Entries in Jon Kyl (9)


Sen. Jon Kyl: US Embassy Response Like Blaming Rape Victim

Allison Shelley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., suggested on Wednesday that President Obama’s response to the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya was akin to a court asking a rape victim for an apology.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, the 70-year old, retiring senator said:

“It’s like the judge telling the woman who got raped, ‘You asked for it because of the way you dressed.’  OK?  That’s the same thing.  ‘Well, America, you should be the ones to apologize, you should have known this would happen, you should have done -- what I don’t know -- but it’s your fault that it happened.’  You know, for a member of our State Department to put out a statement like that, it had to be cleared by somebody.  They don’t just do that in the spur of the moment.”

Kyl likely referred to criticism by U.S. diplomats in Egypt of a U.S.-produced film that reportedly features a negative depiction of Islam’s prophet, Muhammed.  The film was cited later during the attack on the U.S. embassy in Egypt.

“It came from people on the ground, who are potentially in danger,” Obama told 60 Minutes.  “You know, my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.”

Mitt Romney was the first to attack the president, releasing a statement Tuesday night that claimed the White House’s initial reaction was “disgraceful” and said the administration was inclined to “sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Romney kept up his attack Wednesday morning at a news conference in Jacksonville, Fla.

“I think it’s a terrible course for America to stand an apology for our values,” he said.  “An apology for America’s values is never the right course.”

Kyl, however, would apologize for -- or seek to clarify -- his remarks Wednesday evening, with a spokesman contending “the comments were meant to demonstrate that innocent victims of violence need never apologize to those committing the heinous acts of violence.”

Sen. John McCain, the other Republican senator from Arizona, had a notably different take than Romney, telling ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he thought Obama’s response to the Libya attack was “fine.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Weekly Address: Kyl Accuses Obama of Increasing Gov. Spending

House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) delivered the Republican address Friday, urging Congress to reduce government spending in reaching a deal on the debt ceiling.

“We start from the understanding that the reason the debt ceiling is a problem is because of runaway Washington spending.  So, Republicans have been united in the belief that raising the debt ceiling without making significant spending reductions would be irresponsible," Kyl says.

Kyl described Europe as a omen of the U.S.'s debt risk.

“With debt crises rolling across Europe, we know it is only a matter of time before people start to question whether America can sustain its huge and growing debt. If we don’t do something about our spending problem now, the scenes we’ve seen playing out all across Europe could happen in America."

Kyl also accused Obama and the Democratic leadership of trying to raise taxes and increase government spending.

“The simple fact is, in order to afford the kind of government this President wants, taxes would have to be increased dramatically – and for middle income Americans, not just on the wealthy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jacob Lew and Jon Kyl: Differences Over Taxes, Spending Still Hold Back Budget Talks

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While budget negotiations continue to try to reach an agreement before the Aug. 2 deadline, differences over taxes and spending continue to hold back progress on a final deal.

But White House budget director Jacob Lew says he believes an agreement will be reached before the country is at risk of defaulting on its debt obligations.

"I do not believe that responsible leaders in Washington will force this to default," Lew told "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour. "I think that all the leaders of Congress and the president have acknowledged that we must raise the debt limit, and the question is how."

"I think that what we face now is not a challenge of do we have time. It's a question of do we have the will," Lew added. "The president has shown through his leadership that we must take action, we must take it now."

Lew said there are still "multiple tracks" being debated, including efforts by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on a fallback agreement to give President Obama authority to raise the debt ceiling without enacting major spending cuts.

"The minimum is I believe that the debt will be extended," Lew said. "I think notwithstanding the voices of a few who are willing to play with Armageddon, responsible leaders in Washington are not."

"I think the question is do we do more than that," Lew added. "Do we also do as much as we can to reduce the deficit and provide some assurance that we're taking seriously the fiscal problems this country faces?"

The White House budget director said that to reach a larger agreement, raising taxes on the wealthy has to be a component.

"In order to get the kinds of structural reforms that will be needed in the long run, there has to be a balanced package that taxes -- revenues -- as well as spending on the table," Lew said. "It's not fair to ask senior citizens to pay a price, to ask families paying for their college educations for their children to pay a price, but to leave the most privileged out of the bargain."

But Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) maintained the Republican position that raising taxes should not be part of the final deal, and that spending remains the larger problem.

"Unless the president gets off his absolute obsession with raising taxes, Republicans are not going to agree to do anything that will harm our economy," Kyl told Amanpour. "And job killing taxes will harm our economy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Senate Democrats Blast GOP for Dropping Out of Debt Talks

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Democrats blasted Republicans Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl for the breakup of the Biden-led debt talks Thursday, and predicted that the negotiations would now fall into the hands of the leadership instead.

“I think it's now -- with what Kyl and Cantor's done, I think it's in the hands of the speaker and the president and sadly, probably, me,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, adding that the August recess is no longer a sure thing.

“I'm terribly disappointed,” McConnell added of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., dropping out of the debt talking Thursday morning. “It appears they're giving up. We can't give up.”

McConnell said that it appears as if the time for side groups is over, and that the leadership must now take control and work out a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit before the Obama administration’s Aug. 2 deadline for action. McConnell said though he has yet to be invited to any formal meetings yet.

“My honest feeling is that I think that we're beyond gangs of five and gangs of sixes,” he said, adding though that some progress was made before the talks collapsed. “The Republicans should stop playing chicken and pushing us too close to that line. It's not going to be good for our country or the world.”

