“Leader Pelosi will be interviewed live by David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, November 17th from the NBC News’ Washington Bureau. The interview will air at the top of the 10:30 a.m. ET hour on NBC Channel 4 in Washington. Please check your local listings for exact times and station details in your area.”
By Carrie Dann, Political Reporter, NBC News
With world watching, Congress against wall for last-minute fiscal solution
The nation is just hours away from a crucial deadline to avert default on its debts and Washington remains muddled in a risky legislative process that has the American people and the rest of the world holding its collective breath.
After a furious day of Republican proposals ended with a thud and no House votes to advance a plan, lawmakers have even less time to approve a measure to increase the nation’s borrowing power and end a dragging government shutdown.
Senate leaders say they are closing in on a deal that could pass the upper chamber with bipartisan support but it’s unclear how fast they can get it to the president’s desk.
“Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” the rating agency wrote in a statement.
The three main credit rating agencies have all warned, in varying degrees, that the United States’ rating could be cut if it hit the Oct. 17 deadline when Washington is expected to run out of cash to pay its bills.
Washington is deadlocked as it enters the 14th day of a partial government shutdown that has already led to furloughs of 350,000 federal workers, canceled military training missions and slowed economic growth. Now, the United States is just days away from losing its ability to borrow money and faces the prospect of defaulting on its bonds.
Following multiple talks between Republican congressional leaders and President Barack Obama over the past two weeks, the negotiations are now focused on Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell launched last-ditch negotiations over the weekend to end the spending and debt stalemate, but they may not be able to reach an agreement that can pass both the House and Senate.
Faced with some Republicans shrugging their shoulders at the thought of the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations for the first time ever, notable economists are warning that the consequences would be the economic equivalent of a swarm of frogs and a plague of locusts.
The worst of the doomsday scenarios painted by economists involve an outright depression, as the effects of missing a debt interest payment cascade through the economy, financial markets and ultimately to Main Street.
While many analysts agree that a default still remains unlikely, warnings are beginning to intensify that Washington is skating too close to a perilous line.
THE WASHINGTON POST
By Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer
The Obama administration keeps undermining its own case for a punitive strike in Syria. If the president wants permission from Congress and support from the American people, he and his aides had better get their story straight.
The “messaging,” to use an unfortunate Washington term, has been confusing, contradictory and halfhearted. The nation simply will not approve going to war if its leaders cannot coherently explain what they want to do, how they plan to do it and why.
Secretary of State John Kerry threw mud into turbid waters Monday when he said the attack would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” This punch line came at the end of a string of similar assurances: no “troops on the ground,” nothing “prolonged,” merely a “very targeted, short-term” affair.
But if the attack is designed to be so limited, why bother? Why not just send a special envoy to give Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a stern talking-to, followed perhaps by a reassuring hug?
WASHINGTON — The United States government took a historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.
A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a “trust but verify approach” to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states’ regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
By Tracy Jarrett, NBC News contributor
Fifty years ago, more than 200,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. NBC News asked six African-Americans who attended the march to share their memories of that day and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech – and how they’ve passed on King’s message to the next generation.
Jack White, 67, Journalist
In August of 1963, I was just out of high school and had a lot of curiosity about the civil rights movement. I grew up in Washington, a segregated city, and until 1954, I’d attended segregated schools.
On the day of the March on Washington, I put on a sport coat and a tie; it was sweltering hot. People were just more formal then.
The powers that be were afraid of violence – can’t have all those Negroes there without trouble! – but it was the opposite. People were peaceful, respectful. Joyous and reverent would describe the mood.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous speech it was all echoes to me. Still, I knew it was a historic moment because I could feel it in the crowd – this was the moment we’d all been waiting for.
This past Saturday, approximately 175,000 to 200,000 people gathered and marched in Washington, D.C. to call attention to the civil rights challenges of our time. When Martin Luther King III and I called for this rally, it was widely assumed that we would not be able to get even 100,000 to participate. Those naysayers couldn’t have been more wrong. At a time when so many Americans are gravely concerned about voting rights, jobs, gun violence and safety, hundreds of thousands traveled from across the country to join us because they understand the fierce urgency of now. While we acknowledge progress achieved during the last 50 years, we are not blind to the great injustices of today. On Wednesday, President Obama and others will commemorate the ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.’ We will be a part of that celebration, but we remain passionate about the continuation of the actualization of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream that was represented on Saturday. Our work is far from over, but we, the people, are re-energized to tackle injustice head on.