Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
THREAT OF A DOWNGRADE: Last year, Congress let S&P downgrade our credit rating after the debt ceiling debacle. Now, Moody's is threatening another downgrade if Congress can't work together on a budget to stabilize our debt. We've already paid the price for Congress' inaction -- we can't let this happen again. That's why we're calling for a petition to tell Congress to stop playing political games with the economy, and get to work solving problems for America: No Labels Blog: The Threat of a Downgrade
TWO NARROW MINDSETS: This election season, both candidates are playing to the party base instead of trying to appeal to all voters. It wasn't always like this, though. Michael Gerson looks back on two campaign speeches that bridged the divide between Democrats and Republicans: one by President Clinton in 1991, and one by President Bush in 1999. Both speeches eschewed the party politics we've grown accustomed to, writes Gerson: "'We simply have to go beyond the competing ideas of the old political establishment,' Clinton said, 'either every man for himself on one hand and something for nothing on the other.' Bush likewise criticized 'two narrow mind-sets.' 'The first,' he argued, 'is that government provides the only real compassion. . . . There is another destructive mind-set: the idea that if government would only get out of our way, all our problems would be solved. An approach with no higher goal, no nobler purpose, than, 'Leave us alone.' '" Michael Gerson for The Washington Post: Clinton and Bush, challengers to party orthodoxy
IT'S CONGRESS' TURN: Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that it would commit to buying bonds through 2015 in order to jumpstart the economy. While many argue whether the Fed's action will have a positive or negative effect, the Fed is acting while Congress cannot. Deborah Solomon points out that monetary policy can only do so much, and Congress "needs to enact some type of short-term stimulus to give consumers confidence to spend while dealing with the fiscal problems that threaten to inflict huge pain on the U.S. in the long-run." Deborah Solomon forBloomberg: The Fed Has Done Its Part, Now It's Congress' Turn
CUTS TO DEFENSE: After the tragedy in Libya this week, House Republicans argue that now is not the time to cut defense spending. They've proposed a plan to avoid the automatic defense cuts coming at the end of the year -- and so have the Democrats. Unfortunately, both plans are strictly partisan and do not allow for across-the-aisle cooperation. Instead of working together to avoid the cuts, both parties are shielding themselves from blame by proposing a plan that could never pass: Pete Kasperowicz for The Hill: House approves latest GOP plan to avoid sequester
DREAMING OF TAXES: Ezra Klein has a dream in which in the 113th Congress Sen. Mitch McConnell takes "his old colleague Joe Biden aside and proposes the following: Cut your revenue demand in half and, as part of a comprehensive tax reform, Republicans will agree to a $20-per-ton tax on carbon emissions." It's just a dream, Klein says, but one that he hopes could even earn the support of the "no tax pledge" Grover Norquist. Former Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina is working hard to gain support for this plan and make it a reality: Ezra Klein for Bloomberg: Is This the Tax to Pass the Grover Norquist Pledge?
THE OTHER ONE PERCENT: The "one percent" has been in the news often in the past year, but who is the other one percent? No Labels supporter Ed Conant writes for Savannah Morning News: it's those serving in the military today. "Our military troops and national defense are under threat by a Congress which cannot seem to compromise in order to prevent the painful automatic cuts known as sequestration," writes Conant. Although members of Congress have condemned the automatic cuts to defense that are scheduled for the end of the year, they have not been able to work together to do something about it: Ed Conant for Savannah Morning News: Conant: Support America's one percent
THE DAILY BREAK: Arnold Palmer received a Congressional Gold Medal this week, and commended Congress, sayinghe was happy to accept the award "because I’m particularly proud of anything that the House and the Senate agree on."
FROM THE FIELD: More than 1,000 No Labels yard signs and 3,000 No Labels bumper stickers are spread across the country. Do you have a picture of your yard sign or bumper sticker? Tweet to @NoLabelsOrg, or email it toAlina@nolabels.org if you don't have a Twitter account.
ACTION OF THE DAY: Click here to sign the petition to tell Congress to stop fighting and start fixing before our credit rating is downgraded. Then, forward the petition to your network.
STAT OF THE DAY: Yesterday, the House approved a 329-91 vote on a continuing resolution (a temporary spending bill that funds the government at a preset formula) to fund the U.S. government for six months: David Rogers for POLITICO: Paul Ryan, House Republicans OK spending increase