The latest headlines from today's briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Joining him is Austan Goolsbee of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Goolsbee tells reporters the President's banking reform proposals are not going back to the 1930s but this is a way to reign in banks. Gibbs says the President's economic teams will talk to members of Congress about this and they are hopeful the reforms will be passed.
Gibbs denies the timinig of the President's financial regulatory reform proposal has anything to do with Scott Brown being elected to the Senate this week. "We've been dealing with this for months," explains Gibbs. "This is an active legislation issue. not having proposed it 6-8 months ago, we're still dealing with regulatory reform and this is part of the proposal. Its obviously a complex proposal, and we wanted to get it right. This was not done as a result of what's happened this week, but a result of what's happened over many years."
Gibbs won't comment on the market reaction to the President's announcement: "What the market does in reaction is not for me to comment on. What the president is focused on is ... is a set and series of rules of the road going forward that provide stability in our system that we lacked years ago."
Are Banks are on board? Gibbs says he hasn't see what the banks are saying.
Gibbs says health care is not on the back burner. The President has heard from those who represent millions - small businesses that are affected daily and families that are dealing with pre-existing conditions and higher premiums. "The Speaker and Majority Leader are right in giving this some time and about figuring out the best way forward." Gibbs pointed out that there is plenty of work (economy) for the President to do and he will let the dust settle before deciding what the next step is.
State of the Union: Gibbs says that the most recent drafts of the President's speech to Congress and the American people did not include Scott Brown's election to Senate on Tuesday. Gibbs was asked about Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell giving the Republican response next Wednesday evening and said "Watching many of the ads he ran in VA, that I saw at home in Alexandria, a lot of the themes looked similar to what the president ran on. We certainly look forward to what he has to say."
Promise to Close Guantanamo Bay Gibbs says the administration will not meet the deadline proposed by President Obama one year ago to close Guantanamo Bay. Gibbs says "I don't know if the process is done...still establishing case files and who is there."
Christmas Day Bomber: Gibbs says abdulmutallab was taken into custody and interrogated for valuable information. Gibbs says Attorney General Eric Holder made the decision not to have the suspect interrogated by High Value Detainee Interrogation Group. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in a Congressional hearing Wednesday he was not consulted in this decision.