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Weekly Wrap Up: Common Sense Solutions

Your quick look at what happened this week on

A quick look back at what happened this week on

Watch the President's Remarks on the credit downgrade here.

Common Sense Solutions: On Monday, August 8th, President Obama addressed our nation’s credit downgrade and said that our nation's problems are "eminently solvable." He laid out steps Congress can take right now to jumpstart the economy. "Specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have more customers next year," said the President. Watch the remarks.

Crisis in Africa: Right now, thousands of families are starving as a result of a famine caused by the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 60 years. This week, Dr. Jill Biden led a delegation including former Senator Bill Frist and USAID Director Rajiv Shah to the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya where they witnessed the suffering first hand. If you are as touched by their plight as Dr. Biden and her team, there are many ways you can help,

New Fuel Rules: On Tuesday, President Obama announced historic new fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles. These new standards will save American businesses approximately $50 billion over the life of the program, while reducing oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calls the new standards a “significant win.” On Thursday, the President travelled to Holland, MI where he visited an advanced battery plant making the batteries that will be needed to power these vehicles of the future and talked about his goal to see more products that are made in America sold around the world.

Celebrating Ramadan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar marks Ramadan, a holy month of prayer and fasting for Muslims around the world. On Thursday night, the President marked this occasion at an Iftar dinner with Muslim-American members of Congress and diplomatic corps, as well as Muslim-American families. According to the CIA World Fact Book, there are approximately 1.8 million Muslims in the United States. Watch President Obama's speech.

Bright Ideas: Thomas Edison would be amazed. The conventional light bulb now has some serious competition. Philips Lighting North America has invented a revolutionary 10-watt light emitting diode (LED) bulb. Phillips is the first winner of the Energy Department's Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize(L Prize). The L Prize challenged the lighting industry to develop high performance, energy-saving replacements for conventional light bulbs that will save American consumers and businesses money.

Special Education: On Friday, the Department of Education announced more than $5 million in grants to 19 Parent Training and Information (PTI) Centers in 13 states and Puerto Rico. These centers will help parents understand their child's disability early on and offer information on special education services and opportunities. For the full list of Education Department-funded special education parent information and training centers, visit