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BEGINNING SATURDAY, JULY 23, 2011
AT 10:30 AM EST
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama today used the debt ceiling debate to again call for tax increases, even though his Hill allies have backed away from the deal-breaking demand.
Local sources report Obama made the call today at the annual convention held by the National Council of La Raza, a left-of-center Hispanic advocacy group.
“We can’t just close our deficit by cutting spending … if all we do is cut, seniors will have to pay more for health care, students will have to pay more for college … we’d have to stop much of the clean-energy research,” he declared to cheers from the audience. “Not only is it not fair … it doesn’t make sense.”
The debt-ceiling negotiations have moved from the White House to Congress following Obama’s abortive effort last Thursday to win another $400 billion in tax increases, on top of an earlier conditional deal to raise $800 billion in taxes on wealthy people.
House Speaker John Boehner subsequently developed his own debt-ceiling bill; Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid is also developing a parallel measure. Both are expected to be made public today.
Over the weekend, Obama’s highest priority seemed to shift from a tax increase to increasing the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in one jump. (La Raza carrying Obama’s agua)
That $2.4 trillion would enable the government to keep spending until sometime after the 2012 election.
GOP leaders, including Boehner, say they prefer a smaller, short-term increase, partly because that would help them win support from caucus members who oppose more government overspending.
On Monday Republicans emphasized their desire to cut government spending, rather than their preference for a stopgap measure. Obama “wants a $2.4T blank check to get him through the next election [without] cuts that exceed the hike. This is indefensible,” the National Republican Congressional Committee wrote in a statement.
Obama’s speech to La Raza focused primarily on his support for the Hispanic advocacy group, rather than on the debt-ceiling deal.
Obama noted the need for help from Hispanic advocates’ help to register millions of Hispanics to vote in time for the November 2012 election. Speaking today, the president said, “We need a movement that bridges party lines, that unites business and labor and faith communities and law enforcement communities, and all who know that America cannot continue operating with a broken immigration system. And I will be there every step of the way.”
To bolster his support among Hispanics, Obama cited a list of domestic programs that he said have aided them, including the stimulus, new health care spending programs, education grants, and regulation of payday lenders. (Obama looks to kick debt ceiling can just past 2012 election)
He blamed Republicans, and the nation’s “political wind” for Congress’ refusal to adopt a conditional amnesty, which he dubbed “comprehensive immigration reform.”
The crowd cheered “Yes you can!” when Obama said he could not change the current immigration laws without Congress.
“I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause,” he said. “I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.”
SCHEDULE OF KEY SPEAKERS AND EVENTS
Monday, July 25
10:00 a.m. Career/Tus Oportunidades Pavilion. Co-Sponsor, Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney. Atrium, Exhibit Hall A-C, Exhibition Level.
Featuring career resources, a direct connection to employers, networking
opportunities, and clinics on interview best practices and résumé tips
10:00 a.m. National Latino Family Expo. Title Sponsor, UPS. Atrium, Exhibit Hall A-C, Exhibition Level.
12:30 p.m. Monday Luncheon. Co-Sponsored by AT&T, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kraft
Foods, McDonald’s Corporation, and Time Warner Inc. Marriott Ballroom.
• Emcee: Teresa Rodriguez, Broadcast Journalist and Best-selling Author
• Keynote Speaker: The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States
3:00 p.m. Town Hall: Hispanic Education in the 21st Century: The Federal Role. Co-
Lead Sponsors, Darden Restaurants, The Nielsen Company, and Univision
Communications Inc. Co-Sponsored by AT&T. Thurgood Marshall Ballroom.
• Welcome: Senator Mark R. Warner (D–VA)
• Moderator: Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President of Programs, NCLR
• Daniel Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators
• Amy Wilkins, Vice President for Government Affairs and Communications, The Education Trust
• Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University
• Congressman George Miller (7th District–CA), Ranking Democrat, Education and Labor Committee, U.S. House of Representatives
Tuesday, July 26
8:30 a.m. Workshop: Latinos and the Internet: Jobs, Education, and Empowerment
in a Digital Economy. Virginia Suite A.
• Moderator: Jason A Llorenz, Esq., Executive Director, Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP)
• Hon. Mignon Clyburn, FCC Commissioner
• Brent Wilkes, National Executive Director, LULAC
• Gus West, Board Chair, The Hispanic Institute
• Henry Rivera, Esq. Board Chair, Minority Media and Telecommunications Partnership
10:30 a.m. Featured Workshop: Protecting Our Rights, Confronting the Extremists.
Maryland Suite AB.
12:30 p.m. Tuesday Luncheon. Co-Sponsored by Bank of America, Hyundai Motor
America, Shell, Sodexo, Inc., and Walmart. Marriott Ballroom
• Featured Speaker: U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II, Chair, Congressional Black Caucus (D–MO), 5th District
• President’s Message: Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO
• Military Tribute: Heroes & Heritage Award, Presented by Fernando Rey, President & Chief Executive Officer, Heroes & Heritage
3:00 p.m. Featured Session: A Dónde Vamos? New Directions for Community
Involvement in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Research. Lead Sponsors, National
Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research; NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino
Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training. Thurgood Marshall
• Welcome: Jack Whitescarver, PhD, NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research and Director of the Office of AIDS Research National Institutes of Health
• Moderator: Britt Rios-Ellis, MS, PhD, Professor, Department of Health Science at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Director of the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training
• Margarita Figueroa González, MD, MPH, Director, Division of Community-Based Programs, HAB/HRSA
• Kurt C. Organista, PhD, Associate Dean and Professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley
• Mario J. Pérez, Director, Office of AIDS Programs and Policy (OAPP), County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health
7:30 p.m. Awards Gala. Co-Sponsored by Amtrak, Eli Lilly and Company, Ford
Motor Company, and UPS. Marriott Ballroom.
• Affiliate of the Year Award: Mary’s Center
• Graciela Olivarez La Raza Award: Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
• Maclovio Barraza Award for Leadership: Jorge Muñoz
• Ruben Salazar Award for Communications: Ignacio E. Lozano, Jr.
• Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence: Thomas R. “Tom” Flores
• Raul Yzaguirre President’s Award: José H. Villarreal