The daily Progressive Breakfast serves up what progressive movement members need to know to start their day.
Weeks-Long Senate Health Care Debate Begins At 3 PM ET
AP offers pessimistic preview, emphasizing lack of Dem consensus on final bill: ” The 60 votes aren’t there any more. With the Senate set to begin debate Monday on health care overhaul, the all-hands-on-deck Democratic coalition that allowed the bill to advance is fracturing already.”
Politico reports WH and Senate hung up on finding compromise on public option: “Asked when he thought the debate would end, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said, ‘When there are 60 votes.’ … ‘Our focus is to get the bill off the floor as soon as possible in a form that is most consistent with the president,’ said a senior administration official. Crafting a public option compromise ‘is largely what is taking up the time.’”
W. Post captures range of views on bill’s ability to cut deficit, and CBO’s cost estimate. Quotes WH budget director: “‘The legislation is reflecting all the ideas that have been put forward in health policy circles for years and creating a feedback-and-continuous-improvement loop that will allow us to learn as we go,’ Orszag said. ‘When someone says it’s not guaranteed to work, my response is: Doing nothing is guaranteed to fail.’”
W. Post delves into the ramifications of postponing full implementation until 2014: “The bill would offer interim relief for some people with preexisting conditions by creating a temporary insurance plan just for them, but only people who have been uninsured for six months could join. White House health reform czar Nancy-Ann DeParle said the president was moving as quickly as possible. She said that the insurance industry cannot be forced to accept people irrespective of preexisting conditions until everyone is required to have insurance, and that the administration does not want such a requirement until the exchanges are up and running.”
The Treatment’s Jonathan Cohn touts incentives for states to implement quicker: “Providing federal funds to states that want to get their exchanges up and running early [is] the type of change that would seem to have a shot at passing, even in this limited fiscal and political environment. And it’s the type of change that could help change perceptions about health reform for the better–precisely because it would result in helping more people, more quickly, than will be possible if legislation passes as is.”
Jockeying Precedes Jobs Summit
NYT preview suggests WH to not looking to embrace major government action at jobs summit. “White House officials say they remain open to a variety of ideas. But they have also signaled that Mr. Obama’s willingness to back any expensive new government programs is limited. One official said Mr. Obama’s announcement of the jobs forum was ‘carefully crafted’ to emphasize that generally the ‘government has done what it can. It’s time to hear from the private sector about what it’s going to do.’ … Liberal and labor groups propose [paying for jobs programs with] a tax on financial transactions to raise money and discourage speculators, and they want to tap unspent financial bailout money … Both the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Obama administration, led by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, are opposing a financial transactions tax, arguing that it could put American businesses at a competitive disadvantage. And the administration wants to apply any money left in the bailout fund to reducing the deficit.”
WH also resisting calls for more broad biz tax cuts. WSJ: “The Obama administration and U.S. business leaders will meet at the White House this week to ponder ways to boost employment. Their ideas, though, don’t overlap much. Businesses of all sizes are brimming with proposals they say would spur economic growth. The most commonly voiced are tax cuts and boosting access to credit. The White House, for its part, wants to discuss job growth in the clean-tech sector and shifting some stimulus spending to infrastructure projects. Obama aides are also eyeing a limited range of incentives for small businesses to create jobs.”
Krugman and Stiglitz will attend reports NYT.
Krugman offers a crazy idea, creating jobs. “…the federal government could provide jobs by … providing jobs. It’s time for at least a small-scale version of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration, one that would offer relatively low-paying (but much better than nothing) public-service employment.”
Renewed push on lenders to stem foreclosers. W. Post: “The Obama administration plans to announce on Monday efforts to step up pressure on lenders participating in its massive foreclosure prevention program in a push for transparency that should provide new details about the industry’s performance. … The Treasury Department already releases monthly reports on how many trial loan modifications lenders have completed. It has shown, for example, that some major lenders such as Bank of America have lagged behind competitors in signing up borrowers to the program. But beginning in December, the report card will also detail how many of the borrowers that lenders enrolled have made enough payments and provided enough documentation to move into a permanent modification, according to a Treasury official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan had not been publicly announced.”
Concerns that stimulus reports are undercounting jobs. USA Today: “Congressional investigators at the Government Accountability Office are suspicious of more than 9,000 reports that don’t list any jobs created despite spending totaling $965 million…”
Michigan reps pushback on proposed South Korea trade deal. The Hill: “Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the dean of Michigan’s delegation, has introduced a resolution that demands that the trade deal be amended to ensure fair access to the Korean automobile market for U.S. manufacturers. He said the agreement as written would allow Korea to continue unfair treatment of U.S. automobiles.”
Sen. Sanders will vote against Bernanke’s re-appointment he announced on ABC’s This Week.
Jockeying Precedes Climate Summit
Climate Progress assesses China’s initial bid: ” Is this a game-changer … Yes and no … it basically just requires a continuation of their energy efficiency gains since 2005 plus the various renewable energy pledges they have made … the specific Chinese announcement today is only a medium-sized deal, but the evolution of the US-China partnership on climate and clean energy is a huge deal — and should set the stage for a genuine global deal coming out of Copenhagen.”
Treehugger speculates that India will announce emission targets: “…Indian Premier Manmohan Singh said for the first time today that his country of 1.2 billion people might be willing to commit carbon emission cuts if–and this is a big if– other countries share the responsibility … Some Indian media is reporting that Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh will offer cuts of between 20 to 25 percent, but this is unconfirmed by indian officials. Plus it’s not clear if that by 2020 or if it’s relative to economic growth or a benchmark set in the past.”
On the other hand, major developing nations may also walk out of Copenhagen. Treehugger: “…the four leading developing world economies — Brazil, South Africa, India and China, or BASIC — are preparing a set of counter proposals. If developed nations don’t agree to their terms, they said at a meeting on Saturday, they and other developing nations could walk out of the conference … Among the BASIC countries, China has been especially vocal in its resistance to MRV [measurable, reportable and verifiable emissions cuts]. But that’s a measure the US and others say is crucial, especially for a country like China, where emissions are high and statistics are murky. India is also opposed to the idea of a peaking year, after which each country’s greenhouse gas emissions will begin to drop. Of course, BASIC could be bluffing in an attempt to motivate developed countries to begin signing off on their demands. There’s still much wiggle room to spare, but the issue of significant monetary pledges will remain a serious hurdle.”
EU tries to put pressure on China. AP: “European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is urging China and other countries to make more ambitious commitments on curbing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions … ‘Everyone is committing,’ Barroso told reporters after dining Sunday with [Chinese Premier] Wen. ‘We have to see at the end if all these commitments together lead us to the minimum necessary that according to science we have to do. So far, we are not yet there,’ he said.”
Carbon credit dispute another international sticking point. W. Post: “At issue in the thorny dispute is the huge surplus of carbon credits that Russia — the world’s third-largest producer of energy-related greenhouse gases — is amassing by keeping emissions under generous 1997 Kyoto Protocol limits. The Kremlin has insisted that the credits be carried over into a new agreement, but environmentalists say that would cripple any treaty by making it much cheaper for countries to buy credits than cut emissions.”