Democrats push Reid to get more aggressive in shutdown battle
Alexander Bolton - 09/21/13 06:00 AM ET
Senate Democrats are urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to be aggressive in the standoff over a government shutdown with House Republicans.
They say Reid should counter the House Republican government funding bill by not only stripping language defunding ObamaCare, but by increasing funding for the rest of the government.
Democrats say Reid can afford to go on offense against Republicans given their division, and polls that show most voters would blame them if the government shuts down.
“We’re going to try to get as high a CR level as we can get,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Democratic caucus, referring to the stop-gap spending measure. “We are not going to be held hostage.
“We think it should be higher than the $988 [billion] level, absolutely. But we’re not going to have a negotiation that deals with extraneous issues,” he added. “We’re going to negotiate to get as a high a level as possible.”
But the first step for Democrats, Schumer said, is to remove the ObamaCare issue from the government funding resolution.
If Congress does not act by Oct. 1, large portions of the federal government will shut down due to lack of funding. Democrats believe Republicans will get most of the blame if that scenario comes to pass.
A recent CNN poll showed that 51 percent of the public would fault congressional Republicans for a shutdown, while only 33 percent would blame President Obama.
The House on Friday passed legislation funding government through mid-December. It extended government funding at the current level, which has been reported alternately as $988 billion and $986.3 billion.
Democrats want the Senate to adopt a higher number because it would serve as a precedent for boosting government funding levels for the rest of fiscal year 2014.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told r
Largest Solar Rooftop In Europe Complete, In Germany!
The largest self-consumption rooftop solar array in Europe has been completed, and it is of course located in Germany. It is eleven hectares in size, consists of 33,000 solar panels, and has a generation capacity of 8.1 MW (which could power up to about 1,846 homes).
The record-breaking solar roof is on top of the Pfenning Logistics distribution centre named multicube rhein-neckar, which is located in the Heddesheim municipality, a bit south of Frankfurt. The building was recently constructed and has been owned by Union Investment as of 2012.
Dennis Seiberth, president of international large-scale projects at the project development company Wirsol, said: “In this size we usually build solar parks.” He added that Wirsol was ambitious in its aims to build the plant in four weeks.
Largest solar rooftop in Europe. Image Credit: Wirsol.
The power plant was connected to the grid in July.
“We are happy that we can now partially generate electricity by ourselves,” said Karl-Martin Pfenning, owner and managing partner of the Pfenning group. “With the photovoltaic installation we can annually save up to 5, 171 tons of CO2.”
Germany has one of the most successful solar markets in the world, and while many now know that, it is still quite impressive that a cloudy country could have such a successful solar market. It also makes one rethink the misconception that solar panels only work in direct sunlight.
I own a solar panel, which I have been running numerous tests on for over a year. It works in all weather. However, power production does decrease to an extent when the weather is cloudy. The darker the sky is, the less power the solar panel generates. The results of some of my tests can be found here.
Walmart To Ban Toxic Chemicals From Some Products
By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO 09/12/13 04:30 PM ET EDT
NEW YORK -- Wal-Mart announced Thursday that it will require its suppliers to phase out about 10 hazardous chemicals from personal care products, cosmetics and cleaning products sold in its stores.
It will also require the suppliers to disclose chemicals in those products.
The moves follow an announcement made by Procter & Gamble Co.., the world's largest consumer product maker, earlier this month that it will eliminate phthalates and triclosan from its beauty products by 2014. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson pledged to eliminate phthalates, triclosan, formaldehydes and parabens from all its personal care products globally.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says that beginning in January, the company will monitor progress on reducing and eliminating the chemicals in favor of more environmentally friendly alternatives and will begin to publicly report on it in January 2016.
In a conference call with the media, Andrea Thomas, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of sustainability, declined to immediately identify all chemicals being phased out, noting that the company wants to work collaboratively with suppliers before making that public. She said the retailer came up with the chemicals based on their environmental impact and whether there were greener alternatives. Experts believe that the germ-killing additive triclosan is on the list.
The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the safety of triclosan, commonly used in antibacterial soaps and other items. Some studies in animals have suggested that it could increase the risk of infertility, early puberty and other hormone-related problems, though results from animal studies don't always apply to humans.
