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PBS' longest-running public affairs series features Washington's top journalists analyzing the week's top news stories and their effect on the lives of all Americans. Gwen Ifill hosts.
Washington Week Previous Broadcasts
KQED 9: Fri, Mar 29, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
* The Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases on the future of same-sex marriage this week. The first challenged California's Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban on gay marriages. The second challenged the constitutionality of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples.
While public opinion in favor of marriage equality is rapidly growing, some justices seemed skeptical on whether the court should even weigh in on the debate. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the courts unpredictable swing vote, even went so far as to call it "uncharted territory." We will get analysis of the arguments in both cases from Joan Biskupic of Reuters and Pete Williams of NBC News. Dan Balz of The Washington Post will report on the political considerations lawmakers - Democrats and Republicans - are making when deciding whether to support gay marriage.
* Congress may be on recess, but that didn't stop President Obama from prodding lawmakers to take action on strengthening gun laws. During a White House event on Thursday he invoked the Newtown elementary school shooting saying, "Shame on us if we've forgotten." However, the prospects for passing stricter federal gun-control measures seem to be fading. At least three Republican senators - Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas - have said they will block a vote on gun legislation. John Harwood of CNBC and The New York Times will report on the renewed push by the White House to, in the words of the president, "make sure that fewer parents have to endure the pain of losing a child to an act of violence."
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 31, 2013 -- 4:30 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 31, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 -- 6:30 PM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 -- 9:00 AM
- KQED 9: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
KQED 9: Fri, Mar 22, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
President Obama urged Middle East leaders to resume Israel-Palestinian peace talks during his first trip to the region as president this week. But US efforts to reach a mutually acceptable compromise in the conflict-ridden region are complicated by the president's strained relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran's growing nuclear ambitions, and reports that chemical weapons may have been used in nearby Syria. Tom Gjelten of NPR and David Sanger of The New York Times will report on whether Mr. Obama's visit will change the landscape in the troubled region.
Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post and John Harris of Politico will have analysis of a Republican self-examination on the 2012 elections that concluded the party needs to adopt a more inclusive tone to overcome a public image that it is "narrow-minded" and "out-of-touch. " Plus they will take a look at why a recent surge in support for same-sex marriage could shift the political balance on this issue and the political calculations that go along with that support.
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 24, 2013 -- 4:30 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 24, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 -- 6:30 PM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 -- 9:00 AM
- KQED 9: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
KQED 9: Fri, Mar 15, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
* President Barack Obama continued his "charm offensive" this week meeting with House Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. While the president tried to broker a bipartisan budget deal, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a new GOP budget proposal and Senator Patty Murray unveiled the Democratic blueprint. The reactions by both Democrats and Republicans: neither budget is likely to become law. So what will it take to bridge the partisan divide and reach a compromise?
* Republicans are meeting just outside Washington this week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Most of the focus will be about finding a way forward for the Republican Party. It will also be a chance for the rising stars of the party like Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to rally support from conservative activists for their potential 2016 presidential runs. Also scheduled to speak at CPAC: Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney.
Joining Gwen Ifill to report on the uphill battle to reach a bipartisan budget deal, CPAC, and Organizing for Action (OFA), an Obama campaign organization turned advocacy group, and the role it is playing in promoting the president's second-term agenda: John Dickerson of Slate Magazine and CBS News, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, and Jeanne Cummings of Bloomberg News.
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 17, 2013 -- 4:30 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 17, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 -- 6:30 PM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 -- 9:00 AM
- KQED Life: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
- KQED 9: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
- KQED Life: Fri, Mar 15, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
KQED 9: Fri, Mar 8, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
It was a week of mixed messages and political realities in Washington. There were allegations of gamesmanship vs. outreach across the political aisle; projections of significant fallout due to sequestration vs. the fact that the government is still rolling. Joining Gwen Ifill around the table this week: Greg Ip of The Economist, Susan Davis of USA Today, and Charles Babington of the Associated Press. Topics:
* After a bruising battle over budget cuts, President Obama has now launched a Republican "charm offensive" hosting meals with key GOP lawmakers and making plans to get together with the entire Senate Republican caucus next week. The goal: breaking through the gridlock to find bipartisan solutions to the budget crisis. The president is focused on reaching a deal that includes tax reform and long-term deficit reduction. Lawmakers in the House passed a budget designed to avert fiscal disaster later this month. The big question: how can the White House and Congress finally find common ground and negotiate a comprehensive budget plan?
* Meanwhile, after weeks of warnings and predictions of sequester doom, most Americans probably didn't notice. Investors on Wall Street didn't seem concerned, as the stock market surged to its highest levels ever. So now the question is: were the economists who cautioned that the $85 billion in spending cuts would stall the fragile economic recovery right or wrong?
* Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul's nearly 13 hour filibuster to block John Brennan's confirmation as the new CIA chief proved to be unsuccessful. Brennan was confirmed by a 63-34 vote of the Senate on Thursday. However, Paul's principled stance forced Attorney General Eric Holder to admit that the president cannot order drone strikes against US citizens here at home. While the filibuster may have endeared him to libertarian supporters, some Republican Senators who support the use of drones weren't so happy. Now what happens?
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 10, 2013 -- 4:30 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 10, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 9, 2013 -- 6:30 PM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 9, 2013 -- 9:00 AM
- KQED Life: Sat, Mar 9, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
- KQED 9: Sat, Mar 9, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
- KQED Life: Fri, Mar 8, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
KQED 9: Fri, Mar 1, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
* The "sequester" was never supposed to happen. It was a short-term solution agreed to by the White House and Congress in August 2011 as a means to avoid the debt ceiling crisis. But as the March 1 deadline approaches, it looks like $85 billion in deep, across-the-board federal spending cuts will take effect on Friday. That's the same day President Obama has scheduled meetings with congressional leaders to discuss ways to avert the impact of the sequester and address the looming federal debt that currently exceeds $16.5 trillion. Can a twelfth hour deal be reached? And if the automatic cuts do take effect, what will the potential economic impact be? We'll get answers and analysis from David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal and Gloria Borger of CNN.
* This week the US Supreme Court heard a case challenging a key civil rights law from the 1960's that helped ensure minorities could vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 bans discriminatory voting procedures nationwide. It includes a provision that requires some jurisdictions - those in areas with a history of making it difficult for African-Americans to vote - to get federal approval before changing voting procedures. Joan Biskupic of Reuters was at the Supreme Court to hear oral arguments and will report on this closely-watched case.
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 3, 2013 -- 4:30 PM
- KQED World: Sun, Mar 3, 2013 -- 10:30 AM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 2, 2013 -- 6:30 PM
- KQED World: Sat, Mar 2, 2013 -- 9:00 AM
- KQED Life: Sat, Mar 2, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
- KQED 9: Sat, Mar 2, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
- KQED Life: Fri, Mar 1, 2013 -- 8:00 PM