Washington (CNN) -– Three senators from across the spectrum of ideological positions said Saturday that a bipartisan debt ceiling deal was necessary in order to prevent economic crisis.
Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat; Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican; and Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican associated with the tea party, all said they were willing to work with members of the opposite party to strike a deal. Yet all three offered different specifics when it came to plans.
Washington (CNN) – Days before the president unveils a plan to tackle the national deficit, a senatorial odd couple said their bipartisan proposal could present the best chance for managing the nation's money problems.
Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia said the pitch from their so-called Gang of Six bipartisan group would come soon, and warned their colleagues and constituents to expect proposed changes to two hotly contested issues - taxes and entitlement programs.
Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. John Cornyn said he will not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it’s accompanied by systematic reforms to address long-term spending and the national debt.
“That's the price that's going to have to be paid, systemic reforms, in order to get Republican support for raising the debt ceiling, otherwise I think you are going to see Democrats having to do that all by themselves,” Cornyn said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
(CNN) - When Congress returns for its lame duck session this week, its members will have to decide which issues to tackle first, and according to one Republican, that will not include a discussion of the "don't ask, don't tell" military policy.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said the priorities should be passing a continuing resolution so the government will continue to run through January and addressing the tax cut extensions.
Washington (CNN) - Congress appeared headed for a major partisan showdown over financial regulation reform, with Senate Republicans reiterating their opposition Sunday to a bill that Democrats say will prevent another Wall Street meltdown like the one that precipitated the U.S. recession.
While some officials hinted that behind-the-scenes talks could yield a deal, the rhetoric signaled deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats intended to score political points as the campaign season approaches for mid-term congressional elections in November.
Warner said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, that the disputed fund was the last in a series of measures designed to revamp how Washington oversees Wall Street and to prevent taxpayers from again being called on to provide massive infusions of cash to financial institutions that are the pillars of the economy.
Despite Republican protests that Democrats are trying to pass the reform legislation in a partisan way and with next to no Republican input or support, Warner said the process of crafting the bill “has been very bipartisan.” He said he has been working for more than a year with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, on crafting the package of reforms.
The crafting of the legislation, the former Virginia governor said, has been driven by three goals: (1) “end ‘too big to fail,’” the notion that some financial institutions are so important to the economy that they should not be allowed to collapse under any circumstances because of the wider damage their demise would do to the economy; (2) “never have taxpayer exposure [for bailouts] again,” and (3) “make sure that we set up financial rules of the road for the 21st century.”
Washington (CNN) – A freshman Democratic senator said Sunday that he supports a proposal that would create a bipartisan commission intended to help Congress control federal spending and borrowing.
Last week, the top Democrat and top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee introduced legislation that would create a bipartisan task force charged with making recommendations to Congress for reining in runaway spending that threatens to overwhelm the federal budget. Specifically, the commission would suggest ways to curb spending growth, especially in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and to boost tax revenue.
The proposed commission would include members of Congress from both parties along with representatives of the administration. Once the commission submitted its recommendations to Congress, Congress would then have to vote yes or no to the commission's suggestions without filibustering or amending them.
Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who also sits on the Senate Budget Committee, said Sunday that he supports the proposal.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With just over a month to go until election day in Virginia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds is deploying the state's most popular elected politician in a big way.
The Deeds campaign debuted a new television ad featuring Sen. Mark Warner - also the state's governor from 2002 to 2006 - vouching for the Democratic nominee and talking about the economy. The ad is airing throughout the commonwealth, according to a campaign aide, but is not yet running in the pricey Washington, D.C. media market.
"The choice in this election for Governor is really pretty simple," Warner says, speaking directly into the camera. "Do we move Virginia forward by continuing the pro-business economic policies that I helped put in place? Or do we go backwards with the failed economic approach that ruined our economy?"
Recent polls suggest that nearly two-thirds of Virginia voters have a favorable opinion of Warner, and he enjoyed sky-high approval ratings by the time he left the governor's office in January 2006 - thanks largely to his success at creating jobs and his efforts to fix the state's budget. Warner ushered through a bipartisan budget package in 2004 that included a tax increase. an effort that rescued the budget and maintained the state's precious AAA-bond rating.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Bob McDonnell took a page from the Mark Warner playbook on Monday by announcing the formation of a group called "Virginians for McDonnell" - "a broad group of Democrats, Independents and Republicans" supporting his gubernatorial bid, according to his campaign.
The group is patterned after "Virginians for Warner," a committee of Republicans and independents that helped raise money for Mark Warner when he ran for governor in 2001 and for Senate in 2008. In both campaigns, Warner presented himself as a business-minded moderate who could rise above party politics.
McDonnell is taking a similarly pragmatic tack in 2009, even with a conservative voting record and ties to the religious right.
His rival in the race, Democrat Creigh Deeds, is a conservative Democrat who has pledged to follow in the footsteps of Warner and current governor Tim Kaine, both of whom remain popular among Virginia voters. Not surprisingly, Warner himself is sticking with his own party and supporting Deeds.
In 2008, the "Virginians for Warner" coalition counted among its ranks hundreds of Republican and independent officials.
But McDonnell's new group, which includes members from "Virginians for Warner," is considerably smaller: There are 22 members, a roster that includes a few Democrats but no major party figures holding elected office. Most of the group's members are independents and Republicans who supported Warner in the past but are now returning to the GOP fold.