"The objective of this policy is to help ensure that household cleaning, personal care, beauty and cosmetic products sold by Wal-Mart will minimize hazards to people or the environment," Wal-Mart said in a statement.
First Solar Breaks Ground On 150 MW California Solar Farm
Pelosi: ‘There’s no more cuts to make’
By Aaron Blake, Published: September 22 at 11:13 am
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President Obama shouldn't negotiate over the debt ceiling because there are "no more cuts to make."
"Because the cupboard is bare. There's no more cuts to make," Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It's really important that people understand that. We all want to reduce the deficit."
Pelosi said that whether and how to raise the debt ceiling "really shouldn't be a conversation."
CNN's Candy Crowley then noted that other presidents have negotiated over the debt ceiling and asked why Obama shouldn't. Pelosi said the level of brinksmanship in the current debate is what makes it different, along with the lack of options as far as spending cuts.
"You cannot have any more cuts just for the sake of cuts," Pelosi said, noting the deficit reduction that has occurred under President Obama.
Valero implores Obama administration to waive ethanol mandate
September 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm by Bloomberg
By Mario Parker
Valero Energy Corp., the world’s largest independent refining company, called on the Obama administration to waive the country’s biofuel target immediately, saying the cost to reach it has skyrocketed.
“We need the waiver now,” Valero Chief Executive Officer Bill Klesse, said in a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, dated yesterday. Valero is also the third-largest U.S. ethanol producer, after Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) and Poet LLC.
Refiners are required by law to use 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol in 2013. Renewable Identification Numbers are attached to each gallon of ethanol to track compliance. Once the additive is blended into gasoline, refiners can retain the certificate to show compliance or trade it to another party. RINs prices have risen more than eight-fold so far this year.
Ethanol group: Don’t believe ‘slick’ oil industry (video)
RINs have increased because of falling gasoline demand and higher biofuel consumption targets, Klesse said in the letter.
Gasoline demand will drop 0.5 percent next year, according to a forecast today from the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. The Renewable Fuels Standard, set in 2007, calls for 14.4 billion gallons of ethanol to be used in 2014, up 4.3 percent from this year. The target increased 4.5 percent this year from 13.2 billion in 2012.
“You have the flexibility to waiver volumes which will lower the price of RINs now, will lower the cost to the consumer and make the marketplace fair,” Kleese said.
Corn-based ethanol RINs slipped 1 cent to 67 cents today, compared to 7 cents in January, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Advanced RINs, which cover biodiesel and Brazilian sugarcane-based ethanol, slipped 2 cents to 74 cents. That’s up from 37 cents in January.
Ethanol is typically
US Army Goes All Chevy Volt With New Hybrid EV
The US Army is working on a more fuel efficient, lightweight and protective multi-purpose vehicle to replace its notoriously outdated Humvee, and we’re shocked — shocked! — to learn that the new prototype features an all-electric drive. The new vehicle, called ULV (Ultra-Light Vehicle) primarily uses diesel fuel to power its electric motors but it can also go a few miles exclusively on its battery pack. Wow, Rush Limbaugh is going to have a field day with this one given his long record of slamming of electric vehicles, particularly GM’s Chevy Volt gas-electric hybrid.
Like the ULV, The Volt can run exclusively off its battery pack as well as its gasoline tank. So, let’s see what Rush has to say about the Army’s newfound friendship with electric drive vehicles.
Although Rush is still ranking on electric vehicles at every opportunity, as far as we know he has had nothing to say about the ULV (yet), so let’s fill a little space for him.
Army's new ULV is a hybrid EV.
Army looks to replace Humvee with hybrid EV (courtesy of US Army).
In a broadcast last year, transcribed on his website under the headline “Electric Vehicles and the Wussification of America,” Rush had this to say about EVs:
It turns out the internal combustion engine means more to freedom, liberty, economic advancement than any electric car ever will! The electric car is the product of cowards.
Wow, way to support our troops, Rush. The Department of Defense is up to its elbows in cutting edge EV projects, and the ULV is just one example. EV-to-grid systems are another, including a new $20 million EV-to-grid demonstration project involving 500 fleet vehicles.
