On Friday, December 18th, President Obama will hold a press conference, billed as his year end press conference as the government “shuts down” for the winter holidays.
It won’t be a literal shutdown because the House this morning passed the spending piece of the omnibus appropriations bill (the tax piece was passed yesterday) clearing the way for the 2016 Budget to be
passed by the Senate and signed into law. (UPDATE: The Senate passed the Omnibus by a vote of 65-33.)
President Obama on the 2016 election and the Paris accord:
I think we will have a strong Democratic nominee. I think that Democratic nominee will win. I think I will have a Democratic successor. And I will campaign very hard to make that happen — for a whole variety of reasons — because they’re far more likely to share my fundamental vision about where America should go.
But having said that, what I think people should also feel good about is that the agreement struck in Paris, although not legally binding when it comes to the targets that had been set, does create this architecture in which all around the world, countries are saying, this is where we’re going. We’re going to be chasing after this clean energy future. This is how we’re going to meet our goals. We’re going to double down on solar power. We’re going to double down on wind power. We’re going to invest more heavily in biofuels. We’re going to figure out battery technologies.
And what you saw in this budget, which I think was really significant, was an extension of the solar tax credits and wind tax credits that we had helped to really boost early on in my administration and that resulted in wind power increasing threefold, solar power increasing by twentyfold. […]
Keep in mind that, right now, the American Republican Party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change. I mean, it’s an outlier. Many of the key signatories to this deal, the architects of this deal come from center-right governments. Even the far-right parties in many of these countries — they may not like immigrants, for example, but they admit, yes, the science tells us we’ve got to do something about climate change.
So my sense is, is that this is something that may be an advantage in terms of short-term politics and a Republican primary. It’s not something that is going to be a winner for Republicans long term.
From USA Today, on the 2016 Budget:
WASHINGTON — The House approved a massive government spending bill Friday morning, setting up Senate votes later in the day that are expected to send that measure and a package of tax breaks to President Obama for signing.
Friday’s House vote to pass the $1.1 trillion catch-all spending bill was 316-113. House lawmakers passed the $622 billion package of tax breaks on Thursday. Both measures will now be combined into one bill and sent to the Senate for final approval, ending legislative business for the year.
The White House said Obama would sign the legislation.
The tax and spending package contains a mix of conservative and liberal priorities that was generally viewed as an acceptable compromise.
The tax package, which includes new and renewed tax cuts for individuals and businesses that are especially popular with Republicans, passed the House 318-109 with 77 Democrats voting in favor. It permanently extends the enhanced child tax credit and earned income tax credit that were boosted by the 2009 economic stimulus, and extends through 2019 a popular corporate tax break that allows companies to more quickly depreciate the value of new equipment.
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