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Guests: Sens. Cornyn, Graham and Lieberman

By Fox News Sunday, Fox News Sunday - July 3, 2011

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Special Guests: Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Gary Sinise

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The following is a rush transcript of the July 3, 2011 edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: I'm Shannon Bream, in for Chris Wallace.adsonar_placementId=1502157;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=198;adsonar_zh=170;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com';

As the default deadline approaches, the political pressure increases.

Republicans and Democrats are talking tough. With just a month ago in the debt ceiling negotiations, is a deal still possible? We'll ask John Cornyn, one of the GOP's Senate leaders.

Also, with the terror attack rocks Afghanistan, should the U.S. rethink its drawdown plan? We'll get an on-the-ground account from two influential Washington voices on foreign policy: Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.

Plus, what do the fundraising numbers tell us about the Republican presidential field. We'll ask our Sunday panel, which candidates are making a move and which ones are stalled.

And on this Fourth of July weekend, actor Gary Sinise tells us how he wants to help our veterans and the wounded warriors.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And, hello again, from Fox News in Washington.

As the nation celebrates the Fourth of July holiday weekend, it is getting to be crunch time in the Capitol, in a high-stakes battle over increasing the debt ceiling.

Here to discuss where the negotiations stand is a member of the Senate Republican leadership, John Cornyn.

Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS: Good morning.

BREAM: All right. On Friday, the Treasury Department reiterated what it had already told us. August 2nd is the date we exhaust our borrowing authority under the current debt ceiling. So, let's recap what the president had to say this week about Capitol Hill, whether they're doing their job -- and a bit of your response as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When they decide they're not happy with the fact that at some point, you got to make a choice, they'd just all step back and say, "Well, you know, the president needs to get this done." They need to do their job.

CORNYN: Instead of going to Philadelphia tonight and raising money, why didn't he call Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid into his office and sit down and do his job?

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BREAM: Well, at that Philadelphia fundraiser that you mentioned there, the president said this deal could get done, quote, "on the back of an envelope." But he said there's no political will. So, who's not doing their job?

CORNYN: Well, let's see his envelope. I haven't seen it. The president's own fiscal commission -- bipartisan fiscal commission made what I thought was a sobering but important report back in the last December called "moment of truth." The president ignored it in his "State of the Union." His own budget grows the debt by trillions of dollars over the next 10 years and all he seems to do is to attack those who are trying to make responsible proposals to solve this problem.

So, the only way this is going to get done is with the president of the United States and fortunately, now, it's been kicked upstairs to the only guy who can make the deal. And that's the president, along with Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

BREAM: Let me ask you -- you're here because, of course, the Senate cut its Fourth of July recess short. There have been some skeptics about whether that's going to make any difference. One of them is your Democratic colleague, Senator Barbara Mikulski. Here's a bit of what she had to say.

She said, just being here to, quote, "huff and puff and hope we can blow the deficit away is posturing." Now, even you have express doubts that this is going to make a difference.

Are you feeling any more optimistic?

CORNYN: Well, the only people who can cut a deal, at least initially, are the president, Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell, our Republican leader in the Senate. But, you know, Shannon, it's got to pass the House of Representatives, and then it has to get at least 60 votes in the Senate. And we're running out of time.

But, this, what we -- what I'm concerned about is the president by not seriously putting a proposal forward but rather just criticizing those who have, we are running up against this deadline. And they're going to try to present it as a fait accompli, nobody is going to have time to read it or consider the implications of it and it's going to say you have to pass it or the economy is going down the tubes. That's just irresponsible.

BREAM: All right. Some on Capitol Hill had said, absolutely, no way they will vote for anything that involves a tax hike. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has said that. House Speaker John Boehner has said that.

You have phrased it a little bit differently. When we talk about tax expenditures, things like loopholes and breaks, you say it would be a fruitful area for discussion.

So, would you consider that a tax hike or raising taxes? How do you define what we're talking about when we're talking about revenue?

CORNYN: Well, I think it's clear that the Republicans are opposed to any tax hikes; particularly, during a fragile economic recovery. The last thing that employers need is further disincentives to not hire people. And that's what hire taxes would mean.

Now, do we believe that tax reform is necessary? I would say absolutely. There's not enough time to get it this done between now and August 2nd. But it ought to be the first thing we turn to, try to make our tax code more rational. We could bring down rates, eliminate the tax, a lot of tax expenditures or loopholes and actually make our nation more competitive internationally.

BREAM: All right. So, just to be clear, talking about closing some of those tax loopholes, making changes to the tax code, you don't consider that raising taxes?