Another example is Los Angeles Air Force Base, which has set a goal of transitioning 100 percent of its non-tactical fleet to EVs (LA AFB is also an early solar power adopter, btw). The Navy has also established a pilot project for EV readiness at its facilities that includes s
White House to take a 'hard look' at Syrian offer on weapons (video)
Justin Sink - 09/09/13 02:08 PM ET
The White House said Monday it would take a hard took at Syria’s offer to give up its chemical weapons but expressed skepticism that country was willing to do so.
Deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told reporters the White House would “welcome a decision by Syria to give up its chemical weapons” and was reviewing reports that Russia was urging Syria to do so.
But Blinken cautioned that it was “clear” Syria was making the offer because of the threat of a U.S. strike.
He also expressed doubt that Syria would follow up on its offer, noting that until Monday, Syria had denied having chemical weapons. And Blinken questioned the feasibility of the plan, saying it “would certainly take time, resources and probably a peaceful environment to deal with it.”
Blinken said the administration had not yet talked about the possible deal with Russia.
Blinken spoke in reaction to a series of developments that seemed to offer the Obama administration a separate path from its request for Congress to grant it authorization to strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons.
Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in London that the Syrian regime could avoid a military strike by turning over its chemical weapons.
“Sure. He could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week,” he said. “Turn it over, all of it, without delay. And allow the full and total accounting for that, but he isn't about to do it.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov seized on those comments, saying in a press conference that the Kremlin would “immediately” begin pressuring Assad to turn over his chemical weapons.
“If the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country would allow avoiding strikes, we will immediately start working with Damascus,” Lavrov said, according to The A
@SenatorReid The Senate will vote on Wednesday on the authorization for the use of force against Syria.
Feinstein: U.S. should consider Russian proposal on Syrian chemical weapons
By Ed O'Keefe and Aaron Blake, Published: September 9 at 2:36 pm
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday became the first senior lawmaker to voice support for a Russian proposal for Syria to give control over its chemical weapons to international monitors.
“I think it’s a very important proposal and I think it needs to get followed up very quickly,” she told reporters Monday afternoon after reading news reports about it.
She noted that United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and British Prime Minister David Cameron have already signaled support for the plan and suggested American officials should also take it under consideration.
“I think if the U.N. would accept the responsibility of maintaining these [chemical weapons] facilities, seeing that they’re secure and that Syria would announce that it is giving up any chemical weapons programs or delivery system vehicles that may have been armed, then I think we’ve got something,” she said.
Administration officials said Monday that they would review the proposal.
“We would have to take a hard look,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on MSNBC. “Any transfer of chemical weapons to international control would be a positive development.”
Another deputy national security adviser, Tony Blinken, said the Obama administration “would welcome a decision and action by Syria to give up its chemical weapons.”
But Blinken also expressed doubt that Syria would follow through.
A State Department official, Marie Harf, said the proposal was being treated with “serious skepticism.”
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Concludes Employer Ban on Use of Photos and Videos in the Workplace Is Unlawful
Brendan G. Dolan
James R. Glenn
J. Kevin Hennessy
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
The NLRB Division of Advice recently released an Advice Memorandum that opined that an employer policy that prohibited employees from photographing or video recording the Company's premises, processes, operations, or products including confidential information without the Company's permission violated the National Labor Relations Act. This is a common handbook policy that many employers likely have in place. Although the Memorandum is not binding on the Board, it reflects the thinking of a majority on the Board. Employers in represented environments or who may face organizing may, in particular, want to carefully consider whether and under what circumstances to maintain such policies.
