Entries in Recovery (7)


White House: Jobs Report Confirms Continued Economic Recovery

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Friday's jobs report showed that U.S. employers added nearly 200,000 jobs in the past month, gains that the White House calls proof of the continuing recovery from the recession that began in 2007.

In a statement on Friday, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Alan B. Krueger, said that the most recent report is "further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression."

While the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 7.6 percent, the rate of participation in the labor force rose by 0.1 percent.

The White House stressed that there is still work to be done, but that the 5.3 million jobs added since June 2009 is evidence that the economic recovery is continuing to gain traction. The economy has added private sector jobs for 40 consecutive months, with 7.2 million jobs added in that span.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama, Chris Christie to Tour Recovery Efforts at Jersey Shore

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(ASBURY PARK, N.J.) -- Nearly six months after superstorm Sandy ravaged the Jersey Shore, President Obama will return to New Jersey on Tuesday to get a firsthand look at the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Obama will join Gov. Chris Christie Tuesday afternoon in Asbury Park, N.J., where he will speak about the rebuilding efforts. The pair will tour areas that were hard hit by last September's storm.

In addition to the tour, President Obama will meet with citizens and business owners from the area, who "have shown such resilience in the face of the destructive storm, and make clear that while the rebuilding efforts to date have been extensive, the administration will continue to stand with the impacted communities as the important work of recovery continues," says a White House press release.

Obama and Christie took a similar tour of the damaged areas of New Jersey near the end of Obama's 2012 presidential campaign.

The stop in New Jersey comes just one day after the president toured Moore, Okla., to see firsthand the damage following last week's tornado.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Despite Hints of Economic Recovery, Optimism’s Scarce for 2013

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With three-quarters of Americans saying the economy’s still in a recession, optimism both about personal and global prospects in the year ahead are at their lowest in 11 years. Nonetheless, unlike the past three years, a majority at least says an economic recovery’s begun.  

Optimism continues to trump pessimism in personal outlook: Fifty-three percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll are more hopeful than fearful about what 2013 holds in store for them personally.  Fewer -- 40 percent -- are more hopeful than fearful about the world’s prospects.

Both are down sharply, by 32 and 29 percentage points, respectively, from their highs in December 2003, to their lowest level in more than a decade.  The 56 percent who express fearfulness about the global outlook ties the high right before 2003, with war in Iraq imminent.

PARTISANSHIP: Political allegiances factor heavily into these views. Seventy-five percent of Democrats express personal optimism, matching its level after the 2008 elections, and their global optimism is just 6 points lower, now 61 percent. 

Among Republicans, a second consecutive loss is a lot to bear: Their personal and global optimism are nearly half their level vs. four years ago (25 vs. 44 percent, and 18 vs. 39 percent, respectively).

That mirrors trends after the 2004 election, when George W. Bush won his second term.  Personal optimism for the next year among Democrats dropped by 29 points from the previous year, and global optimism by 20 points, while optimism among Republicans was virtually unchanged.

Compared to 2008, hopefulness among independents has dropped by 12 and 10 points, respectively.  But party’s at play there also; Democratic-leaning independents are nearly identical in hopefulness to Democrats, while Republican-leaning independents look much like Republicans.

ECONOMY and THE CLIFF: Despite easing unemployment, Americans continue to feel the effects of the longest, deepest downturn since the Great Depression.  Seventy-six percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, think that the country still is in a recession, unchanged since April.

But the economy’s trajectory also matters.  On that, more than half -- 53 percent -- say that in their personal experience the nation’s economy has started to recover.  While that’s not significantly different than its level this March, it’s up by 17 points in the last year.

The increase is broadly based, occurring in nearly every group, albeit only up 10 points to 35 percent among Republicans (compared with a 25-point increase to 72 percent among Democrats) and by a slight seven points among conservatives, to 34 percent.

Yet even among those who say the recovery is underway, three-quarters say it’s a weak one.

