Face in the News: Senator Mitch McConnell
On the May 21 edition of "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer interviewed key voices in the renewed debate over the nation's deficit and the debt ceiling.
Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who brokered the debt ceiling deal last summer, made news when he told Schieffer that -- this time around -- the fate of the debt ceiling talks rests squarely with the President.
"At some point, this President needs to become the adult," McConnell said Sunday. "Because the Speaker and I have been the adults in the room, arguing that we ought to do something about the nation's most serious long-term problem."
"Look, without presidential leadership, nothing can be accomplished," McConnell continued. "We didn't have presidential leadership last year - it's pretty clear the president's not going to lead on this anytime soon."
In Monday's papers, Senator McConnell's remarks on "Face the Nation" were compared to House Speaker Boehner's strong rhetoric last week. The Speaker called for Congress to begin discussing the debt issue in advance of November's election.
Senator McConnell agreed with his Republican counterpart in the House, telling Schieffer that "it's the perfect time...to engage in a discussion about doing something serious about deficit and debt."
But he differed from Speaker Boehner in suggesting that it will be the President's responsibility to initiate the dialogue.
"The timing will be determined by the president," McConnell said. "They determine when to request of us that we raise the debt ceiling. We assume that will happen at the end of the year, early next year."
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mark Warner (D-VA), both members of the Senate Budget Committee, also appeared on Sunday's "Face the Nation" to weigh in on the mounting debt crisis.
Asked about the chances that Congress will make progress on the debt ceiling before the November elections, Senator Graham told Bob he doesn't "see a breakthrough" happening any time soon. "You know, President Obama's had three and a half years to change things...and they did basically nothing but run up the debt. So I don't see much happening."
And on the other side of the aisle, Senator Warner charged Boehner with playing "debt ceiling roulette." When asked about Boehner's proposal to reopen debt negotiations, Warner told Schieffer, "It felt like Groundhog Day."
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