What's shaping up to be one of the more contentious nomination hearings for one of President Obama's cabinet choices is set to open at 9:30 a.m. ET when members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services get their chance to publicly grill former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been tapped for the post of defense secretary.
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This is the time when we begin to find if the emotional power of the Newtown school shooting will translate into political change. People affected by mass shootings are now talking with state and federal lawmakers.
Susan Aaron's daughter escaped the shooting in Newtown after seeing her teacher and friends killed.
That sharp drop in government spending that put the squeeze on the economy last quarter, as we just heard, is likely to be repeated. This spring, the government is set to make additional cuts to spending, including defense, unless lawmakers agree on a different plan. So far there's little agreement in Washington about the optimum size or shape of government spending.
NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about this in our Business Bottom Line. Good morning, Scott.
The halting testimony of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, gravely injured in a mass shooting two years ago, may have provided the most gripping moments of the Senate's first gun control hearing this session.
But the star witness on Capitol Hill on Wednesday was Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist.
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Today, many in Massachusetts are asking themselves who is Mo Cowan? That's because he'll soon be the state's newest senator. William Mo Cowan is former chief of staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval, who chose him to take the seat being vacated by Senator John Kerry, the incoming secretary of State.
As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, Cowan will serve on an interim basis until a special election in June.
And as mentioned, Aaron David Miller is going to join us now, and we brought him on to talk about Chuck Hagel's nomination. But Aaron David Miller, the long-time Middle East peace negotiator and now a fellow at the Wilson Center, I have to ask you, Aaron - thanks very much for being with us, by the way.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 2:27 pm
NEAL CONAN, HOST:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. An African-American governor appoints an African-American senator; immigration moves to the front burner, and Bobby Jindal scolds the GOP. It's Wednesday and time for a...
GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: The stupid party...
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
Anyone else noticing the love New York Senator Charles Schumer is showing for Marco Rubio? He's been calling Rubio courageous for pushing an immigration overhaul that many in his party's base despise. Wednesday morning he likened Rubio's appearance on conservative talk shows to "Daniel in the lion's den."