Fox News Sunday Snippets: June 17, 2011

House Republicans plan a vote on "Cut, Cap and Balance" this week as the president and Congressional leaders continue to search for a deal that will raise the debt limit by August 2.

Joining "Fox News Sunday" to discuss it are Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Then, we continue our "2012: One on One" series with presidential candidate Herman Cain.

A look at what we are reading to prepare for the show

Parties assess debt options as time runs short-Associated Press

Congress and the Obama administration are weighing their options as time closes in on the deadline for raising the nation's debt ceiling, and the White House may call another meeting Sunday of congressional leaders and President Barack Obama.

House Republicans are preparing to vote this week on allowing an increase in the government's borrowing limit through 2012 as long as Congress approves a balanced-budget constitutional amendment, which is highly unlikely.

In the Senate, the Republican and Democratic leaders are working on a bipartisan plan that would allow Obama to raise the debt limit without a prior vote by lawmakers. The talks are focusing on how to address long-term deficit reduction in the proposal to satisfy House Republicans.

Washington Post

Even as President Obama and congressional leaders focus on a fallback plan to lift the nation’s debt ceiling, top Democrats and Republicans have begun to map a new way to craft the same sort of ambitious deficit-cutting plan they abandoned last week.

As part of the deal being discussed to raise the debt ceiling, leaders on Capitol Hill are forming an especially powerful congressional committee that would be charged with drawing up a new “grand bargain,” possibly by the end of the year

Key elements for a big deal remain in place. Obama has been clear that he wants one and has started making the case to skeptical factions of his own party that getting the nation’s fiscal house in order is in their best interest. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) also remains committed to an ambitious plan, having told his troops that he didn’t become speaker to do small things. And, perhaps most critically, the markets are demanding it. The credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s says Washington must agree to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over 10 years to avert a downgrade.

Former pizza chain executive Herman Cain, a GOP presidential hopeful, addresses Ala. GOP group -Associated Press

He's run a pizza chain, served as a radio talk show host and now he's seeking the GOP nomination for president, telling his latest audience in Alabama: "I'm a problem solver, not a politician."

Herman Cain, the former Godfather Pizza chief executive, spoke Saturday night to an audience of Shelby County Republicans at the their GOP's 2011 Reagan-Lincoln Dinner fundraiser at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center. His comments were reported by the Birmingham News.

Cain struck up conservative themes, saying the U.S. has become a country of crises, wrestling with moral, economic, immigration, energy and leadership issues.

On the current debate in Washington to raise the debt limit: "I can tell you what to do with the debt ceiling -- leave the sucker where it is!"

Cain said if he were president, he would have dealt with the issue well before it became a crisis.

On federal spending: "They've put $14 trillion in the caboose" instead of in the economic engine of business.

On his lack of political experience: "I've been told, `Mr. Cain, you don't have a lot of foreign policy experience.' This one does?" He said, referring to President Barack Obama.

On Obama: "The biggest crisis we have is a severe deficiency of leadership."

Cain said strict government regulations are stifling business and outlined his vision for changing the nation's tax structure and making steep cuts in the Environmental Protection Agency.

A Cain-led government, he added, would be "more empowerment, less entitlement."

As for Arizona and its stance on illegal immigration, he said: "I wouldn't have sued Arizona; I would have given them a medal."

Arizona passed one of the nation's strongest illegal immigration bills in the country.

G.O.P. Freshmen Say Debt Concerns Them More Than Re-election-New York Times

“Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind,” said Representative Tom Reed, a freshman Republican from upstate New York. “Like many of my colleagues in the freshman class, I came down here to get our fiscal house in order and take care of the threat to national security that we see in the federal debt. We came here not to have long careers. We came here to do something. We don’t care about re-election.”

It is not clear how genuine or widespread that sentiment is in Congress, but regardless, it has upended what President Obama said on Friday had been a “difficult but routine process” in past years.

The sheer size of the debt and its rapid growth in recent years have emboldened fiscal conservatives in the House, prompting some of them to pledge not to vote for a higher debt ceiling even if a compromise can be reached before Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says it will hit the $14.3 trillion debt cap and run out of borrowing authority.

Since Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, near the end of a long recession, the total federal debt — including debt held by the public and by government trust funds — has increased 35 percent. While debt exploded, the economy was stagnant, so debt as a share of the gross domestic product has also increased.

The current battle over deficits and debt could become the norm if Republicans hold on to their seats or make gains in Congress. The federal debt represents the accumulated total of past borrowing. So even if the government slashes the annual budget deficit, it generally cannot reduce the debt unless it runs a surplus

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