An Update from the DNC – Feb. 26, 2012
This past week, President Obama and Vice President Biden held a White House event emphasizing the importance of the recent agreement passed by Congress to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, while encouraging Congress to take additional steps to create jobs and continue our economic growth. The President also traveled to Miami to discuss an all-of-the-above approach to developing new domestic energy sources, expanding oil and gas production and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. To guarantee that America remains competitive, the Obama Administration released the President’s framework for reforming our nation’s business tax system. And the Administration unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a broader effort to improve consumers’ privacy protections online.
With the Republican candidates on the campaign trail in Arizona and Michigan before next week’s primary contests, as well as other key states, Democrats across the country worked hard to set the record straight on the GOP’s false attacks on the President and hold Republicans accountable for their failed policies that continue to divide Americans and would do nothing to help the middle class. Furthermore, Democrats stressed to voters this week that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have proposed budget and tax plans that would explode the deficit by trillions of dollars over the next decade and force deep cuts to programs critical to middle-class security.
President Obama, Vice President Biden Hold White House Event to Discuss Agreement to Extend Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Insurance
On Tuesday, President Obama and Vice President Biden held an event at the White House to discuss the importance of the agreement passed by Congress to extend the payroll tax cut and critical unemployment insurance. The President also encouraged Congress to build on this action by taking additional steps to create jobs and continue our economic growth to help working and middle-class families get ahead. During his remarks at the event, President Obama said:
“You'll remember I called on Congress to pass this middle-class tax cut back in September as part of my broader jobs plan. And for the typical American family, it is a big deal. It means $40 extra in their paycheck. And that $40 helps to pay the rent, the groceries, the rising cost of gas -- which is on a lot of people's minds right now. LaRonda Hill -- right here -- told us how $40 covers the water bill for a month. So this tax cut makes a difference for a lot of families. You can get back over here, Joe. And more people spending more money means more businesses will be able to hire more workers, and the entire economy gets another boost just as the recovery is starting to gain some steam.
“So Congress did the right thing here. They listened to the voices of the American people. Each side made a few compromises. We passed some important reforms to help turn unemployment insurance into reemployment insurance, so that more people get training and the skills they need to get back in a job. We passed an initiative that will create jobs by expanding wireless broadband and ensuring that first responders have access to the latest lifesaving technologies. And we've got some first responders here. We're very grateful for the work that they do.
“So, in the end, everyone acted in the interests of the middle class, and people who are striving to get into the middle class through hard work. And that’s how it should be. That’s what Americans expect, and that’s what Americans deserve.”
You can watch President Obama’s remarks here.
Obama Administration Releases the President’s Framework for Business Tax Reform
The Obama Administration on Wednesday released the President’s framework for reforming our nation’s business tax system to make America more competitive. President Obama’s framework would simplify the tax code and eliminate dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies. It would also lower the top corporate tax rate while broadening our tax base, and provide incentives to create jobs and invest in America. The President believes that to seize on important opportunities for growth in our future global economy, we need to shape economic policy so that more companies – both American and foreign – are designing, creating and building products here in America. Business tax reform is a critical part of that equation.
You can read the President’s framework for business tax reform here.
In Miami, the President Announces All-of-the-Above Strategy for American Energy
While touring the University of Miami Industrial Assessment Center in Miami, Florida this week, President Obama spoke about securing a future for America built on home-grown energy and his blueprint for helping us get there. He highlighted the Administration’s strong record of taking an all-of-the-above approach to developing new domestic energy sources, as well as expanding oil and gas production and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The President understands that hardworking Americans are doing everything they can to cope with rising gas prices and tightening budgets, and that is why he has called for an all-out approach to develop every available American energy source. During his visit, the President delivered remarks, in which he said:
“You know there are no quick fixes to this problem. You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. If we’re going to take control of our energy future and can start avoiding these annual gas price spikes that happen every year -- when the economy starts getting better, world demand starts increasing, turmoil in the Middle East or some other parts of the world -- if we’re going to avoid being at the mercy of these world events, we’ve got to have a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. Yes, oil and gas, but also wind and solar and nuclear and biofuels, and more.
“We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks, less energy for our buildings and our plants and our factories -- that’s the strategy we’re pursuing. And that’s the only real solution to this challenge.”
Watch President Obama’s speech here.
