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July 17th, 2011
04:53 AM ET

State of the Union Early Bird for July 17, 2011

(CNN)-It's early, and State of the Union is bringing you the best of the morning headlines to go with your cup of coffee.

On our radar:  Little progress in debt ceiling talks over the weekend.

Check out what we're reading, and watch the show at 9am/12pm ET.

DEBT CEILING

Top lawmakers target ‘grand bargain’ for debt plan

“I didn’t get elected to punt this problem down the road another six months,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). “We are the body, we are the commission to make these tough decisions. ...Guys like me are not coming along. We’re not going along just to get along.”

“I understand what Senator McConnell is trying to do here,” Toomey said. “But at the end of the day, this arrangement is going to authorize the president to issue another $2.5 trillion in debt, and I can’t be part of that.”

Saturday winds down with little progress to report in debt-limit negotiations

"We are keeping the lines of communication open with all parties. Meetings have been occurring, ideas are being exchanged and scenarios are being discussed. But there is nothing to report in terms of progress being made," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel late Saturday afternoon.

G.O.P. Freshmen Say Debt Concerns Them More Than Re-election

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said many freshman Republicans — “to their undying credit” — were not concerned with re-election. “The people who got elected in 2010 are going to go down fighting,” said Mr. Graham, who served eight years in the House before winning a Senate seat in 2002. “They are not going to be persuaded by traditional politics. They could care less about 2012. They want to do what they can on their watch.”

Congressional GOP Leaders Slowly Convincing Newer Members of Importance of Raising Debt Ceiling

2012 POLITICS

Republican candidates spent money to make money

Election Cycle Emerges as the Year of the Pledge, but Some Candidates Resist

Romney Adviser Backs Obama Health Exchanges

Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a top supporter and adviser of Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney, strenuously backed the core piece of President Barack Obama’s health-care law and urged the states to move forward together in adopting health insurance exchanges.

If Rudolph Giuliani runs, it'll be a different campaign

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