Sarah Kliff: President Obama’s budget proposal will include $235 million in funding for new mental health programs, focused initiatives to help schools detect early warning signs and train thousands of new mental health professionals.
The new budget plan will propose $130 million for programs that train teachers and other adults to help recognize early signs of mental illness, referring them to help when they detect such warnings. That includes $55 million for a new program called Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education). That will give states and local school districts grants to administer such programs, while also collecting data on how well they work.
Another $50 million in funds would go toward training masters-level mental health specialists such as psychologists, nurses and counselors who work in schools. The idea is to expand the mental health workforce to prepare for the demands of millions of Americans who will gain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Carrie Dann: Blasting opponents of new gun control measures for being in a “time warp,” Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that a potential filibuster of pending gun legislation would be “embarrassing” for America’s reputation around the world.
“What an embarrassing thing to say,” Biden said of the stated intent of 13 senators to prevent a vote on new background check legislation.
“You’ve got leading senators of the most august legislative body in the world saying we’re not even going to talk about this tragedy that traumatized a nation and caught the attention of an entire world,” he said during remarks to law enforcement officers in Washington D.C. “The climax of this tragedy could be that we’re not even going to get a vote?” he added. “Imagine how this makes us look.”
The Obama Administration’s Record On Human Trafficking Issues
White House: President Obama delivered his seminal speech on the fight to end trafficking in persons at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2012. During that speech, President Obama announced a number of new Administration commitments to combat trafficking at home and abroad. The four elements of this strategy include:
1) Preventing trafficking by raising awareness among vulnerable populations, leading by example, and educating the public and first responders;
2) Prosecuting traffickers through strengthened investigations and enforcement tools;
3) Protecting survivors through comprehensive social services, family reintegration, and immigration services; and
4) Partnering with civil society, state and local government, the private sector, and faith-based organizations to maximize resources and outcomes.
Washington Post: When she returns home here Wednesday to deliver a speech on gun violence, first lady Michelle Obama will be making a rare foray into the politics of the day that could presage a more activist role during her husband’s second term. “The speech is deeply personal,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser and close friend of the Obamas. “She will really speak from the heart as a mom, as a Chicagoan and as somebody who cares intensely about providing young people with the opportunities that they need to achieve their full potential.”
Obama will speak at a downtown fundraising luncheon for a new, $50-million public-private initiative to curb youth violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), a former White House chief of staff, will introduce her, and an estimated 800 business executives and civic leaders plan to attend. After her speech, Obama will visit with students and counselors at Harper High, one of Chicago’s most dangerous schools; last year, 29 current or recent Harper students were shot, eight of them fatally.
Aides said Obama was motivated to take on the gun-violence issue publicly in February when she attended the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old majorette who was shot and killed at a Chicago park just days after traveling to Washington for President Obama’s second inauguration. “The first lady, sitting in Hadiya’s funeral and seeing the grief and heartache in the community just a block away from where Hadiya was murdered and the first lady’s home, was devastated, but she was also determined to do something to prevent this from happening again,” Jarrett said. “She was determined to turn her grief into action.”
Senator To Newtown Families: Gun Debate Has Nothing To Do With You (Jim Inhofe wins douchebag of the year)
Igor Volsky: As the Senate prepares to take up a comprehensive gun safety bill on Thursday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) told reporters that the coming debate will have nothing to do with the families of the victims from Newtown, Connecticut.
“See, I think it’s so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn’t,” Inhofe said and suggested that Obama is manipulating and misinforming the families for political purposes.
Brian Beutler: Mitt Romney’s unfathomably large IRA was a big political liability for him in 2012.
Fortunately for other financial titans who hope to be president, it’ll be hard in the future to skirt the rules and amass such enormous, tax-deferred savings — if President Obama gets his way. A new provision in Obama’s budget “[e]nds a loophole that lets wealthy individuals circumvent contribution limits and a cumulate millions in tax-preferred retirement accounts,” according to a budget summary released by the White House. The White House is unveiling its new budget Wednesday.
A senior administration official confirmed to TPM that the provision is a fresh addition to Obama’s budget, and intended to close the loophole that allowed Romney to amass upward of $100 million in his individual retirement account. The budget also proposes ending the so-called carried-interest loopholes, that allows financial managers to pay tax on what most would consider labor income at a lower capital gains rate.