Surrounded by Democratic House members, (L-R) House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) applaud as U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C) stands up after she signed the Senate Health Reform bill March 22, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The House has passed the Senate version of the legislation the night before by a vote of 219 to 212. U.S. President Barack Obama intends to sign the measure on Tuesday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images North America)
LAT~House Democratic leaders have signed the massive health care overhaul bill, a formality before the bill is signed by President Barack Obama.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the committee chairmen signed the bill Monday, an official act before Obama’s signature makes it the law of the land. The House voted for the measure 219-212 late Sunday night.
Pelosi said Sunday night the House made history and added: “It’s on a par with passing Social Security and Medicare.”
The congressional signing is a common step in the process, but with this uncommon bill, the leaders invited the media to watch.
The president planned to sign the measure on Tuesday.
Surrounded by members of Congress, President Barack Obama signs the Hire Act during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House on March 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. The HIRE Act will offer a payroll tax break for businesses that hire unemployed workers and will offer businesses an income tax credit of $1,000 for retaining these employees. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)
USAToday~Acknowledging that government alone can’t solve the nation’s job crisis, President Obama just signed a new $18 billion jobs bill designed to spur hiring by giving tax breaks to small businesses. The bill also includes $20 billion for highway and transit programs.
“While this jobs bill is absolutely necessary, it is by no means enough,” Obama said during a sunny Rose Garden bill signing ceremony. “There is a lot more we need to do to spur hiring in the private sector and bring about a full economic recovery; from helping creditworthy small businesses get the loans they need to expand, to offering incentives to make homes and businesses more energy-efficient, to investing in infrastructure so we can put Americans to work doing the work America needs done.”
Obama also urged lawmakers to consider a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that the health-care legislation will reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion in the first decade and $1.2 trillion in the next. He said it represented the “most significant effort to reduce the deficit” since the Balanced Budget Act.
“I urge every member of Congress to consider this as they prepare for their very important vote this weekend,” Obama said.
New York Times/Jackie Calmes & David Stout—In separate actions to address Americans’ continuing economic hardship, the government moved Thursday to assist long-unemployed workers and struggling businesses, as well as home buyers and homeowners facing foreclosure.
Fannie Mae, the federally controlled mortgage company, announced a Deed for Lease program in which those in danger of eviction may be able to stay as tenants in their houses for at least a year.
At the same time, Congress gave final approval to a stimulus measure that will extend unemployment benefits for the longtime jobless, aid that will bring total assistance for many to nearly two years. Other provisions of the bill will expand two popular tax breaks — one for home buyers, the other for businesses operating at a loss.
President Obama will sign the measure into law on Friday morning, aides said. That will allow him to deliver a bit of good news just as the government releases the monthly unemployment report, which is expected to confirm that the jobless rate remained around 10 percent in October.
To that end, Democratic Congressional leaders expedited action on the legislation in recent days after six weeks of partisan wrangling in the Senate. The House, which passed a bill in September, voted Thursday by 403 to 12 to accept the version that the Senate finally approved unanimously on Wednesday. That sent the bill to the president.
The measure provides up to 14 weeks of additional assistance to unemployed people who have exhausted their state and federal benefits, but up to 20 additional weeks to those in about 26 states with unemployment rates exceeding 8.5 percent. In the past two months, more than 600,000 out-of-work people have exhausted their benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project, a liberal advocacy group. The legislation will not restore aid retroactively.
But some people just drive by to read the sign outside. It says something different every once in a while, depending on what bar owner Patrick Lanzo has on his mind. Politics are frequent topics, and former President Bill Clinton and congresswoman Cynthia McKinney have been targeted in the past.
The current sign, which has been outside the Georgia Peach Museum and Restaurant for about six months, takes a critical stand against President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan.
But it’s not just a simple message. It contains an “n” word many see as a racial slur. Find that offensive? Well just keep on driving, says Lanzo, who has run the bar for 22 years. (Note: Just for clarity the sign reads, “Obamas plan for health-care: N****r rig it“)
Lanzo contends the word is only labeled “racist” when it’s uttered by a white person. Similarly, he says white people referring to themselves as “crackers” aren’t labeled racists.
Racist or not, it’s a word Lanzo uses often. Many of the statements on his signs have included the word.
Alan Colmes on his radio show Liberaland, gave Lanzo a chance to explain why he chose to use the n-word on his sign.
Listen here, if you have the stomach for it, Lazlo really felt free enough on radio to let it all hang out, so to speak. Lazlo is the owner of the Georgia Peach Museum and Restaurant — which declares that it is “the original Klan bar” on its website.