The continuing conflict in Libya and the looming government shutdown were the big topics I got to with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) this morning on "Meet The Press."
On The Budget
The number-two ranking Democrat in the Senate told me he would "absolutely not" vote for a budget with cuts to the EPA and Planned Parenthood. Durbin said, "This fight isn't over the deficit, it isn't over the amount of spending cuts, but rather it's to debate and re-litigate political issues."
You can catch more from Durbin and his take on the "irresponsible" actions of Republicans here.
Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the U.S. and its allies need to better understand the Libyan rebels before arming them. He told me, "We know what they're against, the rebels. We know they're against Moammar Khaddafy remaining in power, but we don't know what they're for."
The former FBI special agent and Army officer expressed concerns over an al-Qaeda faction among the rebels. He told me:
In most Middle East countries there are elements of al-Qaeda. Now that doesn't mean they're a part of the government...We know that they're there. They in the past, the Libyan al-Qaeda element, or al-Qaeda in the Maghreb provided foreign fighters in Iraq to target U.S. citizens.