Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WATCH: Sen. John McCain Swallowing Hard To Vote "Aye" On Deal

Sen. John McCain was interviewed on Bloomberg TV this morning, shortly before he and 73 other Senators swallowed hard and voted to approve the debt ceiling/deficit reduction deal.



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WATCH: Sen. Kyl's Incendiary Floor Speech Announcing Plan To Fight Debt Ceiling Deal Trigger

I previously described a bit of Arizona Senator Jon Kyl's fiery speech on the Senate floor just before the vote on the debt ceiling/deficit reduction deal.  Rather than cut and paste it here, check out that link.

But here is the link to the speech itself.  It is a 7-minute speech and C-Span has not yet made the video "embeddable".  It is worth a watch.

UPDATE: It is now embeddable:


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Arizona Senators Vote "Yes" On Debt Ceiling/Deficit Reduction Deal; Kyl Announces Plan To Undermine It

Arizona's Senators "swallowed hard" (McCain's words) and voted to approve the debt ceiling/deficit reduction deal, and Sen. Jon Kyl set out his plans to undermine it in his floor speech shortly before the vote.  Kyl and Sen. John McCain were among the 74 Senators to vote "aye" and to send it to the President; 26 Senators voted "nay".

Kyl, the Senate Minority Whip who is retiring from the Senate at the end of next year, gave a bitter speech blaming the White House and the "tax and spend" Democrats for the across-the-board cuts that will be triggered if the Congressional committee cannot agree on further deficit-reduction measures.  He stated that he would tell members of the so-called "Super Congress" that the debate should be "taken to the American people" and that he would not countenance the "armageddon" that the automatic cuts to the Defense Department would cause.

Kyl indicated he would - if necessary - urge his "colleagues to disregard this provision".  He acknowledged that the Congressional negotiators should not have approved the trigger, but said the President nearly violated his oath of office by including it in negotiations.  Kyl said he would vote for the measure because his no vote would not change the outcome, but that he would continue fighting it.

The legislation now goes to the President's desk for signature.


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Monday, August 1, 2011

WATCH. READ: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Statement On Debt Ceiling Vote



Here is the news release which just came out from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office:

U.S. REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS CASTS FIRST HOUSE VOTE SINCE JAN. 8 SHOOTING


Congresswoman travels to Washington to support bipartisan bill to avoid default



WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to Congress today to vote in favor of legislation that will avoid a default by the U.S. government.


It was the first vote she has cast since she was shot and critically wounded on Jan. 8 while meeting with her constituents in Tucson.


“I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington,” Giffords said. “After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”


In December 2009 and again in February 2010, Giffords refused to go along with an increase in the debt limit. But this vote was substantially different, with the strength of the U.S. economy hanging in the balance.



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DEBT CEILING COVERAGE, Arizona Delegation Updates: Monday, Aug. 1

I posted Sen. McCain's TV interviews from this a.m. separately, but am now going to post our (somewhat) daily compilation (in progress) thread.  As always, if you find anything that should be included, or have any corrections or complaints, please drop me an e-mail!

VOTE IN HOUSE: Passed 269-161.  Arizona's delegation voted as follows:
 
YES:  Giffords, Gosar
NO:  Grijalva, Flake, Schweikert, Franks, Quayle, Pastor

Giffords, Rep. Gabrielle (D-CD8): Very exciting to read that Rep. Giffords is there to cast her 1st vote since the attempted assassination!  Arizona's Dan Nowicki breaks it: http://bit.ly/oZZuaS

Parenthetically, I e-mailed Giffords' office earlier today to attempt to find out what was going on. Dang those reporters on the ground!!!


Gosar, Rep. Paul (R-CD1):  Rep. Gosar just (3:30p.m., AZT) issued a news release that he will vote for the deal (momentarily... maybe).  Here's his statement:

“Our nation’s debt and spending crisis is like a super tanker. In order to bring a supertanker to a stop, its engines are typically cut off about 15 miles from port. In order to change direction even slightly, the captain has to start the maneuver miles ahead of time. The current bill is a change in direction. But we cannot stop this “supertanker of debt” tonight, in one vote. Our Supertanker of Debt was created over the last 10 years or more. We cannot undo a decade of wasteful spending in one night. I plan on voting for the Budget Control Act tonight even though it is far from perfect. We cannot expect perfection when the Senate and the White House is fighting us on even acknowledging the severity of the problem. The Senate has not even passed a budget in 824 days.
I preferred the Cut, Cap and Balance Act. I heard the people loud and clear. This bill is far from perfect, but it is actually a milestone of progress. The people spoke in November and sent me to DC. We have heard you. We will continue to listen.”
Grijalva, Rep. Raul (D-CD7):  "All take and no give... is not a compromise."  That is the condensed quote from Rep. Grijalva at a press conference this afternoon with the Congressioal Progressive Caucus.


Schweikert, Rep. David (R-CD5):  As of this p.m. (1:00p.m., AZT), Rep. Schweikert is still "leaning no".  He did an in-depth interview with MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, and indicated that his biggest hang-up about the deal is that only $21 billion of the spending cuts in the coming year.



Kyl, Sen. Jon (R-AZ):  A National Review reporter - Andrew Stiles - tweets that he asked the Republican Whip if he would like to be included in the so-called "Super Congress" (the committee that will try to come up with the next round of deficit reduction measures).  Stiles reports Kyl's response as "not really".  Somewhat surprising, since I recall the Senator's news conference announcing that he would not be running for re-election, at which he spoke enthusiastically about how being freed up from the pressure of a campaign would allow him to better tackle some of the tough issues.  Including deficit reduction.

Gosar, Rep. Paul (R-CD1):  Gosar tweeted (re-tweeted) at approximatel 10:45a.m. (AZT):  "A Balanced Budget Amendment is the only way to stop the explosion of debt."

A Washington Post reporter - Felecia Somnez - tweets that freshman Rep. Paul Gosar is "still reading" about the deal.  When asked about the process, he reportedly said "Seems like bureaucracy at its finest."

Quayle, Rep. Ben (R-CD3):  Rep. Quayle has asked Tweeters to let him know what they think about the deal on the table.  I'm not sure what link to give you to view the responses, but the ones I saw seem to be split about evenly.

Schweikert, Rep. David (R-CD5):  Rep. Schweikert was on Bloomberg TV and CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning.  He thinks the deal will pass but is not yet sure how he'll vote on it.



TheHill.com has Schweikert as "leaning no."

Franks, Rep. Trent (R-CD2):  Rep. Franks also re-tweeted the one sentence mentioned in the Gosar section, about the Balanced Budget Amendment (at approx 10:00a.m., AZT).


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WATCH: Sen. McCain This A.M. On CBS and Fox; Obama Can No Longer Talk About "Corporate Jets and Billionaires"

Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) did not claim victory for the GOP in the debt ceiling deal that is now headed to both the House and the Senate later today.  Nevertheless, he is pretty pleased with it and praised Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for setting out the basic framework a couple of weeks ago.  He was on CBS News' "The Early Show" this morning.  Embedding of the video is not available, but here is the link.

He did go a bit further on "Fox & Friends", where he noted that the deal - by not including closing tax loopholes - removes President Obama's ability to campaign on "corporate jets and billionaires and all that".



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