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April 26th, 2013
09:01 AM ET

Rep. Van Hollen: House vote on FAA furloughs 'just a band-aid,' replace the sequester

On "Starting Point" this morning, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) talks about expected House vote to remedy FAA furloughs, and issues with the forced spending cuts.

Filed under: Budget • FAA furlough • Forced spending cuts • Sequester
March 13th, 2013
12:22 PM ET

Rep. Price: GOP budget is 'a better way'

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) on the negotiations between President Obama and Congress to reign in the federal budget.

Filed under: Budget • Spending cuts
March 11th, 2013
11:00 AM ET

Sen. Blumenthal: Ideological stances, inflexibility responsible for Washington dysfunction

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on the root of the dysfunction in Washington politics and how it can be stopped. He also explains how this 'dysfunction' is hampering budget and spending cuts negotiations.

Filed under: Budget • Politics
March 11th, 2013
10:20 AM ET

Rep. Chaffetz on negotiations for budget and spending cuts: We can't spend our way to infinity

All eyes are on Washington, D.C., where politicians on both sides of the aisle are desperately trying to make a deal on the budget. Since it's Washington, D.C., it's not likely to happen very fast.

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill this week to meet with Republicans as Congressman Paul Ryan introduces a budget that would require Obamacare to be fully repealed. Washington insiders, like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) say Washington's dysfunction is deep.

This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) talks with Soledad and the "Starting Point" team about the ongoing dysfunction in Washington D.C., and what Republicans hope to do to encourage reigning in of spending.

Transcript available after the jump.


Filed under: Budget • Politics • Spending
February 26th, 2013
11:12 AM ET

Navy Sec. Mabus: If sequestration hits, '90,000 government workers in Virginia will lose 20 percent of their salary'

In three days, forced spending cuts will slash $85 billion from the federal budget unless legislators are able to come to a deal with the administration.

President Obama is heading to Newport News, Virginia today to talk about the impact the sequester would have on jobs and the shipbuilding industry.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will be joining the president and he sits down with Soledad this morning to explain how the Navy will be effected by budget cuts.

"There's going to be some real impacts to Navy readiness. We've already had the delay the "Truman" strike group going to the Middle East. We're going to have to delay an amphibious ready group going out. If sequestration keeps going, we're going to have to take down four of nine carrier air wings and it will take us a year to get them back and it will cost two or three times as much," Mabus explains.

"If we lurch from this budget crisis to the next artificial budget crisis, and that's the continuing resolution at the end of March, we'll start cutting some significant number of workers here. We'll lose about 7,500 workers by the end of the year, and these are highly skilled, highly motivated people who build ships that nobody else can build," Mabus says. "And if sequestration hits, you're looking at the possibility of furloughing 5,000 workers at the public shipyard here, and you're looking at another 40,000 government workers here in the Norfolk area and 90,000 across Virginia who will lose 20 percent of their salary before the end of the year."

Filed under: Budget • Navy • Sequestration
February 26th, 2013
11:01 AM ET

Rep. Price: The House will 'provide flexibility to the administration' on budget cuts

There are only three days until massive forced budget cuts are set to be enacted, and this morning there's no sign that a deal is in the works.

The forced cuts, referred to as the sequester by the government, would slash the budget by $85 billion, a move that some say is necessary to curb spending.

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) joins Soledad on Starting Point this morning to explain what the House GOP is willing to do to avoid some of the more drastic cuts, and to respond to President Obama's recent comments about the impacts of the sequester.

"The president has talked about all of these calamitous things that will happen, but what we're looking at is a 2.5 percent reduction," Price says. "That's the level of spending that we had just two years ago. I don't remember all of these bad things happening two years ago. [The House] will provide, I believe, some flexibility to the administration so that they can make certain that the bad things that the president cites don't happen, and if they do, it's because he wants them to."

