As vacation winds down, Obama faces calls for stronger leadership on ISIS
President Barack Obama speaks in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, about the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group.
August 24th, 2014
03:41 PM ET
3 months ago

As vacation winds down, Obama faces calls for stronger leadership on ISIS

(CNN) Washington - On President Barack Obama’s last day of a troubled vacation, politicians criticized his leadership and called for action in the growing threat of terrorist group ISIS.

“The President has got to come forward with a cohesive, comprehensive strategy, not only in Iraq, but also in Ukraine, also in other parts of the world. This is an administration - which the kindest word I can use is feckless - where they have not outlined a role that the United States of America has to play, and that’s a leadership role,” Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In the wake of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, administration officials made clear that they are shifting from defensive operations against ISIS in Iraq to weighing an attack on ISIS where they are strongest, in Syria. But politicians on both sides of the aisle are impatient for the President to construct a plan and consult with Congress on what many see as an imminent threat from ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State and is called ISIL by some U.S. government officials.
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Filed under: ISIS • Jack Reed • John McCain • Kelly Ayotte • Lindsey Graham • Mike McCaul • Obama administration • President Obama
Senators push pared-down long term unemployment bill
June 24th, 2014
01:31 PM ET
5 months ago

Senators push pared-down long term unemployment bill

Washington (CNN) - Two bipartisan senators on Tuesday introduced pared-down legislation to provide benefits for the long-term unemployed that they hope will be more attractive to House Republicans who have shown little interest in a previous more generous bill sponsored by the two.

Unlike their earlier legislation, which passed the Senate in April, this measure will not pay benefits retroactively to the estimated 3.1 million people whose benefits have run out since the program expired at the end of December. Instead, it will offer up to five months of benefits from the enactment date depending on how many weeks of eligibility an individual had left in the program before it lapsed.

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Filed under: Dean Heller • Jack Reed • unemployment
August 26th, 2013
07:03 PM ET
1 year ago

Senator: Avoid optics of 'Western vs. Islamic struggle' on Syria

Washington (CNN) - A top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee urged the Obama administration against taking unilateral military action in Syria, in part because of how it would look in the international community.

Sen. Jack Reed said Monday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that unilateral action would be "a mistake" and that with a coalition the "political pressure would be sufficient" to pressure the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad. Potential partners could include Great Britain, France and Turkey, he said.
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Filed under: Jack Reed • John Kerry • Syria
Senators gear up for Hagel's confirmation, many with questions
January 13th, 2013
04:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Senators gear up for Hagel's confirmation, many with questions

(CNN) – Now that Chuck Hagel has been nominated for defense secretary, the former Republican senator from Nebraska faces what many expect to be an uphill battle for confirmation in the Senate.

Hagel took quite a pounding from some senators and independent groups on both sides of the aisle in the days before last week's announcement, with many of them taking issue with some of Hagel's positions and comments dealing with Iran, Iraq and Israel in particular.
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Graham: Time to ‘get rid’ of Gadhafi
March 20th, 2011
10:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Graham: Time to ‘get rid’ of Gadhafi

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Sunday condemned President Obama’s leadership over the situation in Libya, calling on the United States to “get rid of” Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“We used to relish leading the free world, now it’s almost like leading the free world is an inconvenience,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think the president has caveated this way too much, it’s almost like it’s a nuisance.”
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Filed under: Jack Reed • Libya • Lindsey Graham
June 27th, 2010
01:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Senators spotlight civilian, diplomatic challenges in Afghanistan


Washington (CNN) – Just days before hastily scheduled confirmation hearings for Gen. David Petraeus, two senators who will vet his nomination to be the next commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said U.S. forces may succeed in pushing aside the Taliban but the war-torn country could still suffer from political and governmental instability.

“This is not a conventional war,” Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “There are different geographical areas that we’re fighting this war in and there are political issues that are far-and-away the most difficult that we’ve encountered probably in any conflict we’ve ever been in.”