While heavily influenced by partisanship, these perceptions still factor into expectations for the year ahead.  Personal and global optimism are 26 to 47 points higher among those who say the recession is over or the recovery has begun, compared with those who disagree.

The potential impacts of not reaching an agreement on the fiscal cliff weigh heavily on Americans as well: Three-quarters or more are concerned about its effects on the national economy, their personal finances, the government’s operations and the U.S. military.  And those who are very worried about these consequences are 17 to 22 points less optimistic about their personal outlook compared with those who are less worried.

See a PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


To Woo Support, Sandy Aid Bill Plumped Up with Money for Another Hurricane

EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Without mentioning them by name, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Thursday singled out specific Republican senators, calling on them to help pass the supplemental aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The call was also backed up quietly with some money.

Late Wednesday night the Senate Appropriations Committee made some hasty edits in the emergency spending bill for Sandy victims, adding money for states that had been hit -- by a different hurricane. The move no doubt sweetened the pot a bit for some senators who might otherwise complain about excessive government spending.

In a marked up version of the bill, provided to ABC News by a source who did not want to be named, an edit is made to a key sentence:

“That using $34,500,000 of the funds provided herein, the Secretary shall expedite and complete ongoing flood and storm damage reduction studies in areas that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy in the North Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

In the margin, written in pen, were edits adding funding for some hurricanes past.

It now reads, “….Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac in the North Atlantic and Mississippi Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

You can see the edits, which were written in by hand by members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, HERE.

Hurricane Isaac tore through the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast in August of 2012, hitting Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama the hardest.

Elsewhere in the marked up version of the Sandy bill were similar edits, changing references to just “Hurricane Sandy” to include Hurricane Isaac.

At a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday Senate Majority Leader Reid singled out Republicans.

“When Irene struck, we acted very quickly,” Reid said, using relief for past hurricanes by way of example to get Sandy funding through, “We didn’t look and say, ‘Well, let’s see. Alabama has two Republican senators. Mississippi has two Republican senators. Texas has two Republican senators. Louisiana has one Republican senator.’”

The total amount of the bill will remain $60.4 billion, suggesting some of  the changes effectively will divert money away from Hurricane Sandy aid to Hurricane Isaac relief.

Republicans’ support, even from states in the yearly path of hurricanes, is not guaranteed on the $60.4 billion Sandy aid package being debated in the Senate.

Republicans have balked at the size of the request, and have called for more time to review the deal.

Key Republicans, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma took issue at what critics saw as pork -- what the senators called "questionable" spending -- in the bill. According to The Wall Street Journal, the senators criticized more than $5 billion slated for the Army Corps of Engineers because it didn't specify what the money would fund. Headlines were also made by the bill's reported $125 million slated for various Department of Agriculture projects unrelated to Sandy. In a joint statement, the senators said of those extras, "Americans impacted by Hurricane Sandy deserve better than this."

The request, which still needs the approval of Congress, includes billions in urgently needed aid. But it also features some other items:  $2 million to repair roof damage at Smithsonian buildings in Washington that happened before the storm; $4 million to repair sand berms and dunes at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; and $41 million for clean-up and repairs at eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba among other items.

The Senate is currently working through the Sandy aid package with the hope that a bill can be passed this week or next.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hillary Clinton Recovering at Home, Reviewing Benghazi Report

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is feeling a bit better following the concussion she suffered early last week, but will continue to rest this week, State Department officials said.

“She is on the mend,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. “We thank all of you for your good wishes, and she’s obviously going to be fine. But … she’s going to be working at home this week.”

A U.S. official tells ABC News that Clinton is feeling more “like herself” and would like to go back to work, but doctors have advised it may take several weeks and want the secretary to rest.  That is standard for concussion treatment.

Clinton originally fell ill from a stomach virus following a whirlwind trip to Europe at the beginning of the month, which caused such severe dehydration that she fainted and fell at home, said the State Department. According to the official, the secretary had two teams of doctors, including specialists, examine her.  They also ran tests to rule out more serious ailments beyond the virus and the concussion. During the course of the week, Clinton was on an IV drip and being monitored by a nurse, while also recovering from the pain caused by the fall.

