October 2013

PBS Newshour: Sen. Mitch McConnell: I don't think anybody can make the health reform law work

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., believes the problems with the Affordable Care Act implementation extends beyond the website's technical troubles. Gwen Ifill sits down with Sen. McConnell to discuss his criticism of the ACA, his take on NSA spying allegations and which common causes unite the GOP factions.

PBS Newshour: Congress Grills Medicare Head As Some Insurance Holders Get Cancellation Notices

Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner faced questions on Capitol Hill about the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov and the administration's proposed timeline for fixes. Kwame Holman reports. Jonathan Gruber of MIT and industry consultant Robert Laszewski join Gwen Ifill for more on Americans whose insurance policies are being canceled.

PBS Newshour: Uproar over U.S. surveillance scope raises question of what spying is acceptable

European governments lodged new complaints about U.S. surveillance after learning of new disclosures that the NSA tracked millions of phone calls in Spain, reports Kwame Holman. For more on the continuing fallout, Gwen Ifill speaks with former CIA official John McLaughlin and Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations.

PBS Newshour: GOP can gain strength and the Senate by 'adhering to principles,' says Gillespie

Despite the political hit Republicans took from the shutdown, former RNC chair Ed Gillespie is optimistic his party can make headway on issues like immigration reform and entitlements, and win back the majority if they can reduce friction in their coalition. Gwen Ifill talks to Gillespie about the outlook for the next election.

PBS Newshour: Is U.S. being transparent enough about civilian deaths from drone strikes?

Two human rights groups claim that U.S. drone attacks targeting terrorists have killed dozens of innocent civilians abroad, despite promises from the president to limit strikes that cause unintended casualties. Mustafa Qadri of Amnesty International, the author of one report, and retired Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap join Gwen Ifill.

PBS Newshour: Should individuals also be held accountable for the 2008 financial meltdown?

JP Morgan Chase is close to striking a reported $13 billion settlement with the government over the sale of troubled mortgage securities. Gwen Ifill talks to Dennis Kelleher of Better Markets and Bert Ely, a banking consultant, for reaction on the penalty and how the government is seeking accountability for the 2008 crisis.

PBS Newshour: Senator-Elect Cory Booker: Our Generation Has No Right to Indulge In Cynicism

Newark Mayor Cory Booker will be New Jersey's first African-American senator, having been elected to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. Gwen Ifill talks to Booker about his win, his legislative priorities and how he plans to pursue "uncommon coalitions for uncommon results" with his fellow lawmakers.

PBS Newshour: Does a Mich. amendment prohibiting affirmative action violate equal protection?

The Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Michigan voters can pass a law that prohibits racial preference in college admissions. Gwen Ifill gets background from Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal, plus views from Lee Bollinger of Columbia University and Joshua Thompson, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation.

PBS Newshour: Troop commitment among roadblocks in Afghan security talks

Secretary of State John Kerry made progress with his trip to Afghanistan to work on a security deal, but both nations come to the table with concerns about trust and commitment. Gwen Ifill gets analysis from David Sedney, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, and former Afghan Foreign Ministry official Omar Samad.

PBS Newshour: What might both parties give up to 'escape' shutdown impasse?

Senate leaders showed hope that they might be headed towards an end to the government shutdown, while House remains uneasy about the path forward. Robert Costa of the National Review joins Gwen Ifill to discuss why a short-term deal may be necessary and what concessions both sides may make to resolve the damaging impasse.