Entries in john mccain (75)


Senator Schumer Hopes to See Deal on Immigration ‘By the End of the Week’

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senator Chuck Schumer, speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, announced that he is hoping to see a bipartisan deal on immigration by the end of the week, though other senators are less optimistic.

“There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal because everybody didn't get what they wanted,” said Senator John McCain, also appearing on Face the Nation. “There are entrenched positions on both sides of this issue are far as business and labor.”

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any progress, though. Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that the GOP has been able to unite itself on at least one front of the debate.

“Every corner of the republican party from libertarians to the RNC, house Republicans and the rank-and-file Republican party member is now understanding there has to be an earned pathway to citizenship,” the senator said.

The bipartisan deal hopes to create an immigration bill that will secure the border and allow for eventual citizenship to an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

“I am hopeful that we get a good vote on both sides of the aisle,” Schumer said. “We don't want this bill to be fifty-three Democrats and just a handful of Republicans because we need broad bipartisan support particularly to get a bill done in the house.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ted Cruz: ‘Count Me a Proud Wacko Bird’

Douglas Graham/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he’s willing to embrace the “wacko bird” label given to him by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., if it means he is defending the Constitution.

“If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then count me a proud wacko bird,” Cruz said as he delivered the keynote address Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.

In an interview with the Huffington Post earlier this month, McCain singled out Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., as “wacko birds” when asked whether he felt they are a “positive force” within the Republican Party.

“They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else,” McCain said. “But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.

“I think it can be harmful if there is a belief among the American people that those people are reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans. They’re not,” he said.  McCain apologized for the remark Friday in an interview with Fox News.

As he closed out the three-day conservative convention, Cruz took pride in joining Paul’s 13-hour filibuster over the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA, and without naming names, he criticized the senators who refrained from participating in the filibuster.

“There were more than a few senators who were not there with us that have had their manhood cheapened as a result,” Cruz said.

The filibuster marked Cruz’s first time speaking on the floor of the Senate, a moment to which Cruz said, “to my grave, I will owe Rand Paul a debt of gratitude.”

Even though the Republican Party experienced a loss in the presidential election last November, Cruz argued that it’s the conservative movement that’s heading towards success.

“For the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning, and we’re winning because of you,” Cruz said.

Cruz, who is in his first term as a senator, tied for seventh place in the CPAC straw poll with Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, at 4 percent. Paul narrowly won the straw poll. Cruz’s keynote address occurred after straw poll balloting concluded.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sens. McCain, Graham: Obama Committed to Immigration Reform

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican senators struck an optimistic tone on Tuesday following a meeting with President Obama, expressing confidence he's committed to passing a comprehensive immigration reform.

The president sat down with John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), two of the four GOP senators who are part of a Senate working group drafting a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

"We had an excellent meeting with the president and the vice president this afternoon during which we discussed a variety of issues, including our effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year," the senators said in a joint statement.  "We were pleased to hear the president state his firm commitment that he will do whatever is necessary to accomplish this important goal."

The Senate group released a list of immigration principles late last month and is aiming to complete comprehensive immigration reform legislation by March.

But some Republicans were rankled when an immigration bill being drafted by the White House leaked just over a week ago.  

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a member of the bipartisan Senate group, called the Obama bill "dead on arrival" since it lacked certain language contained in the Senate plan.  One of the main sticking points was that it was missing a provision that would require federal immigration authorities to meet a "trigger" for border security before a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants could go forward.

And others in the GOP have voiced skepticism about Obama's sincerity about dealing across the aisle on immigration reform.

"I don't believe President Obama wants an immigration bill to pass, instead I think he wants a political issue," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is not a member of the working group, said last week.  "His objective is to push so much on the table that he forces Republicans walk away from the table because then he wants to use that issue in 2014 and 2016 as a divisive wedge issue."

Obama last week reassured that his plan is only a backup in case talks in Congress stall, saying that he fully supports the negotiations among lawmakers.  He later phoned Republican members of the Senate group to smooth over any tensions.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Sens. McCain, Graham to Meet with Obama on Immigration

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Tuesday will meet with the two top Republicans who are leading the Senate effort to draft comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Obama will sit down at the White House Tuesday afternoon with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a White House official confirmed.

The meeting comes one week after the president reached out via phone to Republican members of the “Gang of Eight,” a group of bipartisan senators who unveiled a framework for legislative immigration reform last month.

The group’s two other Republican members, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona, will not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Overhauling the nation’s immigration system is a top priority for the president in his second term.

Earlier this month, Obama met with the Democratic members of the “Gang of Eight” to discuss progress made on passing immigration reform legislation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Senate Immigration Proposal to Include Pathway to Citizenship

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two senators at the center of negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said on Sunday that a pathway to citizenship is an essential component of a comprehensive reform bill.

“That has to be also part of it,” McCain told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week” when asked whether a pathway to citizenship would be a component of reform. “There’s a new appreciation on both sides of the aisle including, maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle, that we have to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”

McCain said that a small group of Senators will release the principles of a comprehensive, not “piecemeal,” reform bill this week.

“I’m very pleased with the progress,” McCain said. “It’s not that much different from what we tried to do in 2007.”

Menendez, who met with President Obama on Friday along with other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus leadership, said that the president expressed his full commitment to reform.

“The president made it very clear in that discussion that this was a top legislative priority for him in this session of the Congress and that he expects to work with all of us in an effort to achieve that goal and he’s fully committed to it.”

He added that a pathway to “earned legalization” is an “essential element” of an immigration reform bill.

“First, Americans support it in poll after poll. Secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it,” Menendez said.

