The State of the Economy Is...

Ample Shots at Congressional GOP in First Clinton-Obama Rally
Likely Democratic nominee was mum on avoiding federal prosecution

President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton campaign together in Charlotte. (Photo credit Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton used their first joint campaign appearance to paint congressional Republicans as an anchor on economic and domestic progress and Donald Trump as unfit to be president.  

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s message to an adoring audience in Charlotte was that Obama laid a foundation on which she is uniquely qualified to build upon. And the outgoing president blamed Republican foes on Capitol Hill for his inability to do more.  

Obama to Trump: 'America is Pretty Darn Great Right Now'

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. (L), endorses Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for president during a rally in Madison, Ala., on Sunday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama took a swing at Republican front-runner Donald Trump on Friday, saying continued job growth shows the United States is “pretty darn great right now."  

The Labor Department announced Friday that the economy added 242,000 jobs last month, with the unemployment rate holding steady at an eight-year low of 4.9 percent. What’s more, the data provided added ammunition for a White House eager to craft a legacy for the president and Democratic candidates preaching a need to build on his economic policies.  

Obama: Don't Buy the Economic 'Snake Oil'

Obama speaks after touring the Saft America Advanced Batteries Plant in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama on Friday delivered an upbeat assessment of the still-healing economy, but he also warned against betting on "snake oil" and "chasing false promises" to continue the recovery. Yet, his message was often met with lukewarm applause by a Florida crowd.  

The pejorative clearly was aimed at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP field.  And while the president did not name the Democratic Party’s likely nominee, his call for a “steady, persistent” hand to “finish the job” of healing the economy could be the start of a long wind-up to endorsing Hillary Clinton.  

On Economy, Obama Needs GOP Congress


The Obama administration's top economic advisers said Monday they have done all they can to improve the economy and need cooperation from Congress to make more progress.  

In Detroit, Parallels With Obama's Broader Economy

Obama points to his Shinola watch, which he already owned, after visiting a Shinola store in Detroit. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama jetted Wednesday to an American city whose economic revival mirrors both the U.S. economic comeback under his watch and the often negative perception of it.  

Like the ongoing recovery in Detroit and across Michigan, the U.S. economy’s comeback often has been called sluggish and uneven. And like the revival of the Motor City and surrounding areas, economic recovery and healing in the nation has been called too slow. Speaking Wednesday at the annual auto show in Detroit, Obama declared the American auto industry “all the way back.” He hailed the automobiles that U.S. companies are producing, and said the sector’s comeback has slashed the area’s unemployment rate.  

Amid ISIS Worries, Voters Warm to Obama's Economy

Will Obama get credit for the economy being less of a concern?. (Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Polls show voters are giving President Barack Obama higher marks for guiding the economy, but security concerns could be clouding recent snapshots of the electorate’s mindset.  

Trends in voters’ collective worries have transformed, for now at least, the 2016 election cycle into one focused in large part on national security and foreign policy issues. In recent months, terrorism has surged to the top of lists of voters’ top concerns nearly 10 months before the presidential and congressional elections. “I don’t think that’s a reflection that the president’s policies have worked,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a Republican up for re-election in 2016. “I’m guessing they’re saying national security is their top concern right now.  

Unemployment Extension Fight: Democrats Share Sad Stories to Pressure GOP

Hoyer hugs a Maryland man during a news conference about extending unemployment insurance benefits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats brought seven unemployed people to the Capitol steps Tuesday to tell their stories in a deeply emotional — and deeply political — news conference designed to paint Republicans as heartless for not allowing a vote on an extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits.  

The people hosted by the Democrats — hailing from Baltimore to Lorraine, Ohio — one-by-one told their story about losing their jobs and about applying for work hundreds of times, only to not hear back. They described watching their unemployment benefits, benefits they need to pay their mortgages and make ends meet, disappear.  

Unemployment Benefits Headed for Senate Vote (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 1:45 p.m. | The Senate is moving ahead Thursday with much-anticipated votes on an extension of unemployment insurance benefits that lapsed at the end of last year.  

With backing from at least five Republicans, the bill should get the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster on bringing the bill up for debate.  It’ll still face the likelihood of another filibuster before final passage, expected next week. Majority Leader Harry Reid set up a procedural vote Wednesday to jumpstart Senate debate. Without an agreement, that won't happen until after a confirmation vote on John B. Owens, a California attorney who President Barack Obama's tapped for a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Unemployment Extension Fight Pits Portman Against Boehner

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The fight for a bipartisan unemployment benefits extension bill is pitting two powerful, prominent Ohio Republicans — Speaker John A. Boehner and Sen. Rob Portman — against each other, but the two men haven't yet spoken about it.  

"I haven't talked to him," Portman told CQ Roll Call Monday evening. "I did have my folks reach out to the Ohio state agency that handles this issue, and we want to make sure that … it can be done and be done smoothly, and so we're working to be able to address any concerns that he has, but I haven't talked to him directly about it." Boehner ripped the bill as unworkable last week , citing concerns expressed by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies that it would be difficult to implement in its current form and would potentially result in months of delays. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez weighed in late last week, saying that he was confident the bill could be implemented . And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wants to pass the bill this week.