The First Draft: From education to Bernanke to borders
President Barack Obama is unveiling his plans to reform the U.S. education system, which has one of the worst high school dropout rates in the industrialized world.
But while Obama’s education reform plans drew applause on the campaign trail, he might face tough competition for airtime as he is talking at 0945 EDT — roughly the same time as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks about financial reform.
In his speech to the Council of Foreign Relations, Bernanke said governments needed to take forceful and sometimes coordinated action to heal markets and said sustainable economic recovery was out of reach until the financial system is stabilized.
In a visit to Brussels on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden warned NATO allies of a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and appealed for help in tackling the problem. Biden said his visit to Europe was aimed at listening to U.S. allies, who sometimes bristled at calls by the former Bush administration to deploy more troops to Afghanistan.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate is due to vote on the stalled $410 billion spending bill that will keep government operations funded through the end of this fiscal year.
Lawmakers will also hold hearings related to border issues: one on the Secure Border Initiative and another on how the government is responding to violence on the border with Mexico.
– Photo credit REUTERS/Larry Downing (Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit school in Washington last month) ; REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill last month)