FROM Seth Stern
Student Loans: Does Public Money Need Private Administration? The big news on Sunday was House passage of healthcare reform and the so-called " reconciliation " bill that now goes to the Senate. Hardly noticed was that "reconciliation" also included the biggest change in the student loan program since 1965.
Student Loans: Does Public Money Need Private Administration? The scenario is all too familiar: increased demand and rising costs; diminishing revenues during a major recession. It's not healthcare, it's higher education. Yet -- almost without notice -- the two were packaged together in the reconciliation bill passed by the House on Sunday. The biggest student-loan change in 45 years would eliminate private middlemen in favor of government lending directly to struggling students. Some, but not all, of $61 billion in savings would go to Pell Grants for the neediest. Not one Republican voted for it. We hear the pros and cons.
Sotomayor's Questions Come to an End At today's Senate confirmation hearing , Lindsay Graham told Judge Sonia Sotomayor her record shows she's not a "radical" after all. But the South Carolina Republican said her now-famous " wise Latina " remark and other things she has said, as Graham put it, "bug the hell out of me." Seth Stern is legal analyst for CQ Politics.com .
House Panel Approves Subpoenas for Top White House Aides On a voice vote, a House Judiciary subcommittee has authorized subpoenas of top White House aides on the firing of eight US Attorneys. Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) rejected White House Counsel Fred Fielding's offer that Karl Rove and Harriet Miers testify behind closed doors, without being sworn and without any transcript of their testimony. Conyers will decide if the subpoenas actually will be issued. Republicans called the authorization "premature" and President Bush said he'll go to court to prevent a "public spectacle." Keith Perrine is legal affairs reporter for Congressional Quarterly .
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.
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.
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.