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Power Breakfast: Different Views On The Federal Government Shutdown

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"We've thought for several days that we were very close to an agreement," says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "But the meeting at the White House and the negotiations over the weekend really indicated to me and I think most people who are watching this, that the leadership in the House is being guided by the tea party."

Speaker of the House John Boehner raises another point.

"I don't know what some people don't understand about this, but this is the first time we've all been in this environment," he says. "The first time we've had a Republican majority dealing with this president. The first time we've had a Republican majority dealing with this Senate. It's certainly taken us some time to get acquainted with each other and work our way through this."

Florida Democrat Frederica Wilson is hardly optimistic about negotiations.

"We're going to stand strong, and the government, I believe, will shut down," Wilson says.

"Look if it's a short-term shutdown I don't think a lot of people will even feel it," says Florida Republican Mario Diaz-Balart. "Here's my concern: if we close down, I don't know how that makes it 'easier' for the Senate to pass anything. So I'm not sure it would be a short-term closing of government. If it's not a short-term closing, then you do feel impacts everywhere."

Iowa Republican Steve King is concerned that the newly inaugurated congressman and senators aren't ready to deal with the results of a shutdown.

"In the end, it will be the court of public opinion that decides this, and I don't know that the freshman class is prepared for the stare-down that comes in the event of a shutdown," he says. "An all-out assault on a member of Congress' character that comes when the pressure comes up like that -- they need to be ready for that. And if you haven't lived through it, it's pretty hard to be ready."

WAMU 88.5

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Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

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