Right-Wing Media’s Misplaced Rage, Foot-on-Desk Edition
President Obama does something many Presidents have done, White House publishes photo of it.
The Obama administration will not penalize businesses that do not provide health insurance in 2014, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.
Instead, it will delay enforcement of a major Affordable Care Act requirement that all employers with more than 50 employees provide coverage to their workers until 2015.
The administration said it would postpone the provision after hearing significant concerns from employers about the challenges of implementing it.
“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, wrote in a late Tuesday blog post. “We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so.”
The Affordable Care Act requires all employers with more than 50 full-time workers provide health insurance or pay steep fines. That policy had raised concerns about companies downsizing their workforce or cutting workers’ hours in order to dodge the new mandate.
In delaying the enforcement of that rule, the White House sidesteps those challenges for one year. It is also the second significant interruption for the Affordable Care Act, following a one-year delay on key functions of the small business insurance marketplaces.
Together, the moves could draw criticism that the administration will not be able to put into effect its signature legislative accomplishment on schedule.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx (D) as his new transportation secretary.
That’s according to a White House official.
If confirmed by the Senate, Foxx would replace outgoing Secretary Ray LaHood (R).
White House: Bomb suspect to be tried in federal court, not as enemy combatant
WASHINGTON - The White House says the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing will not be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal. http://dlvr.it/3GZt8n
President Barack Obama speaking on the #bostonmarathonbombing tonight. #Obama #p2
There will be no more White House tours starting this weekend thanks to the sequester.
From a White House email sent to a Republican House member’s office Tuesday:
From: FN-WHO-Visitors Office
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 2:04 PM
To: FN-WHO-Visitors Office
Subject: ***Important White House Tours Update***
ATTN Interested Parties,
Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that White House Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reschedule affected tours.
We very much regret having to take this action, particularly during the popular Spring touring season. For updates regarding this situation, please contact the White House Visitors Office 24 Hour Hotline at [phone number].
White House Visitors Office
h/t: TPM LiveWire
President Barack Obama giving his #Inauguration2013 speech. #inaug2013 #inauguration #obama #potus #fourmoreyears #barackobama
The #NowIsTheTime project by the White House on Guns.
President Barack Obama and VP Joe Biden at the White House presser on Gun Control proposals. #Biden #Obama #Guns #PressConference #presser #whpressroom #pressroom #instapolitics
President Barack Obama will be sworn in to his second term to the tune of Beyoncé.
People Magazine and Politico reported Wednesday that the singer will lead the performances at the inauguration on Jan. 21, where she will be singing the National Anthem. Also tapped to perform equally patriotic songs are Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor. Clarkson will sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” while Taylor will do his best “America the Beautiful.”
At Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, Aretha Franklin took the honor of performing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Beyoncé was also involved in Obama’s first inauguration - she sang the Etta James standard “At Last” for the first dance at the Inaugural Ball.
h/t: Huffington Post
Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported the gun violence task force led by Vice President Biden is considering gun legislation “far broader and more comprehensive…than simply reinstating an expired ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition.”
News that the White House is considering significant gun control legislation in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting is music to the ears of gun control advocates, who have waited decades for a serious conversation about guns. But it’s also being welcomed by gun rights groups, who say leaks from the Biden task force are just the thing to push their flock back into the fight.
“[The article] was a Molotov cocktail right into the middle of this thing,” Dave Workman, a former board member at the National Rifle Association, told TPM Monday. “That lit the fuse, it really did.”
Biden has “galvanized the gun community,” Workman said. Though no longer on the NRA board, Workman still spends most of his time advocating for expanded gun rights. He’s an official with the Second Amendment Foundation, communications director for Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and a prolific writer on the gun rights. Both groups Workman serves on are sponsors of Gun Appreciation Day, a nationwide effort to highlight gun ownership scheduled for the weekend of President Obama’s second inauguration.
According to the WaPo, the Biden group is considering far-reaching gun control efforts, the mere hint of which has sent a shockwave through the gun rights community. Biden’s task force is mulling “a variety of proposals — from requiring background checks for all gun buyers to creating a new database that would allow the ATF to track all gun sales,” the newspaper reported. (The White House noted to the newspaper that the task force “has made no decisions on its final recommendations.”)
The plans outlined in the article were also rejected by newly-elected Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), who has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association. She suggested that the sweeping new gun regulations reportedly favored by the White House may not sit well with the moderate Democrats who expressed newfound interest in taking about gun control after Newtown.
“I think you need to put everything on the table, but what I hear from the administration — and if the Washington Post is to be believed — that’s way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about,” she told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “And it’s not going to pass.”
To Workman, the Biden solution is draconian.
“They’re talking about banning millions of firearms,” he said. “The writing was on the wall when Joe Biden was put on that thing because he’s a gun grabber.”
Obama has been anti-gun rights along, he was just waiting for his second term to push this stuff,” Workman said. “Unfortunately, Sandy Hook timed pretty perfectly with the start of this second term. … This nutball really handed this one to the Obama administration and gave the Obama administration a chance to take the gloves off.”
The White House is standing by Attorney General Eric Holder as the House prepares to vote on a resolution finding him in contempt of Congress next week for allegedly not complying with a subpoena seeking documents related to the botched ATF operation known as Fast and Furious.
“The president has full confidence in the attorney general,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. “
Separately, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters he thought Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was grasping for a scalp because – despite declaring Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times” – he has failed to make any big waves as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
h/t: TPM LiveWire