CORNYN: Well, it's not raising rates. I don't mean to be cute about the language. But what I think we ought to do is bring the rates down to make it revenue-neutral.

So, as you eliminate these tax expenditures, if you bring the top rates down, that's revenue neutral. That's not raising taxes.

BREAM: Do you think you will get other rank-and-file Republicans on board with that way of viewing the issue of revenue?

CORNYN: Well, I think so. I mean, I think again, the president's own fiscal commission recognizes that our tax code is riddled with a lot of special interest loopholes and provisions that really don't make any sense anymore. We just had a very important vote about the ethanol subsidy, which we voted overwhelmingly to repeal that. And I think there's now a deal being worked out to phase it out maybe in a more sensible way.

But, yes, this is a fruitful area for us to work on in a bipartisan way.

BREAM: What about def spending? How far would Republicans be willing to go in that arena?

CORNYN: Well, the main reason the federal government exists in my view is protect the national security. And so, when Leon Panetta was confirmed as the defense secretary, I asked him about the Clinton era tax -- excuse me, the spending cuts in defense -- worried, of course, that there would be those who want to cash a peace dividend in a time America is still at war in at least three places. He seemed to say he was sensitive to that.  Print  Email  Share    Recommend Tweet

continued...

< 1 2 3 4 5> adsonar_placementId=1493988; adsonar_pid=1373767; adsonar_ps=-1; adsonar_zw=612; adsonar_zh=240; adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; FNS Transcripts

July 03, 2011

Sen. Cornyn on Debt Talks; Sens. Graham, Lieberman Talk Afghanistan; Gary Sinise on Helping Wounded Warriors

June 26, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann Talks Earmarks, Obamacare and Gay Marriage; Sen. Kyl on Debt Talks ADVERTISEMENT Follow Fox News Sunday

Follow us on Twitter to get exclusive updates and announcements from the show!

Fox News Sunday is on Facebook! Coming Up on FNS: July 3, 2011

President Obama calls out Congressional Republicans for leaving the debt ceiling negotiations.  Now with just a few weeks remaining before a possible default on the US debt, will either political party be able to reach a compromise?  We’ll ask a top Republican leader, Sen. John Cornyn, (R) Texas.

 

Then, the president laid out his plan for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, we'll hear from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on how the troop withdrawal will affect the situation on the ground.

ADVERTISEMENT Wallace Watch

July 05, 2011

Morning Booking Call

This week our group is looking at a wide variety of topics including the state of the economy, debt reduction talks on Capitol Hill and the 2012 election. We'll

Panel Plus: July 3, 2011Cornyn Hammers President Over Debt DebateOn This Day: July 3, 1890 Connect With FNS FacebookTwitterEmailFree PodcastBlogHulu On This Day

July 03, 2011

On This Day: July 3, 1890

On This day in 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state to join the United States of America. Wyoming joined shortly after,

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The following is a rush transcript of the July 3, 2011 edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: I'm Shannon Bream, in for Chris Wallace.

As the default deadline approaches, the political pressure increases.

Republicans and Democrats are talking tough. With just a month ago in the debt ceiling negotiations, is a deal still possible? We'll ask John Cornyn, one of the GOP's Senate leaders.

Also, with the terror attack rocks Afghanistan, should the U.S. rethink its drawdown plan? We'll get an on-the-ground account from two influential Washington voices on foreign policy: Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.

Plus, what do the fundraising numbers tell us about the Republican presidential field. We'll ask our Sunday panel, which candidates are making a move and which ones are stalled.

And on this Fourth of July weekend, actor Gary Sinise tells us how he wants to help our veterans and the wounded warriors.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And, hello again, from Fox News in Washington.

As the nation celebrates the Fourth of July holiday weekend, it is getting to be crunch time in the Capitol, in a high-stakes battle over increasing the debt ceiling.

Here to discuss where the negotiations stand is a member of the Senate Republican leadership, John Cornyn.

Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS: Good morning.

BREAM: All right. On Friday, the Treasury Department reiterated what it had already told us. August 2nd is the date we exhaust our borrowing authority under the current debt ceiling. So, let's recap what the president had to say this week about Capitol Hill, whether they're doing their job -- and a bit of your response as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When they decide they're not happy with the fact that at some point, you got to make a choice, they'd just all step back and say, "Well, you know, the president needs to get this done." They need to do their job.

CORNYN: Instead of going to Philadelphia tonight and raising money, why didn't he call Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid into his office and sit down and do his job?

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BREAM: Well, at that Philadelphia fundraiser that you mentioned there, the president said this deal could get done, quote, "on the back of an envelope." But he said there's no political will. So, who's not doing their job?

