The White House Press Office announced that President Barack Obama will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. this morning — though no topic was announced.Obama is in the middle of a weeks-long push on his jobs bill, which is certain to take up a significant portion of the questioning. We expect him to be asked about the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the killing of U.S.-citizen Anwar al-Awlaki as well.
Also expect Obama to be asked about his criticism of Bank of America’s $5 fee for checking account customers and his increasingly-combative tone toward Republicans as his reelection campaign hits high gear.
UPDATE: CNN is reporting that Obama will endorse the over-5% millionaire surtax proposed by Senate Democrats yesterday. The tax would go above and beyond allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire — potentially raising the top marginal tax bracket to 44.6 per cent.
The Buffett Rule only would apply to a fraction of millionaires and billionaires with effective tax rates below that of the average middle-class family. The surtax would hit all incomes over $1 million — and would be on top of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2013.
UPDATE 2: The Senate version of the American Jobs Act which Obama will endorse sets the surtax at 5.6% on income exceeding $1 million. The tax would take effect in January 2013 — when the Bush tax cuts also expire.
The threshold for the surtax would be raised annually with inflation.
We’ll bring you live coverage as soon as Obama gets going.
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Obama: “Next week the Senate will vote on the American Jobs Act.”
Our economy really needs a jolt right now
This jobs bill can help guard against another downturn if the situation in Europe gets worse.
Any Senator out there who’s thinking about voting against this jobs bill when it comes up for a vote needs to explain why they oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation at such an urgent time for families & businesses.
Congressional Republicans should love this plan. This bill would cut taxes.
Some see this as class warfare; I see it as a simple choice.
Questions: Does Obama agree with Bernanke that recovery is “faltering,” and will he work with GOP on jobs bill
There is no doubt — with respect to the economy — that growth has slowed.
There is no doubt the economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year.
I’ve gone out of my way to work with Republicans, find common ground & move this country forward
My expectation and hope is that everyone will vote for this jobs bill.
Every idea that we’ve put forward are ones that have been traditionally supported by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Question: Does Obama agree with Senate millionaire surtax? Does he believe he believe American people’s cynicism is justified
“I’m comfortable with” Senate approach for 5.6% millionaire surtax. Says he still wants Buffett Rule.
If the American Jobs Act passes, we’re still going to have challenges.
The American people haven’t seen congress come together & act. This is a good opportunity..
Question: What does Obama think about Occupy Wall Street Protests
Says it “expresses frustrations American people feel”
The protestors are giving voice to a more broad based frustration about how our financial system works.
Says helping banks caused political damage, I have “dings and bruises” to prove it.
Obama says GOP effort to repeal Dodd-Frank regulations “does not make sense to the American people.”
Question: Why didn’t bankers go to jail. On Solyndra and Fast and Furious
A lot of it wasn’t illegal, but it was immoral and reckless.
I have complete confidence in AG Holder.
Obama denies that he and Attorney General Holder knew about the details of Fast & Furious
On Solyndra: “This is a loan guarantee that predates me.”
“The process by which the decision was made, was on the merits. … I have confidence” that decision made on merits.
On Bank of America fee
“I do not think that” asked about regulating profits/stopping BofA fee. “I was trying to make a broader point”
“My job is to make sure we have a consumer watchdog in place “
Says he is sensitive to hidden fees.
“Entirely appropriate for the government’ to have some oversight role to make sure consumers are protected.”
Obama on fees: Banks have “the right, but it’s not a good practice.”
Obama said it is hard for companies to succeed with economy “as soft and weak as it is.”
Back to jobs bill:
Obama: I am always open to negotiations. What is also true is they need to do something.
“If Congress does something, I can’t run against a do-nothing Congress.”
China currency bill
Obama: China “gaming the trading system.” Won’t say if he’d sign or veto currency manipulation bill. Does say China is manipulating its currency.
Obama on China: “Its indisputable they intervene heavily in currency markets”
Obama’s advice for Europe
“The biggest headwind that the U.S. economy is facing right now is uncertainty about Europe.”
I speak frequently w/Chancellor Merkel and Pres. Sarkozy. They are mindful. They want to prevent a sovereign debt crisis…
I am confident that they want to get this done — I understand there are some technical issues for them to get enough firepower to show the markets that they are standing by Euro members who are not in the best position.
Obama: “we are not going to run up our debt to” help Europe
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