President Barack Obama today urged congressional lawmakers to pass a short-term measure delaying the "sequestration" spending cuts, in order to give Republicans and Democrats time to hammer out a lasting compromise deal. With Congress out of session until next week, the president staged a media-friendly event surrounded by emergency workers, whose jobs he said would be put at risk by the cuts. "If these cuts go into effect, hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost and middle class families all across the nation will feel the devastating impact," Obama said.The Washington Post
(2/19),The Washington Times
Former deficit panel chairmen Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles will today offer a new vision for reducing America's deficit, in a bid to shame congressional lawmakers from both parties into action. "The idea of a grand bargain is at best on life support," Bowles said. "It seems like both sides are beginning to retreat to their own talking points. This may be good politics, but it doesn't put us any closer to having our fiscal house in order."Politico (Washington, D.C.)
(2/19),The Wall Street Journal
There are three key "tailwinds" that could help carry the U.S. economy back to health, says Janet Yellen, the vice chair of the Federal Reserve. Fiscal policy, housing investment and consumer confidence could all make a big difference to the nation's economic trajectory, Yellen argues.The Washington Post/WonkBlog
The "Saturday Night Live" crew parodies the "Fox and Friends" team's take on President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, in part by playing the speech backward in search of hidden messages. "Isn't this man supposed to be a great speaker? Then how come only half the people there were clapping?" asks the "SNL" version of Gretchen Carlson.NBC.com
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