CORNYN: Well, let's see his envelope. I haven't seen it. The president's own fiscal commission -- bipartisan fiscal commission made what I thought was a sobering but important report back in the last December called "moment of truth." The president ignored it in his "State of the Union." His own budget grows the debt by trillions of dollars over the next 10 years and all he seems to do is to attack those who are trying to make responsible proposals to solve this problem.

So, the only way this is going to get done is with the president of the United States and fortunately, now, it's been kicked upstairs to the only guy who can make the deal. And that's the president, along with Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

BREAM: Let me ask you -- you're here because, of course, the Senate cut its Fourth of July recess short. There have been some skeptics about whether that's going to make any difference. One of them is your Democratic colleague, Senator Barbara Mikulski. Here's a bit of what she had to say.

She said, just being here to, quote, "huff and puff and hope we can blow the deficit away is posturing." Now, even you have express doubts that this is going to make a difference.

Are you feeling any more optimistic?

CORNYN: Well, the only people who can cut a deal, at least initially, are the president, Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell, our Republican leader in the Senate. But, you know, Shannon, it's got to pass the House of Representatives, and then it has to get at least 60 votes in the Senate. And we're running out of time.

But, this, what we -- what I'm concerned about is the president by not seriously putting a proposal forward but rather just criticizing those who have, we are running up against this deadline. And they're going to try to present it as a fait accompli, nobody is going to have time to read it or consider the implications of it and it's going to say you have to pass it or the economy is going down the tubes. That's just irresponsible.

BREAM: All right. Some on Capitol Hill had said, absolutely, no way they will vote for anything that involves a tax hike. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has said that. House Speaker John Boehner has said that.

You have phrased it a little bit differently. When we talk about tax expenditures, things like loopholes and breaks, you say it would be a fruitful area for discussion.

So, would you consider that a tax hike or raising taxes? How do you define what we're talking about when we're talking about revenue?

CORNYN: Well, I think it's clear that the Republicans are opposed to any tax hikes; particularly, during a fragile economic recovery. The last thing that employers need is further disincentives to not hire people. And that's what hire taxes would mean.

Now, do we believe that tax reform is necessary? I would say absolutely. There's not enough time to get it this done between now and August 2nd. But it ought to be the first thing we turn to, try to make our tax code more rational. We could bring down rates, eliminate the tax, a lot of tax expenditures or loopholes and actually make our nation more competitive internationally.

BREAM: All right. So, just to be clear, talking about closing some of those tax loopholes, making changes to the tax code, you don't consider that raising taxes?

CORNYN: Well, it's not raising rates. I don't mean to be cute about the language. But what I think we ought to do is bring the rates down to make it revenue-neutral.

So, as you eliminate these tax expenditures, if you bring the top rates down, that's revenue neutral. That's not raising taxes.

BREAM: Do you think you will get other rank-and-file Republicans on board with that way of viewing the issue of revenue?

CORNYN: Well, I think so. I mean, I think again, the president's own fiscal commission recognizes that our tax code is riddled with a lot of special interest loopholes and provisions that really don't make any sense anymore. We just had a very important vote about the ethanol subsidy, which we voted overwhelmingly to repeal that. And I think there's now a deal being worked out to phase it out maybe in a more sensible way.

But, yes, this is a fruitful area for us to work on in a bipartisan way.

BREAM: What about def spending? How far would Republicans be willing to go in that arena?

CORNYN: Well, the main reason the federal government exists in my view is protect the national security. And so, when Leon Panetta was confirmed as the defense secretary, I asked him about the Clinton era tax -- excuse me, the spending cuts in defense -- worried, of course, that there would be those who want to cash a peace dividend in a time America is still at war in at least three places. He seemed to say he was sensitive to that.  Print  Email  Share    Recommend Tweet

continued...

< 1 2 3 4 5> adsonar_placementId=1493988; adsonar_pid=1373767; adsonar_ps=-1; adsonar_zw=612; adsonar_zh=240; adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; FNS Transcripts

July 03, 2011

Sen. Cornyn on Debt Talks; Sens. Graham, Lieberman Talk Afghanistan; Gary Sinise on Helping Wounded Warriors

June 26, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann Talks Earmarks, Obamacare and Gay Marriage; Sen. Kyl on Debt Talks ADVERTISEMENT Follow Fox News Sunday

Follow us on Twitter to get exclusive updates and announcements from the show!

Fox News Sunday is on Facebook! Coming Up on FNS: July 3, 2011

President Obama calls out Congressional Republicans for leaving the debt ceiling negotiations.  Now with just a few weeks remaining before a possible default on the US debt, will either political party be able to reach a compromise?  We’ll ask a top Republican leader, Sen. John Cornyn, (R) Texas.

