American Morning

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August 1st, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Sen. McCain: Debt agreement 'is a success,' but worried about defense cuts

A vote on the new debt deal is expected in Congress some time this afternoon. The plan includes raising the country's borrowing limit in exchange for major spending cuts.

Earlier on American Morning this morning, CNN's Carol Costello talks with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, who explained that Democrats signed on to the deal in order to avoid default.

For the other side, Ali Velshi talks with Sen. John McCain on the debt deal. He says that he feels the debt agreement is a success, but he's worried about defense cuts and is still hoping a balanced budget amendment can be passed.

"I'm worried about the size of defense cuts that may be contemplated, but that doesn't mean I'm, therefore, rejecting the agreement," McCain says.

He also gives some advice to his Republican colleagues in the House: "They should worry about more than anything else is the view in which the American people hold us and their low opinion of us because we are failing to do what they think is our job. And, by the way, they're right."


Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
August 1st, 2011
10:32 AM ET

Sen. Durbin: Democrats gave in to 'political extortion,' but default would have been totally irresponsible

Washington (CNN) - Congress is expected to vote Monday on a last-minute agreement to raise the federal government's debt ceiling while imposing sweeping spending cuts, a bipartisan deal that promises to narrowly avert an unprecedented national default with catastrophic economic consequences.

The deal calls for $2.4 trillion in cutsover the next decade, raises the debt ceiling through the end of 2012, and establishes a special congressional commission to recommend long-term fiscal reforms.

The measure needs to reach President Barack Obama's desk by Tuesday night. If the current $14.3 trillion debt limit is not increased by that point, Americans could face rapidly rising interest rates, a falling dollar, and shakier financial markets, among other problems.

But with no tax increases in the deal, can Democrats get on board?

This morning on American Morning, Carol Costello talks with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin about whether Democrats will be able to agree to the plan.

At one point, Costello asks Durbin if he felt Democrats were giving in to extortion by agreeing to a plan that they are not satisfied with if Tea Party members were willing to let the country default.

"Of course, it is," Durbin says. "It's political extortion and if you say that you're prepared to call somebody's bluff using other people's chips, that's what we're down to. A lot of innocent people would have suffered if we would, in fact, have gone into this default. We avoided that and that was something we had to do."

See the entire interview above.


Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
August 1st, 2011
10:06 AM ET

What exactly is in the debt-ceiling deal? Jay Powell explains

President Obama and Congressional leaders struck a deal on a legislative package yesterday that would extend the federal debt ceiling while cutting spending and guaranteeing further deficit-reduction steps.

The proposed deal includes $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years while authorizing an increase in the federal debt ceiling by a slightly smaller amount to allow the government to pay its debts through 2012, according to information from the White House and a presentation for his Republican colleagues by House Speaker John Boehner.

Jay Powell, Treasury Under Secretary under President George H.W. Bush, talks with Christine Romans on American Morning today about the details of the deal and the possibility of a U.S. credit downgrade.


Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
August 1st, 2011
10:03 AM ET

Gene Sperling: 'There's more shared sacrifice in how we're cutting spending'

The White House reached a deal with Congressional leaders yesterday to avert a debt default, but not all members of President Obama's party are happy about the prospect of enacting spending cuts without raising revenue.

The deal is being heavily criticized in numerous editorials this morning, with many Democrats saying that the President capitulated on shared sacrifice.

Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council in the White House, joins Carol Costello on American Morning today to respond to these negative reactions and to discuss what Democrats got out of the deal.


Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit • Economy
July 29th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

Will Boehner be able to sway the Tea Party holdouts? Stephen Moore weighs in

In a major setback for Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team, the House was forced to delay a vote last night on his plan to raise the nation's debt-ceiling, as conservative lawmakers continued to question if the plan would do enough to reign in the national debt.

However, even if the Boehner plan does pass the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has promised that the Democratic-controlled Senate will block it.

Today on American Morning, Stephen Moore joins Ali Velshi and Christine Romans to weigh in on if Boehner will be able to get the conservatives on board and to discuss if the bill will satisfy credit ratings agencies and investors.


Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit
July 29th, 2011
09:12 AM ET

Will the delayed House vote on Boehner's bill happen today?

More than four hours after lawmakers in the House were expected to vote on Speaker Boehner's plan to raise the debt-ceiling, the GOP caucus announced that they were delaying the vote, revealing a deep rift within the party that could undermine the their latest attempt to avoid a national default.

The House Republican caucus then announced a previously unscheduled meeting for 10 a.m. Friday. In an indication of the seriousness of the debt-ceiling issue in Congress, Reid also announced that Senate Democrats will hold their own meeting at the same time.

David Gergen, CNN senior political analyst, joins Kiran Chetry on American Morning today to discuss what conservatives are finding fault with in Boehner's bill and to weigh in on whether or not it is expected to pass today.


Filed under: Budget • Debt • Debt ceiling • Deficit • GOP
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