Today on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) discussed his upcoming immigration meeting with the president, Hagel's confirmation process and the forced budget cuts. A full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html.
Sen. Graham on White House Meeting, "It doesn't happen every day. Yes, we're going to talk about immigration. But I hope we'll talk about this. Now is the time to grow up. Both parties need to grow up. We need to find a chance to do the big deal. I'll challenge the president. Mr. President, let's do things that will straighten out the long-term indebtedness of the country. Stop talking about between March and October. Talk about the next 30 years. I'll raise revenue. Will you reform entitlements? And both together, we'll set aside sequestration in a way that won't disrupt the economy and hurt the Defense Department."
On forced budget cuts: "Here's what I don't understand. We're the party of fiscal conservatism. Have we put a plan together to cut $85 billion between March and October? No. The House passed a plan to substitute sequestration. The Senate Republicans have it - have yet to offer a plan. ....I challenge any member of Congress to come up with a proposal to cut $85 billion out of the federal budget between March 1st and October 1st."
CNN International's Christiane Amanpour anchors live from Rome all this week – the last week for the papacy of Benedict XVI.
On Monday's program, she spoke with Tom Rosica, assistant spokesperson to the Holy See, about today's announced resignation of the U.K.'s Cardinal Keith O'Brien, amid claims that he made sexual advances towards other priests, and also Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, criticized for his handling the priest sexual abuse crisis. Despite the circulation of a petition to protest his participation in the upcoming Vatican conclave to select a new pope, Father Rosica confirmed during his interview with Amanpour that Cardinal Mahony is now in Rome and expects to participate in the selection process.
In addition to Father Rosica, Amanpour interviewed journalist and former Dominican friar, Mark Dowd, who is openly gay, who describes homosexuality as a "ticking time bomb in the Catholic Church," suggesting that perhaps half of the clergy are homosexual.
And also on Monday's program, Amanpour interviewed veteran Vatican journalist, Marco Politi, of la Repubblica about the factors that may have influenced the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, about clergy practicing their sexuality despite their vows of celibacy, and other challenges facing the new pope.
Amanpour airs weekdays on CNN International at 3:00pmET in North America, and at 9:00pmCET in Europe. The full transcript of this program may be found here.
CNN's chief business correspondent Ali Velshi (@alivelshi) breaks down the Republican Party's balanced budget comments, while CNN's chief national correspondent John King (@johnkingcnn) explains the GOP's leverage position.
CNN's Martin Savidge (@martinsavidge) takes a look at the events of the last year in the Trayvon Martin shooting case.
Personal finance expert and best-selling author Suze Orman wrote an op-ed on CNN.com expressing that the federal government should legalize same-sex marriage and end discrimination against gay couples. Orman states, “the refusal of our federal government to legally recognize same-sex marriages imposes steep financial penalties on same-sex couples,” specifically within the areas of health insurance, social security spousal benefits and federal estate taxes. She talks about her own relationship as an example of the injustices she feels she has faced, and hopes that the Supreme Court will work to end discrimination against gay couples this spring, when they weigh in on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
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