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December 10th, 2012
10:33 AM ET

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) on the fiscal cliff: ‘We need discussion right now’

For the first time in over three weeks, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner looked each other in the eye and actually had a conversation! This meeting comes at a very important time because in just 22 days Americans face severe tax hikes and spending cuts unless these two leaders can find a way to compromise. Neither side would discuss specifics but after yesterday's white house meeting a spokesman for the president said – quote – "the lines of communication remain open." This morning, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) joins “Starting Point” to weigh in on the fiscal cliff and the recent meeting between the president and Speaker Boehner.

Chu says she, “was encouraged to see the meeting between Speaker Boehner and President Obama” and she “really feels a deal has to be made.” She adds “a deal is to be made that would benefit the people if it were done earlier.”

Chu says, “we need discussion right now…and we need to have a discussion where we could have sensible solutions with regard to the safety net programs as well as the tax cuts.”

On the topic of what democrats will bring to the table Chu says, “Something that should have been done a while ago” is a “ change to Medicare in which we can actually negotiate for drug prices. After all we do it for Medicaid. Why can’t we do it for Medicare? That would be a big savings to the Medicare program.”

Filed under: Entitlement • Entitlement reform • Fiscal cliff • Tax cuts • Tax reform • Taxes
December 6th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

Rep. LaTourette (R-OH) says a fiscal cliff deal is ultimately going to be a negotiation between Obama and Boehner

For the first time in a week, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke about the fiscal cliff over the phone, but there’s no word of progress made or future talks planned with only twenty-six days to go before the fiscal cliff.

Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), who is a member of the Appropriations Committee, believes that there’s a growing sense in the Republican party that “the President has won this round relative to the rates” but they still need to sit down and work out the spending part of the deal, which he feels can be reached if the President moves forward with entitlement reform.

LaTourette comments that the Republicans’ walk out yesterday, heading home because there are no votes between now and the weekend, is not as significant as it appears. “We’re not doing anything to get this done because there’s nothing we can do,” he says. “This is going to be a negotiation between the President of the United States and House Speaker John Boehner.”

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Entitlement • Entitlement reform • Fiscal cliff • John Boehner • President Barack Obama • Revenue • Spending • Tax cuts • Taxes
November 23rd, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Actor James Spader takes on role of little-known lobbyist in 'Lincoln'

Actor James Spader on his role as W.N. Bilbo in the new Stephen Spielberg movie "Lincoln."

Filed under: Entitlement • History
June 11th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Straight-talking commencement speech tells grads they're not special – Steve Perry explains why this is a good thing

During most graduation speeches, you expect to hear inspirational messages congratulating students on their accomplishments, preparing them for what is ahead as they go out into the greater world. But the graduation speaker at a Massachusetts High School had an unconventional and kind of unexpected message for his students this year.

"You're not special," English teacher David McCullough says. "Contrary to what your soccer trophy says, your glowing seventh grade report card... that nice Mr. Rogers and your batty aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your paternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you, you are nothing special."

Not exactly what students may want to hear as they go off into the world and start their lives. McCullough went on to tell the students all the coddling and praise they've become used to will not last.

This is a message that CNN education contributor says he loves, and has been a long time coming. He explains to Soledad and the Starting Point team why it's important for kids to realize their greatness is about what they will achieve, not about who they already are.

See the full transcript after the jump.


Filed under: Education • Entitlement