Nuland said the decision to cancel Clinton’s schedule this week was made on Saturday morning after consulting with her doctors.

The secretary was set for a full week of events and work commitments, including testifying before the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees on Thursday, following the release of the State Department’s internal investigation on the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya in September.  Deputy Secretaries of State Bill Burns and Tom Nides will testify in her place.

The investigation, conducted by an appointed Accountability Review Board, was ordered by Clinton in October. Nuland told reporters Monday that the board has completed its work. She said Secretary Clinton received the report on Monday and is reviewing it at home.

Congressional committee members will receive the full, classified report before being briefed on Wednesday by the board’s chair, Ambassador Thomas Pickering, and member Admiral Mike Mullen in a closed session.

House Foreign Affairs chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said in a statement on Saturday that while the committee accepts Burns and Nides’ presence at the hearing,  she expects there will be questions surrounding the attack that will at some point require "a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself. ”

Secretary Clinton has sent letters to the chairs of both committees making it clear that she is open to further meetings after the holidays, when Congress is back in session and she is feeling better, said Nuland.

“She was ready to testify, she very much wanted to, she was preparing to, and except for this illness, she would have been up there herself.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Seeks $60.4 Billion for Sandy Recovery

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration has formally asked Congress for $60.4 billion in additional federal emergency aid for states hit by superstorm Sandy.

That is above the $50 billion figure floated earlier in the week as a possible request, but still below the amount sought by many states still reeling from the devastation.

“Today’s agreement … will enable our states to recover, repair and rebuild better and stronger than before,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a joint statement. Both men visited Washington this week to ask for the funds.

The request was made Friday in a letter from OMB director Jeff Zeints to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The money, if approved, will be directed toward rebuilding homes and public infrastructure in affected communities.

“Our nation has an obligation to assist those who suffered losses and who lack adequate resources to rebuild their lives. At the same time, we are committed to ensuring Federal resources are used responsibly and that the recovery effort is a shared undertaking,” wrote Zients.

“Private insurers must fulfill their commitment to the region; public assistance must be targeted for public benefit; resources must be directed to those in greatest need; and impacted States and localities must contribute, as appropriate, to the costs of rebuilding,” he said.

Zients wrote that the administration believes Sandy is on track to be the second or third most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Read the full letter and breakdown of funds by federal agency.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


McConnell: The Economy Isn't Funny, Mr. President

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Capitalizing on President Obama's remarks on the economy over the last few weeks -- from speaking about "speed bumps" to "headwinds" and then laughing about those so-called "shovel ready" projects -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., said that the American people out of work do not find any of this very funny.

"They're getting little comfort from an administration that seems more interested in deflecting the bad news than facing up to it," McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "Amid the onslaught of bad news last week, President Obama's message was that we'd hit some bumps in the road and that people need to be patient in the face of what called economic 'headwinds.' He even joked about the wildly mistaken predictions he and others at the White House made a couple years back about the job-creating potential of the Stimulus."

President Obama told Chrysler plant workers in Toledo, Ohio on June 3 -- the same day it was announced that the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent -- that "there are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery," and often speaks about the "headwinds"  that has contributed to the slower-than-expected economic recovery.

On Monday during President Obama's conversation with his Jobs Council while one member was explaining how government regulations often kill projects, the president leaned into his microphone and adlibbed "'Shovel ready' was not as shovel-ready as we expected," with a laugh. Members of the council chuckled too.

The Senate Minority leader said that 14 million Americans looking for work right now don't see the humor in the president's quips.

"In fact, I think Americans are deeply troubled by the fact that an administration which claims to be concerned about creating jobs has spent the better part of the past two and a half years pushing policies that seem like they were designed to destroy them. Indeed, I think there's a growing consensus out there that far from improving the economy, the President has made it worse."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio