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Congress: Fight to the debt

The deficit reduction talks led by Vice President Biden pick up the pace this week with three meetings on Capitol Hill starting today at 2pm, NBC’s Libby Leist reports. Ahead of the meetings, Senate Democratic leadership will forgo their usual Tuesday "stakeout" after the weekly caucus meeting and hold a press conference to spell out their negotiating position on Medicare changes, per a leadership aide. They will outline what they will and won’t accept in the search for Medicare savings. Also, look for questions on how the Democrats will approach tax increases. Until now, leadership has weighed in with very little specifics about the Biden talks.

The New York Post’s cover: “Obama beats Weiner,” based on the president telling NBC’s Ann Curry on TODAY that, “If it was me, I would resign.”

The Hill: “According to the new CBS News poll, 31 percent of Americans support converting Medicare into a sort of voucher program. Fifty-eight percent said they support keeping the program’s existing structure intact.”

“Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday that he would place a hold on President Obama's nominee to be the next commerce secretary unless the White House disavows a legal complaint filed against airplane manufacturer Boeing for opening a new plant in the senator's home state South Carolina,” The Hill writes.

After about six months in office, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), thought to be a possible vice-presidential candidate, will make his first speech today at 2:45 pm ET on the Senate floor, Leist reports. Rubio's four young children and wife have flown in from Miami where they live to support the Senator. He is the last of the freshman class to speak on the floor. Rubio will call for a "new American century" of leadership. He will say the government is broken and in need of repair if the U.S. is to lead the world in the 21st Century. Rubio highlights the U.S. debt problem, a complicated tax code, and a government that he says over-regulates stifling American economic growth.

Some excerpts: "There is a growing sense that for America, things will never be the same. That maybe, this new century will belong to someone else. … We do stand now at a turning point in our history. One where there are only two ways forward for us. We will either bring on another American century, or we are doomed to witness America’s decline. … A broken government is keeping us from doing what we have done better than anyone in the world for over a century: Create jobs. … If we here in Washington could just find agreement on a plan to start getting our debt under control. If we could just make our tax code simpler and more predictable. And if we could just get the government to ease up on some of these onerous regulations, the American people will take care of the rest."

Former Democratic National Committee spokeswoman (and MSNBC contributor) Karen Finney, in a column in The Hill, looks at education: “The political rhetoric of ‘spending cuts’ has largely ignored the impact cuts in education spending at the federal, state and local levels have on our ability to make progress closing those gaps. Our failure to fully utilize the potential of every American also endangers our economy.” The No Child Left Behind law is up for reauthorization this year.