Two new faces in the House minority leadership, Reps. Eric Cantor and Mike Pence, have the difficult task of unifying the Republican party while bringing it closer to the center.
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Some Democrats are facing violent threats and attacks after health care reform passed in the House.
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Republicans can't give full credit to President Obama for the discovery and death of Osama Bin Laden - so they're giving it to George Bush. Cenk Uygur explains why this is absurd.
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Debt talks led by Vice President Joe Biden are in danger as two Republicans drop out.
July 18, 2011 (3:06)
With less than a week to draft a budget deal, politico’s wonder is a small deal better than no deal at all?
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A little more than a week until D-Day - but lawmakers are hinting at a stalemate in the months-long federal budget battle.
KUSA: “...there is still some talk of a shutdown if Congress can't come up with a plan by April 8th.”
ABC: “...brewing debate over the U.S. debt, deficits, the possibility of a government shutdown.”
More than halfway through this fiscal year and still no federal budget. Lawmakers have passed a series of short-term temporary funding measures -- SIX of them so far -- to keep the government going.
But House Republicans -- led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor -- are playing hard ball this time -- and saying -- no more temporary measures. (VIDEO FROM WAGA)
Both sides are busy blaming each other for the potential shutdown. In fact - New York Democrat Chuck Schumer is facing some heat -- caught on camera outlining the left’s line of attack.
ANCHOR: “Schumer was supposed to be on a conference call with reporters after he made the remarks but he was apparently unaware those reporters were already on the line....
SCHUMER: “I always used word extreme. That's what the caucus instructed me to do the other week. Extreme cuts and all these riders. And Boehner is in a box but if he supports the Tea Party, there's going to inevitably be a shutdown.”
But Republicans also have a plan to try winning in the court of public opinion. Commentator Dick Morris lays out that strategy on Fox News.
“....if the Republicans shut down specific agencies, whole government will operate. We just won't build new highways. We won't give out foreign aid. We just won't give out inner city infrastructure repair money. Cut those specific programs and leave the rest of the government fine, then the Democrats will be blamed correctly...”
Spin doctors are out on both sides - and if it feels more like a message war than a budget battle - Politico’s Meredith Shiner says that’s because it is -- and she points specifically to Cantor from the right -- and Schumer from the left.
“Nevermind that a government shutdown is looming. … [T]he approach of these press operations is an extension of the two politicians themselves — ambitious, brash and obsessed with winning the message war on the most important issue before Congress.”
So who’s actually gonna make this happen? Political reporter Molly Ball tells C-SPAN - both sides are under a lot of pressure from their rank-and-file not to concede.
“There’s also a lot of pessimism out there. Democrats especially are not convinced that they will be able to find a compromise... The question is whether there is enough patience, especially on the Republican side, to continue to do this on a temporary basis. There is a lot of demands out there to get this settled in the long term.”
With potential divisions between House Republican leadership and their more conservative members - The Washington Post says they’re turning to moderate Democrats for a proposal that would cut $30 billion from the budget. That’s HALF the cuts Tea Party-backed Republicans are demanding.
“Such a deal probably would be acceptable to Senate leaders and President Obama as long as the House didn’t impose funding restrictions on certain social and regulatory programs... Speaker John A. Boehner’s leadership team recognizes that legislation that meets with approval from his most conservative flank ... would be dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate.”
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BY ALYSSA CARTEE
ANCHOR ALEX ROZIER
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This Sunday... a top White House advisor says the president is ready to roll out a long-term budget. The GOP’s man-with-the-plan defends millionaire tax breaks... and analysts suggest the key to a 2012 victory is...what else? The budget.
After a buzzer-beating budget compromise for 2011, the Sunday talk shows moved on to 2012. This week President Obama will unveil his long-term budget proposal. White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe tells CNN’s State of the Union the President is open to cuts, as long as they’re focused.
White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe: “So the President clearly believes that we can still grow economically with smart deficit reduction but it’s gotta be smart. If we’re just going to cut student loans, cut head start, cut medical research - we’re not gonna be the country in terms of the economy that we need to be.”
