clear
Tuesday June 30th, 2015 3:49PM

Obama to promote his agenda to House Democrats

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is promoting his second-term agenda to House Democrats, eager to keep them unified as a bulwark against a Republican majority on issues as diverse as the economy, immigration and guns.

Obama was meeting with Democratic lawmakers Thursday during their retreat in Lansdowne, Va., a day after he held a closed-door session with Senate Democrats at their off-campus conference in Annapolis, Md.

The meetings with legislators from his own party come just days before Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday to a joint session of Congress. This week's meetings have served as something of a preamble for that nationally televised speech.

Obama was to deliver public remarks to the House members and then take questions in a private session, officials said.

White House officials say that Obama's top priority is job creation and that he will make a case for fiscal policies that encourage economic growth. Setting up a contrast with Republicans who are insisting on spending cuts, not tax increases, to stanch federal red ink, Obama told reporters Tuesday, "We can't just cut our way to prosperity."

Obama met privately for more than two hours Wednesday with Senate Democrats. The White House said the president spoke briefly, took questions from 10 of the senators assembled, then spent an hour chatting with them in smaller groups. Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, said the session was focused on coordinating what Democratic senators are doing with the administration's own efforts to promote Obama's priorities.

The meeting with House Democrats follows Wednesday's vote in the Republican-controlled House that would require the president to submit a budget that balances the federal ledger. The bill was symbolic, meant as a taunt to the president. It has little chance in the Senate but, still, 26 House Democrats voted for it.

In the Senate, Democrats hold the majority and can be far more effective at driving Obama's legislative agenda. But a unified Democratic caucus in the House is critical on issues that might divide Republicans, such as an overhaul of immigration laws or even some fiscal policies.

Carney has said Obama and lawmakers have made "significant progress" toward a bipartisan deal on immigration. The Senate has taken the lead assembling comprehensive legislation, including a path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

Gun control has been a thornier issue. Many Democrats are reluctant to embrace Obama's call for banning certain weapons. But Obama has argued that other proposals, such as universal background checks, have broad public support.

Vice President Joe Biden, addressing lawmakers at the retreat Wednesday, told them they can support the measures he and Obama are proposing without fear they'll be booted from office. He urged them not to learn the wrong lesson from the 1994 election, when Democrats lost control of Congress after supporting a ban on assault weapons that has since expired.

"I'm here to tell you the world has changed," Biden said. "Public attitudes have changed since 1994. Social media has changed. The ability to misrepresent our positions has changed."

On fiscal issues, Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to pass a short-term package of spending cuts and tax revenue to give lawmakers time to negotiate a broader deficit-reduction deal and to avoid deep spending cuts that are set to automatically kick in on March 1.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Amtrak to suspend some Crescent service in Jan., Feb.
Amtrak service will shut down in parts of the Southeast for several days in January and February for rail maintenance by Norfolk Southern Railway.
9:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Lung cancer scans urged for some smokers, not all
Certain current or former heavy smokers should start getting yearly scans for lung cancer to cut their risk of death from the nation's top cancer killer, government advisers said Monday - even as they stressed that the tests aren't for everyone.
7:26AM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 1 year ago )
NSA reportedly intercepts computer deliveries
A German magazine has lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency's hacker unit, revealing how American spies intercepted computer deliveries, exploited hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijacked Microsoft's bug report system to spy on their targets.
12:31PM ( 1 year ago )
Rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel
Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries but sparking an Israeli reprisal shelling in a rare flare-up between the two countries.
12:26PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
US stocks rebound from slump as investors follow Greek drama
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks gained on Tuesday afternoon, rebounding from big losses a day earlier, as investors followed the latest negotiations between the Greek government and its creditors. Greece'...
2:53PM ( 55 minutes ago )
O say can you breathe? Fireworks pollute air, study says
NEW YORK (AP) — July Fourth fireworks fill the skies across the nation with more than sparkling bursts of color. They spew pollution, too.A study of 315 locations around the country found that the hol...
2:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Same-sex marriage fight turns to clerk who refuse licenses
Some public officials across the Bible Belt so repulsed by the thought of enabling a same-sex marriage that they are defying the U.S. Supreme Court and refusing to issue a license to anyone, gay or straight.
2:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Oklahoma court: Ten Commandments monument must come down
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Ten Commandments monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is a religious symbol and must be removed because it violates the state's constitutional ban on using public property t...
2:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Christie promises blunt campaign as he enters 2016 contest
LIVINGSTON, N.J. (AP) — A tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his 2016 campaign for president Tuesday with a promise to tell voters the truth even if it makes them cringe.The Republi...
1:37PM ( 2 hours ago )