The Takeaway

As Hours Wane, Can Congress Get Productive?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

So far, Congress has only passed 52 new laws this year—the fewest in the post-World War II era—and there are only a handful of days left before the close of this historically ineffective Congressional session. Is it possible to inject some productivity into this Congress as the hours wane? Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, checks in to discuss what needs to happen before 2013 comes to a close.

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The Takeaway

Lessons from the Sequester and the Shutdown

Thursday, October 10, 2013

While few economists would argue that automatic spending cuts—through the sequester or the shutdown—are the best way to reduce wasteful spending, the cuts are in effect. Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of and Reason TV, and Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, examine what the federal government has learned from the sequester and the shutdown: What spending is wasteful, and which programs are worth it?

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Money Talking

Syria Debate Hits Budget Negotiations

Friday, September 06, 2013

The debate in Congress this week over whether to give President Obama authorization to take military action in Syria crowded out talk of economic issues like funding the government, raising the debt limit, picking a new boss at Federal Reserve and immigration reform.


The Washington Report

Will the U.S. government allow more surveillance oversight? Drone use in Yemen; and has the sequester really hurt the economy?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Host Kerry Nolan talks with New York Times Chief Washington correspondent David Sangerabout President Obama's plan to provide greater oversight when it comes to government surveillance programs; we look at drone strikes in Yemen and what that means in the war on terror and Congress left for its' summer break without dealing with the budget. Has the sequester really hurt the economy?

The Brian Lehrer Show

The Sequester's Real: Head Start

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, director of the Office of Head Start, explains how sequestration cuts are affecting the program and the children enrolled in it.

→ Reading List: FAQ on Sequester ImpactRoundup of Media Coverage (By State)

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Sequester's Real: Biomed

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The automatic spending cuts are starting to be felt in a variety of areas that receive government funding. Sarah Gonzalez, New Jersey Public Radio reporter, discusses her reporting on how the sequester is leading to a cut in funding and the closing of labs in the local biotech industry.

Comments [11]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Obamacare Rollout; Sequester Cuts; Amsterdam Bikes

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post checks in on the progress of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, and what the policy will mean for women. Plus: a look at what the sequester cuts means for research labs in the area. Then, details from the Save the Children report about conditions for mothers and newborns around the world; what New York City can learn from Amsterdam’s bike culture; and the growing culture of domesticity.

New Jersey News

'A Generation of Untrained Scientists' After $1.6 Billion in Cuts to Biomedical Research

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


It means hundreds of labs will have to shut down – years of medical research sitting on shelves until funding comes back.

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Slate Political Gabfest

Slate: The "Whoops, Did I Really Just Hand the 2000 Election to Bush?" Gabfest

Friday, May 03, 2013

Slate's Political Gabfest, featuring David Plotz, John Dickerson and Emily Bazelon. This week: Gitmo gets a hunger strike, the FAA gets a furlough fix and Justice O'Connor gets regretful.


The Takeaway

Airports and Medicare Patients Impacted As Sequestration Cuts Take Hold

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Not long ago President Obama warned of the potentially devastating and deeply destructive consequences of allowing the federal government cuts known as sequestration go into effect. About one month ago he signed that order of sequestration and the immediate impact seemed, well, neither immediately devastating nor overwhelmingly painful. However, slowly we are beginning to see the consequences across the country.

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Transportation Nation

FAA to Close 149 Air Traffic Control Towers (LIST)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Forced to trim $637 million from its budget, the FAA is closing 149 air traffic control facilities around the country.

The closures will start taking place early next month and will take four weeks to complete.

Air traffic controllers say this means more work for the pilots -- and could lead to delays. "When there’s no controller in the tower, it then becomes a one-in, one-out operation," said Sarah Dunn, a spokesperson for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, meaning pilots, not controllers, will be coordinating air traffic at these airports.  "All the pilots are on the same frequency checking to see who’s landing, who’s coming in and out."

But the FAA says the closures won't affect safety. “We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement.

See the list of towers below.

FAA Contract Tower Closure List

Read More


The Takeaway

Despite Sequester, Feds Award Grants to Prevent Domestic Abuse Homicides

Monday, March 18, 2013

In an era when the Violence Against Women Act has proven to be hugely divisive, and budgets are being slashed because of the sequester, the Department of Justice has awarded millions in grant money to domestic violence prevention programs.

