American Morning

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July 27th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Senator Pat Toomey: 'We ought to have a plan B'

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey unveiled legislation yesterday that would require the government to promise to pay its interest on its debt, send out Social Security checks and pay active duty military if Congress cannot reach a deal on raising the debt-ceiling by August 2nd.

The bill, called Ensuring the Full Faith and Credit of the U.S., has 31 cosponsors in the Senate and comes at a time when lawmakers are becoming increasingly concerned that a deal will not be reached by next week's deadline.

Today on American Morning, Senator Toomey tells Ali Velshi how he would prioritize spending, offering his take on Speaker Boehner's plan to increase the federal debt-ceiling.

Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
July 27th, 2011
11:47 AM ET

What would a U.S. credit downgrade mean for the economy and the average American?

As fears continue to rise about the U.S. defaulting if lawmakers fail to hash out a plan to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, concerns are also escalating about a potential downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

Rating agencies - Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch - analyze risk and give debt a "grade" that reflects the borrower's ability to pay the underlying loans.

The U.S. has had the highest credit rating, AAA, since Moody's began assigning ratings in 1917. However, this may change in the near future.

Paul La Monica, assistant managing editor for CNN Money, joins Ali Velshi today on American Morning to weigh in on what a downgrade would mean in terms of U.S. Treasuries, the U.S. consumer and the overall economy.

Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit • Economy
July 27th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

Rep. Flake: 'We ought to at least have a bill that doesn't get us further down the road'

House Republican leaders were forced to delay a vote on Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling last night after conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism about the bill and the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the the plan would reduce deficits by only $851 billion over 10 years.

Speaker Boehner announced today that he will rewrite his  legislation to ensure that it meets his oft-stated pledge to cut spending more than Congress increases the federal borrowing limit.

Jeff Flake from Arizona, member of the Appropriations Committee, is one of the House Republicans who has come out against the Speaker's bill.

Today on American Morning, Flake joins Kiran Chetry to weigh in on why he is not supporting the bill and to discuss what compromises are necessary in order to secure his vote on a debt-ceiling bill.

Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
July 27th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Report: Not enough evidence to link 9/11 to cancer

Under the new James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, the administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program must periodically review whether cancer can be linked to the 9/11 attacks or cleanup.

The first of these reports, issued yesterday, shows that there is currently not enough evidence to prove that the instances of cancer found in 9/11 responders is directly related to the dusk and smoke created in the attacks.

This discovery is a disappointment rescue and recovery workers and people who lived near the World Trade Center who have cancer diagnoses that they attribute to the attack, as it may mean that they will not be covered under the Zadroga bill, which was passed in late 2010.

John Feal, founder of the Feel Good Foundation and a 9/11 first responder himself, talks with Kiran Chetry this morning about this new research and the the effect its had on 9/11 first responders.

Filed under: 9/11 responders • Health
July 27th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

Governor Rick Scott: 'We cannot continue to borrow money'

The ongoing debate in Washington over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling has many governors from both parties worrying about how the negotiations will affect state finances.

However, Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida seems less concerned then others about a potential default, telling reporters yesterday that failing to raise the debt-ceiling would have a "minimal" effect on state governments and financial markets.

Scott joins Christine Romans on American Morning today to describe why he would not raise the federal debt ceiling and to discuss why he thinks that the government must prioritize spending and stop borrowing money.

Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
July 27th, 2011
05:39 AM ET

Question of the Day: What would you like to tell your elected representative?

In his address to the nation on Monday night, President Obama called on the American people to "make your voice heard" and call members of Congress about the debt talks gridlock.

Since Obama's speech, House switchboards have been flooded by phone calls - nearly twice the normal average - and hit with an unusual volume of constituent e-mails as voters voice their concerns over the worsening debt-ceiling crisis.

American Morning wants to know: What would you like to tell your elected representative?

Post your response here. Your answer could be included in this morning's broadcast.

Filed under: AM Asks