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Sunday Talk-Show Live Blog

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., talk during a committee hearing on February 15.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

April 3, 2011

The budget and Libya dominate this week's Sunday talk shows. Key guests include House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., former national security adviser James Jones, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

9:00 a.m. On Fox News, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says his budget, expected to be introduced Tuesday, will cut "quite a bit more" than $4 trillion over the next decade, exceeding the goal set by President Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission.

9:03 a.m. Ryan calls for a cap on government spending, but won't tell Fox News' Chris Wallace where he wants to set the cap.


9:06 a.m. Ryan says "pro-growth tax reform is a key ingredient to getting the economy working again."

9:09 a.m. Ryan says his budget will mimic his Medicare plan with former Clinton budget official Alice Rivlin, which would provide vouchers for seniors on Medicare, but calls them "premium support."

9:10 a.m. Responding to criticisms that he is cutting and not reforming health care entitlements, Ryan says "Yes, we do increase and grow Medicare and Medicaid spending, albeit not the at the pace they're growing at [now], because they're unsustainable."

9:17 a.m.: CNN's Candy Crowley asked Jones if the Obama administration's mission in Libya is clear. "The mission is clear," he said. "I think we are in the process of developing those key elements that will allow us to go down that parth to get to the end state. But you have to remember the original premise for doing anything in Libya was humanitarian, to prevent a massacre."

At the same time, he said, the problem is that "while everybody wants to see Qaddafi leave... that end state is not yet clear. We need to better understand who the opposition is on the ground, we need to make sure the Arab League, the African Union, and others, who have much more influence on Qaddafi than we do, play a role."

9:23 a.m. Jones on Pakistan: "To me, it's always been the unanswered question: What is Pakistan willing to do against the safe havens in its own country that are inimical to its own interests?... It hasn't fully stepped up to the plate."

9:26 a.m. Asked on Fox whether ground troops should be sent to Libya, Senator Marc Rubio says "Ultimately, the people on the ground there, they don’t want that. ... I don’t think you enter a military engagement making bold public announcements about what you will or won’t do." Should the United States arm the rebels? "I think the president was right not to take that off the table," Rubio says. 

9:26 a.m. Jones on the Afghanistan drawdown: "The important thing is that we're starting down the track to 2014, where Afghanistan is going to be what it is by then and that's going to have to be good enough.... After all these years, we can't want for the Afghans what they don't want for themselves."

9:28 a.m. Asked if he's ready to be president, Rubio says "I’m not going to be the president or the vice president of the United States in 2012. I’m not going to be the candidate for president or vice-president. ... As to whether I’m prepared, that’s why we have elections in this country."

9:33 a.m. On CNN, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner warns that the Republican spending plan has too much baggage to pass. “You have all these policy riders, and that causes a shutdown. The American people won’t accept that.”

9:34 a.m. Discussing a vote to raise the country's borrowing ceiling later this spring, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, who chairs his party's Senate political committee, says he wants a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. “That’s the price that’s going to have to be paid. Systemic reforms in order to get Republican support for raising the debt ceiling.”

9:41 a.m. Cornyn faults President Obama for the lack of progress on a fiscal bargain. "What we’re lacking is presidential leadership on this issue. ... You see him planning his announcement for his reelection bid next week – really, where are your priorities?"

9:43 a.m. While Warner agrees with Cornyn that "we will not get there without the president," he predicts "we will see the president very engaged in this debate" once legislative momentum picks up in the Senate.

10:11 a.m. On ABC's This Week with Christiane Amanpour, Jones discusses the situation in Afghanistan: "A lot of it hinges on what happens on the other side of the border, with our friends and neighbors, the Pakistanis... [they have shown] a reluctance to engage comprehensively and buy into an overall plan that would really help Pakistan in the long-term.”

10:17 a.m. Jones on the Libyan conflict: "In all of these things, we always want it to be clear, we want nice end state rules, but the fog of war sometimes doesn’t allow for that."

10:18 a.m. Jones on civil unrest in Yemen: “Yemen is very worrisome. [Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh] has been very skillful over the years in being able to consolidate and maintain his power, [but] the trends in Yemen are not good. This could be a major problem, and where terrorism is concerned …. [for this to be a] safe haven would be a very troubling turn of events.”

10:33 a.m. New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer talks to ABC's Christiane Amanpour about being overheard by reporters laying out his strategy for criticizing Republicans on a conference call. "I have no problem with reporters hearing that," Schumer says. "I said it a few hours before on the floor of the senate. The Tea Party is the group standing in the way. Any group that says you don't cut oil subsidies to companies making billions and billions of dollars, and at the same time says, cut student aid... I believe they're extreme."

10:41 a.m. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appears on CBS' Face the Nation to say that he thinks a government shutdown can be avoided. "What my friend John Boehner needs to do is say, ‘What’s the best thing to do for the country?’ ... The Republican leadership in the House needs to decide to do the right thing for the country, [not] the right thing for the Tea Party." 

10:50 a.m. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham called for escalation in Libya. "The strategy is confusing to the American people, it’s demoralizing to our allies, particularly the people on the ground we’re trying to  help, and it’s encouraging to our enemies. We should be taking the fight to Tripoli. We don’t need ground troops … to go after Qaddafi’s inner circle. The way to end this war is to get the inner circle to crack." Does that entail airstrikes on Tripoli? "Absoultely. ...We are going to have a stalemate if we don’t change our strategy. When we called for a no-flyzone, we didn’t mean our planes. You take a lot of capacity off the table by grounding our planes." Graham also endorsed consideration of arming rebels with TOW anti-tank missiles. 

10:53 a.m. Graham on American troops withdrawing from Iraq in 2012: "I do not believe the State Department can carry on their mission of helping the Iraqi government and people reconstitute their society … without American forces their to provide security, air power, logistical support. We need American troops in 2012, ten to fifteen thousand, left behind in Iraq." 

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