Saturday, November 5, 2011
Staff Sergeant Ari R. Cullers died in Kandahar province of injuries suffered when an insurgent rocket-propelled grenade exploded near him.
He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Drum. Staff Sergeant Cullers was from New London, Connecticut.
"I join with all New Yorkers in extending our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of Staff Sergeant Cullers," Governor Cuomo said.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is not fast enough.
Private sector payrolls increased by 104,000 and overall payroll employment rose by 80,000 in October. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 9.0 percent, a level that remains unacceptably high.
Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 20 straight months, for a total of 2.8 million jobs over that period.
We need faster economic growth to put more Americans back to work. Today’s report provides further evidence for why it is so important that Congress pass the President’s American Jobs Act to put more money in the paychecks of working and middle class families; to make it easier for small businesses to hire workers; to keep teachers in the classroom; to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure; and other measures that will help the economy grow while not adding to the deficit over ten years.
The report underscores that one area that remains notably weak is the construction sector. That’s why it is disappointing that the Senate was not able to proceed to the infrastructure part of the American Jobs Act.
Sectors with employment increases included professional and business services (+32,000), leisure and hospitality (+22,000), retail trade (+17,800), health care and social assistance (+16,300), and manufacturing (+5,000). Sectors with employment declines included government (-24,000) and construction (-20,000). State and local governments lost 22,000 jobs and have shed more than 430,000 jobs since February 2010.
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. There is no better example than August’s jobs figure, which was initially reported at zero and in the latest revision increased to 104,000. This illustrates why the Administration always stresses it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
S. 1769 – Rebuild America Jobs Act
(Sen. Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and 20 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports passage of the Rebuild America Jobs Act, which will put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job and modernize America's crumbling infrastructure.
The President proposed this measure to Congress as part of the American Jobs Act as a way to create jobs and improve the Nation’s long term economic competitiveness by allowing goods and services to more efficiently reach domestic and global markets.
S. 1769 immediately invests $50 billion in the Nation's highways, transit, rail and aviation. This includes investments to improve the Nation's airports, support NextGen Air Traffic Modernization efforts, and provide resources for the TIGER and TIFIA programs, which target competitive dollars to innovative multi-modal infrastructure programs.
S. 1769 will also take special steps to enhance infrastructure-related job training opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups and ensure that small businesses can compete for infrastructure contracts.
Together, these investments will rebuild America – upgrading 150,000 miles of roads, constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of rail, and rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of runway.
S. 1769 also includes an innovative American Infrastructure Financing Authority capitalized with $10 billion, in order to leverage private and public capital and to invest in a broad range of infrastructure projects of national and regional significance, without earmarks or political influence.
S. 1769 is fully paid for through a surtax on those Americans making over $1 million per year. What is most important is putting Americans back to work right now and making sure the debt is not increased over time – and doing so in a way that is fair. S. 1769 meets that test.
By enacting S. 1769, the Congress and the President can work together to put America back to work and lay a foundation for future prosperity, and the Administration urges prompt and favorable action.
S. 1786 – Long-Term Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011
(Sen. Hatch, R-Utah)
The Administration strongly opposes passage of S. 1786 because the bill does not give the Nation’s economy the jumpstart it needs right now, even as it would undermine key environmental and public health protections and seriously disrupt the Federal Government's services.
The President has proposed immediately investing $50 billion in the Nation's highways, transit, rail, and aviation, which would put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job and modernize America's crumbling infrastructure for the long-term.
The President has also proposed a national infrastructure bank capitalized with $10 billion, in order to leverage private and public capital in innovative and reform-minded ways without earmarks or political influence. None of these proposals are contained in S. 1786.
Among the problematic provisions that the Administration strongly opposes that are included in this bill are:
Title IV of the bill would impose an unprecedented requirement that a joint resolution of approval be enacted by the Congress before any major rule of Executive Branch agencies could have force or effect.
This radical departure from the longstanding separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches would delay and, in many cases, thwart implementation of statutory mandates and execution of duly enacted laws, increase business uncertainty, undermine much-needed protections of the American public, and create unnecessary confusion. There is no justification for such an unprecedented requirement.
Title V and Section 140 would undermine public health protections under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving ahead with long-overdue requirements to reduce air pollution from industrial boilers, solid waste incinerators, and cement plants.
They also weaken EPA's ability to ensure that its standards protect American families from a range of harmful pollutants including mercury and other toxic metals, as well as smog and soot.
Delaying implementation of important air pollution standards would increase exposure to mercury, which can impair children's ability to think and learn. Delay due to this title and section could mean foregoing over a hundred billion dollars in health benefits.
Each additional year of delay would mean foregoing tens of billions of dollars more in net benefits.
Title VI, the Regulatory Time-Out Act of 2011, would block implementation of critical public health and safety protections. This Administration is committed to a regulatory system that is informed by science, cost-justified, and consistent with economic growth.
Finally, S. 1786 seeks to pay for its proposals with a rescission of $40 billion of appropriated funds that runs counter to the spirit of two recent bipartisan agreements, including the recently-enacted Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA).
Disregarding the BCA agreement and cutting already-tight discretionary program levels even further, as this bill would do, would be a serious mistake.
The bill's unspecified rescission of $40 billion in appropriated funds would cause serious disruption in the Federal Government’s basic services in support of critical national goals, such as supporting education, protecting public safety, and promoting economic growth.
If the President is presented with S. 1786, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
H.R. 2838 – Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011
(Rep. LoBiondo, R-New Jersey, and Rep. Mica, R-Florida)
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 2838 because it includes a provision that would require the Coast Guard to decommission the icebreaker USCGC POLAR STAR.
The Administration has requested, and Congress has appropriated, funds to reactivate the USCGC POLAR STAR by December 2012 and extend that vessel’s service life for seven to 10 years. This effort will stabilize the United States’ existing polar fleet until long-term icebreaking capability requirements are finalized.
By directing the Commandant to decommission the USCGC POLAR STAR within three years, the bill would effectively reduce the vessel’s service life to two years and create a significant gap in the Nation’s icebreaking capacity.
The Administration supports Title II (Coast Guard and Servicemember Parity), which would promote parity between the Coast Guard and the other branches of the armed forces.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to improve H.R. 2838 as the bill moves through the legislative process.
Images courtesy of the following:
Once again, those retirees were ineligible for Medicaid. So today, these NYC OTB retirees are lying in hospital beds uninsured, through no fault of their own."
His tactics have proven that he is not the man that he claims to be. Quite the contrary, he is another typical politician who has decided to jump-ship at the first sign of inclement weather -- as he had done when he was the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary and spear-headed its irresponsible housing policies, which caused the 2008-2009 Great Depression.
Governor Cuomo is responsible for sending middle-class Americans, to the state Medicaid office, which slammed its door in OTB retirees' faces because their pension income was $9.17 more, than the Medicaid income guideline for a family of two.
Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo have done a sterling job running middle-class citizens out of town, with nothing more than the shirts on their aching-backs. At the present time, NYC OTB retirees under age 65 are left high and dry, without health benefits.
Too young to enroll in Medicare and exceeding Medicaid income guidelines, OTB retirees have been hung out to dry, in sub-zero weather, and nobody seems to care. What else can I say?"