Senator Schumer, D-N.Y., said this was “not an adult moment” for the Republicans to walk away from the table.

“I think the Republicans are quietly coming to the realization that it will take Democratic votes to pass any debt ceiling agreement,” Schumer said, “So Leader Cantor clearly got spooked by how this final deal has to come together.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debt Talks: Kyl Drops Out, No Republicans Left at the Table -- Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, (R-Ariz.), will also drop out of the debt talks, a source within his office confirmed Thursday.

After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) dropped out of the talks earlier in the day, Sen. Kyl was the lone Republican in the group left. And with his withdrawal, the group does not have a Republican negotiator left in the room.

A senior Democratic aide tells ABC News, “Cantor and Kyl just threw Boehner and McConnell under the bus. This move is an admission that there will be a need for revenues and Cantor and Kyl don't want to be the ones to make that deal.”

The group was set to meet for the eleventh time Thursday afternoon with Vice President Biden, their third meeting of the week.

The group started as six -- but is now down to four members from Congress.  The remaining members are Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Wants Answers from Obama on Debt Reduction Plan

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Despite all the news this week about the death of Osama bin Laden, the other business of the nation goes on.  And two GOP leaders aren't about to let President Obama off the hook regarding what he plans to do to reduce the federal deficit.

While Senate Majority Whip Jon Kyl and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor are due to meet Thursday with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss fiscal matters, they say nothing will be solved until the administration get serious about cutting spending.

In a letter to Biden, Kyl and Cantor wrote that Obama has to come up with a deficit reduction plan if he wants Congress to raise the debt ceiling, which will allow the Treasury to pay the nation's bills.  The current limit of $14.3 trillion has been reached. 

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said earlier this week that he would extend the deadline for a decision from mid-May to the beginning of August to allow lawmakers to get a deal done.

Nonetheless, Kyl and Cantor argued that "Any increase in the statutory debt limit must be accompanied by meaningful and immediate spending reductions and binding budgetary reforms."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Deficit Reduction Talks: McConnell Names Kyl, Boehner Taps Cantor

Office of Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday named Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, to represent the caucus in the bipartisan deficit reduction talks to be led by Vice President Biden. 

“Sen. Kyl is a key member of our leadership team and a senior member of the Finance Committee. He understands both the urgency of the debt crisis and the need for a significant effort to reduce that debt before any successful vote on the debt ceiling increase,” McConnell said in a statement. “There is bipartisan opposition in the Senate to raising the debt ceiling unless we do something significant about the debt, and I was encouraged to see the President acknowledge that in an interview Friday.”

“With the President’s acknowledgement, and with the S&P warning of the consequences of inaction, it is my hope that there will be a new urgency from the White House and our friends across the aisle to finding solutions to what we all know must be done. A serious and credible path forward to reduce spending is the only thing, in my judgment, that will get Republican votes in the Senate to raise the debt ceiling. Partisan speeches and promises of some future cuts after the President leaves office simply won’t suffice.”

Also on Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner announced that he has appointed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to the new commission on deficit spending.

On Saturday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed the top Democrat on the House Budget committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and the third-ranking House Democrat, James Clyburn, to the panel.

Biden will host a meeting on the issue on May 5 at the Blair House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen. Jon Kyl: Obama Needs to Break Silence on Syrian Attacks

Kyl [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- In a strong statement Sunday afternoon, Jon Kyl, the Senate's number-two Republican, said President Obama "should personally stand up and publicly condemn the attacks by the Assad regime on the Syrian people."

Kyl said that “Syria represents the latest opportunity for the United States to support a peoples’ aspirations for more freedom and to condemn repression by an entrenched regime," but that the president "has said little" about the situation in Syria.

He added that the "U.S. looks irrelevant to a growing movement of millions across North Africa and the Middle East," and that in the "long term, the damage to U.S. influence will be incalculable."

Along with condeming the attacks, Kyl said, "The president must also make clear to the rulers of Iran that their interference in Syria’s democratic uprising will be opposed by the United States.  The United States must not condone by its silence Tehran’s repression of the Syrian people any more than its repression of the Iranian people."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Not Gonna Happen': Number-Two Senate Republican Rips Reid's Online Poker Push

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s effort to make online poker legal again could become a late add-on to a bill extending the Bush tax cuts, a possibility that a top GOP lawmaker Wednesday soundly denounced.

“It’s not gonna happen,” the Senate’s number-two Republican, Jon Kyl, replied when asked by ABC News if Reid’s online poker push could make it into the bill.

As ABC News has reported, Reid’s measure would change the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which in 2006 indirectly outlawed online gambling by making it illegal to use a credit card or checking account to place online bets. Now Reid wants to change the law to permit existing U.S.-based casinos and slot-machine makers to operate legal Internet poker websites.

According to a draft of the bill, Reid’s measure would legalize online poker in the US, establish licensing and reporting requirements for companies, provide new safeguards for consumers, and generate tax revenue from wagers for state and local governments.

But Reid’s online poker push has drawn the ire of congressional Republicans. GOP lawmakers such as Kyl have vowed to prevent Reid’s poker measure from becoming part of the tax bill. In addition, other Capitol Hill critics have argued that the Nevada lawmaker’s effort is nothing more than a favor for casinos based in his home state.

Meanwhile, the gambling industry could be rankled by the fact that Reid has apparently chosen not to follow Rep. Barney Frank’s lead and legalize forms of online gambling other than poker. Frank’s bill passed the House Financial Services Committee in July, but has since stalled.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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