McCain: Get Biden Out of 'Witness Protection,' Into Budget Talks

Sunday, 13 Oct 2013 01:48 PM

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Republican Sen. John McCain says it's time to get Vice President Joe Biden "out of the Witness Protection Program" and into talks to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling.

However, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says that talks between Senate leaders are already showing progress and he is "cautiously hopeful – optimistic" that a deal will be reached.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid are very close on their frameworks for a solution, Schumer said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."  They are "a lot closer than, say, House Republicans and the president," Schumer said.

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President Barack Obama, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans have a will to find a solution, Schumer said. "We now have to find a way," he said. "We know the House won't find that way, so all of it rests on our shoulders."

Schumer and McCain agree that undoing the across-the-board spending cuts of the sequester are a major sticking point.

"Maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the Witness Protection Program," McCain said, noting that the vice president hasn't been seen in the negotiating process despite having a better relationship with Republicans than Obama does.

McCain had a warning for Democrats trying to cash in on polls showing the GOP at its lowest popularity ever.

"They better understand something: What goes around comes around," McCain said. "And if they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics. I know what it's like to be in a majority and in a minority. And it won't be forgotten. Now's the time to be magnanimous and sit down and get this thing done."

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