On Thursday’s NewsHour…

BY newsdesk  January 6, 2011 at 5:15 PM EST

NEWSMAKER: DEFENSE CHIEF ROBERT GATES | As federal deficits rise, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is looking for ways to cut spending by close to $100 billion in the next five years, a sign that even the Pentagon’s massive budget is subject to government-wide belt tightening. The cost-cutting measures would not affect troops in Afghanistan or Iraq, and 1,400 additional Marines are headed to Afghanistan this spring. Jim Lehrer talks to Secretary Gates about the new measures.

CONGRESSIONAL CIVICS LESSON | A busy second day of the 112th Congress began with a reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives, beginning with a recitation of the preeamble by Speaker John Boehner. Though some Democrats joined in on the reading, partisanship was alive and well as dueling over the federal deficit began with Democrats’ assertion that exemptions could add to the shortfall and Republicans targeting of the health care reform law. Judy Woodruff talks to Republican Dave Camp of Michigan, new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

PAKISTAN FLOODS | Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Sindh Province, where the effects of the major flooding five months ago are still present in the daily lives of displaced residents and international and government response has fallen short of the massive need.

GULF OIL SPILL | The president’s oil spill commission released an excerpt of its final report on the Gulf spill, in which they said the same conditions that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion remained, and faulted BP, Transocean and Halliburton for cutting corners to save money. BP says it is working to improve the safety of its operations. Ray Suarez gets details on the commission’s report from Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post.

Jim Lehrer and Judy Woodruff anchor Wednesday night’s program. Kwame Holman will have the day’s other top headlines and a look at features on our website.

We hope you’ll join us.