 

Then, the president laid out his plan for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, we'll hear from Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on how the troop withdrawal will affect the situation on the ground.

ADVERTISEMENT Wallace Watch

July 05, 2011

Morning Booking Call

This week our group is looking at a wide variety of topics including the state of the economy, debt reduction talks on Capitol Hill and the 2012 election. We'll

Panel Plus: July 3, 2011Cornyn Hammers President Over Debt DebateOn This Day: July 3, 1890 Connect With FNS FacebookTwitterEmailFree PodcastBlogHulu On This Day

July 03, 2011

On This Day: July 3, 1890

On This day in 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state to join the United States of America. Wyoming joined shortly after,

FNS Poll Take Our Poll(survey software) Home Video Politics U.S. Opinion Entertainment Scitech Health Leisure World Sports Facebook Twitter YouTube RSS Newsletters try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-3128154-2"); pageTracker._setDomainName(".foxnews.com"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {} $.ad.pre(); setPageVideo(); // video //= 0) {query += 'url' + i + '=' + encodeURIComponent(links[i].href) + '&';}}document.write('');})();//]]> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-3128154-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageLoadTime']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

As the default deadline approaches, the political pressure increases.

Republicans and Democrats are talking tough. With just a month ago in the debt ceiling negotiations, is a deal still possible? We'll ask John Cornyn, one of the GOP's Senate leaders.

Also, with the terror attack rocks Afghanistan, should the U.S. rethink its drawdown plan? We'll get an on-the-ground account from two influential Washington voices on foreign policy: Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.

Plus, what do the fundraising numbers tell us about the Republican presidential field. We'll ask our Sunday panel, which candidates are making a move and which ones are stalled.

And on this Fourth of July weekend, actor Gary Sinise tells us how he wants to help our veterans and the wounded warriors.

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

And, hello again, from Fox News in Washington.

As the nation celebrates the Fourth of July holiday weekend, it is getting to be crunch time in the Capitol, in a high-stakes battle over increasing the debt ceiling.

Here to discuss where the negotiations stand is a member of the Senate Republican leadership, John Cornyn.

Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TEXAS: Good morning.

BREAM: All right. On Friday, the Treasury Department reiterated what it had already told us. August 2nd is the date we exhaust our borrowing authority under the current debt ceiling. So, let's recap what the president had to say this week about Capitol Hill, whether they're doing their job -- and a bit of your response as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When they decide they're not happy with the fact that at some point, you got to make a choice, they'd just all step back and say, "Well, you know, the president needs to get this done." They need to do their job.

CORNYN: Instead of going to Philadelphia tonight and raising money, why didn't he call Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid into his office and sit down and do his job?

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

BREAM: Well, at that Philadelphia fundraiser that you mentioned there, the president said this deal could get done, quote, "on the back of an envelope." But he said there's no political will. So, who's not doing their job?

CORNYN: Well, let's see his envelope. I haven't seen it. The president's own fiscal commission -- bipartisan fiscal commission made what I thought was a sobering but important report back in the last December called "moment of truth." The president ignored it in his "State of the Union." His own budget grows the debt by trillions of dollars over the next 10 years and all he seems to do is to attack those who are trying to make responsible proposals to solve this problem.

So, the only way this is going to get done is with the president of the United States and fortunately, now, it's been kicked upstairs to the only guy who can make the deal. And that's the president, along with Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

BREAM: Let me ask you -- you're here because, of course, the Senate cut its Fourth of July recess short. There have been some skeptics about whether that's going to make any difference. One of them is your Democratic colleague, Senator Barbara Mikulski. Here's a bit of what she had to say.

She said, just being here to, quote, "huff and puff and hope we can blow the deficit away is posturing." Now, even you have express doubts that this is going to make a difference.

Are you feeling any more optimistic?

CORNYN: Well, the only people who can cut a deal, at least initially, are the president, Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell, our Republican leader in the Senate. But, you know, Shannon, it's got to pass the House of Representatives, and then it has to get at least 60 votes in the Senate. And we're running out of time.

But, this, what we -- what I'm concerned about is the president by not seriously putting a proposal forward but rather just criticizing those who have, we are running up against this deadline. And they're going to try to present it as a fait accompli, nobody is going to have time to read it or consider the implications of it and it's going to say you have to pass it or the economy is going down the tubes. That's just irresponsible.

BREAM: All right. Some on Capitol Hill had said, absolutely, no way they will vote for anything that involves a tax hike. The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has said that. House Speaker John Boehner has said that.

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