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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  July 28, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> thank you. the latest on the debt crisis debate is coming up next on the cbs evening news with bob schieffer. >> caption colorado, llc >> schieffer: tonight, the debt vote in jeopardy. in-fighting among republicans puts house speaker john boehner's plan on hold. so what happens next? we'll talk to senator john mccain. how the debt debate affects homeowners. dean reynolds tells us why mortgage rates could skyrocket for millions. a new terror plot against fort hood. bob orr reports a american-born muslim soldier was arrested and admits he was planning an attack. ben tracy on why the cameras that catch you running a red light created a mess in one major city. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> schieffer: good evening, scott's off tonight. i'm bob schieffer. well, republican speaker john boehner's plan to end the debt crisis in grave doubt tonight. conservatives in his own party turned against it and the vote had to be postponed. the house spent most of the afternoon debating the speaker's plan, but just a while ago when it became obvious the votes were not there to pass the measure, the vote was postponed and the house took up legislation to name post offices around the country. nancy cordes is at the capitol tonight. nancy, i don't know what to ask you now except what happens next. >> reporter: well, bob, this just shows the perils for either party trying to go it alone without compromising here. speaker boehner does not have any democratic support for this bill, so that means he can only afford to lose about two dozen republican house members and there are more than that tonight who are angry that his bill didn't cut deeper. just half an hour before the vote was due to take place,
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republican leaders postponed it, worried they did not have the votes. >> the bill's not perfect. i never said it was perfect, nobody in my caucus believes it's perfect. >> reporter: in meeting after meeting the past two days, speaker boehner lobbied skeptical freshman republicans to get on board or risk seeding ground to the democrats. i'm wondering if i could see a show of hands how many of you have come around to this legislation in the past 24, 48 hours? >> we've all. >> reporter: democrats vowed to vote against the bill which would cut $900 billion from the budget in exchange for a short six-month extension of the debt ceiling. >> this is not a good bill. but the notion that it would have us having this conversation again in six months is reason enough for every member of this chamber to reject that bill. >> reporter: as the nation's biggest banks begged congress for compromise warning downgrade or default would raise interest rates for everyone, senate leader harry reid led the charge to blame the tea party for the
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impasse. >> we have five days remaining until a few extremist republicans-- and note, i say a few-- drive our economy off a clip because they're too radical and inexperienced to compromise. >> reporter: tea party members like pennsylvania's mike kelly argued they're the responsible ones forcing congress to deal with the debt. >> if i'm a radical and an extremist because i want to do that, paint me that way. >> reporter: boehner called his bill a compromise. if leader reid tables your bill in the senate as he says he will, do you go back to the bargaining table? >> this will be a reasonable responsible bill put together with the bipartisan leadership of the united states senate and i would hope they would take it up. >> reporter: but first it's going to have to pass the house. and while the speaker's office says they are still aiming for a vote tonight, democrats in the senate are watching this all unfold very closely because they have their own bill waiting in the wings, bob, which also does not have enough votes to pass. >> schieffer: but nancy, the question here is the house can't
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pass a republican bill, how can it pass something that the democrats put together over in the senate? >> reporter: well, right now... that's the whole reason, bob, democrats haven't tried to bring their bill up for a vote in the senate. they know they don't have the votes right now without any republican support. so what they are hoping for is that this bill in the house fails and then republicans in the senate decide as a last-ditch effort that they will get on board with the democratic plan because it's the only train leaving the station. >> schieffer: this is a repudiation of the speaker. can he survive this? >> reporter: well, no one's talking about that just yet, bob. in fact, a lot of house republicans are giving him a lot of credit for what he's been able to do so far-- threading the needle here between trying to satisfy some of these tea party republicans who want very, very deep cuts that he knows will never fly with democrats or the president and trying to put forward something that will eventually get some democratic support here. >> schieffer: thank you very
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much, nancy. we're joined live by republican senator john mccain who was so frustrated by all of this year he called the situation "bizarreo." senator, have you seen anything today to cause you to step back from from that description? >> not really, bob. but i do believe that this country is not going to go into default for the first time in history. and let me just tell you what i think scenario is most likely. first of all, the republicans that are very reluctant to vote for this short-term fix campaigned on the promise to their voters that they would make very deep and significant cuts. so i'm in some sympathy with the dilemma that they're in. but i believe that some time tonight that speaker boehner will get sufficient number of votes, they will send it over here, harry reid and the majority over here will vote it down, harry reid will not be able to get his version passed, either, which, by the way, has
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not got real cuts in it. but it does have... it does not have tax increases in it, unlike the president's present stand. and then the leaders will sit down and negotiate and we will not have a... this country in default. and i think that people are becoming more and more aware of the consequences not only in the united states but world wide. >> schieffer: but is what you're saying here, senator, is that you think that what is basically senator reid's plan now, that republicans could find some way to go along with that and then that could pass the house? >> i do not at this time. i certainly wouldn't because it has, like, a trillion dollars in cuts in spending based on our withdrawal from iraq and afghanistan. that's just not real. but i believe the result of negotiations with speaker boehner, senator mcconnell and senator reid they could arrive
