Archive for the ‘VA Congressional Delegation’ Category
It was the kind of decision that brought angst to one side and joy to the other. There isn’t much room in the middle, when it comes to the Affordable Care Act Supreme Court ruling, so it is not a surprise that both sides had a different perspective on what comes next.
Rep. Eric Cantor made it clear this will be the decision that could decide the election.
“President Obama staked his presidency on this legislation,” he said. He then challenged his supporters to get use the ruling to run to the ballot box.
“I think it is very important for folks to engage in this debate,” said Cantor. ”And know that the decision we make in November will have a very personal impact on every American.”
Extended clips from Rep. Cantor can be found below:
Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner couldn’t have had a more different take. Simply described in two words:
Warner said the time for partisan bickering over the health care law has passed. He believes people care more about the economy and debt.
“Even if they don’t like the health care law,” Warner said. ”They want to know how am I going to find a better job, when is this economy going to grow?”
You can see Warner’s full interview below:
Our complete report from TV on NBC12.com.
It may be nothing more than a speed bump on his way to 7th term in Congress and the further consolidation of his power as the House Majority Leader in Washington, D.C. Regardless for the first time in his career, Rep. Eric Cantor has a primary challenge.
It isn’t a serious challenge. His opponent, Floyd Bayne, has run against him before. He picked up 6% of the vote as an independent, essentially Tea Party candidate in 2010. Bayne doesn’t have much money and there is no polling data to suggest that he could pull off the impossible on June 12th. But on that day, in an election that could see less 5% of registered voters showing up, Bayne hopes anything is possible.
Here is my story on Cantor’s primary challenge from NBC12:
It may seem early, but a group of candidates are in a sprint to Election Day. It’s not the November election, but the June primary that will decide who is on the ballot. It usually brings out a very low turnout, but this year, there are some big names on the ballot including one of the most powerful politicians in America.
In two weeks House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will be on the ballot hoping to secure his party’s nomination, in a GOP primary.
“I think everyone should be taking elections seriously,” said Cantor during a visit to the Libbie Market in Richmond on Tuesday. “This is our God given gift as citizens of America.”
Cantor doesn’t seem worried about June 12th or Floyd Bayne who hopes to de-rail his march to another term.
The difference in their two campaigns is stark. Cantor, the second most powerful member of the House of Representatives brought national TV crews to Richmond. Tuesday evening, Bayne spoke to a small group of Tea Party activists in Henrico.
“We’ve gone to every meeting, Tea Party, Republican Party that will have me, and you just gotta get people out to vote,” Bayne said.
Bayne isn’t drawing big crowds but he might not need them. In 2008, less than 5% of registered voters came to the polls in congressional primaries.
“You just get out there and knock on doors and get boots on the ground,” Bayne said.
Cantor may not be worried, but he isn’t ignoring Bayne. He sent his supporters a letter reminding them to vote on the 12th and signs with a similar reminder have popped up around Richmond.
read and see the story on NBC12.com
Bayne talked to us extensively about his primary challenge. Extended clips from the interview are below:
Rep. Cantor also talked about his work to help small business and his view of the primary. That interview can be found below:
Rising republican star and Tea Party favorite, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) will be in Richmond this week to headline a fundraiser for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico). Cantor is the House Majority Leader.
The “Cantor Campaign Breakfast” will take place Friday morning at the Richmond Convention Center.
Rubio is a darling of the conservative right and beat back former Gov. Charlie Crist in a contentious republican primary before easily being elected to the Senate in 2010. Interestingly, he is considered on the shortlist to be asked to run for vice president with the eventual GOP, in part, because of his popularity in a vital swing state.
Of course along with Rubio on that short list for VP is Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R).
Details on the event can be found below:
WHAT: Eric Cantor Campaign Breakfast with special guest Senator Marco Rubio
WHEN: Friday, March 2nd at 8:00 AM ET
Where: The Greater Richmond Convention CenterExhibit Hall B
Fifth and Marshall Streets
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), who is usually the first person in line to support a bi-partisan measure, has broke ranks and will not support the deal hammered out by House Republicans and Senate Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut. Warner has been pleading for unity on tackling the debt and deficit crisis, but believes this deal will make the problem worse.
It appears that there is enough momentum to pass the measure, but losing the vote of a moderate like Warner speaks volumes about the potential problems with the bill.
Warner’s remarks from the Senate floor can be seen below:
Warner gave five specific reasons for not supporting the measure:
1- The tax cut is not “paid for”, meaning the lost revenue is not made up in other areas, either by different tax increases or spending cuts in other sectors. This was the main complaint by House Republicans, who later conceded because they did not want the issue to become a political football in the fall election.