Filed under: Budget • Sequestration
January 16th, 2013
10:57 AM ET

Rep. Forbes: Congressional Accountability Pay Act 'has legs,' says business in Washington needs a fundamental change


By: CNN's Jim Acosta and Ashley Killough

(CNN) - There's one thing many Democratic and Republican members of Congress have in common: They're rich.

The 113th Congress, which convened the first week of January, has slightly more wealth than members of Congress the previous year, according to new research from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The median estimated net worth of all members of the current Congress was $966,000 in 2011, the latest year of financial disclosure data available, compared to a median net worth for members of the 112th Congress of $886,000 in 2010.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Soledad asks Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) about the Congressional Accountability Pay Act, which if passed would lower Congress's salaries if government spending increases.

"We've got to fundamentally change how we do business in Washington, how we think and how we act," Rep. Forbes says. "The fundamental problem we have is this out-of-control spending. So, what we have to do is either the President has to take control of it and so far his budgets haven't done, or either we have to have a balanced budget amendment which is very difficult because we need two-thirds votes and the states have to ratify, and we just don't have time, time will run out on us."

"Or we look at legislators and say, you need to have some skin in the game. If you can't control spending and it goes up by 10 percent your salary goes down by 10 percent," Rep. Forbes adds.

Soledad asks Rep. Forbes about a "Forbes" magazine piece, that claims the Congressman's net worth was just under $3 million in 2010. She asks if the dock in pay would really put a dent in any one representative's wealth. Rep. Forbes responded, saying the "Forbes" estimation of his weath was inaccurate.

READ MORE: Members of Congress are getting wealthier

Filed under: Budget • Spending
December 7th, 2012
11:02 AM ET

Rep. Amash (R-MI): GOP leadership is out of step with America; not committed to re-election of Speaker Boehner

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who was booted from the House Budget Committee, says that a solution to the fiscal cliff must be bipartisan and he is not sure if he supports the re-election of Speaker John Boehner to his leadership position. Rep. Amash heard of his release from the committee from news reports.

Rep. Amash says, “I would again push back on this idea that it is some kind of Tea Party versus moderate versus mainstream theme. People like me are out there are calling for reductions in Pentagon spending, calling for working with the Democrats. And actually if you look at the four people who were removed from the Committee, we’ve been the ones who’ve been willing to work with Democrats on a lot of these tough spending issues.”

When O’Brien asks if he thinks Speaker Boehner should be fired, Rep. Amash responds, “We’re going to see how the next few weeks go. And whether he’s willing to make amends. And put out that scorecard. Let the American people see what he based the decision on.”

Filed under: Budget • Politics
August 14th, 2012
08:47 AM ET

Romney advisor John Sununu: Obama stole money from Medicare to fund 'Obamacare'

Following his selection as Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan's controversial entitlement reform plan has taken center stage. Democrats have attacked that proposal, saying Ryan – and now by extension, Romney – would dismantle Medicare.

On Starting Point this morning, senior Romney campaign advisor John Sununu responds to this claim, asserting that Romney "supports the concepts" that are in the Ryan plan but has his own plan for reforming Medicare.

Sununu also debates the veracity of Romney's claim that the president cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for the Affordable Care Act, insisting that this is the big difference between Romney and Ryan's plans.


Filed under: 2012 Race • Budget • Medicaid
August 1st, 2012
01:01 PM ET

Rep. Chris Van Hollen: President Obama's plan 'would provide tax relief for 100% of the American people'

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on bills addressing the Bush-era tax cuts this week, before congress goes on a on a five-week recess.

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking Democrat on The House Budget Committee, talks with Soledad O’Brien on "Starting Point" this morning about the reasons House Republicans should take up President Obama’s plan on tax cuts.

Van Hollen says, the president’s plan which passed senate last week “would provide tax relief for 100% of the American people compared to what the current law provides.” The Maryland congressman went on to say Obama’s plan would “provide total relief to 98% of the American people,” however the top 2% would not benefit “quite as much.”

Filed under: 2012 Race • Barack Obama • Budget • Tax cuts • Tax reform • Taxes
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