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FROM THIS EPISODE

Last night's bridge collapse on a major commuter artery for Minneapolis could be a wakeup call for America's infrastructure. Also, with one of its senior members under investigation, will the Senate agree to ethics reforms passed by the House? Is Washington really trying to clean up its act?


Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Andrea Brody
Katie Cooper
Vanessa Romo
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Will Ethics Reform Bill Clean Up Washington? 28 MIN, 17 SEC

After a series of scandals led to fines and imprisonment of lobbyists and members of Congress last year, the new Democratic majority promised reform. This week, after closed-door debates and compromises, the House passed an ethics bill by a vote of 411 to 8. The Senate takes it up next. Provisions include bans on gifts and limitations on travel provided by lobbyists, disclosure of "earmarks" and reporting by lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more by "bundling" smaller donations from various people.

Guests:
Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Jerry Kammer, Center for Immigration Studies (@wwwCISorg)
Ken Gross, former Enforcement Head at the Federal Election Commission
Wright Andrews, former President of the American League of Lobbyists

Making News Tragedy in Minnesota When Bridge Collapses 21 MIN, 52 SEC

At least four people were killed and 80 were injured in last night's rush-hour disaster when Minnesota's I-35W Bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River. Rescue workers say 20 to 30 more were pinned or trapped in the wreckage of falling steel, concrete and cars. In 2001, a report to the State of Minnesota said that while the bridge had not experienced "fatigue cracking," it did have poor "fatigue details" on the "floor truss system," described as the "primary load-carrying members" of the bridge's superstructure. Today, Mark Rosenker, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it will take time to figure out what went wrong. We get an update from the scene of an accident that could be a wake-up call about America's infrastructure.

Guests:
Nick Coleman, Columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Tom Meersman, Environmental reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Rhoda Fukushima, Reporter for the St. Paul Pioneeer Press
Stephen Cass, Senior Editor at Discover magazine

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