President Obama is hoping to fight poverty, in five so-called "promise zones." The government is targeting those areas for economic revitalization. Host Michel Martin and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack take a look at the rural communities involved, and the special challenges to fight poverty there.
The so-called "omnibus" package of all twelve annual spending bills is a compromise; it has more money in it than what Congressional Republicans wanted, but less than what President Obama had asked for. There is some disappointment on both sides of the aisle with the measure, but this time nobody is talking about forcing another government shutdown.
Regular order. That phrase refers to Congress conducting business in a methodical way, like it used to back before "dysfunctional" came to seem an official description of Washington. A new federal budget working its way through Congress could help restore regular order to Capitol Hill.
The Senate is still struggling to find a way to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits for those out of work for 26 weeks or more. Majority leader Harry Reid agreed to bring up five Democratic and five Republican amendments in hopes to winning enough Republicans over to get to the 60 votes needed for passage.
Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday. The address came at an awkward time for Christie, who faces a widening investigation into politically-motivated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Christie acknowledged the scandal but tried to steer the conversation toward education and other second-term priorities.
A six-month deal to negotiate a limit to Iran's nuclear program and loosen Western sanctions is set to go into effect on Monday. But resistance from hardliners in both the U.S. and Tehran could mean trouble for negotiations. Melissa Block talks with Iran analyst Robin Wright. Wright is just back from a reporting trip to Iran.
The United States is among the world's wealthiest countries, but it has one of the highest poverty rates among developed nations. Host Michel Martin talks about how the U.S. can get a hold on poverty with New York University Professor Stephen Pimpare and Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute.