Today on State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), joined Candy to discuss the status of the fiscal cliff negotiations. Sen. Barrasso stated, “We're trying to line up Rubik's cube right now. We're not there yet. So we're going to be meeting later today. This is going to continue and then go on till tomorrow.” And Sen. Stabenow offered, “I'm willing to do more. I have $24 billion sitting on a farm bill in cuts we passed to the House. The House committee passed spending cuts that would stop big subsidies to farmers who shouldn't be receiving them. The House won't take it up. So I'm happy to do more reasonable spending cuts, but not if over and over the middle class gets hit.”
Candy also sat down with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) during our noon hour to discuss the latest with the fiscal cliff negotiations and to respond to Pres. Obama’s comments. Sen. Corker told Candy “I think what's been missing here, Candy, is it appears to me that the president either lacks the courage or the will to lay out those specific things that need to happen. Because I assure you, if he would lay those out, the House would take it up, the Senate would take it up, and we could move this behind us, and we could start this next year with the wind at our back and this fiscal issue behind us, like most of us would like to do.”
Plus, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the farm bill, the cost of ignoring rural America, and how rural America sees the gun debate.
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Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)
“What we're seeing here is a monumental failure of presidential leadership. The president is the only person with a pen who can sign this, and it's the president's responsibility to work on something that the House will pass, the senate will pass and that he will sign. But he is outsourcing this. He continues to campaign and lecture when he ought to be focusing on the number one problem that hurts us as a country, which is our debt. And the problem is a spending problem.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) on reaching a deal to avert to the fiscal cliff:
“I would bet my life that over the next very short period of time, 98 to 99 percent of the people in the country are going to be rescued.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) on reaching a debt deal with the president:
“It appears to me that the president either lacks the courage or the will to lay out those specific things that need to happen. Because I assure you, if he would lay those out, the House would take it up, the Senate would take it up, and we could move this behind us, and we could start this next year with the wind at our back and this fiscal issue behind us, like most of us would like to do.”
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, on the farm bill:
“It is unconscionable that we don't have a farm bill. This is just historic. You have every single major commodity group and farm group in the country united in the message to get this work done if Congress doesn't get it done. You can’t point to a time when Congress has been this reluctant to pass farm legislation.”
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, on rural America:
“We're losing our young people because we're not doing a particularly good job of sending the right proactive message from an economic perspective. And that then translates into a lack of support for programs that are important to rural America.”
Lawmakers discuss status of debt deal negotiations. Sen. Barrasso calls negotiations a "monumental failure of presidential leadership".
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker predicts lawmakers will reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and extend most tax cuts.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says if a new farm bill isn't passed in Congress, milk prices could hit $7 a gallon.
The Secretary also weighs in on how the Obama administration might pass meaningful gun control legislation.
In this online exclusive, find out how the Secretary met his wife, why he once had 10 press secretaries in eight years, and what his favorite unhealthy dessert is (hint: it includes a "butter sauce").