The Georgia lawmaker added, “You have the most corrupt government that we’ve ever dealt with from a conflict standpoint. And until you provide some stability and some confidence in the Afghan people about the way forward from a governing standpoint, then I think . . . we could win militarily and still have a very ugly victory.”

Another Armed Services Committee member, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., largely agreed with Chambliss’ assessment.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • issues • Jack Reed • Saxby Chambliss • State of the Union
November 29th, 2009
01:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Republican: Afghan gov't not a reliable partner right now

Washington (CNN) – Just days before President Obama is expected to announce his plan to send tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday that the Afghan government currently is not a reliable partner in the American effort to build up Afghan security forces.

After Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar mentioned an ambitious plan to train 134,000 Afghan security forces in a year, which is expected to be part of President Obama’s larger Afghan strategy rolled out to the nation Tuesday evening, CNN Chief National Correspondent John King asked Lugar whether the Afghan government is up to the task of meeting the demands the Obama administration is expected to place on Kabul.

“Do you trust the other side of the equation?,” King asked Lugar on State of the Union. Do we have a reliable partner in the Afghan government?’

“For the moment, we don't have a reliable partner,” Lugar bluntly replied. “If the training occurs, will the government really take hold? We don't know, frankly,” Lugar also said Sunday.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Sunday that concerns about the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai should not impede President Obama’s reported plan to send roughly 30,000 additional U.S. troops to the war torn country.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Dick Lugar • Jack Reed • State of the Union
November 29th, 2009
01:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Lugar: Senate should put off health care debate

Sen. Lugar said Sunday that the Senate should spend the remainder of 2009 focused on the Afghanistan war and budgetary matters.
Sen. Lugar said Sunday that the Senate should spend the remainder of 2009 focused on the Afghanistan war and budgetary matters.

Washington (CNN) – The Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday that the Senate should set aside the impending debate on the health care reform bill and, instead, use the remainder of the year to focus on the appropriate strategy for the Afghanistan war, funding the war, and passing the appropriations bill necessary to keep the federal government running.

“I would just make this suggestion,” Republican Sen. Richard Lugar said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “that in the three weeks of debate we still have ahead of us, we really ought to concentrate in the Congress on the war, on the overall strategy of our country and the cost of it. And we ought to be on the budget - passing appropriations bills in a proper way. . . . We may wish to discuss higher taxes to pay for [the war]. But we're not going to do that debating health care in the Senate for three weeks through all sorts of strategies and so forth.”

“The war is terribly important,” Lugar continued, “Jobs and our economy are terribly important. So this may be an audacious suggestion, but I would suggest we put aside the health care debate until next year, the same way we put cap and trade and climate change [aside] and talk now about the essentials: the war and money.”

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, disagreed with Lugar.

“Absolutely not,” Reed replied when asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King whether the Senate put off debate on the health care reform bill until 2010.
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Dick Lugar • Health care • Jack Reed • Popular Posts • State of the Union
November 29th, 2009
11:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Senators give Obama advice on Afghanistan strategy speech

ALT TEXT

Sens. Richard Lugar and Jack Reed discussed Afghanistan on Sunday's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Watch: Senators give Obama war advice


Filed under: Afghanistan • Dick Lugar • Jack Reed • President Obama • State of the Union
November 20th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN's Short List: Obama's secretary of defense?

Secretary of Defense Gates met with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team Thursday.
Secretary of Defense Gates met with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team Thursday.

(CNN) - Still no word on whether Defense Secretary Robert Gates is being asked to stay on the job by the president-elect or whether he would stay if asked. But he makes CNN’s Short List of possible contenders for the cabinet position. Following Lincoln’s model, Obama is open to a bipartisan cabinet, and Gates isn’t the only Republican that makes our list:

ROBERT GATES: He had his first substantive meeting with members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team Thursday to discuss key issues the new administration will face as it comes into office.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL: The Republican did not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in the recent election. Over the course of the Iraq war, Hagel has emerged as a critic of the Bush administration.

SEN. JACK REED: The Rhode Island Democrat serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was mentioned as a possible running mate for Obama.

Click here for additional CNN short lists for Obama’s potential cabinet.

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