FROM Noah Bierman
All pomp and circumstance with Trump's declarations? Republicans hold the White House and both houses of Congress, and President Trump says big things are happening. But, so far, they’re not. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. The tax bill he calls “ahead of schedule” hasn’t even been sent to Congress. His declaration of “Infrastructure Week” was more pomp and circumstance than the major bill-signing it appeared to be.
What a "Speaker" McCarthy Would Mean for California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield made it official today. He wants the Speakership, when John Boehner gives up the job at the end of next month. McCarthy said today he wants to "lead the fight" for conservatism and heal the deep divisions in the Republican caucus. Noah Bierman covers Capitol Hill for the LA Times .
Which Party Will Control the Senate? There's no doubt the Republicans will still run the House after next week's election, but control of the Senate has both parties biting their nails. With Mitt Romney in the White House, his party would run two branches of government, bolstered by a sympathetic Supreme Court. If Barack Obama is re-elected, a Democratic Senate might be a buffer against the Congress, with a chance of making the Court less conservative. Razor-thin, increasingly nasty campaigns are being fought out over abortion, the role of government, party loyalty and bipartisanship. We hear about crucial races still too close to call.
A Soldier's Mysterious Death in Afghanistan Ciara Durkin served in a finance unit in Afghanistan. Her family was first told she died "in action." Now the Army says she was killed by a single gunshot near a church. Sometime before she was killed, the Massachusetts National Guardswoman told her family that if anything happened to her, they should press for an investigation. Now, both Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy are demanding to know what happened, and an Army liaison has been with the family every day. Noah Bierman reports for the Boston Globe .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.