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Transportation Nation

Object Lesson: How Sequestration Could Affect Small Airports

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chocks Away- business jet traffic at Kissimmee Gateway Airport could suffer if the control tower closes (photo by Matthew Peddie)

Budget cuts brought about by sequestration could force the closure of more than 100 air traffic control facilities  -- including control towers at smaller airports across the US.

Kissimmee Gateway Airport, which is just outside of Orlando, is on the list of towers which could be shut down April 7th. City leaders say that would put the brakes on one of the main economic drivers in the area.

“It’s an economic engine, not only necessarily because of what happens on the field, but also what happens adjacent to it," says Mayor Jim Swan. He says the economic impact of the airport is estimated around $100 million a year. Swan says losing the tower will make it  tough to market a $3.2 million dollar business airpark  which is being built with state and local funds.

A large part of the airport’s traffic includes business jets bringing people to functions at nearby Disney World and conventions on Orlando's International Drive.

Last year the airport saw 129,000 departures and landings from a mix of business jets, and propeller planes. Aviation director Terry Lloyd says losing the control tower- which is operated under a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration- could decrease flights to under 100,000 a year.

"I think it's something that we have a lot of dread [about], and there are a lot of unknowns," he says.

He says having a tower to help manage traffic makes Kissimmee a more attractive destination for business jets.

"The corporate traffic- that's kind of on the top of their checklist, if there's an airport with a tower, that's where they go," he says. "And then if there's not a tower they make a decision- is it important enough for us to go in there, and a lot of it's driven by the aircraft insurance companies."

Aircraft operators also have fuel agreements at airports - like Kissimmee- that guarantee the price of aviation fuel if they land there.  Lloyd says those agreements could also be jeopardized by the loss of the tower.

Other airport users say they're concerned about safety. John Calla, vice president of operations for Italico Aviation--  a company that plans to import and assemble light sport aircraft at Kissimmee -- says he's worried about the mix of traffic if there's no tower. "You see the jets that take off here and the speed they operate," says Calla. "You get a smaller aircraft that's used to flying about 60 miles per hour, integrating with something of that size, and you could get some conflicts.

Calla says the tower is important to separate and sequence the arrival and departure of planes. "They know the speed of the aircraft and they know how much to sequence it so traffic flow is not impaired. It also improves the safety as well."

Florida Congressman Alan Grayson has written to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA urging them to consider the impact of closing the tower.




Read More


The Brian Lehrer Show

Congress and the Budget

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elizabeth Williamson, Wall Street Journal reporter based in Washington, reviews political news in D.C.— from the ongoing effects of the sequester cuts to the budget proposals from Paul Ryan.


Comments [9]

Gabfest Radio

Gabfest Radio: The Old-School Filibuster Edition

Saturday, March 09, 2013

On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio from Slate and WNYC, Political Gabfest panelists John Dickerson, David Plotz, and special guest Dave Weigel discuss President Obama’s renewed efforts to schmooze GOP lawmakers in order to resolve contentious budget issues, and Sen. Rand Paul's 12-hour filibuster on US drone policy.

Comments [1]

The Brian Lehrer Show

As Snow Falls, Are Relations in DC Thawing?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Glenn Thrush, senior White House reporter for Politico, talks about this week's news from the Beltway, from Senator Rand Paul's stand on drones, to the sequester a week in, and Obama reaching out to Republicans on a fiscal deal.


Comments [8]

Slate Political Gabfest

Slate: The Screw You, Let's Have Lunch Gabfest

Friday, March 08, 2013

Slate's Political Gabfest, featuring David Plotz, John Dickerson and special guest Dave Weigel. This week: The Obama schmooze, the Paul filibuster and the Menendez prostitution scandal.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Monday Morning Politics: The Post-Sequester World

Monday, March 04, 2013

A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, talks about the latest sequester news and other national politics.

Comments [38]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Low-Income Mayoral Concerns; HIV Cure?; Threat to O.J.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Washington’s budget woes continue. A.B. Stoddard of The Hill talks about the latest in national politics. Then, Westchester Country Executive Rob Astorino on how to stop gun violence. Plus: a new study looks at what low-income New Yorkers are concerned about in the 2013 Mayoral race; the story of the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco; the possible end of orange juice; the disease threatening orange juice; and the story of a baby cured of HIV.

The Washington Report

The Great Sequester and Basketball Diplomacy

Monday, March 04, 2013

The sequester — $85 billion in across the board spending cuts — has begun.  In this week's Washington Report, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, talks to Kerry Nolan about what people can expect and whether the real impacts can still be avoided.