A Historic Moment

“It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” – President Barack Obama, May 9, 2012

Today, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”

With that one statement, he made it clear that he believes that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships from getting married.

Obviously, the President has spent time giving this issue serious consideration, and his view has been shaped by conversations with his family, his friends, neighbors, and the people who work with him at the White House.

In the interview, he said that he had discussed the issue around the dinner table with his wife and daughters. He said he’d heard from service members who, even after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, felt constrained because they aren’t allowed to get married.

And in the end, the President said, he believes it’s important to “treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

Later tonight, ABC will air excerpts of the interview on “World News With Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”

Tomorrow, the entire interview will run on Good Morning America.

President Obama’s To-Do List for Congress: Reward American Jobs, Not Outsourcing

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Albany NanoTech Complex at the State University of New York, in Albany, N.Y. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Yesterday, Republicans in Congress voted to block President Obama’s proposal to keep student loan interest rates from doubling. If Congress doesn’t act by July 1, more than 7 million students around the country will rack up an average of $1,000 of extra debt. The President has visited colleges in IowaColorado, and North Carolina to speak with students about this important issue, and he will continue to put pressure on Congress to work together and keep student loan interest rates low.

It’s time for Congress to take action on other common sense initiatives as well. On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to move forward with a “To-Do List” that will create jobs and help restore middle class security. The President traveled to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s NanoTech Complex in Albany, New York, where he described a list of initiatives that have bipartisan support and will help create an economy built to last.

The first item on the To-Do List will help spur American manufacturing, an industry that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, including many in upstate New York. But Congress can take action now to help create more jobs for American workers, President Obama said:

“At the moment, companies get tax breaks for moving factories, jobs and profits overseas.  They can actually end up saving on their tax bill when they make the move.  Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay here are getting hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.  That doesn’t make sense.

“…before we completely rework the tax code, before we’ve done a full-blown tax reform, at the very least what we can do right away is stop rewarding companies who ship jobs overseas and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are moving jobs back here to America.  So we’re putting that on Congress’s “To-Do” list.”

The proposals that the President highlighted yesterday are important steps that Congress can take right now to create jobs. It’s time for Congress to act. Check out the full to-do list, then join the conversation and make your voice heard on Twitter with the hashtag #CongressToDoList.

  1. Reward American Jobs, Eliminate Tax Incentives To Ship Jobs Overseas: Congress needs to attract and keep good jobs in the United State sby passing legislation that gives companies a new 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving their operations back to the U.S. Congress should pay for this credit by eliminating tax incentives that allow companies to deduct the costs of moving their business abroad.
  2. Cut Red Tape So Responsible Homeowners Can Refinance: Congress needs to pass legislation to cut red tape in the mortgage market so that responsible families who have been paying their mortgages on time can feel secure in their home by refinancing at today’s lower rates.
  3. Invest in a New Hire Tax Credit for Small Businesses: Congress needs toinvest in small businesses and jumpstart new hiring by passing legislation that gives a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012 and that extends 100 percent expensing in 2012 for all businesses.
  4. Create Jobs By Investing In Affordable Clean Energy: Congress needs to helpput America in control of its energy future by extending the Production Tax Credit to support American jobs and manufacturing and expanding the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing (48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit).
  5. Put Returning Veterans to Work Using Skills Developed in the Military:Congress needs to honor our commitment to returning veterans by creating aVeterans Job Corps to help Afghanistan and Iraq veterans get jobs as cops, firefighters, and serving their communities.

Romney Decided to be the Most Extreme Candidate on Immigration

The Republican National Committee’s Hispanic outreach coordinator said yesterday that Mitt Romney is “still deciding” what his position on immigration is.

That’s odd—we’re quite sure Romney’s made his position on immigration crystal clear over the past several months, proving many times over that when it comes to immigration policy, he’s the most extreme candidate in memory.

But in case the RNC, or Romney himself, needs a refresher, these are the “severely conservative” positions Romney decided to take on immigration.

When asked if he would veto the DREAM Act, which creates a pathway to citizenship for responsible young people who entered the U.S. through no fault of their own, Romney said, “The answer is yes.”

Romney’s plan for dealing with undocumented workers is an inhumane “self-deportation” policy—what the New York Times describes as the “delusion” that “people can be made miserable enough to leave on their own.”

Romney endorsed Arizona’s controversial SB 1070, a law that allows random document checks and detainment. He went so far as to call it “a model” for enforcing immigration laws.

The company Romney keeps is telling. Just look at where his advisers, endorsers, and supporters stand on immigration. One of Romney’s campaign advisers is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who helped draft the anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama. Another author of the Arizona law, Russell Pearce, counts himself as a Romney supporter. And Romney has received endorsements from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed SB 1070 into law, and former California Gov. Pete Wilson, who is known as a “monster” in the Latino community.

Republicans Vote to Block Student Loan Bill

Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked legislation that would have prevented interest rates on student loans from doubling at the end of June.

In a statement to reporters, Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed his dissatisfaction with the vote:

“It is extremely disappointing that Republicans in the Senate today voted to ask millions of students to pay an average of $1,000 each in order to protect a loophole that allows millionaires to dodge payroll taxes. On July 1, more than 7.4 million students across the country will see their interest rates double unless Congress acts. We’re pleased that despite failing to address it in their budget, Republicans in Congress now profess to be concerned about this coming rate hike. But now it’s time for them to stop refighting old political battles and prove they’re serious by proposing a real solution to keep rates low for students without burdening middle class families or undercutting preventive health care for women. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to prevent rates from doubling and ensure that students continue to get a fair shot at an affordable education” Jay Carney said.