Jobs report fuels fight
JOBS REPORT FUELS FIGHT: “New unemployment numbers released Friday reminded Washington of the fragile nature of the economic recovery as lawmakers once again ready for another round of fiscal brinksmanship,” writes Patrick Reis for POLITICO. The jobs report instantly became political fodder for both sides to blame the other for increased unemployment — but the rest of the country is, once again, waiting for serious solutions from Washington: Patrick Reis for POLITICO: Jobs grow but unemployment ticks up
REASON FOR HOPE: The new members of Congress are confident that they’ll be able to work across the aisle more successfully than the 112th, but is there any basis for their confidence? The fiscal cliff vote showed, if anything, “just how rudderless and polarized Washington has become. The only way Congress could end the last debt-ceiling crisis was by creating a cliff so steep — with its combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts — that both parties would be forced to find an acceptable middle ground.” And they couldn’t even do that. Still, the new members believe they have a mandate for problem solving: Joe Nocera for The New York Times: Over the Cliff and Back
ANOTHER GRAND BARGAIN?: With another threat to the economy coming in two months with automatic spending cuts and the debt ceiling debate, some are still hopeful that there will be a grand bargain — dealing with taxes and spending. The question is, though, which party has the “stronger hand” in these negotiations. Instead of focusing on a win for the party, all our leaders should do what’s best for the country: Zachary A. Goldfarb for The Washington Post: White House sees promise on revisiting elements of ‘grand bargain’ on taxes, spending
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STAT OF THE DAY: Congress passed an emergency spending bill to allow the National Flood Insurance Program to take on $9.7 billion in more debt in order to help people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Earlier this week, the leadership in the House of Representatives received a lot of blowback for failing to pass a full $60 billion emergency spending bill previously passed by the Senate before the swearing-in of the new Congress: Ramsey Cox for The Hill: Senate sends $9.7B Sandy relief bill to Obama