(The Root) — The week's top quotes in politics:
"This should be a no-brainer. It should not be difficult. It should've gotten done weeks ago."
—President Barack Obama, calling on Congress to stop a looming (in 10 days) hike on student-loan interest rates. Republicans say that the president has failed to work with them on a funding compromise.
"If you were 4 years old when your parents brought you here illegally and you have grown up here your whole life and don't even speak Spanish, and you are your high school's valedictorian, you have a lot to contribute to our future. It kind of feels weird to deport you."
—Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), disagreeing with the president's move to bypass Congress on the issue, but also expressing unease about such deportations.
"Some people have asked if I will let stand the president's executive action. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure."
—Mitt Romney, speaking (vaguely) about what he would do, before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
"One my greatest concerns as secretary is the dysfunction that we see in Washington. It threatens our security, and it raises questions about the capacity of our democracy to respond to crisis."
—Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, slamming congressional gridlock on the budget.
"At the heart of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious are disastrous consequences: a murdered Border Patrol agent, his grieving family seeking answers, countless deaths in Mexico and the souring effect on our relationship with Mexico."
—Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on the House Oversight Committee vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not submitting requested documents.
"This divisive action does not help us fix the problems that led to this operation or previous ones, and it does nothing to make any of our law-enforcement agents safer."
—Attorney General Eric Holder on the House committee vote to hold him in contempt, calling it an "election-year tactic."
"To continue allowing the imposition of sentences that had been declared unfair would make a mockery of the law and those being unfairly sentenced in the face of the change in law."
—Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), applauding the Supreme Court ruling that 2010's Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, applies to people convicted before the act was passed but sentenced afterward.
"Imagine what the Supreme Court will look like after three years of a Romney presidency. Imagine what it will mean for traditional civil rights, women's rights and so much more."
—Vice President Joe Biden addressing the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention.
"I don't understand his vision for a second term, other than '[Republicans] suck.' "
—Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), arguing that President Obama has no policy ideas beyond opposing the Republican Party.
Cynthia Gordy is The Root's senior political correspondent.