Ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court decision expected Thursday on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, GOP challenger Mitt Romney is arguing that the slow recovery (LAT) is the fault of a president who was distracted by healthcare at a time when he should have been focused on the economy and jobs.
If the law is overturned, Romney said Tuesday, “then the first three and a half years of this president’s term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people,” and if it is upheld, “we’re going to need a president — and I’m that one — that’s going to get rid of ‘Obamacare’. ”
President Obama, sidestepped what the justices might decide and instead underscored the consequences if Republicans followed through on a pledge to repeal the law, saying making sure people have health insurance and seniors can afford their medications is “the right thing to so” and that the battle over healthcare should not be refought.
This issue not only has resonated on the campaign trail but the outcome of the case could have long-term effects on U.S. fiscal health and competitiveness abroad.
Congressional Republicans have yet to come together on a cohesive immigration policy and are looking to Romney to be the party standard-bearer — but he does not seem to have a clear policy of his own, either (Politico).
“The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has provided little guidance to Republicans on Capitol Hill when it comes to dealing with the thorny immigration issue,” writes Politico’s Scott Wong. Meanwhile, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is pushing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to roll out his version of the DREAM Act, though Rubio has reportedly ruled out doing so anytime soon.
President Obama is making road trip plans for after the Fourth of July, launching a bus tour next week (AP) that will coincide with the release of the monthly nationwide jobs report, a key economic indicator that could directly affect the president’s re-election prospects.
U.S. voters’ economic confidence is on a four-week downward slide, now at its lowest point since late January, Gallup polling shows. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index was -26 for the week ending June 24, down slightly from -24 the week before.
“A disappointing May jobs report combined with the tepid economic climate in Europe and downgrading of major U.S. banks appear to have given U.S. consumers cause for concern in June,” Gallup says. The slump could be bad news for President Obama’s reelection effort in a campaign season highly focused on the economy.
— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor