Michigan's Rep. Sander Levin, top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, says slow-walking the debt ceiling would also undermine prospects for immigration overhaul and tax reform.
Polls don't answer the question directly but indicate public support for Obama's 'balanced approach' to deficit reduction. But worry about 'government dysfunction' is also at its highest point since Watergate, and Americans are signaling to leaders that they want compromise.
With opposition in Congress to renewing a ban on assault weapons, the White House sees advantages to using executive powers to signal progress on gun control. But Obama would need Congress to achieve some likely goals.
To move their agenda on reducing gun violence forward, congressional Democrats will have to woo, and reassure, gun owners. But that won't preclude some tough political maneuvering.
Innovative programs across the US are finding some success in reengaging high school dropouts. They strive to target 'disconnected' youths – those not in school and not working, who are a costly burden for taxpayers.
With a focus on real-world applicability, the forthcoming new GED test is designed to improve students’ college and career readiness. But some critics worry that the cost will limit access for those who most need it.