The General Counsel relied upon a comparison between Sullivan, Long & Hagerty andFlagstaff Med. Ctr. In Sullivan, Long & Hagerty, the Board concluded management failed to rehire an employee because of his union activities, which included carrying a tape recorder onto the jobsite in connection with a DOL investigation into union election irregularities. 303 N.L.R.B. 1007, 1013 (1991). Comparatively, in Flagstaff Med. Ctr., the Board concluded that a policy prohibiting the use of electronic equipment during work time including "[t]he use of cameras for recording images of patients and/or hospital equipment, property, or facilities is prohibited[,]" did not violate the Act. 357 N.L.R.B. No. 65, slip op. at 4–5. There, the Board found: The rule against photographing hospital property did not expressly restrict Section 7 activity; employees would not reasonably interpret the rule as restricting Section 7 activity; and there is no evidence suggesting the hospital enacted the rule in response to Section 7 activity or applied the rule to prohibit Section
Mr. Mayor, say no to the living-wage veto
By D.C. City Councilman Vincent Orange (D) and Amy Traub - 09/10/13 02:30 PM ET
Washington DC needs jobs. When D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray made this point at a press conference this week, he may not have realized he was making a strong case in favor of the Large Retailer Accountability Act.
Consider the status quo. Right now, we allow large and profitable companies to get away with paying so little that their employees can’t afford to make ends meet. The low wages undermine the foundations of our economy. Workers don’t have enough money to spend on food, transportation, and other basic expenses, leaving local businesses without a customer base. The jobs that could have been sustained by employees’ consumer spending instead wither away. This dynamic explains a good deal of what’s happening in many of Washington’s neighborhoods – and in the nation as a whole.
Families living in or near poverty spend nearly all of their income just to meet their basic needs, and when these employees receive an extra dollar in pay, they are likely to spend it immediately, spurring local job growth. A study by Demos found that if the nation’s big retail companies paid their lowest-wage employees at least $25,000 per year for a full-time, year-round work (a figure close to the $12.50 an hour required by the D.C. legislation) the economy would grow, GDP would increase by billions, and 100,000 or more new jobs would be created nationwide.
The study also found that the cost of a wage increase to consumers would be just cents more per shopping trip, on average.
And what about Walmart’s threat to not open three planned new stores in D.C. if the city requires it to pay its employees enough to live on? A 2007 study by economists at the University of California Berkeley Labor Center found that when a new Walmart store opens in a county, new jobs are not necessarily created. Instead, better paying retail jobs are replaced with lower-paying ones. At
California Minimum Wage Increase To $10 An Hour Passes Both Houses, Gov. Brown Expected To Sign
Posted: 09/12/2013 3:05 am EDT | Updated: 09/12/2013 9:21 pm EDT
Gov. Jerry Brown and the leaders of the California state Legislature announced strong support Wednesday for a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour.
“The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs,” Brown said in a statement. “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”
Assemblyman Luis Alejo's (D-Salinas) bill, AB 10, would raise the minimum wage in California from $8.00 an hour to $10.00 an hour. The bill passed the state Assembly in May and is expected to be voted on in the Senate this week.
UPDATE: The state Senate approved the minimum wage increase on Thursday. It is expected to win final approval from the Assembly later Thursday or Friday, before it goes to the governor. Brown has said he will sign the bill into law.
Alejo introduced similar bills in 2011 and 2012 that both died because of opposition by Republican members and business lobbyists, who called the proposal a "job killer."
Alejo's chief of staff, Marva Diaz, told The Huffington Post that this bill is stronger because the two leaders of the Legislature have been added as co-authors: Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles).
Perez disputed the claim that raising the minimum wage would reduce jobs. “The real winner here is the economy. A $10 hour minimum wage boosts earnings by $4,000 a year and will put $2.6 billion dollars back into the hands of workers,” Pérez said in a statement. “This is money that will be spent at grocery stores, on school supplies and invested in education, and that ultimately strengthens the recovery and ensures California’s job market continues growing faster than the rest of the nation.”
California's minimum wage is among the highest in
New Canadian East Coast Oil Terminal Planned
Thursday September 12, 2013
Irving Oil President Paul Browning said the terminal will provide access to large tankers
Canada's Irving Oil plans to build a $300 million terminal at its refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick to allow for the export of Canadian oil, the Canadian Press reports.
The decision to build the facility followed TransCanada Corp.'s announcement that it would move forward with the construction of a pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to East Coast refineries.
"The Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal will connect TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline to an ice-free, deepwater port," said Paul Browning, president of Irving Oil.
"It will allow Canadian producers direct access to world markets for exporting Canadian oil via the world's largest crude carrying vessels."
