasse between the two sides of the Capitol over a temporary Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill unresolved.
The Senate is still in town, set to vote on the debt deal Tuesday. That means the only options left on the FAA are either for the standoff to last until Congress returns in September, or for the Senate to cave. And the Senate says it isn't budging.
Earlier Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood traveled to New York's LaGuardia airport to unleash a blistering critique of the congressional stalemate, and to implore Congress not to go on vacation before the funding dispute was resolved. LaHood says 4,000 FAA workers have been furloughed and 70,000 construction workers idled. The FAA also said some airport inspectors are being required to go to work -- but can't be paid until the funding issue is settled.
To recap, the GOP-controlled House two weeks ago passed a temporary authorization extension for the FAA. But the bill included a tweak taking a bite out of federal subsidies for just a small handful of regional airports. Senate Democrats refused to swallow the bill, instead insisting on a "clean" extension. The FAA, and nearly 4,000 furloughed workers, have been sitting in the crossfire ever since.
In the background of all this is a partisan dispute over federal union rules. A longer-term FAA authorization bill is currently stalled in House-Senate talks because GOP lawmakers want to repeal an Obama Administration rule making it easier for workers at airlines and rail companies to organize. Senate Democrats, led by Rockefeller, have accused Republicans of using the short-term FAA bill as leverage over the union issue.
On Monday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-Va.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, tried to clear a pair of FAA bills through the Senate. One was the "clean" extension Democrats have been bucking for, the other was a new package of about $71 million dollars in regional airport subsidy cuts, far larger than the cuts Republicans are pushing.
But GOP senators objected to both measures, extending the deadlock past the time when House members skipped town.
Asked Monday evening if there was a change of averting an FAA shutdown for the remainder of the summer, Boehner said, "That depends on the Senate."
A Rockefeller spokesman said Monday that it was unclear whether jammed Senate Democrats would accede to the House FAA bill and reopen the agency.
Friday, July 29, 2011
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE STATUS OF DEBT CEILING NEGOTIATIONS
Thursday, July 28, 2011
By Anna Sale
When the House votes later today, it could be a moment of triumph for Speaker John Boehner, in the aftermath of his full-court press to snap his caucus in line. Or it could all blow up in his face.
It’s in these moments that a leader’s legacy is made, but the consequences of a loss take time to sink in.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Despite plenty of drama and public rhetoric in the battle over the U.S. debt ceiling, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have not yet reached a compromise. The deadline is looming as is the possibility the country will have to default on its $14.3 trillion of debt. As time marches on, analysts are starting to think seriously about what would happen if no deal can be reached. A vote was expected today in the House on Boehner’s last bid to increase the debt limit and cut spending — but that all fell apart last night when Tea Party Republicans refused to vote for it.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
By Anna Sale
A game of chicken. A standoff. Gridlock. Slow-motion collision.
With a week to go, the metaphors are flying as President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner both dug in their heels in nighttime addresses to the American people. They repeated their cases, again, and blamed the other side for standing in the way of a deal, again. And if a new poll is any indication, this approach isn't doing anybody in Washington any favors.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
President Obama stood before the nation and pleaded with Congress to come to an agreement as soon as possible, in a prime-time speech to the American public last night. "We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," he said. House Speaker John Boehner immediately followed Obama's speech with his response, agreeing that the debate needs to be resolved, but urging Obama to sign on to the Republican proposal to raise the debt limit.
Monday, July 25, 2011
President Obama will address the nation tonight at 9pm, giving insight into the stalled talks on the Capitol to resolve and impasse over raising the federal debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh), follows with a two minute rebuttal.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
By Justin Krebs : IAFC Blogger
-Justin Krebs, It's A Free Country blogger.
Monday, July 11, 2011
By Anna Sale
This is all for our own good, President Obama said as he tried again to press his case for a sweeping package of spending cuts, new tax revenues, and entitlement adjustments to reign in the size of the federal deficit.
