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Local Impact: Federal Spending and the D.C. Area

View of the U.S. Capitol from the Eastern Market neighborhood
Debate about government spending is playing a key role in the 2012 election season. But discussion on the scope of the federal government takes on special significance in the D.C. area, where nearly everyone has some tie to Uncle Sam. In a special series informed by the Public Insight Network, WAMU 88.5 looks at the economic, political and emotional impacts of some fundamental questions: What role should the government play? And at what cost?
WAMU 88.5

Is The Bed Tax A Dream Come True For Virginia Governor's Health Care Agenda?

With Republicans retaining control of Virginia's House and Senate, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's efforts to expand Medicaid might seem out of reach. But he's got a plan, and the hospital industry might be willing to accept it.

WAMU 88.5

For New Metro Leader, Long-Term Questions Come With $6 Billion Price Tag

Paul Wiedefeld, Metro's new general manager, takes over an agency with urgent problems. But there's also a longer-term, $6 billion question looming, and the answer will require cooperation from multiple players.

WAMU 88.5

Should D.C. Change Its Fiscal Year? It's 'Infinitely Simple,' or 'Very Complicated'

After being under the federal government's financial thumb for so long, Washington, D.C., soon could move closer to financial autonomy, by being allowed to move away from the feds' October-September fiscal year. But is gaining that measure of freedom worth the tens of millions of dollars the change could cost?
WAMU 88.5

Once-Controversial D.C. Needle Exchange Found To Save Money — And Lives

A new study finds that since Congress allowed D.C. to spend its own funds on needle-exchange programs, these programs have prevented 120 new HIV infections and saved $44 million.
WAMU 88.5

Short-Term Transportation Bill Means Lingering Headaches For D.C. Area, Experts Say

Congress has passed yet another temporary patch to keep the fund that pays for highway and transit projects from running out of money. But these kinds of patches are bad for the Washington region's needy infrastructure, experts say.
WAMU 88.5

Kaine Puts Focus On Defense Economy, Personnel In Kojo Nnamdi Interview

The Virginia Democrat, appearing in a special installment of the "Kojo In Your Community" series, emphasized the need for consistent federal budgeting to protect the defense industry, and he said the government should do more to help military personnel and federal workers.

WAMU 88.5

McAuliffe, As Cheerleader-In-Chief, Tries To Refashion Virginia Economy

"I'm just sort of getting warmed up," the governor told the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments this week.

WAMU 88.5

On Infrastructure Spending, Congress Kicks The Can Down The Road Again

A long-term federal transportation plan remains forthcoming as the House today voted for the twelfth short-term funding patch in just six years.

WAMU 88.5

Safety On The Rails Faces Funding And Technical Hurdles After Amtrak Disaster

In the wake of the Amtrak derailment that killed 8 and injured hundreds, debate rages over what — if anything — could have been done to prevent it.
WAMU 88.5

Even After Derailment, Amtrak Funding Facing Major Cuts In Congress

As federal investigators pick through the wreckage of a derailed Amtrak train in Philadelphia that left from Union Station, Congress is debating whether to cut Amtrak funding.