Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez's life has been marked by arrests, no-holds-barred Chicago-style political fighting, and even the occasional Molotov cocktail thrown through his window. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his life and new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
Signs of movement emerged in the impasse that led to the government shutdown and debt-ceiling crises... Many key Republicans shifted their focus to entitlements and away from Obamacare... Treasury Secretary Lew was expected to take on default deniers during a Capitol Hill visit.
A partial federal shutdown has prompted angry debate nationwide. Sen. Michael Bennet, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tells Steve Inskeep that on the budget impasse issue, "The divide between Democrats and Republicans is less than the divide that exists in the Republican Party."
The partial government shutdown has forced the Pentagon to delay payments to the families of troops killed while serving in the U.S. military. Normally these families would receive a $100,000 payment three days after the death of member of the Armed Forces. More than 20 have died since the shutdown began. A private, non-profit group called the Fisher House Foundation will pay the death benefits during the shutdown.
Amid all the warnings from the financial community about the dangers of defaulting on the national debt, there is a small band of Republicans who wonder if defaulting would be so bad. While small in number, they are influential within the Tea Party faction that has driven the current fiscal crisis.
Amid the shutdown, House Republicans have adopted a piecemeal strategy, voting to reopen small parts of the government. That's put politicians in surprising positions — with Democrats voting against their favorite programs and Republicans cheering for fully funding programs they usually argue need a trim.
When Florida Governor Rick Scott's administration began an effort to find and purge non-citizens from the voting rolls last year, life-long citizens and voters received letters asking them to prove their citizenship. That became a political embarrassment. But now, the Scott administration is ready to start the purge again, this time using a federal citizenship database. But county election officials remain wary.