Streams

Todd Zwillich

Takeaway Washington Correspondent

Todd Zwillich appears in the following:

Questions Surround BP's Involvement in Release of Pan Am Flight 103 Bomber

Friday, July 16, 2010

BP has been under fire since April for its responsibility in the Gulf of Mexico's disastrous oil gusher. Ironically, the same week the oil is finally contained, BP faces more trouble — this time involving the release of the so-called Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi.

New reports allege B.P. lobbied for the early prison release of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber.  Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich interviewed New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez about the story and joins us, coming u

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The Financial Regulatory Overhaul - What It Means For Banks, What it Says About Washington

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today, after months of wrangling, the Senate is set to pass a bill that will completely change how the government regulates Wall Street and the banking sector. The legislation marks the first major overhaul of financial regulations since the 1930s.

But although there seemed to be general agreement that the financial sector was in dire need of an update, only three Republicans look ready to vote in favor of the bill. Is this major Democratic victory a sign that bipartisanship is dead in Washington? And how will Wall Street respond?

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Flying the Expensive Skies, Airlines Face Government Scrutiny for Hidden Fees

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Airline fees are high enough, but do you really know how much you are paying for your plane ticket? Consider the amount you charge on your credit card when you purchase your tickets, plus the extra fees you pay to check your luggage or get that extra leg room or window seat. Those kinds of costs alone raked in an addition $8 billion in 2008 and 2009 for airlines, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Now airlines are facing mounting scrutiny from the Obama administration and Congress. And soon new guidelines may be put in place by the GAO.

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Bush's Tax Cuts: Not Going Away Without a Fight

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Remember President George W. Bush's tax cuts back in 2001 and 2003, which were met with much hatred by Democrats? Well, those tax cuts are about to expire. However, this is not necessarily good news for Democrats. Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, sees Democrats somewhere in between a rock and a hard place. They can't easily allow taxes to go back up when the economy is still struggling; at the same time, they can't watch the deficit continue to rise if the cuts stay. To make things more complicated, these tax cut decisions need to be made during an election year.

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The Curious Case of Republican Scott Brown and a Key Crossover Vote on Financial Reform

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just months ago, Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) rode to office in a pickup truck powered by Tea Party support for his promise to be the 41st vote against health care reform. Now he's siding with Democrats on financial reform, the president's next big legislative priority. He has extracted concessions for his position, but that's not the reason he's crossing party lines. He's part of a rare breed these days: moderate Northeast Republicans. "41" is no longer the most important number for Scott Brown; it's "2012," when he faces re-election.

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The Agenda: Unfinished Business in Washington, State of the Economy

Monday, July 12, 2010

On Capitol Hill this week, Democratic lawmakers will make a last-ditch attempt to get the financial regulations bill passed before heading into mid-term elections. Democratic Senators are also struggling to extend unemployment benefits to the nation's jobless, but have yet to secure enough votes to avoid a Republican filibuster. And while the Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, it is likely Republicans will delay Tuesday's vote until next week.

Outside the beltway, this week marks the start of earnings season. Investors and economics will be watching closely to see if the economy is on the road to recovery or headed for a double-dip recession.

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Pentagon Tightens Rules on Military Interaction with Media

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Pentagon has created new rules governing the military's interaction with the media, following Gen. Stanley McChrystal's loose-lipped appearance in Rolling Stone. Yesterday, for the first time since the controversial new rules were announced, Defense Secretary Robert Gates faced the press. 

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Fighting Against Distracted Driving, LaHood Gets Lobbyists Off His Back

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood criticized a Washington lobbying firm that was drumming up opposition to his distracted driving campaign. The Seward Square Group created the DRIVE coalition to promote driver education as an alternative to LaHood's proposal, which would lead to poor sales for mobile devices (they even went after Oprah).

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Obama Administration Sues Arizona

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Obama administration has filed suit in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s tough, controversial new immigration law. SB1070 requires state and local police to question and possibly arrest those who exhibit reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegally. The justice department says that this is a federal job, which should not be handled by lcal law enforcement.

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Obama Administration Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

PRI
WNYC

The Obama Administration has filed suit against Arizona's controversial new immigration law, seeking to block the law from taking effect next month. Justice Department officials filed the suit in Federal District Court in Phoenix Tuesday afternoon. The bottom line from U.S. Attorneys is that immigration is a national concern and that Arizona's law is unconstitutional because the state doesn't have the right to enforce immigration laws by itself. "The United States Constitution forbids Arizona from supplanting the federal government’s immigration regime with its own state-specific immigration policy," the lawsuit states.