The company said it plans to start engineering and design work on the project in 2015.
The Assembly of First Nations' Chiefs in New Brunswick said it would not support the pipeline without guarantees of environmental protection and aboriginal and treaty rights.
TransCanada's planned 4,500 kilometer Energy East Pipeline will carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day, connecting a new tank terminal in Hardisty, Alberta with Saint John, Saskatchewan and in the Québec City area, according to the company's website.
Japan Solar PV Industry Reaches 10 GW Milestone
New research conducted by NPD Solarbuzz and featured on their blog this past week shows that Japanese solar photovoltaic “PV” installations have now passed 10 GW for cumulative PV capacity, only the fifth country to reach the mark. Of the previous four — Germany, Italy, China, and the US — the latter two only reached the milestone within the past few months, highlighting Japan’s achievement.
Japan Hits 10 GW Milestone
ota-city-solar-power-japanWriting on the Solarbuzz website, NPD Group Vice President Finlay Colville pointed to three landmark high-points along Japan’s solar PV leadership, highlighting not only their recent 10 GW milestone, but also that Japan was the first country to reach the 1 GW of cumulative solar PV back in 2004. This was helped along by;
•The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched a subsidy program for residential PV systems as far back as 1994. Initially, the subsidy covered 50% of the cost of PV systems. The budget for FY 1994 was 2 billion Yen.
•Until 2005, Japan had the largest installed PV capacity of any country in the world. This early leadership position was achieved through a well-managed set of programs, coupled with attractive market incentives.
•The early growth of the Japanese PV market was a strong factor in establishing Japanese manufacturing as the first dominant force in the solar PV industry. Manufacturers that benefited from the first phase of government initiatives include several of the companies that are now leaders in the domestic PV industry revival: Sharp, Sanyo and Kyocera.
In the Face of Fukushima
Sadly, another factor that has to be considered in Japan’s recent increase in solar PV installation must be the fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear ‘disaster’ which followed the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011. Corollary evidence might suggest that the launch of the feed-in tariff program in July 2012 which was focused t
3 Toxic Cosmetics You Should Replace Now
Posted: 09/12/2013 12:17 pm
by guest blogger Ava Anderson, natural beauty expert and safe cosmetics advocate
I always say that it is all about the ingredients, and I recommend using products without harmful ingredients in order to reduce your daily, weekly, yearly, and lifetime body burden of chemicals with known and suspected disease implications. Since up to 60 percent of what you put on your skin reaches your bloodstream (this increases to almost 100 percent with scalp, underarm, and groin exposure), it makes sense to use cosmetics that DO NOT add to your body burden of toxic chemicals.
Over time, you should replace all harmful personal care products, but here are three cosmetics we recommend tackling first:
1. Foundation. Foundation is a good place to start, as many women cover their whole face and neck with it daily. Liquid foundations contain many harmful chemicals, including the following, found in a major drugstore brand: propylene glycol, methylparaben, and propylparaben, all of which are considered endocrine disruptors. These are important to avoid because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body, including development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproductive system, and metabolism and blood sugar regulation, as well as the functions of the ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN recently released a report calling endocrine disruptors a "global threat" to fertility and the environment. In 2011, another shocking study showed that methylparaben along with an endocrine disruptor widely found in food, BPA, turned healthy cells into cancer cells and rendered the breast cancer drug tamoxafin ineffective.
The same brand also contains ingredients that have the potential to be contaminated with cancer causers: PEG/PPG 10 dimethicone, PEG/PPG 18, retinyl acetate, tocopheryl acetate, laureth 7
Time to Act on Climate Change
Posted: 09/20/2013 6:00 am
Administrator, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency
didn't plan for a life built around protecting the environment. In fact, I started my career as a health agent in the town of Canton, Mass., and later worked for the Stoughton Board of Health. But at some point I realized that at its core, the issue of a clean environment is a matter of public health. The two are inextricably linked.
That's why, when President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan earlier this year, he talked about the health of our children when laying out his strategy to take responsible steps to cut carbon pollution.
