Vice President Joseph R. Biden (second from right) speaks Thursday during debt-reduction talks with Hill leaders. Also taking part were Rep. James E. Clyburn (fourth from right), South Carolina Democrat; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (third from right), Virginia Republican; Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (right), Hawaii Democrat; and Office of Management and Budget chief Jacob Lew (foreground).
Jerry Brown, governor of California, says he still has time to get a referendum on the ballot in June to extend $9.3 billion in tax increases, the cornerstone of his effort to balance the state's budget.
"This compromise was to help people who were drowning," said Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., defending the compromise President Obama made with congressional Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts. The bill also included an extension of unemployment benefits to millions of Americans.
Erskine Bowles (right) and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the president's deficit commission, challenged the panel's members to put aside partisan differences and agree to its tax and budget recommendations.
Ben S. Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, speaks at the "Mortgages and the Future of Housing Finance" symposium in Arlington, Va. He said the central bank and other regulators are examining financial firms' home-foreclosure practices.
Jacob Lew, nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, "lacked sufficient concern for the host of economic challenges confronting the Gulf Coast," a Louisiana senator said in explaining why she would hold up his nomination.
ASSOCIATED PRESS New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, listens to Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, after Bloomberg announced his endorsement of Fenty's second term, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, in Washington.
SNOW DAY: Workers shovel snow off the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in the District on Wednesday. A second blizzard in a week pounded the region creating near-whiteout conditions that dumped record levels of snow at area airports.