McCain added that he believes Obama’s use of the presidential podium on behalf of immigration reform at an event in Las Vegas planned for Tuesday will aid efforts to pass a bill.

“I think it helps,” McCain said. “I think it’s important that we all work together on this.”

“Believe it or not, I see a glimmer of bipartisanship out there,” he added.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


John McCain Meets with Defense Chief Nominee Chuck Hagel

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- If Arizona Sen. John McCain changed his mind about Chuck Hagel's nomination to become the next defense secretary, he wasn't about to share his feelings after meeting with the former Nebraska senator on Tuesday.

McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been outspoken about his reservations concerning Hagel, saying previously he questioned Hagel's overall view of the U.S. and the world.

The Hagel nomination has become problematic for the Obama administration since Republicans and some Democrats have criticized Hagel's prior stances on Israel, Iran and gays.

While hearings start next week, McCain took time to personally meet with Hagel on Tuesday, telling reporters, "We had a very frank and candid conversation.  I’ll be looking forward to the hearing and asking questions...He should be given the opportunity of a hearing before any of us make a judgment."

McCain hasn't said how he'll vote and he wouldn't say if his private chat with Hagel had made a difference.

In the meantime, Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin acknowledged that it's "way too early to know" whether his panel will approve Hagel's nomination to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Republicans Express Skepticism Following Obama's Address

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Given the statements made about President Obama's second inaugural address, it appears that he won't have an easy go of it with GOP lawmakers this term either.

Some prominent Republicans lawmakers criticized Obama’s inaugural address on Monday, saying he failed to reach out to their party.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said afterwards, "This is the eighth [inauguration] that I've been to and always there's been a portion of the speech where [the president says] 'I reach out my hand because we need to work together.’  That wasn't in this speech."

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, remarked that Obama "wasn't doing the kind of outreach that he needs to do if he wants to get things accomplished in a second term."

Meanwhile, Maine Sen. Susan Collins gave the speech a mixed review, saying it sounded partisan on one hand but that she'll give the president the benefit of the doubt that he'll at least try to meet Republicans half-way.

However, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an outspoken critic of the president during his first term, sounded genuinely surprised in a good way about the address.

While he heard a few things conservatives will outright reject, Gingrich added, "95 percent of the speech, I thought, was classically American, you know, emphasizing hard work and emphasizing self-reliance, emphasizing doing things together."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Susan Rice to Meet with Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Including John McCain

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will be on Capitol Hill this week to meet with individual members of Congress to discuss the Benghazi attacks, aides on Capitol Hill confirm. She will come face-to-face with many senators who have opposed her possible nomination to be the next secretary of state.

She is scheduled for a Tuesday morning meeting with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who, though he has backed off recently, has been perhaps most vocal in saying he would oppose Rice if nominated by President Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton.

McCain had said in the past he’d be willing to filibuster Rice’s nomination and do “whatever is necessary to block the nomination” of Rice if it came to that because of how she handled the aftermath of the Libya attack.  This weekend McCain notably backed off on his threat, saying he’d “give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took.”

Rice will also meet with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who has also been critical of the administration’s handling of the immediate fallout the Benghazi attack.

Aides on Capitol Hill say that Rice is expected to meet with many other members of Congress this week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John McCain Surprised by DNI Benghazi Talking Points Admission

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain, one of the loudest critics of the White House reaction to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, admitted on Tuesday that he was surprised that the Director of National Intelligence admitted to removing references to al Qaeda in the talking points memo that followed the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice has been on the hot seat since she read from the talking points, which initially blamed a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Islam movie -- a claim that was later recanted by the Obama administration.

McCain said this new revelation from the DNI does not match up with what he and other lawmakers heard from intelligence officials during Senate hearings investigating the consulate attack.

The Arizona Republican said on Tuesday that during those hearings, when witnesses were asked who removed the references to al Qaeda, "all of them -- including the Director of National Intelligence himself -- told us that they did not know who made the changes.  Now we have to read the answers to our questions in the media."

McCain went on to say that "this latest episode is another reason why many of us are so frustrated with, and suspicious of, the actions of this administration when it comes to the Benghazi attack."

Rice could be the first casualty from the fallout since McCain and other Republicans have vowed to block her confirmation if President Obama nominates her to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


McCain Wants Susan Rice to Admit to Being Wrong About Benghazi

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON0 -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would like for Susan Rice to admit that she gave out “wrong information” days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, that killed four Americans.

“Maybe she could start out by publicly coming back on this show and saying, I was wrong, I gave the wrong information on your show some several weeks ago,” said McCain on CBS’ Face the Nation.

Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is seen by many as the favorite to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State but faces stiff opposition from several Republican senators, and McCain has been perhaps the most vocal of them.

Critics of the White House response say that the administration was too quick to dismiss the attacks as a reaction to a video insulting to the Prophet Mohammed, when in fact the attacks were later confirmed to be the result of a terror plot.

Democratic senators defending Rice point out that she received talking points that were signed off by all members of the Intelligence Committee that did not make any reference to terrorism at all.

“But it wasn’t her fault,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who defended Rice Sunday on Face the Nation.  “And to say that she has to be held accountable because an intelligence agency didn’t tell the whole story initially for reasons of national security is totally unfair.”

Attacks on Rice’s performance earlier last week prompted President Obama to lash out and tell her critics to attack him instead.

McCain on Sunday said he did not want the president mad at him, but just wanted to find out what happened in the attack.

“I wish the president wouldn’t get mad at me,” he said.  “I wish he would spend our time together in finding out what happened, what caused it, and what we need -- four brave Americans died.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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