When the bi-partisan budget deal was announced in December, supporters heralded cuts that would balance spending increases. Among them, a slight reduction to the pensions of working-age military retirees. But a bi-partisan consensus emerged to undo it — calling into the question whether Congress has the political will necessary to make any cuts that reduce the long-term debt.
Tuesday, Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews of New Jersey announced that he'd be resigning from office. Andrews proposed 646 bills during his 23 years in Congress, and none of them passed. The Washington Post dubbed it the "worst record of the last 20 years." He speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about his record and why he is leaving Congress.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times about the lackluster January jobs report, the debate surrounding a new report from Congressional Budget Office and the renewed debate over immigration policy.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock appointed his number two, John Walsh, to serve out the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who was confirmed Thursday as U.S. ambassador to China. The appointment gives Walsh a brief incumbency advantage going into an expected tough fall battle.
Hundreds of thousands of people are put on probation every year. Now, a study by Human Rights Watch finds private probation contractors are racking up profits and effectively criminalizing poverty. Host Michel Martin discusses the issue with HRW's Chris Albin-Lackey and Rhonda Cook of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"That doesn't mean I'm the only guy that can do it," the vice president tells CNN. "But if no one else, I think, can, and I think I can, then I'd run." He's far behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent poll of Democrats. Biden said he'll decide by summer 2015.