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Obama agenda: All eyes on McConnell's 'magic trick'

The New York Times: “With Republicans and Democrats still deeply divided over how to shrink the budget deficit and the national debt, the only way for them to avoid a financial crisis at this late date may be to perform a legislative magic trick.  The idea, conjured by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, would allow Republicans to accede to an increase in the government’s debt limit without actually voting for it or giving in to President Obama’s demand for tax increases as part of any deal.”

But before turning to McConnell’s maneuver… “The House will vote on a ‘cut, cap and balance’ plan to let the government borrow another $2.4 trillion - but only after big and immediate spending cuts and adoption by Congress of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget,” the AP says. “The plan is doomed in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the White House has promised a veto.” 

The Washington Post adds that Democrats "hope that the cut, cap and balance measure will convince House Republicans that they need to sign on to the Senate compromise.”

In a blog post on the White House’s Web site, economic adviser Jason Furman responded to the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” measure this way: “[I]t is critical that we not bring down our deficits and debt at the expense of economic growth, innovation and job creation, or place the greatest burden on older Americans and the most vulnerable. That is precisely what the House’s Cut, Cap and Balance plan would do – a proposal that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney described as ‘duck, dodge and dismantle.’”

The Energy Department emails First Read, “Secretary Chu is launching a new DOE-Ad Council [Public Service Announcement] campaign built around the slogan ‘Saving Energy Saves You Money.’ It highlights the little things people can do to make their homes more comfortable and save money in the process.  It’ll feature two TV spots, a radio spot, billboards, and internet ads that direct people to www.EnergySavers.gov for helpful tips on how to save money by saving energy.”