Britain Vetoes EU Treaty on Fiscal Consolidation

By: Friday December 9, 2011 10:45 am

Earlier in the week, I wrote about how David Cameron wanted to use his leverage as a non-Eurozone member of the EU to wring concessions as a condition of signing treaty changes. At the EU summit, he presented his aims: basically, softening a financial transaction tax that the other countries in Europe want, and other policies that protect British banks. Because you need all 27 members of the EU on board with the preferred fiscal policies that really only affect the 17 countries in the Eurozone, Cameron thought he had the power to hold out. So Cameron vetoed the revisions to the Treaty of Lisbon. And then the Eurozone leadership, essentially France and Germany, went around Britain and negotiated a bunch of Eurozone side deals.


Senate Republicans Block Second Dem Payroll Tax Cut Package

By: Thursday December 8, 2011 1:40 pm

Republicans claim to support the concept of extending the payroll tax cut for 2012, but oppose the pay-for in this bill of a 1.9% surtax on millionaires. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon already thought he was paying twice that much, according to remarks from earlier today.

House Republicans Unveil Partisan Legislation on Payroll Tax Cut and UI

By: Thursday December 8, 2011 11:10 am

House Speaker John Boehner announced his party’s year-end legislation that would extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance benefits and a patch to prevent a 27% cut in Medicare reimbursement to doctors. The legislation also includes poison pills which the President already vowed to reject, designed as sweeteners to get conservative members on board.

Udall Amendment Fails, Setting Up Showdown on Defense Authorization Bill

By: Tuesday November 29, 2011 2:35 pm

Mark Udall’s amendment to strip out indefinite detention provisions from the defense authorization bill failed today, and the bill will likely pass the Senate with the provisions intact. This sets up a possible, but not certain, Obama veto.

Obama Threatens Veto If Congress Undoes Trigger Cuts

By: Tuesday November 22, 2011 9:15 am

President Obama promised to veto any Congressional attempt to undo the trigger of spending cuts from the Super Committee’s failure. But he’s left unclear how Congress can be induced to renew unemployment benefits or other stimulus measures.

Palestine Officially Seeks Statehood Recognition at UN

By: Friday September 23, 2011 12:15 pm

Palestine submitted their petition to the United Nations Security Council for membership as a state today, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a rousing speech before the General Assembly in support of the measure. So what happens next?

Obama Debt Reduction Plan a Sharp Pullback from Grand Bargain Territory

By: Monday September 19, 2011 7:30 am

President Obama is scheduled to speak this morning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, to spell out his debt reduction plan. Some details from Obama’s plan to “go big” on the Super Committee are out, and it’s an opening bid that is far less pre-compromised than we’ve come to expect.

Palestine to Seek Statehood at UN Security Council Next Week

By: Thursday September 15, 2011 2:25 pm

On September 23, one week from tomorrow, the Palestinian Authority will lead an effort to be recognized as an independent state at the United Nations. With serious peace talks stalled for years and with the Palestinians having little alternatives or leverage to force a return to negotiations, they decided that going to the UN was the best course of action. And while the US can veto the effort at the Security Council, a General Assembly petition for “observer status” is more likely to succeed.

The Difficult Politics in the Palestinian Statehood Effort

By: Monday September 12, 2011 1:10 pm

This month, the Palestinian Authority plans to go to the United Nations and petition for statehood, against the wishes of the Israelis and the United States. It’s not entirely clear what form this statehood petition will take. The Palestinians could ask for full UN membership, which would go through the UN Security Council, or they could seek “Observer Status,” basically a first step toward eventual statehood, which would be subject to a vote at the General Assembly. The big difference here is that five Security Council states have veto power, and the US has already vowed to use it with respect to the Palestinian statehood push. So Mahmoud Abbas, who is leading the effort, may avoid the Security Council

Obama’s Deficit Plan to Include Medicare Eligibility Age Increase

By: Wednesday September 7, 2011 11:30 am

I’ve been trying to remind people throughout the run-up to the Obama jobs proposal that it would also presage a deficit proposal, to “pay for” whatever spending is in the jobs proposal. We now have a topline number for the jobs plan: $300 billion, half from tax cuts and 2/3 from the extension of current law (Maybe this is why nobody thinks it will work). So will there be $300 billion in cuts in some fashion to “pay for” the spending over time? No, it’ll be much higher than that.

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