President Obama Unveils Blueprint for Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights to Protect Consumers Online
On Thursday, the Obama Administration unveiled a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” as part of a comprehensive effort to improve consumers’ privacy protections online. This blueprint will offer guidance for providing users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet, and it will help businesses maintain trust and grow in the digital world. As part of these efforts, the Commerce Department will be reaching out to businesses, privacy advocates and other key stakeholders to develop and implement enhanced privacy policies based on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. In his cover letter to this new blueprint, the President wrote:
“Never has privacy been more important than today, in the age of the Internet, the World Wide Web and smart phones. In just the last decade, the Internet has enabled a renewal of direct political engagement by citizens around the globe and an explosion of commerce and innovation creating jobs of the future. Much of this innovation is enabled by novel uses of personal information. So, it is incumbent on us to do what we have done throughout history: apply our timeless privacy values to the new technologies and circumstances of our times.”
You can read the full blueprint here.
Holding Republicans Accountable
With the upcoming Republican primary contests in Michigan and Arizona next week, the GOP candidates were busy wooing the far right wing of the Republican Party and attempting to distort the President’s record. But Democrats across the country were there every step of the way to push back on these false attacks, ensure the GOP field is held accountable for their failed policies that continue to divide Americans and would do nothing to help the middle class, and emphasize that both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have proposed budget and tax plans that would actually explode the deficit by trillions of dollars over the next decade.
As Mitt Romney campaigned in Ohio on Monday, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was in Toledo making sure Ohio voters knew the truth about Romney and spreading the word about how Democrats are building up their ground game for the 2012 election.
On Tuesday, the Michigan Democratic Party held a press conference call highlighting Mitt Romney’s out-of-touch economic agenda and what it would mean for middle-class Michiganders. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz teamed up with Congressman Xavier Becerra and Arizona State Representative Ruben Gallego to hold a press call highlighting the sharp disconnect between Mitt Romney and Arizona voters – from his failed record on jobs and refusal to propose a single idea to help the middle class get ahead to his extreme views on immigration and his disastrous position on the housing foreclosure crisis. Chair Wasserman Schultz also stressed on the call that while Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum claim they would balance the budget, in reality, their proposed budget and tax plans would explode the deficit by trillions of dollars over the next decade and force deep cuts to programs critical to middle-class security.
With the Republican candidates gathered in Mesa, Arizona on Wednesday for another GOP debate, Arizona Democrats were right there to push back, holding a pre-debate press conference discussing the GOP field’s backwards agenda with State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, State Rep. Ruben Gallego and State Rep. Catherine Miranda. After the debate, DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz also released a statement, in which she said:
“At a time when the American people have made it clear they need real solutions from their leaders that will help working and middle-class families get ahead and put our country back on track, all the Republican candidates had to offer during tonight’s debate were more shameless attempts to woo the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, the current frontrunners of the GOP field, have spent their entire candidacy throwing every attack they can possibly muster at President Obama and each other. This type of discourse though doesn’t come as much of a surprise—Mitt Romney has shown time and time again that he’ll say anything to get elected, and Rick Santorum has consistently demonstrated he cares more about dividing America than restoring economic security for the middle class.”
Additionally, the Texas Democratic Party held a press conference with DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz to announce the rollout of the Texas Truth Team. The Texas Truth Team is made up of state and local elected officials, key surrogates and passionate supporters of President Obama who will promote the President’s accomplishments, hold the Republican candidates accountable for their false attacks, and expose the failed policies of Texas Republicans.
On Thursday, the DNC released a new web video titled “Mitt Romney: The GOP’s Most Extreme Candidate.” The video highlights how Mitt Romney continued to display his extreme rhetoric on immigration during Wednesday’s debate and how incredibly out of touch he is on this issue. You can watch it here.
In addition to this video, Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and Arizona State Reps. Ruben Gallego and Ann Tovar held a national media call on Mitt Romney’s extreme position on immigration – pointing out that during Wednesday night’s debate, Romney doubled down on his support for Arizona’s controversial immigration law allowing random document checks and detainment, calling it a “model” for the nation. They also emphasized that Romney is wrong on virtually every issue important to the Latino community.
On Friday, the United Auto Workers and local Democrats held a large rally in Detroit ahead of Mitt Romney’s campaign speech at Ford Field. The UAW had a simple message for Mitt Romney: Don’t bet against us, don’t bet against Michigan, and don’t bet against the American worker. The local working families who attended the rally were determined to make sure all Michiganders know how Mitt Romney turned his back on Detroit with the outrageous position that we should “let Detroit go bankrupt.”