After a day of back and forth political rhetoric, the White House agreed late last night to re-schedule President Obama’s jobs address to Congress until next Thursday, September 8th…the same night as the nationally-televised NFL season kick- off on NBC. Today’s Wall Street Journal headline sums it up, saying “At the Capitol, a Face-Off over Face Time.”
The controversy started yesterday when President Obama requested to unveil his jobs plan next Wednesday evening… the same night that Republican hopefuls are expected to square off in a presidential debate hosted by NBC News and Politico. Republican National Committee chair Reince Preibus responded, saying the President’s request cements his reputation as “campaigner-in-chief.” But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says one debate is not a reason to not have a speech.
Citing concerns within the Congressional calendar and timing issues, House Speaker John Boehner recommended moving the address. The White House says the chief-of-staff Bill Daley called Boehner early yesterday to discuss the date and the Speaker did not have any objections. But Boehner’s spokesman says the Speaker’s office was never even asked about the date. In a statement, he says in part, “It’s unfortunate the White House ignored decades - if not centuries - of the protocol of working out a mutually agreeable date and time before making any public announcement.” One House historian tells NBC that the public rejection of a joint congressional request is “unprecedented.”
Now that the date for the jobs speech is set, the Obama administration is moving on to other economic issues. Reuters reports that the White House will release a mid-session review of President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal this afternoon.