2- By setting this precedent, of extending tax cuts that are designed to expire, it will make the work of coming up with a solution for the Bush Tax cut expiration even harder. Democrats have long tried to phase out the Bush tax cuts to no avail. Warner warns that this will extend and already lingering fight.
3- The proposal doesn’t offer provisions to raise taxes on the rich (a deal breaker for republicans) or even a means testing provision that would allow the cut to expire for high earners. Warner said he was up to a discussion on just how high those earners have to be, but regardless it was not part of the proposal.
4- There is no mechanism to ratchet the holiday back as the economy improves. He fears there will be a ”cliff” effect when then the tax holiday ends making it even harder for people who have grown accustom to the extra money in their paycheck.
5- Warner believes the plan it unfairly impact federal workers, of which there are many in Virginia.
The full transcript is after the jump:
The Obama campaign is gearing up in Virginia, enlisting a legion of elected officials to be prepared to defend the president from all attacks, wherever they may come. Today they launched the “Truth Team”. The group will be farmed out to local reporters to counter claims made by the GOP and their candidates for president. Monday was a good day to start given the release of the president’s 2012 budget, which was roundly critized by his opponents.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax) will be one of the leaders of the Virginia Truth Team. I interviewed him today about the campaign and the president’s budget.
Congressman Eric Cantor isn’t expecting much from tonight’s State of the Union. In an interview Tuesday prior to the speech, Cantor made it clear that the Obama agenda has been unsuccessful and it is time for him to change course.
“It’s the president and Harry Reid who don’t necessarily share our view that have to change things,” he said. ”They want to keep going like we’ve always done.”
Cantor employed the use of one word numerous times in our interview and in various other interviews prior to the speech: “bold”. The Henrico Congressman believes that best describes the difference between the House Republican agenda and the White House.
“We believe that we have some bold ideas for growth and for removing the onerous sort of red tape that strangles small business people,” he said. “We believe we have bold ideas to get the fiscal situation straight here in Washington, so we can see economic growth.”
Cantor is open to compromise on things like the tax code and reducing regulatory burdens on small business owners. But he made it clear, its time for the president to come to them.
“We should try to and deliever on some results for the American people and not just be about the election.”
Here is an extended clip from our interview:
Speaking of the presidential election, despite some reports, Cantor told me that he has not considered endorsing yet in the republican primary. But he did outline some of the characteristics he is looking for in a candidate.
“There are and there is a need for bold ideas right now,” he said. “People want to believe in America again.”
While Cantor did not even open the door to putting his support behind one specific candidate, he was not afraid to say (not surprisngly) that it is time for President Obama to go.
“It’s time I think, for America to try something new,” he said. “And that is what this election is about.”
An clip from his answer on the presidential election is below:
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is in a unique position in Washington. He is among a small group of elected officials who does not need to campaign this fall. President Barack Obama, 1/3 of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives will face voters once again in November.
Perhaps that is one of the many reasons that Warner isn’t easily led into squabbles over campaigns and slogans. No matter what you ask him, he brings the conversation back to the one thing that concerns him the most, the debt crisis and country’s increasing deficit.
“Until, and unless we can make that grand bargain around the major issues (debt, deficit, entitlement reform)” said Warner. “I’m not sure that we are going to get to a lot of the other issues because until you get your balance sheet in order, how do you take on anything else?”
Warner who, normally speaks in reserved tones and is not prone to exaggeration, gets a bit of fire under him when talking about the debt crisis. The centrist democrat has said in the past that the problem forces him to lose sleep. On Tuesday he told me that if the Federal Government can’t fix the problem, every single elected leader should lose their jobs.
“If we don’t make progress, and I say this for me and everyone else up here, if we don’t make progress, on being able to get our deficit under control, to be able to take on the big issues surrounding entitlement reform and tax reform and get our nation’s balance sheet right, then we should all be fired,” he said.
The former Virginia governor who prided himself on finding areas of compromise between both parties said the fact that this in an election year is no excuse. He said a continued lack of progress will speak to a bigger problem.
“I unfortunately think this deficit issue ends up being almost a proxy to whether or not congress can operate in the 21st century.”
An extended clip from my conversation with Senator Warner can be found below.
Also tonight at the State of the Union, Senator Warner invited Reverend Curtis Harris, 87, a legendary civil rights figure in Virginia and the first African-American mayor of Hopewell, was Sen. Warner’s invited guest for President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress.
