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The NewsHour on Wednesday tapped retiring moderate U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) to discuss congressional dysfunction. Interviewed by Senior Correspondent Gwen Ifill, the two provided a free-wheeling inside view of what has happened over the last couple of decades on the Hill. They touched on the roll played by the media, no-tax pledges, no-comprise candidate platforms and sacred-cow entitlement programs. They also offered suggestions on what they would do, if they could, to address the gridlock that poll after poll suggests is detested by the vast majority of American citizens.
DENVER-- As anticipated, President Obama this morning detailed his plan to use an executive order to ease the burden of student loan debt that presently presses down on tens of millions of Americans. Speaking in shirt sleeves and drawing on his own struggles with student debt as a young man, husband and father, Obama told the energized crowd in an event center hall on the downtown university Auraria Campus that he was determined for the foreseeable future to act wherever possible to relieve economic distress in the country without going through the gridlocked Congress.
Republicans successfully filibustered the nation's defense authorization bill hours ago, edging close to gridlock history. If scotched this year, the bill will be the first of its kind in 48 years to fail to pass. Republicans objected on procedural and philosophical grounds. They resented Majority Leader Harry Reid's including two controversial amendments with the bill: the immigrant youth "path to citizenship" DREAM Act and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy repeal that would allow gays in the military to serve openly. Many Republicans also believed the two amendments would make bad law.
As part of a desperate bipartisan group consisting of the vast majority of the nation's governors, Bill Ritter called on Congress to pass Federal...