Power Breakfast: State And Municipal Debt, An Oncoming Crisis? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Power Breakfast: State And Municipal Debt, An Oncoming Crisis?

Play associated audio

Today a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee convenes a hearing on state and municipal debt - subtitled 'The Coming Crisis?' Vermont Congressman Peter Welch wonders why.

"The question I have is, why is Congress getting involved?" Welch asks.

As a Democrat on the subcommittee, Welch goes into today's hearing mindful of what he calls its subtext.

"The state pension systems are really the responsibility of the states, and many states have not been adequately funding them," he explains. "I think the subtext of this hearing is to show some support by the Republican majority for some of the activities going on in Wisconsin and Ohio."

Figuratively speaking, political winds have shifted in Washington - and Republicans have an opportunity to test whether that could contribute to a climatic shift in the Midwest.

Elsewhere in the Capitol today, U.S. lawmakers may be keeping a close eye on some actual shifting winds.

Senator Mark Kirk mentions the air over Japan's nuclear facilities, where a winter storm is brewing.

"I, for one, will be looking at any kind of plume that forms and its direction," he says. "If the wind direction changes, you could have Fukushima debris over Tokyo. That would be a humanitarian challenge- a real challenge for the United States and Japan."

The Illinois Republican says Congress should be focused now on supporting humanitarian relief efforts. Nuclear power backers in both parties are bracing for a powerful gust of skepticism and concern about nuclear safety.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 18

You can attend a season step show then get yourself “on the right track” with a Broadway musical.

NPR

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.
WAMU 88.5

Maryland Lawmakers Played Role In Release Of Alan Gross From Cuba

State lawmakers say they had a hand in the release of Maryland resident Alan Gross from Cuba yesterday.

NPR

With Sony Hack, Nation-State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

U.S. intelligence officials claim that North Korea was centrally involved in the hack against Sony. That's major news in the world of cyberwarfare, where nation-states typically make covert attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.