Christine Lagarde knows money. As the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, you could say she's one of the most important economic voices in the world. So when she warns against another potential debt ceiling fight, hopefully Republicans threatening to turn the next debt ceiling deadline into a battle will listen. “The budget deal that was cut, at your end, is a very good sign of responsibility, of accountability and realism,” Lagarde said, on NBC's Meet the Press, referring to the bipartisan budget deal that passed in the Senate and Congress this week. “I hope that in February, Congress will be equally responsible and will not threaten the recovery with yet another debate about whether or not the United states will honor or default.”
Sen. Joe Manchin appeared on CNN's State of the Union to talk about his failed gun control measure, Obamacare's potential collapse, and how Big Brother is literally watching your every move. When host Candy Crowley brought up potentially reviving the failed bipartisan gun control bill he negotiated with Sen. Pat Toomey, Manchin was fairly non-committal. “Hopefully, they would maybe reconsider,” he said. "It’s going to be difficult to get the extra votes that we need. I’m going to be honest with you." The West Virginia Democrat said the problem the bill didn't have full Democratic support in the Senate, which ultimately doomed its chances. Machin said gun owners didn't believe the government only wanted background checks. “What we found out is that people couldn’t trust government that they would stop,” at background checks, he said. So then Manchin also decided to talk about the NSA for a while. “How do we protect the privacies of each and every American but also protect the security of our country?” he asked. “There is a fine balance there.” Manchin said that for years people worried the government was watching their every move. “Now, we found out that Big Brother is truly watching you.” And to cap the entire appearance off he also touched on Obamacare, which could collapse "under its own weight," according to Manchin. “If it’s so much more expensive than what we anticipated and if the coverage is not as good as what we had, you’ve got a complete meltdown at that time,” he said, pushing for a delay in the individual mandate. “This transitional year gives you a chance to adjust the product for the market.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee talked about important topics like a potential White House bid and the Duck Dynasty controversy on Fox News Sunday. On 2016, Huckabee said he'll have to make a "decision of the heart," weighing whether or not he should run. He's not sure quite yet. On Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, Huckabee stood by the embattled southerner, who Huckabee says is the victim of "a new level of bullying" from gay rights advocates. “Homosexuality is no more sinful to a Christian than pride” Huckabee said, arguing that all sins carry equal weight. “We’re all sinners — none of us are perfect,” he said.
Rep. Mike Rogers told ABC's This Week that Edward Snowden committed treason by asking for asylum in Brazil while defending the NSA surveillance program. Rogers, who is also the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the White House report urging surveillance reform at least made the case that the agency's tactics tactics are legal. But the recommendations had one major flaw, he said: private companies should not hold user data. "I think it opens it up to more privacy violations when the company holds it," Rogers said. "These are business records, not private records of content, so they’re not listening to phone calls." On Snowden, he accused the former contractor of treason for seeking asylum in Brazil. "I do think he should come home — I would personally pay for his plane ticket — and be held accountable for his actions," Rogers said. "He has contacted a foreign country and said I would sell you classified information for something of value... We call that treason, and I think that letter very clearly lays out who this gentleman is and what his intentions are clearly." Snowden offered to protect Brazil from NSA spying. He did not, in fact, offer to sell them state secrets.
Sen. Mark Udall wants the President to adopt all of the recommendations in the report on surveillance reform, including the one Mike Rogers hates. "There are many, many important reforms," he said on This Week. "It’s time to have real reform, not a veneer of reform." Udall still thinks NSA spying violates the constitution. "It doesn't fit the standard in the Fourth Amendment of unreasonable search and seizure," he said. "There has been no abuse, but the potential for abuse is always there, and Americans have always aired on the side of privacy." But Udall does think Snowden should return to the U.S. and fight a battle in court. "He broke his oath; he broke the law; make the case that somehow there was a higher purpose here," Udall said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer still wants sanctions against Iran even though the President promised to veto any Senate bill so negotiations with the country would continue running relatively smoothly. "The Iranians didn't come to the table out of the goodness of their heart," he said on Meet the Press. Schumer wants sanctions to kick in after six months, when the current good faith deal with Iranians expires, if the country doesn't abandon their nuclear program. "The bottom line is very simple; it’s pretty logical that it’s sanctions, tough sanctions, that brought them to the table," Schumer said. "I think that will make them negotiate and give up more."