Do you have a 'date' for the State of the Union? (Sunday talk shows)
NBC: MEET THE PRESS
Cantor: "Everything is on the table" for spending cuts
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said that "everything is on the table" when it comes to cutting spending, although he declined to point to specific areas where spending would be cut. He also said that House Republicans won't vote to raise the debt ceiling "unless there are serious spending cuts and reform." Asked about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) statement that the tea party movement will disappear once the economy improves, Cantor responded that the tea party is "absolutely" here to stay. He also suggested that House Republicans will reject President Obama's call for new "investment" in infrastructure and other areas, saying that "the investment needs to be in the private sector." Pressed on whether congressional leaders should push back harder against those who claim President Obama is not a U.S. citizen, Cantor responded that it's not appropriate to call anyone "crazy" and said that he believes Obama is a U.S. citizen. He added that Obama wants what's best for the country, but that he and the GOP disagree on the way to achieve that.
FOX: FOX NEWS SUNDAY
McConnell: Senate will vote on health care repeal
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed that the Senate will vote on a repeal of the national health care overhaul, following the House's passage of repeal legislation last week. "I assure you we'll have a vote," McConnell said, adding that "it's very hard to deny people votes in the Senate." McConnell said that Obama has moved toward the center recently and said the president is now in "a kind of a trust-but-verify moment." Pressed repeatedly on whether Senate Republicans might try to block a raise in the debt limit, McConnell said that "nobody is talking about that," calling a debt-limit vote "an opportunity." He also said that Republicans aim to reduce domestic discretionary spending "as much as we possibly can that will get a signature by the president," and that he plans to sit where he usually sits during Tuesday's State of the Union.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) rejected the idea of the Senate voting on a health care repeal, noting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said there won't be a vote. Durbin did note that Republicans could try to bring repeal to the floor through the amendment process, and also cited 1099 reform as an area of possible bipartisan support. Durbin also signaled he was open to raising the social security retirement age, saying an increase is "not unreasonable." He dismissed the notion that Congress might not vote to raise the debt limit, calling House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) "much more responsible" than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Durbin also said that he's sitting next to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) during the State of the Union, joking that "I'm bringing the popcorn; he's bringing the Coke with two straws."
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION
Colin Powell: "I am not committed to President Obama"
Former secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Colin Powell offered praise for President Obama's accomplishments but refused to say whether he would endorse Obama or any of the emerging Republican hopefuls in 2012. "Right now I do not see on the Republican side any one individual that will emerge at the top of the pile," Powell said, adding that he is not committed to any candidate. "I have not yet seen anybody on the Republican side I am prepared to commit to, and I am not committed to President Obama either," he said. Powell also insisted he would not join the administration but would continue to serve as an informal adviser to the president.
Powell generally approved of Obama's performance during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States. "You shouldn't expect Hu Jintao to run back home and suddenly say 'I've seen the light,'" Powell said of the summit between the two presidents. He also said of expectations of Obama, "We didn't elect Superman, we elected a human being."
CBS: FACE THE NATION
Schumer: Health care repeal will "look like Swiss cheese"
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) discussed potential budget cuts and who they would be sitting next to during the president's State of the Union address Tuesday. "I think it's been a bit overblown," McCain said of the push for bipartisan seating, before announcing that he would sit with Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and that Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) would sit in McCain's usual seat. Schumer said that he would be sitting next to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). McCain also countered the assertion that his relationship with President Obama was "frosty," insisting that he "strongly" disagreed with the president's positions on certain issues, including his handling of health care and the trial of detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, but that he thought Obama was "doing a lot of the right things."
Asked about where there would be room for cuts in the national budget, McCain parted ways with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) who did not specifically rule out cancer research as potential fodder for the chopping block. "Cancer research is one of the last things I would go after," said McCain, a three-time melanoma survivor. Schumer said that Democrats, in an effort to stymie Republican's health-care repeal efforts, would call for votes on the law's more popular programs. "Their repeal bill is going to be so full of holes it will look like Swiss cheese," he said.
ABC: THIS WEEK
Hutchison: "I do have support of tea party people"
Retiring Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) discussed the upcoming State of the Union, the looming national debt, and their recent decisions not to seek re-election. "The mood of the State of the Union has to be both unifying and confident," said Lieberman, while Conrad laid out three things he would be looking for in the president's annual address: how Obama would go about growing the economy and creating jobs, reducing the debt burden, and reducing dependence on foreign energy. Asked if they had "dates" to the State of the Union, all three announced they did not, but Conrad took the opportunity to ask Hutchison if she would join him; Hutchison did not specifically respond to the invitation.
Asked whether the tea party had pushed her to retire, Hutchison defended her re-election prospects should she have chosen to run for another term. "All in all, I do have support of tea party people," Hutchison said, adding that her relationship with the tea party was "good." "The time was right for me...and I'm excited about turning it over to someone else," she said.
Rules committee chairman says GOP internal talks on spending underway
House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said that Republicans are engaged in internal discussions over how to approach spending cuts, acknowledging that there are some differences but adding: "I am convinced we are all on the same page." Dreier also said that this week's upcoming vote on spending cuts is a message to President Obama and said that he hopes some Democrats join with Republicans on the vote. "We want to have the United States House of Representatives on record, before the president delivers his State of the Union message, in support of our effort to reduce the size and scope of government," he said. He charged that increased federal spending through the stimulus program, as well as the national health care overhaul, "undermined job creation."
Felicia Sonmez and Emi Kolawole
| January 23, 2011; 12:08 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency, Sunday Talkies
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