Congressman Charlie Rangel sat down with a small group of reporters yesterday for a wide-ranging discussion at his office. One of the main topics was the brewing battle over the debt ceiling and Politicker asked the congressman for his take on the idea President Barack Obama can avoid a fight with congressional Republicans who won’t raise the debt cap by having the Treasury Department mint a $1 trillion coin.
“I’m working on the design, one for the president and one for me,” Mr. Rangel said with a smile.
We wondered whether that meant he wanted to see his portrait depicted on the coin.
“No, I want one of the coins,” the congressman responded as the assembled reporters laughed. “The president gets one, he puts it in the treasury. I get one, I keep it. Makes sense to me.”
Earlier in the conversation, Mr. Rangel criticized Republicans who have said they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts because he said they are solely focused on slashing “so-called entitlements” that are social programs for “vulnerable” portions of the population.
Mayoral candidate and former comptroller Bill Thompson had harsh words for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn after a report from the Independent Budget Office highlighted issues with the city budget. The report noted “while projected budget gaps may currently appear modest—certainly when compared with gaps faced in some recent years—the next Mayor and City Council are likely to face significant budget challenges,” a situation Mr. Thompson described as Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Quinn rather literally passing the buck.
“Today’s Independent Budget Office report once again confirms that Mayor Bloomberg and his partner in the budget, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, continue to kick the fiscal can down the road and push tough economic decisions into the next mayor’s term,” said Mr. Thompson in his statement.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, known for single-handedly protecting constituents from burning flames, blizzard obstructions and crime, is currently attempting to live on a limited budget to better understand how food stamp recipients live their day-to-day lives. It may be the so-called “super mayor’s” most difficult feat yet. Why? “Caffeine withdrawal.”
“You make tough choices,” Mr. Booker explained after his first day under the self-imposed budgetary restrictions. “The tough choice I have to live with this week is that I used my money to buy a lot of different things, but not caffeine. So I’m going to go this week without coffee, without Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, which is going to be the first week of my life I can ever actually remember doing that.”
In order to keep the city’s fiscal house in order in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled new cuts and streams of revenue over the weekend. Among the changes, school-lunch fees will increase from $1.50 to $2.50, while city libraries will see their funding axed to the tune of $8.3 million. Asked about it during a press conference today in the hard-hit Howard Beach neighborhood in Queens, Mr. Bloomberg defended the budgetary measures.
“It’s easy to say, ‘I don’t like A, B and C,’” he argued. “Well, what things would they like us to raise taxes [on]? The issue here is that we’re trying to find some balance so that everybody shares a little bit in the pain, everybody contributes; we’re all in this together. And do it such that people can afford [it]. It’s not asking a lot to go, in this day in age, from one price to another if it’s a relatively small price. But if a large number of people do it, it contributes significant revenues.”
Congressman Paul Ryan isn’t entirely new to New York’s political scene. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul won a ruby red Western New York district in a special election based on blasting Mr. Ryan’s budget and her GOP opponent’s support for it last year. Now, with Mr. Ryan named as Mitt Romney’s number two man as he faces off against President Obama, Democrats around the state are ready to fully embrace him as well, and their press releases have been pouring in.
Campaigning for a Staten Island-based district, Democrat Mark Murphy said the following about his Republican opponent, Congressman Michael Grimm:
Bill Thompson has a message for Ray Kelly: Are you in or out?
Nan Hayworth is in a trick spot: she is a surrounded by conservative Tea Party freshman, but she has an openly gay son.
New bribery charges were filed against Joe Bruno.
82-year-old Louise Slaughter faces a challenge like never before: a newly drawn, more conservative district; a long recovery from a broken leg; and a well-liked challenger in Maggie Brooks.
Settlement money from the CityTime scandal Read More
Mayor Michael Bloomberg will unveil his Fiscal Year 2013 Executive Budget tomorrow at noon that will show the city’s economy and tax revenues continuing to grow relative to last year, but with significantly less money than was predicted last February.
Combined with increased costs, there is now a $495 million hole in what was Mr. Bloomberg’s preliminary budget plan for 2012 and 2013, a fact that mean for some difficult negotiations with the City Council over the coming days and weeks.
However, the financial pain won’t be as bad as it appears, as most of the hole will be filled by CityTime’s settlement with Science Applications International Corporation.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver held a press conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol to pat themselves on the back for reaching a budget agreement on time for the second straight year. On-time budgets have been approved in Albany just seven times in the last 37 years.
“This state government has come a very long way in a very short period of time. At one time, this state government was a joke. They were literally laughing about it on the late night shows, it was a point of ridicule for many, many years,” Governor Cuomo said. “We went from a model of dysfunction to I believe a model of function.”
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece and in an interview on CBS This Morning today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued President Barack Obama’s economic proposals — as well as those espoused by Republican presidential candidates — are fundamentally unrealistic.
“Over the past year, as the candidates jockeying for the Republican nomination raced to the right, the Obama campaign has sought to re-energize its base by tacking left,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote. “The president not only embraced the frustration expressed by Occupy Wall Street protesters—which was real—but he adopted their economic populism.”
On Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo was asked if the reportedly frosty relationship between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and himself has warmed with the recent budget deal cheered by Mr. Bloomberg.
“Those stories of the mayor and I being at odds were grossly overblown. I understand the sensational value of them, but it just wasn’t true,” Mr. Cuomo responded. “It is true, institutionally, a governor and a mayor sometimes advocate for their own causes and sometime advocate for different causes, because of their institutional roles.”
Mr. Cuomo went on to stress his personal friendliness with New York City’s mayor.