The Daily Rundown | February 11, 2013
>>> it is february, 11, 2013 , and we will go the rome for pope benedict 's historic announce ment. let me begin with the first read, and with the focus of gun violence in an inaugural address that laid out the case of progressive values and the push for a transformative next four years, president obama will pivot back to the economy in the state of the union address , and the president will outline initiatives on clean energy , climate change , and the usual laundry list that you would expect in a democratic state of the union and it is focused on strengthening the middle-class and things that he previewed in a pep talk after he left last thursday.
>> our economy grows when everybody's getting a fair shot and everybody is getting a fair shake and everybody is playing by the same rules.
>> president is also expected to cast second-term agenda items from immigration reform to gun control and climate change in economic terms. white house says that every one of the president's proposals will be paid for and will not add to the deficit, and of course, it is how he pays for it that is going to be the debate point. after his tuesday night speech, president obama hits the road for a three-day tour, and stops in asheville, north carolina , wednesday and atlanta on thursday and chicago on friday. and here's what we will make the state of the union different than other presidential addresses to congress. it won't just frame the coming year, but the budget battles to take place in the next three to six weeks. it starts with the $85 billion in budget cuts coming march 1st if nothing is done to alter the so-called sequester. according to the white house , the president will continue to press congress on the fiscal issues with tax reform and tax hikes and entitlements and he previewed that message in his weekend.
>> there is no reason that middle-class families and small businesses should suffer because washington could not come together and eliminate a few special interest tax loopholes or government programs that just don't work.
>> the sequester has turned into a ridiculous blame game . the republicans are trying desperately to disown the budget cuts and rebrand them as the president's sequester.
>> and you know, the president is the one who proposed the se quester in the first place.
>> and the republicans have proposed a responsible alternative to the sequester which is what president obama proposed in 2011 .
>> this is a presidential suggestion in 2011 , an idea.
>> the memo went out before the sunday morning shows. and now for paying a political price in recent years the republicans are trying to neutralize the political fallout this time around and the game leverage, and the game leaders insist that tax reform is needed to solve any budget problem.
>> the fact is that we have had spending cuts $1.6 trillion in budget control act and what we need is growth.
>> do we want to base the spending cuts on reducing medical research in america, and eliminating 70,000 children from head start and we should have half of it from tax revenue and the other half from tax cuts ?
>> but the leader of the house eric cantor said that it is not raising taxes .
>> he just got his tack hix hike and you can't just keep raising taxes .
>> and we will discuss that in the bottom of the hour.
>>> and chuck hagel could get a nominee as early as tomorrow, but some members could stage a walkout in protest. committee chairman carl levin is fed up and called the gop for more financial disclosures on an unprecedented letter to jim hoff . and now was he speculating friday and not reporting, but speculating that hagel's adds were 50-50 and those rumors took off like wildfire and sunday lindsey graham said he wants to place a hold on all kinds of nominations, hagel and john brennan , and until the white house gives him a full accounting of the actions on benghazi and the democrats immediately fired back.
>> did the president ever pick up the phone and call anyone in the government to help these folks? i want to know. i am going to ask my colleagues just like they did with john bolton and joe biden said no confirmation without information and no confirmation without information.
>> this is unprecedented unwarranted to stop or attempt to stop the nomination of a secretary of defense and the c ix a drirector.
>> i think that senator hagel will be confirm and senators have said privately they will not initiate the first filibuster in history on the secretary of defense nominee.
>> and there is a consensus developing about new oversight of the u.s. drone program. with lawmakers in both parties and even former secretary gates getting behind the creation of a oversight court on drones similar to what is done on eaves dropping .
>> it is making me uncomfortable that the president or whoever it is the pros ecutor, the judge and the jury and the executioner all rolled into one.
>> the president, a politician, and republican or democrat should not decide someone's death by flipping through the flashcards and saying, do you want to kill him?
>> we will hold hearings to work on this element of how to mesh the constitutional principles and values with the new mode of war.
>> i think that some check on the ability of a president to do this has merit as we look to the longer term future.
>> and now the breaking news out of rome, and the vatican. pope benedict the xvith is abdicating at the end of the month. the pope says he has no longer the strength to fulfill the dutes of the office. the 85-year-old pontiff of a leader of more than 1 billion catholics worldwide is the first to resign in 600 years. it is is a move that surprised even his closest confidants. you are looking at live pictures of the vatican city where the conclave of the cardinals will convene. they will cast their votes in the cysteisistine chapel and they say that a new pope may be elected by the start of holy week march