(Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Today President Obama spoke to reporters about renewed efforts to create a workable debt-reduction plan and prevent the country from going into default by Aug. 2.
In describing the president’s overall tone, two words come to mind: hopeful and optimistic. Over the weekend Obama spoke with House and Senate leadership about the challenges of raising the debt ceiling. He believes some progress has been made because a group of senators charged with coming up with a budget deal are putting forward a plan that looks close to the approach he urged. Obama said, “we’ve got to have some additional revenue so that we have in approach in which there is shared sacrifice and everybody is giving up something.”
President Obama also urged Republican senators to acknowledge what he called a “balanced package that makes sure that nobody is disproportionately hurt.”
Obama says he’s prepared to sign a tough package that includes spending cuts and changes to Medicaid and Medicare. “We don’t have any more time to posture. It’s time to get down to the business of actually solving the problem.”
More face-to-face talks with congressional leaders are planned for later today.
Separately, there was a Gulf Coast Sustainable Economies Summit, which was held after the press conference. Wendell Pierce, one of the stars of the show Treme, was there as part of the White House’s recognition of a company called Green Coast Enterprises as one of the country’s Champions of Change.
Today’s event is also scheduled to include a roundtable on best practices for green living and a greener economy. Pierce says we need to be on the lookout for a big announcement about “Green Grocery,” a new chain that will serve in "urban deserts" where grocery stores are few. When asked what prompts him to be involved in the cause he said, “We never want people to forget about Katrina. It happened. It was devastating and the effects are being felt to this day. Martin Luther King called us a 10-day nation. People care about causes for a short time and then interest fades. We have to remind people that folks are hurting and the suffering continues. There’s a lot we can learn from New Orleans.”