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December 31st, 2012
06:40 PM ET

Sen. Rand Paul says fiscal cliff bill: "...will pass with bipartisan support in the Senate"

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spoke with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) about how he plans to vote on the fiscal cliff measure. Sen. Paul said, “I'm a likely no, because there's a lot of new spending in it also. There's going to be tax increases. Which I think are bad for the economy.” A highlight from the interview is after the jump; for a full transcript of the program visit http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2012.12.31.html.

Please Credit – CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Highlight from Interview
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FULL POST

December 31st, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Sen. McCain predicts, "A whole new field of battle when the debt ceiling rolls around."

Today on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham joined Blitzer from Capitol Hill to discuss the latest with the fiscal cliff negotiations. A highlight from the interview is after the jump and for a full transcript of the program please visit http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/2012.12.31.html.

Please Credit – CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Highlight from Interview
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. FULL POST

December 31st, 2012
10:41 AM ET

Sen. Isakson (R-GA): "It's my best belief that they've reached an agreement on revenues"

Just before the Senate convenes at 11am ET today to work on a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) tells Starting Point that he believes that a bipartisan agreement on revenue has been reached, but it’s now a question of whether the money will go to more spending or deficit reduction.

Sen. Isakson says, “First of all, I’m not sure we have the inside information, but I do believe the revenue issue is no longer a question. The question is making sure any new revenues go to debt spending reduction and deficit relief rather than new spending. It's deficits that got us into this problem. It's only reducing deficits that get us out of this problem.”

When CNN’s Ali Velshi asks him to clarify if a revenue deal has been accepted, Sen. Isakson responds, “No, that's not my best information, but it's my best belief that they've reached an agreement on revenues. What that level is, I don't know, but the question now is where those revenues go. If they go to new spending, we're going to have a problem making a deal because spending has been our problem. But if they go towards deficit reduction, which ultimately will be debt relief, that will be a good thing, and we probably will have a deal.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Starting Point
December 31st, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Rep. Burgess won't vote for elimination of tax cut for those making over $450K

In the final hours before the fiscal cliff deadline, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) says that he is not willing to “punish success” and vote for a bill that would only expire Bush era tax cuts for households earning over $450,000 per year.

Rep. Burgess says, “If that was all that was involved, no, the answer is, no, I probably wouldn't.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


Topics: Christine Romans • CNN • CNN Politics • Starting Point
December 30th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

Agriculture Secy on gun control: This could be a unifying conversation and Lord knows we need to be unified.

CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley  featured an interview with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Crowley spoke with Secretary Vilsack about guns in rural America, the potential for price increases on dairy products and more. A highlight from the interview is below and the full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sotu.html.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN's State of the Union” FULL POST

December 30th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Sen. Barrasso on CNN: We're trying to line up Rubik's cube right now. We're not there yet.

Today on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley at 9 a.m. ET, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), joined Crowley 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.” A full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sotu.html.

December 30th, 2012
02:20 PM ET

Sen. Corker: The president either lacks the courage or the will...

Today on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley at noon ET, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) sat down with Crowley to discuss the latest with the fiscal cliff negotiations and to respond to Pres. Obama’s comments. A highlight is below and a full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sotu.html

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union” FULL POST

December 28th, 2012
10:19 AM ET

Woman arrested by FBI after AC360 report on Newtown charity fraud

In sickening acts of exploitation, scam artists use tragedy as an opportunity to profit. The school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut was no exception. Last week CNN confronted a woman who was allegedly using the name of a young victim to solicit donations. Today she was arrested by the FBI on charges of lying to federal agents investigating fraudulent fundraising.

When our producer, David Fitzpatrick, went to the Bronx home of Nouel Alba, 37, she denied any connection to an email asking for money for the funeral of 6-year-old Noah Pozner. Fitzpatrick told her that the Pozner family was alarmed to learn a stranger was collecting funds just days after Noah’s death.

Alba wouldn’t come on camera, but allowed us to record her voice. She admitted it was her email address, but she told CNN a PayPal account where donations were sent does not belong to her. “I never sent this email out. I don’t have a reason to send any email out,” Alba said. Her explanation at the time was that enemies in the online crafting community were responsible.

“It is unconscionable to think that the families of the victims in Newtown, and a sympathetic community looking to provide them some sort of financial support and comfort, have become the targets of criminals,” stated Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI.

If Alba is convicted, she could be fined up to $250,000 with a maximum sentence of five years.


Topics: AC360 • CNN
December 28th, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Sen. Snowe: Modify legislation to expire tax cuts on incomes over $400,000

Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME) highlights importance of avoiding fiscal cliff and says that the failure to reach a deal is based on “stubbornness.”

Sen. Snowe says, “It’s going to begin in the Senate, in my estimation, to address [the fiscal cliff] and to modify maybe that legislation to go to the $400,000 the president suggested.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Starting Point
December 28th, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Sen. Stabenow on fiscal cliff: "We're really stuck;" blames "extreme" House Republicans

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) stresses high stakes of going over the fiscal cliff and points fingers at House Republicans.

Sen. Stabenow says, “The tough part is in the House where they have taken this very extreme position about protecting the wealthiest Americans at all costs, even holding middle class families hostage to do it. And that really isn't rhetoric. That’s what we're seeing it over and over again.”

She continues, “I absolutely believe if it were up to the Senate Democrats and Republicans, we would get this done. I think the problem is, unfortunately, with the extreme elements in the House, and for whatever reason the speaker won't act…. Even on something like a farm bill that we sent back in June that has $24 billion in cuts to eliminate subsidies that everybody agrees ought to be eliminated, we can't even get them to take that up.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Starting Point
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