As part of that plan, the president directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to "complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants." That directive rests on legal authority our agency was granted by Congress through passing the Clean Air Act back in 1970. In 2007, the Supreme Court underscored that authority when it definitively determined that carbon pollution is covered by the Clean Air Act.
Among scientists, there is near universal agreement that climate change is happening, it's human caused, and it's a threat to our health and welfare.
The 12 hottest years on record have come in the last 15. Last year was the warmest year ever in the contiguous United States; sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record and about one-third of all Americans experienced 10 days or more of 100-degree heat.
We know that carbon pollution is the most prevalent heat-trapping greenhouse gas, warming our planet and fueling climate change. In 2011, power plants and major industrial facilities in the United States emitted over 3 billion metric tons of carbon pollution, which is equal to annual pollution from over 640 million cars. Annually in the U.S., carbon pollution from power plants accounts for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, or 40 percent of total
Imagine, all those solar panels insulating the rooftop from direct solar radiation and saving $$$$$$$$$ in air conditioning expenses while reaping the benefits of solar energy. Wal-Mart SuperCenters have massive rooftops!
US Navy Triples Funding For Clean Energy In Hawaii
The US Navy has just pumped $30 million into the Energy Excelerator, a funding agency for renewable energy start-ups in Hawaii. That triples the agency’s operating funding over the past three years, and it gives the ol’ Bronx cheer to certain legislators in Congress who have tried to cut funding for the Navy’s ambitious alternative fuel initiatives. Even at the relatively modest initial funding level, the program has already raised follow-on investments from the private sector totaling more than $38 million.
The Energy Excelerator, which also receives funding from the Department of Energy and other partners, has 17 success stories under its belt, and with this new round of funding the ripple effect could be huge. In addition to potential application elsewhere in the US, companies that get under way with help from the Energy Excelerator have the whole Asia Pacific island nation market at their feet.
Hawaii, The US Navy And Clean Energy
Hawaii has a twofold, urgent motive for weaning itself from fossil fuel dependency: extremely high prices (quadruple the national average) and long supply lines. Both are intertwined with the state’s importance to the US Navy, most famously in the form of Pearl Harbor, which also explains why the Department of Defense has been adopting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Hawaii hand over fist.
US Navy invests $30 more in Hawaii clean energy startups.
USS Carl Vinson (cropped) courtesy of US Navy.
Aside from major solar installations, which have become ubiquitous at DoD facilities throughout the US, the DoD’s energy and conservation projects in Hawaii include a first-of-its-kind military collaboration between the Army and GM on a fuel cell vehicle fleet (which is part of a larger fuel cell infrastructure project), a full scale rainwater harvesting system at an Army barracks, an experimental renewable energy microgrid system, and a grid-connected wave
White House chief of staff confident of vote on Syria strikes
Jeremy Herb - 09/08/13 10:53 AM ET
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said President Obama will win the vote to authorize military strikes in Syria, despite mounting congressional opposition.
“This resolution is going to pass after we work this,” McDonough said on ABC’s “This Week.”
The White House chief of staff appeared on all five Sunday shows as the Obama administration ramps up its media blitz to try to sway public opinion on Syria. McDonough’s Sunday show sweep comes before the president will conduct a round of interviews with the television networks on Monday and give a primetime White House address on Tuesday.
The public pitch from Obama is part of the administration’s plans to convince Congress that strikes are a necessary response after Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime allegedly used chemical weapons last month.
“No” votes on a strike have piled up this past week after Obama said he would seek congressional authorization before taking military action, particularly among Republicans.
McDonough acknowledged the votes were not there yet but said on “Fox News Sunday” that it was “too early to come to any conclusion.”
McDonough made his pitch on Sunday to Congress and the public that strikes are necessary for U.S. national security interests and would remain limited in scope. He argued across the five shows he appeared on that the White House was making progress because the intelligence that Assad’s regime is responsible for the attack is not in doubt.
“Members have been in their districts and in their states, we've been talking to many of them, dozens of them,” he said on “This Week.” “And when they see this intelligence, they do not rebut it. So the bottom line is, they have to answer the question: Should there be consequences?”
McDonough declined to answer some of the more difficult questions that Obama has not addressed, such as what the president would do if Congre