Governments at all levels are trying to save money by scaling back retirement benefits. Public employees may still end up with more generous plans than their private-sector counterparts, but the days of feeling totally secure about their pension income may be numbered.
The bipartisan plan would head off any more budget battles for two years. But it also doesn't cut spending as much as some Republicans want or restore some of the funding that Democrats favor. Both sides being disappointed may be the key to the plan's success, though.
Once the Cold War ended, much of Russia's surplus uranium from thousands of decommissioned weapons wound up in crumbling military facilities. In 1993, the U.S. Department of Energy made a deal to have the material converted to fuel for U.S. power plants. The last shipment arrives today.
Shortly before eulogizing Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Tuesday, President Obama shook hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro and set off much discussion about a possible shift in U.S.-Cuba relations. David Greene talks to Dan Restrepo, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former adviser to Obama on Latin America.
For years, there's been talk in Washington, D.C., about the "grand bargain" — a big deficit-reducing budget deal that rewrites the tax code and trims from the long-term costs of Medicare and Social Security. Tuesday night, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan announced what can only be described as a small bargain. But if it's approved by the House and Senate, it would avoid another government shutdown in January.
Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on lawmakers not to impose further sanctions in Iran as negotiations on reining in Tehran's nuclear program continue. Iranian officials have said new sanctions would kill off any hope of a final deal between Iran and world powers.
House and Senate negotiators said late Thursday that they reached a budget deal. The agreement would restore some of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, and includes some relatively small deficit reduction over the next two years. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hammered out the deal, which they characterized as a step in the right direction that would avoid another government shutdown in mid-January if both the House and Senate approve the budget.
Federal regulators moved to tighten banking rules to curb risky trading on Wall Street Thursday. The so-called Volcker rule, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul, would preclude banks from making risky bets on their own accounts. Audie Cornish talks to Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, for more on what the rules will mean.
Officials at the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the SEC signed off on new banking rules Tuesday. Under the so-called Volcker rule, banks will be barred from trading in their own accounts, but will still be able to buy and sell on behalf of clients. Big investment banks will no longer be able to own hedge funds or private equity firms. The new regulations took more than three years to complete.
Democrats who control the Senate invoked the so-called "nuclear option" to make it easier for them to approve President Obama's nominations several weeks ago. On Tuesday, they put that option to use, ramming through approval for a new appeals court judge and unblocking the nomination of a new director for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Leaked internal documents reveal new insights into the goals and finances of the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations to develop model bills that lawmakers try to pass in their state legislatures.
The number two Republican in the Senate is the latest GOP incumbent to receive a challenge from the right. In a surprise move, Rep. Steve Stockman, a conservative firebrand with a knack for stirring controversy, entered the 2014 Senate race Monday just before the state's filing deadline.