Senator Warner visited with Reverend Harris prior to the president’s speech.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Henrico) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) are making the most of Congress being out of session. The two are both in the midst of lengthy trips overseas. Cantor is touring the Middle East, while Warner is spending his time in India.
Today the press offices from both lawmakers gave us an idea of what their bosses were up to.
In Qatar, Cantor made a trip to VCU’s branch campus in the Arab country. The VCU facility was the first of a series of American collegiate branch campuses to make a home in Qatar’s “Education City.” Cantor toured the facility and met with Dean Allyson Vanstone.
Cantor also visited with the men and women serving in Qatar at the Al Udeid Air Force Base. You can read more about Rep. Cantor’s trip on his legislative blog. You can see more pictures of his visit here.
Meanhile on the other side of Asia, Sen. Mark Warner was involved in a unique event. He and a group of Senators toured an NBA camp in New Deli, India designed to encourge Indian young people to get active and fit. Warner who is well over 6 feet tall, even participated in a jump ball with a former NBA star. Of course that star was the shortest player in the history of the NBA. 5′ 3″ Muggsy Bogues.
You can see more photos from Senator Warner’s trip here.
This time the showdown is over a payroll tax cut, that if a deal is not made, could lead to a 2% cut in the average American’s take home pay. Just like in the battle over the debt ceiling republicans in the House and President Obama have backed into corners with two dramatically different plans. The president wants to trade the payroll tax, which would predominately impact the middle class, for a tax hike on the rich. It is something he has attempted to do on several different occasions.
The GOP has consistently rejected any plan to increase taxes. Their counter proposal includes cuts to benefits and a process to open the door to approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
It seems once again, the the two sides are as far apart as they have ever been. In fact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the republican plan a “waste of time”.
Despite the bleak prognosis, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R- Henrico) is confident a deal will get done.
“We are going to see are way forward and resolve our differences,” Cantor said. “So that we can afford those with a job out their working hard some relief.”
Cantor seems confident, but areas of common ground appear few and far between. And with the holidays approaching, the December 31st deadline is looming large.
Video of Cantor’s remarks can be found below:
Senator Mark Warner chose to get out of Washington this week. The Congress is in recess, but the now infamous, “Super Committee” had yet to unveil its plans. Senator Warner wasn’t interested in hanging around to hear the outcome, especially because most everyone knew it wasn’t going to be good. We caught up with him at VCU a few hours before they announced they weren’t able to reach a deal.
Here is our report from NBC12:
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Now that the super committee has failed, frustrated members of Congress are concerned about what happens next. One of them is Senator Mark Warner, who told us today if you think it looks bad now…it may only get worse.
After nearly three months of squabbling behind closed doors, the 12 members of the bi-partisan super committee seem unable to come up with a plan that fixes the country’s debt problem. Virginia Senator Mark Warner believes it is because they are focused on the wrong things.
“If either political party thinks they are going to have a partisan only win, then they are not talking to the same kind of Virginians and Americans that I am,” said Warner.
Warner spent a good deal of time with his “Gang of 6″ creating a bi-partisan plan before the super committee was established. Their ideas were tossed aside before they even finished. Now everyone is back where they started, with many under the impression the 2012 elections will offer new opportunities, Warner believes that won’t work.
“None of this gets any easier after 2012,” he said.
The hold-up continues to be over taxes. Democrats want more, republicans don’t want any. Even though Warner is willing open to compromise, he can’t envision a plan that works, without some new taxes.
read and see the rest of the story on NBC12.com
Congressman Eric Cantor will be in Richmond tomorrow. We will get his take on the deficit reduction debate then.
Meanwhile, here is the full extended clip of Senator Warner’s press gaggle today. You can truly hear the frustration in his voice.
Here are some of his better quotes:
“If either political party thinks they are going to have a partisan only win.. then they are talking to the same kind of Virginians and Americans that I am.”
“The fact that there isn’t a greater sense of urgency in this country not only from the political leadership, but the business community to kind of just say ‘oh well, its just congress,’ that is stunning to me.”
“I guess I’ve been a politician longer than I’ve been a business guy and the whole business that punting on it is an appropriate action just kind of makes my head explode.”
“I’ve been very frustrated with some of the actions of the republican leadership, but on the other hand I’m sure they’ve been frustrated with some of the actions on the democratic side.”
“They report that there are 9% of Americans that still support Congress, I can’t find anyone in that 9%, I’m sure as heck not in that 9%.”
”We have to do our job and restore confidence or as I’ve said I think the American people would be absolutley right in firing us all.”