Today: The President will sign the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank at the White House. This important step will help American businesses create jobs here at home and sell their products around the world – all at no cost to taxpayers. Last year marked the highest level of financing in the Bank’s 77-year history, as they supported thousands of U.S. companies, hundreds of thousands of jobs, and brought us closer to the goal the President set of doubling our nation’s exports by the end of 2014. Also today, the President will host a Jewish American Heritage Month reception at the White House.
10:30: PBO attends an annual hurricane preparedness briefing
11:40: Signs the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank
2:00: Jay Carney briefs the press
5:00: PBO hosts a Jewish American Heritage Month reception
AP: Details of last week’s hard-won agreement to avoid a government shutdown and cut federal spending by $38 billion were released Tuesday morning. They reveal that the budget cuts, while historic, were significantly eased by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.
Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs – Pell grants for poor college students, health research and “Race to the Top” aid for public schools, among others – from Republican knives.
..As a result of the legerdemain, Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February when the chamber approved a bill slashing this year’s budget by more than $60 billion. In doing so, the White House protected favorites like the Head Start early learning program, while maintaining the maximum Pell grant of $5,550 and funding for Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools.
Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including cuts to earmarks, unspent census money, leftover federal construction funding, and $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can’t be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused spending authority from a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.
…conservatives are upset that most conservative policy “riders” added by Republicans were dropped from the legislation in the course of the talks.
The White House rejected GOP attempts to block the EPA’s ability to issue global warming rules and other reversals of environmental regulations. Obama also forced Republicans to drop an effort to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal funding, as well as GOP moves to stop implementation of Obama’s overhauls of health care and Wall Street regulation.
The administration also thwarted a GOP attempt to block new rules governing the Internet, as well as a National Rifle Association-backed attempt to neuter a little-noticed initiative aimed at catching people running guns to Mexican drug lords by having regulators gather information on batch purchases of rifles and shotguns.
Steve Benen: Today is the first day we’ve been able to get a good look at exactly what spending cuts are included in the new budget deal. We’ve been working with the larger, top-line numbers since late last week, but without a sense of what the specific cuts are going to be.
….does this mean the actual budget cuts won’t be quite as brutal as we thought when the deal was struck on Friday night? Actually, yes, that’s pretty much what it means. The AP’s report echoes this point.
..It turns out, a lot of the cuts related to money that wasn’t going to be spent (leftover Census money, for example), eliminating programs that were set to expire, and not repeating expenditures intended to be one-time infusions anyway.
Maybe it’s time to revisit the assumption that the Obama White House got rolled.
The People’s View: So Friday night, a government shutdown was averted. And already, you have people in some big orange “progressive” places melting themselves down over how that aversion was a loss for progressives and how President Obama gave in to billions more in cuts. So let’s look at what we know about the deal, what Barack Obama’s negotiating skills gave us…
Let’s start looking at it from the perspective of core Democratic values … the Republicans’ effort to defund family planning blew up in their faces, and President Obama and the Democrats protected this much needed service for poor and middle class women and families….
… The Republicans wanted to block any money from going to implement health care reform, and guess what? They didn’t get that either. And that is a big deal. Although probably the likes of Uygur would have liked health reform to be defunded (so they could claim Pyhrric victory over the failure of an un-implemented law that did not carry his favorite pony item)…
…What else? The environment. Democrats have successfully kept the Republican “EPA riders” out of the budget deal. You know, the same riders that would have told the EPA, in essence, “Carbon di-oxide is not a pollutant, you can’t regulate it!” Politico calls this a major victory for Democrats…
…Not bad, I’ll say. Three pretty big progressive policy initiatives were saved from the Republican axe. Remind me why some of the people who claim to be progressives are whining about this again? …
….how about the screaming idiots on the professional left didn’t take dumps all over the President’s initiatives in the first two years, under the guise of purity politics? How about they hadn’t helped along a depressed Democratic turnout? How about if they had actually helped do proper analysis and sell the benefits of health reform, financial reform, credit card reform, student loan reform, women’s pay legislation, among a myriad of other things? How about they didn’t help turn the House over to the Republicans wholesale?…
…we are laying in a bed that the whiny Left made for us together with the teabagging Right. It’s their own making. What we are looking for are solutions within that framework now. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is. What President Obama needs is for progressives to get his back when he’s fighting for our environment, for women, and for health care in a toxic, hostile Washington, DC…
So please, before you go off the rail with Daily Kos, FDL, Ed Schultz or Cenk Uygur, please do some thinking, and some fact finding. Cool the nerves. Calm down. And read. Then make your own judgments. I think you’ll be more pleased than you think.