For most of the past few decades, congressional appropriators decided how the federal budget would be spent. but since the supercommittee was formed in August to find federal deficit cuts, the House and Senate appropriations committees have seen their responsibilities wane.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just completed a week-long tour of Central Asia, which is playing an increasingly important role as the U.S. begins its drawdown in nearby Afghanistan. NPR's Jackie Northam has been traveling with Clinton and reports from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the last stop on the tour.
Iowa voters were getting an earful Saturday at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition forum. Meanwhile, Nevada decided to move back its caucus to Feb. 4. NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson joins host Audie Cornish to look at the week's political news and preview what's ahead for the presidential race.
Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, otherwise known as the supercommittee. The group is working on a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Host Audie Cornish gets an update from Van Hollen, who played a major role in Vice President Joe Biden's debt talks earlier this year.
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