Dems settle on pre-election agenda

July 13, 2010 at 10:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) -- The White House says U.S. President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress will focus on three major economic issues leading up to the November elections.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Obama and congressional leaders agreed during a White House meeting Tuesday to try to win passage of financial reform legislation, an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term jobless and expanded small business lending.

"Obviously the first is financial reform or Wall Street reform, which, if you look at the statements from Senator [Scott] Brown [R-Mass.], Senator [Olympia] Snowe [R-Maine], and [Democratic] Senator [Ben] Nelson of Nebraska all in support of the bill, I think it is likely that that legislation will be taken up by the end of the week and passed," Gibbs said.

Democrats agreed to send a final financial reform bill to the president's desk during the next two weeks, along with the unemployment benefits extension and the small business loan expansion, The Hill reported.

The Tuesday meeting did not include discussion of energy and climate legislation, the Capitol Hill publication said, but Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said the Senate will consider an energy bill before leaving Washington for the August recess.

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