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Sunday Study Guide: Boehner, Sperling, Roundtable

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)

  • Speaker John Boehner(R-OH) has served in the House of Representative since 1990. He has held the position of House speaker since Republicans gained the majority in the 2010 elections, and was recently reelected to the position for the 113th Congress.
  • Speaker Boehner met with President Obama and other Congressional leaders Friday about the sequester. In an interview following the meeting, Speaker Boehner said, "We had a very nice, polite discussion, but I had asked the president and Senator Reed to come with a plan to replace the sequester.  Now listen, we've known about this for 16 months.  And yet even today, there's no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester.  And over the last 10 months, House Republicans have acted twice to replace the sequester."
  • Watch his most recent Meet the Press appearance.


Gene Sperling

  • Gene Sperling is director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, a position he also held in the Clinton administration. He recently said of sequestration, “You need tax reform that's going to raise some revenues. You can do that exactly in the way that Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have been talking about, through closing loopholes and reducing tax expenditures. And you do it at the same time that you take on some of the important entitlement issues. ... that's what I think our economy needs right now.”
  • Sperling has also been in the news recently for his interaction with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward about the White House’s role in sequestration. After a conversation about an op/ed Woodward was publishing about how the White House was wrong about the sequester’s origins, Sperling wrote an email that read in part, “I think you will regret staking out that claim.”
  • He is also the author of “The Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity.”


Roundtable: Labrador, Parker, Reid, Todd, Brokaw

  • Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) recently weighed in on the immigration reform debate and said Republicans could support “legalization” versus “citizenship,” and any insistence on citizenship was only for political reasons. “Anybody who’s clamoring for citizenship, they’re looking for voters and they’re looking for union members. They’re not looking to help the people that are here illegally. They’re looking for a political solution -- they’re not looking for a policy that actually strengthens the United States.” Watch his latest MTP appearance.
  • Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote this week about the first lady in her second term, who “has come out with, well, a bang! She isn’t just breaking the mold; she’s shattering the good china. The Madonna of first ladies, she is emerging as an iconoclastic, self-reinventing woman who clearly doesn’t mind shaking the firmament.” She also authored “Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care.” Watch her latest appearance here.
  • Joy Reid, managing editor of The Grio.com, said the president is pursuing a “smart strategy” in his second term. While in his first term, the president focused on one issue at a time, “this time he’s flooding the zone. They’re pushing out so many issues so often that the Republican Party isn’t having an opportunity to deal with any one of them in a coherent way and they’re just letting the Republicans fight.”
  • NBC’s political director and White House correspondent Chuck Todd said Friday’s meeting at the White House between the president and Congressional leaders was “too late for a fix,” and more a “low-expectations meeting [that] caps a week where pretty much no one has tried to get anything actually done.”  Watch his latest MTP appearance.
  • NBC’s Tom Brokaw recently reported on Rep. Mike Thompson (R-CA) and his role in the gun control debate as part of NBC News’ series, "Guns in America." He is also the author of “The Times of Our Lives.” Watch Brokaw’s most recent appearance on Meet the Press here.
  • NBC's Mike Viqueira, who is live-tweeting Meet the Press this Sunday, reported earlier this week the last-minute Friday meeting would happen between Congressional leaders and the president. He said, "No last-minute solutions are going to come forth" from the meeting, "they couldn't not meet, so this is very perfunctory in a way." Follow Viqueira, @mikeviqueira, for updates throughout Sunday's show. 

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Also follow @mikeviqueira, @davidgregory and @meetthepress for live updates during the show this Sunday.