From Newsweek/THE DAILY BEAST:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Republican leadership’s tether to the Tea Party, flutters the hearts of the government-bashing, budget-slicing faithful with his relentless attacks on runaway federal spending. To Cantor, an $8 billion high-speed rail connecting Las Vegas to Disneyland is wasteful “pork-barrel spending.” The Virginia Republican set up the “You Cut” Web site to demonstrate how easy it is to slash government programs. And he made the Department of Housing and Urban Development the poster child for waste when he disclosed that the agency was paying for housing for Ph.D.s.
But away from the cameras, Cantor sometimes pulls right up to the spending trough, including the very stimulus law he panned in public. Letters obtained by Newsweek show him pressing the Transportation Department to spend nearly $3 billion in stimulus money on a high-speed-rail project—not the one he derided in Nevada, but another in his home state. “Virginia … will demonstrate that this historic investment in rail will create jobs, reduce congestion, spur economic growth and improve our environment,” says a letter he signed with other Virginia members in October 2009, cribbing President Obama’s own argument for the stimulus.
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From USA TODAY:
Sen. Pat Toomey voted against the debt-limit compromise last week, partly because he didn’t think the budget-balancing recommendations of the bipartisan committee it created would stick.
A week later, Toomey finds himself serving on the committee he voted against.
The Pennsylvanian was one of six Republican members appointed Wednesday to Congress’ new 12-member “supercommittee.”
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From THE HILL:
Congressional leaders have until Aug. 16 to name the 12 members of the newly created “supercommittee” to deal with reducing the deficit, but special interest groups are wasting no time in pushing their choices for the panel.
The debt-ceiling-increase legislation enacted Tuesday created a bicameral, joint committee of 12 legislators charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23.
Failure to come up with a plan will result in deep automatic defense and Medicare cuts.
One wrong pick, lobbyists on the right and left said Wednesday, could swing the panel toward a terrible compromise. So they are not taking chances.
These sources are already urging leaders to pick top lieutenants who will stick to party positions — no entitlement cuts for Democrats and no tax increases for Republicans.
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From The New York Times:
Remarks of President Obama at the town-hall style meeting in Elkhart, Ind., as provided by the White House
President Barack Obama traveled today to Elkhart, Indiana for a town hall on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. The President spoke directly with Elkhart residents about the impact the plan will have on their lives, and answered questions about the challenges that they face.
In Elkhart, where 8,000 jobs were lost and unemployment tripled in the last year alone, the President shared his specific plans to bring jobs back to the community, provide tax relief, and help lower the cost of health care and college for working families.
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