House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said yesterday that President Obama’s debt-limit summit will be “fruitless” if he still wants to raise taxes. In a statement shortly after receiving the invitation, Boehner said, “I’m happy to discuss these [deficit] issues, but such discussions will be fruitless until the president recognizes economic and legislative reality.”
Big Business is wringing its hands of the nation’s debt problem and leaving it to the politicians to handle the deficit, the New York Times reports. While professing concern for the rising deficit, major corporations and business groups like the Business Council are actually calling for policies “that would add hundreds of billions of dollars a year to the deficit.”
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is standing by his debunked claim that President Obama has made the economy worse despite findings presented by fact-checkers. Romney’s spokesperson Andrea Saul defended the remark, saying, “It is an undeniable fact that Barack Obama has failed to create jobs and fix the economy.”
Newly released federal documents “show it took Exxon Mobil nearly twice as long as it publicly disclosed to fully seal a pipeline that spilled roughly 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.” The energy giant claimed that its public statements may have been inaccurate because Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. President Gary Pruessing, who first addressed the spill, was speaking without notes at the time.
Despite suggestions that the air war over Afghanistan would be scaled back, U.S. military data shows that there were 5,831 sorties during General David Petraeus’ tenure as head of the American war effort there. That’s a “65 percent increase from the 3,510 attack runs flown in the previous 12 months.”
House Republicans have practically abandoned efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act while making no effort to replace it as leadership grows tired of seeing bills die in the Senate. Six weeks have passed since the last vote to repeal or defund a part of the law, while not a single vote has occurred on a bill that would replace it. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), on his repeal efforts: “I can’t get any traction.”
USA Today reports that rising Medicaid costs and tight budgets have forced about a dozen states to reduce their payments to doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that treat the poor.
Connecticut became the first state to require companies to provide employees with paid sick leave, thanks to legislation signed into law by Gov. Dan Malloy (D) this week. The law, which was years in the making and faced opposition from Republicans, will let 200,000 to 300,000 workers accrue one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked.
And finally: The rise of Jimmy “The Rent Is Too Damn High” McMillan is chronicled in a new documentary called “Damn!” that is now playing at a Brooklyn film festival. Politics is just the latest endeavor for “the glove-wearing, facial hair-loving politician who loves to shout about the rent and the deficit,” as McMillan is also “a Vietnam veteran, black belt Karate master, former stripper, and 70’s soul singer,” the documentary reveals.