On Fox News Sunday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor isn’t buying it.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA): “I sit here and I listen to David Plouffe talk about, you know, their commitment to cut spending and knowing full well for the last two months, we've had to bring this president kicking and screaming to the table to cut spending … in my opinion, it's hard to believe what this White House and the President is saying”
Part of Plouffe’s beef with the GOP’s strategy- continued tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. But the man behind the plan, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says- it’s necessary.
“Look we have to recognize the fact that we are in a global competition. We’re competing against China and India. And when we tax our job creators more than they tax theirs, we lose - they win. We don’t want that to happen.”
Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile argues Ryan’s budget isn’t serious.
“The budget itself is a fantasy. It paints a rosy picture that no one will live to see based on the fact that he proposed 5.8 trillion in cuts but also comes out with 4.2 trillion in budget cuts, tax cuts, to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.”
But MSNBC’s Chuck Todd says Dems should be happy about the GOP’s “extreme” budget.
“Look, the Democrats, the White House is licking their chops about it. They are basically saying ‘This is great!’ They can’t believe Pawlenty and Romney and all they guys running for President have signed onto it. They say ‘whoever wanted them as a nominee, they own it.’ And they say ‘Good luck carrying the State of Florida with that.’”
Finally , as bigger battles over the budget brew- CBS Reporter Nancy Cordes says- it’s time to watch the Tea Party flex its muscles.
“And they also showed they were willing to go right up to the brink on a government shut-down to get their way and that’s something they may repeat when it comes to funding the government with the debt ceiling.”
The next move for Congress is to decide whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, or face defaulting on the nation’s Treasury debt. According to CBS, Obama asked for a clean bill and Speaker Boehner responded-- not a chance.
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BY ALANA YOUNG
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
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Vice-President Joe Biden led a round of bipartisan budget talks in Washington Monday with leading Republicans.
If Congress does not increase the debt limit by May 16, the Treasury says it will take measures into its own hands to keep servicing Americas debt without default.
Biden and others say meeting went well, but Fox New’s Russell Pearlman says compromise will be difficult to achieve. The ideological differences are just too vast.
RUSSELL PEARLMAN: “They’re serious that they want to cut the debt, but they’re not so serious that they’re willing to do it before the 2012 election. It’s somewhat unfortunate. At least the issue seems to be a legitimate point of negotiation. Which it hasn’t been essentially been for forever, since we’ve essentially had a debt. So that’s at least a good step. But, not addressing Medicare and Medicaid and social security, and any sort of tax reform when you wanna cut the deficit is kinda like deciding you want to go on a diet but you’re not going to change what you eat for lunch or dinner.”
Pressures continue to mount for leaders to find an agreement after recent backlash over house republican Paul Ryan’s budget plan. The Washington Post reports House majority leader Eric Cantor felt the heat from President Obama’s criticisms on proposed Medicare and Medicaid changes.
“On the eve of debt-reduction talks... Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term. But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama ‘excoriated us’ for a proposal to privatize Medicare.”
Not to mention, a key Republican platform---the repeal of the Affordable Care Act--isn’t going anywhere in the Senate. Michigan Rep. Dave Camp tells the Huffington Post it’s time to move on:
“Is the repeal dead? I don’t think the Senate is going to do it, so I guess, yes...I think we have to see where this [health care] lawsuit that is working its way through the courts goes. ... I'd rather have the committee working with the Senate and the president, focusing on savings and reforms that can be signed into law. I don’t think we can afford to wait. I think we needed to make progress now.”
Although Republicans may have lost on one key front -- a writer for The New York Times says the Democrats aren’t out of the line of fire just yet -- 2012 is around the corner.
“Many Democrats were cheered by the evidence of Republicans’ disarray on Medicare... But Democrats have tensions, too. Many, sensing a political opening going into the 2012 elections, suspect that President Obama and Mr. Biden, in their zeal for a deal, will compromise too much on Medicare and Social Security.”
If the limit is not raised by August 2, the country would be forced to stop borrowing altogether and default on its debt. The next scheduled meeting is set for May 10.
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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) walked out of a meeting regarding spending cuts and the debt ceiling. Michael Shure breaks it down.