On Tuesday’s NewsHour…
DEFICIT SPENDING – The Congressional Budget Office made headlines here in Washington Tuesday, predicting a deficit of $1.35 trillion this year as the recession continues to take its toll on economic activity. Meantime, the U.S. Senate rejected a plan supported by the Obama administration that would create a bipartisan task force to tackle the deficit. The vote came just hours after President Obama indicated he plans to call for a three year freeze on non-military spending by domestic government agencies in his State of the Union Speech Wednesday. Judy Woodruff reports the day’s events, and then talks to two Senators who spearheaded the effort to create a bipartisan panel: Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Budget Committee, and the committee’s ranking Republican, Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.
SENATE RACES – After the other news of the day, Gwen Ifill leads a discussion about prominent Senate races in this fall’s mid-term elections in which the Democrats appear to be running into difficulty. Her guests will be Stuart Rothenberg, Editor and Publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report; Michael Mezey, Professor of Political Science at DePaul University in Chicago; and Joseph Pika, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware.
MAKING SENSE – Our Business and Economics Correspondent Paul Solman turns his attention to housing prices tonight. On the day the S&P’s “Case-Shiller Index” showed sales prices rising slightly in October and November, but prices still 5 percent down compared with a year ago, Paul talks to Messrs. Case and Shiller themselves, the men who developed the index.
HAITI HEALTH: Ray Suarez continues his reporting from Haiti with a look at the debate over how to rebuild the country’s shattered health infrastructure.
WMD REPORT – Margaret Warner looks at a report by a congressionally-mandated panel that has concluded the United States is not ready to deal with a biological attack by terrorists. She’ll talk to the two senior figures who led the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation: Chairman & Former Democratic Senator Bob Graham; and Vice-Chair and Former Republican Senator Jim Talent.
WEB ONLY – Hari Sreenivasan gives a tour of new features on the site, including an interview with Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s moves to jump start the economy by devaluing the currency; the start of a series of viewpoints on climate change legislation – Judy Woodruff begins with Peter Molinaro of Dow Chemical Company, which is part of a partnership of businesses and environmental groups working on the issue; and an invitation to participate in our State Of The Union feature that enables you to submit your own reaction videos to our YouTube channel … and comments to our blog.
PROGRAM NOTE: A reminder that the PBS NewsHour will carry full live coverage of the State of the Union Address & the Republican Response Wednesday night at 9pm ET. You’ll find our coverage live on both PBS, and our website: http://newshour.pbs.org
Tonight’s program is anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. We hope you’ll join us.