Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Pushes Balanced Budget Amendment

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., delivered an ultimatum to congressional leaders and the American people when he stressed the far-fetched idea to pass a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution in order to address the nation’s growing debt.

The White House has already rejected the Tea Party-backed idea as part of debt ceiling negotiations, but McConnell pitched it as the only way to ensure the federal government has fiscal order.

“It’s time to make it clear to the American people where the two parties stand in this debate. Either you’re with the president and his vision of a government that continues to live beyond its means or you’re with those of us who believe Washington needs some strong medicine,” he said. “Either you want to simply borrow and spend our nation into oblivion or you want to get our house fiscal in order. And the single most effective way to do that is with a balanced budget amendment.”

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Cantor Describes Tense Debt Negotiations (AUDIO)

The ongoing negotiations to raise the country’s debt ceiling were reportedly tense Wednesday night, and have spiraled to a game of “he said, she said” politics, with Republican leaders accusing President Barack Obama of walking out of the White House meeting.

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Mr. Obama became “agitated” with congressional leaders and warned him personally: “Don’t call my bluff” before storming out. However, Democratic leaders who attended the sit down disputed Cantor’s description while Democratic aides called it “overblown” and accused Cantor of being rude to the president.

Cantor recounted the meeting with reporters.

From Reuters:

Eric Cantor on White House Debt Ceiling Talks by psmaleracom

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

McConnell Defends Debt Plan

Calling for a real debate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., went to the Senate floor Wednesday to defend his debt proposal to avoid the first-ever government default before the August 2 deadline.

The McConnell option gives President Barack Obama new power to request increases of up to $2.5 trillion in three separate installments over the next year as long as they’re coupled with larger spending cuts.

Reports have already said the plan is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House and the proposal has been criticized by other GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates, but McConnell says he proposed the so-called “back-up” plan because the president is shirking his duty and playing games with the debt.

McConnell also reiterated the importance of passing a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Listen to the full speech below.

Audio MP3
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Today on Here & Now

Under Mitch McConnell’s proposal, congress would give the President the power to increase the debt ceiling by up to $2.5 trillion, as long as he simultaneously proposed spending cuts of greater size. Congress would need to muster a two-thirds majority to veto any increase. McConnell said he was forced to introduce the plan because he didn’t see a path to an agreement so long as Democrats insist on revenue increases.  We’ll have the latest from those following the story.

Hundreds of stores, as well as restaurants and bars in Minnesota are unable to replenish beer and other alcohol supplies because they cannot renew their state-issued alcohol purchasing cards.  Cigarettes smokers may face a similar shortage, and the state has also stopped issuing hunting and fishing licenses.  The list of closed services includes highway rest stops, the state’s 66 parks, 26 historical sites and museums, racetracks, state lottery sales, driving tests, and offices for professional licenses.  On day 13 of the state shutdown, with no end in sight to the budget stalemate, we’ll talk about what could happen next.

We’ll also find out just how many cell phones might be vulnerable to the kind of voicemail hacking that lead to the  recent British media scandal.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Republicans Divided Over McConnell Debt Plan

Speaking to WHAS-AM radio personality Mandy Connell on Wednesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., defended his proposal to give President Barack Obama unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling even if party leaders can’t agree on ways to reduce the debt moving forward.

McConnell’s proposal gives the president the power to request increases of up to $2.5 trillion in three separate installments over the next year if they are coupled with larger spending cuts.

The plan is being touted as a “back-up plan” compromise and is being praised by Senate Democrats, however, Stephen F. Hayes, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard, says conservatives aren’t sold on the idea. He reports the plan has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled House and has divided the GOP at-large.

From NPR:

Far worse, in my view, is that the plan isolates House Republicans, it undercuts their (tentative) plan to offer an aggressive debt limit proposal of their own, it turns their principled intransigence from a possible strength to a certain liability, and it virtually ensures that, in the event of default, Republicans — not the White House — will be blamed.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Yarmuth Praises Obama Debt Address, Criticizes GOP Leaders

Reacting to the president’s address about ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., slammed Republican leaders for playing politics with the nation’s credit and believes Democrats won’t support a deal unless it includes wealthier Americans making sacrifices.

At a news conference Wednesday, President Barack Obama said raising revenue had to be an option to reducing the deficit and criticized Republicans for not accepting any tax increases as part of a compromise to raise the debt limit. Though Mr. Obama predicted a deal would be reached, he called the GOP position unsustainable and added Democrats have already committed to cutting their “sacred cows” during negotiations.

Yarmuth says the president did a good job in outlining the choices congressional leaders face and ripped Republicans for leveraging the issue while defending tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and companies.

“One of the things that got us into this huge problem was the Bush tax cuts. So to say we aren’t going to address the revenue side in trying to correct the problem ignores the way we got into this mess to begin with,” he says.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Obama Press Conference Live on WFPL

President Barack Obama is scheduled to hold a news conference this morning from the White House, where he’s expected to discuss the ongoing deficit negotiations and impending deadline to extend the debt ceiling.

For our live coverage, tune to 89.3 FM or listen online at beginning at 11:20 am.