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FROM THIS EPISODE

Even veterans of election-year partisanship were surprised when a joint committee of the House and the Senate reached a compromise last week on finance reform. President Obama declared it the biggest restraint on Wall Street since the Great Depression, and said he wanted to sign it by the Fourth of July.  We hear what's in the bill and assess its chances. Also, Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing finally gets down to questions and answers. We also update General David Petraeus' confirmation hearing as commander in Afghanistan.

Banner image: US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan testifies on the second day of her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill on June 29, 2010 in Washington, DC. Photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Gary Scott
Katie Cooper
Julia Flucht
Karen Radziner

Making News Senate Confirmation Hearing for Petraeus to Lead Afghan War 7 MIN, 41 SEC

General David Petraeus also faced a Senate committee today, for a hearing on his appointment as US commander in Afghanistan. Petraeus said he had agreed with the plan to begin a draw-down of troops by July of next year, but insisted it was not his idea. Peter Spiegel is national security correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Peter Spiegel, Financial Times (@SpiegelPeter)

Main Topic Kagan in the Spotlight 15 MIN, 26 SEC

After yesterday's opening statements, the Senate Judiciary Committee today got down to the business of interrogating Elena Kagan, the President's latest nominee for the US Supreme Court.

Guests:
Greg Stohr, Bloomberg News (@GregStohr)
Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University (@RosenJeffrey)

The Supreme Court

Jeffrey Rosen

Main Topic Finance Reform under the Microscope 27 MIN, 16 SEC

President Obama calls the finance reform compromise the biggest thing of its kind since the Great Depression, and he wants it on his desk by the Fourth of July. But the sudden death of Robert Byrd means one less Democratic vote in the Senate, and familiar questions are being raised all over again. Could banks still be "too big to fail?" Would consumers get better protection? Why would the mortgage giants Fanni Mae and Freddie Mac be left as they are? Will liberal Democrats or moderate Republicans get cold feet?   

Guests:
James Barth, former Chief Economist, Office of Thrift Supervision
Stephen Gandel, Senior Writer, Time Magazine
Noam Scheiber, New Republic (@noamscheiber)
James Surowiecki, Financial Columnist, The New Yorker

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