Earlier today, Barack H. Obama was sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States. During his inaugural speech, the President called for action on climate change, gay rights, immigration, and the nation’s partisan divide. The President also made the case that the nation needs to come together to do things people cannot do on their own — from training teachers to building roads to providing for the nation’s defense. On the deficit fights that have consumed much of the public debate in DC the past two years, Obama called for reform that still preserves entitlement programs.
Meanwhile, House Republicans unveiled their proposal today to temporarily increase the nation’s debt ceiling. The measure scheduled for House floor action this week would suspend the debt limit through May 18th, and then provide for an automatic increase in the current $16.4 trillion limit to match the amount of the government’s outstanding debt plus new obligations “to fund a commitment incurred by the federal government that required payment before May 19.” The legislation would also suspend the payment of salaries to lawmakers in either chamber that does not adopt a FY2014 budget resolution by April 15th, as required by the 1974 budget law. The measure is expected to be on the floor Wednesday.