FROM Jim O'Sullivan
Obama Proposes Limited Spending Cuts to Delay Sequester President Obama today asked Congress to pass a package of limited spending cuts to head off the so-called "sequester" scheduled for March 1. Jim O'Sullivan is White House correspondent for the National Journal.
Who's to Blame if the US Government Shuts Down? As Washington moved toward a federal government shutdown starting at midnight tomorrow, politicians of both parties assumed their competing postures. From Capitol Hill to distant battlefields, the shutdown would be felt by millions of Americans, most of all by 800,000 federal employees who won't be paid for as long as it lasts. We look at last-minute efforts to stave it off.
Democrats and Republicans on the Brink in Washington For the third time in three days, Congressional leaders went back to the White House early this afternoon to try to avoid a government shutdown starting at midnight tomorrow. Both sides agree it's not just about money, but also Republican demands to eliminate healthcare reform, Planned Parenthood, EPA regulations and NPR. They got their chance after Democrats lost the Congress without passing a budget for this year. After two stop-gap measures, there's still no deal. We update the last-minute negotiating and look at the so-called "non-essential" federal services that could stop at midnight tomorrow.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.