FROM Russell Berman
Heavy weather from the Gulf Coast to Washington, DC The worst rainstorm in American history will still be racking up billions in damages when Congress gets back from its summer recess on Tuesday. With less than a month left to raise the debt ceiling and pass a spending plan, as late as Tuesday President Trump threatened a shutdown if there's no border-wall money. Even if he backs away, the government could see its credit downgraded as emergency relief for victims of Harvey massively ups the ante. We hear about the upcoming political storm between the White House and Capitol Hill.
Cutting, squeezing, trimming -- and spending President Trump wants to cut government — except for Social Security and Medicare. At the same time, he wants to put people to work. So, a new infrastructure program might appeal to the Democrats, but Republicans say the money's not there without cutting those sacred entitlements. As Trump begins work on a so-called "skinny" budget, he finds himself bound by vague campaign promises that may turn out to be contradictory. Don't forget major cuts for wealthy taxpayers. We look at early efforts at assembling a financial puzzle — even when the pieces don't fit.
Minority Optimism and the American Dream The August jobs report is out. Unemployment is down to 5.1 percent, but far fewer jobs were created than expected—and the stock market is reacting. But some Americans are bullish on our country’s future: minorities. A recent poll shows that blacks and Latinos are far more optimistic about the “American Dream” than their white counterparts. Which might seem counterintuitive, given the heightened racial tensions in America.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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.