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The Fate of Climate Change Legislation

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Harry Reid and his staff are desperately trying to figure out how to get the 60 votes needed to pass a climate bill in the Senate, which President Obama promised on his campaign trail. According to The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, it's looking highly unlikley right now that the Democrats will get those 60 votes. 

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This Week's Agenda: Politicians Go Home; RNC Leader's Gaffe; Replacing Sen. Byrd

Monday, July 05, 2010

Members of Congress are heading back to their districts for a summer recess with little to stand on as unemployment numbers remain high. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich looks at the week's news agenda, along with Chrystia Freeland, global editor-in-chief of Reuters.

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RNC's Michael Steele Gaffes... Again

Monday, July 05, 2010

At a Republican fundraiser in Connecticut this weekend, Michael Steele was caught by a handheld camera saying the conflict in Afghanistan is "a war of Obama's choosing." Those words have many Republicans criticizing the RNC chairman, and calling for his resignation, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains Steele's history of gaffes and whether this one will bring him down.

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The House Rules on Afghan Funding Bill

Friday, July 02, 2010

House Democrats worked late into the night to push ahead legislation to add $37 billion to war funding in Afghanistan and Iraq. The bill also boosts domestic spending for teachers, student loans and U.S.-Mexico border security. Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has the details on the bill. He says that it's becoming clear that the war in Afghanistan is getting harder to support, and that last night's voting reflected that.

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Byrd to Lie in Repose in Senate Chamber

Thursday, July 01, 2010

In honor of Sen. Robert Byrd, flags at the White House will be flown at half-staff. Today, his body will lie in the Senate chamber before being flown to West Virginia for a memorial service. Friday, there will be a public viewing at a memorial attended by Congressional leaders and President Obama and then the body will return to Washington D.C. for a burial where he will be laid to rest next to his wife, Emma.

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Sen. Sessions Spars with Kagan During First Day of Questioning

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In her first day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan got off to a rocky start in a nearly 20-minute back-and-forth debate with ranking Republican Senator Jeff Sessions. In the sparring session, Sen. Sessions maintained that Kagan had circumvented the law and was disrespectful to the military when she limited military recruiters' access to campus as dean of Harvard Law School. Kagan repeatedly said Harvard was always in compliance with the law. 

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Robert Byrd's Passing and the Elena Kagan Confirmation Hearings

Monday, June 28, 2010

Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan begin today. But this news was overshadowed by the death this morning of Sen. Robert Byrd. 

Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich looks at the record of Sen. Byrd and previews the Kagan hearings, along with Jamal Greene, associate professor of law at Columbia Law School and former law clerk for Justice Stevens.

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Remembering Sen. Robert Byrd, Longest Serving Senator

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sen. Robert C. Byrd served in Congress longer than anyone in the nation's history. The senator's office announced that he passed away at 3 a.m. Monday morning at a suburban Washington hospital. The West Virginia Democrat was 92, and was serving in an unprecedented ninth term in the U.S. Senate.

Paul Nyden - Reporter (check title) for Charleston Gazette, W. Va.'s largest Newspaper. Been on Byrd obit duty for years.

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Remember Robert Byrd, the Nation's Longest Serving Senator

Monday, June 28, 2010

PRI
WNYC

Robert C. Byrd, the longest-serving legislator in the history of the United States Senate, died Monday at age 92. Byrd came to the Senate from West Virginia in January, 1959, after serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Over a Senate career that spanned nine terms, he attained an unparalleled reputation as a master of Senate procedure, the body’s unofficial historian, and the unchallenged keeper of the Senate’s institutions and traditions.

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Play by Play: What to Expect from Elena Kagan's Confirmation Hearings

Sunday, June 27, 2010

PRI
WNYC

You may not have heard much in the last week about Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. They start Monday, and usually a Senate Judiciary Committee grilling of a prospective new Justice generates a lot more "pre-trial" buzz than this one has.

For that, thank the lawmakers who worked nearly 24 hours straight to wrap up a high-profile and hard-lobbied deal on Wall St. regulations on Thursday. Thank Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who owned the news cycle for 48 hours after running his mouth then losing his job. Thank BP.

White House political advisor David Axelrod knew it when he briefed reporters by phone Friday. “Because things have been rather dull in Washington, we’ve scheduled these Supreme Court hearings, just to liven the festivities,” he joked.

Then Axelrod got serious. “We also live in an extraordinarily polarized political climate and therefore we are preparing to make a vigorous case” in Kagan’s defense, he said. That defense, of course, is against Republicans on the committee and their supporters outside the Hart 216 hearing room. They will be trying a few different plays to gain traction against a nominee who has largely avoided close scrutiny from the general public so far.

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