Friday, July 08, 2011
The latest news out of the ongoing negotiations to raise the country's debt limit is that President Obama is putting entitlement reform on the table. But Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say they were caught completely off-guard by the president's latest proposal, and said that the Party is opposed to including Social Security cuts in any kind of deal. The president says the two sides remain divided and far from finding reaching an agreement, but House Speaker John Boehner says there's a 50-50 chance that they'll be able to arrive at a decision this week. Will the president's dramatic proposal be the catalyst that moves the debt deal forward?
Friday, June 17, 2011
On Saturday, President Obama plans to play golf with House Speaker John Boehner. What is already being dubbed as the “Golf-Summit” has the political blogosphere abuzz. How will the two interact? Will the president’s competitive streak be enough to compensate for Boehner’s acumen? To date, President Obama has kept his golf outings limited to a close knit group of friends; does this invitation indicate that he has learned to use the links as a new political tool? Joining us to discuss historic moments in presidential golf is Don Van Natta, Pulitzer Prize winner author of “Wonder Girl: the Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias.” We’re also joined by Joan Cavanagh, President of Boardroom Golf, a company which teaches women how to use golf in order to advance their professional careers.
TN Moving Stories: New York Looks At Taxi Refusals and Parking Rules; Boston's Bike Share Program Launches in July
Thursday, April 28, 2011
By Kate Hinds
New York's City Council members hold a hearing on taxi refusals -- and share some stories of their own. (WNYC)
Speaking of the City Council: it may pass legislation today that reduces alternate side parking rules. (Wall Street Journal)
Denver won't be seeing a FasTracks sales tax increase on the ballot this November because its transit agency has concluded it likely wouldn't pass. The transit expansion project -- which includes six new train lines -- is at least $2 billion short of what is needed to complete the project by the end of this decade. (Denver Post)
Boston is moving forward on its bike share program; a contract has been signed and "Hubway" will launch in July. (Alt Transport)
Chrysler says it will take out bank loans and sell debt later this quarter to repay $6.6 billion in bailout loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments. (Detroit Free Press)
China is offering incentives for companies to produce electric vehicles in that country -- you just have to hand over your tech secrets first. (Marketplace)
You know about the royal wedding; now the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee is throwing an "R-Oil Wedding" which "celebrat(es) the sacred and lasting union between the Republican Party and Big Oil." The invitation also takes the opportunity to photoshop John Boehner's head onto what looks like a Medieval gown. (Politico)
What should Oakland do with the spaces under elevated freeways? A city council member is seeking ideas. (Oakland Local)
Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.
In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:
– a new report found that almost half of NYC's parking placards are used improperly or are outright fakes (link)
– the Twin Cities' Central Corridor got a formal promise for federal funding (link)
– NYC cabbies say they don't want to go to outer boroughs because it costs them more (link)
-- New York's MTA voted to end its contract to provide Long Island Bus (link)
Monday, April 25, 2011
The energy right now in the Republican party is over fiscal issues...this fear about America becoming more like Europe in terms of a social welfare state. That said, there are still a lot of conservatives who vote in primaries and participate in caucuses that are driven by a set of cultural issues. In a place like Iowa especially, we're talking about an electorate that is perhaps half or over half self-identified born again evangelical.
— Jonathan Martin, senior political writer at Politico, on The Brian Lehrer Show.
Friday, April 08, 2011
It feels a little like watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve—only, everyone's dreading midnight. The government shutdown is mere hours away. Those hardest hit will be federal employees, who won't see their paychecks for a while. For the rest of us, here are ten things that will experience turbulence if and when the government shuts down.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
At 8:45 pm Wednesday night, President Obama will sit down with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to try and hammer out a last-minute budget compromise before the government shuts down on Friday.
A shutdown would mean furloughing thousands of government employees, delaying Social Security payments to seniors, and closing national parks, among other things. Freezing federal business is also more expensive than business as usual. With all these negative consequences looming beyond this Friday's budget deadline, nobody wants a government shutdown...or do they?