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at a conclusion because the major objection that a lot of us had was we don't want to increase taxes. the majority leader reid has already made that concession in his proposal. >> schieffer: senator, the thing that i wonder about is i think the congressional leaders on both sides are ready to make a deal but what i wonder about is can the followers go along with the leaders or will the congress stumble into some kind of default here despite the best intentions of the leaders on both sides? >> i believe they can and will. how soon is... i'm not clear on. it may require some kind of a warning shot. for example, watch the markets tomorrow, the financial markets around the world. i believe that the american people have very different views about what we're in, but the major view is disdain and even
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larger than that is that they want us to sit down and agree to something because they don't want this government to deprive them of the service which is they very need and have earned. >> schieffer: okay, so bizarre-o still stands but you think they will find a way. thank you, senator. if you somehow thought that this was one of those far-off arguments in washington that has no impact on you, you may want to know this if your home isn't paid for. if there is no agreement on the debt limit, interest rates on u.s. financial securities will go up and that means so will rates on adjustable mortgages. dean reynolds has more on that. >> i just reached where i'm qualifying. >> reporter: juan cruz says congress is messing with his american dream. he's made an offer on a. $130,000 home for his young family and hopes to get a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.5%. >> i'm trying to stay within my means. but if it goes up, i mean, if the percentage rates go up, it
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affects my outcome. >> reporter: rate increases are nearly certain if congress cannot reach a deal and the u.s. defaults. juan's bank told him interest rates could rise two percentage points, which would jack up his mortgage payments $163 a month. do you think congress gets that? >> i hope they get it. >> reporter: in evanston, illinois, landlord john nash is in an even more precarious position. with an adjustable mortgage on a building he rents out, he's bracing for a several hundred dollar monthly increase in payments if the stalemate in washington persists. >> my concern is that the rates would go up tremendously which would put an added expense on me as a small real estate investor. >> reporter: you can extend that concern about higher payments to an estimated 15 million homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages. the loans are popular. and why not? for example, a so-called five-year arm in which the rate is fixed for the first five years and adjusts annually thereafter is currently 3.25%,
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about 1.3% below the traditional 30-year fixed rate loan. a sweet deal as long as interest rates stay low. now, housing and real estate have been the biggest drag on the u.s. recovery so, bob, you can see why so many people worry that default would slow things down even more. >> schieffer: all right. thank you very much, dean. dean reynolds out in chicago tonight. a new terror plot was uncovered today at the u.s. army base at fort hood, texas. american soldiers were the target and, for a second time, the suspect is an american muslim in uniform. but this time, a call from a store clerk may have prevented another tragedy. our justice department correspondent bob orr has the latest. >> reporter: private first class nassar abdo, awol from kentucky, has been missing for the past three weeks. until tuesday when he showed up in a taxi to buy six pounds of
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gun powder at this killeen, texas, gun shop. then says craig ebert, abdo asked a strange question. >> the first red flag is when he asked kathy "what is smokeless powder?" if you don't know what it is, why would you buy six pounds of it? >> reporter: police tracked abdo to this nearby motel where he was arrested with what looked like a makeshift bomb factory. in abdo's room, police found gun powder, a pressure cooker, batteries, clocks, a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun and more than 100 rounds of ammunition. sources say abdo told investigators he wanted to attack fort hold soldiers, perhaps with a bomb at a popular restaurant near the base. abdo explained he was "seeking revenge for what the army did to me." the 21-year-old american-born muslim sought a discharge a year ago as a conscientious objector after refusing to fight in what he called the unjust war in afghanistan. >> i'm a man of truth, i'm a muslim, i'm a soldier, i'm a human being. >> reporter: but abdo's
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release was delayed when the army charged him with possessing child pornography. abdo's alleged plot comes less than two years after a shooting spree at fort hood left 13 people dead. the accused gunman, major nidal hasan, was urged to act by al qaeda cleric anwar al-awlaki. in abdo's case, police chief dennis baldwin says no terror connections have yet surfaced. >> as far as we know he did act alone. again, we're still going through that investigation process. >> reporter: now, investigators don't believe abdo was part of any broader plot. this time, bob, the threat at fort hood was stopped. >> schieffer: all right, thank you so much, bob. the taliban has declared open season on politicians in afghanistan. 70,000 workers are furloughed because congress can't agree on funding for a federal agency. and why traffic cameras have caused so much trouble in los angeles when the cbs news continues.
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seth doane now reports from kabul. >> reporter: it was two years ago when fawzia koofi wrote this troubling message to her daughters. "maybe today is the day i will die." >> reporter: her now published farewell letter was written because, as an outspoken member of parliament in afghanistan, koofi's atarget of the taliban. right now i think the terrorist acts are the biggest threat for me and for others. for me more because i talk against them. >> reporter: her father, also in parliament, was assassinated. as were three of her brothers. you're willing to die for your job for this country? >> we will die one day. i think the pride would be if you die paving the way for others, we're leaving something behind. if i'm afraid that i will die and i don't do anything, then who will take this country? >> reporter: targeting killings in afghanistan are up more than 100% since 2009 according to the united nations. is anyone safe in afghanistan?
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really safe? >> well, not... we can't say that anyone is safe in this country. >> reporter: mar rown mir runs the afghan center for policy studies. >> they have decided not to face the u.s. military, instead they have focused on terrorist attacks on civilians, government, institutions. >> reporter: in two suicide attacks the taliban unleashed a surprising new weapon that allowed them to get past police and security-- bombs hidden in turbans. there are checkpoints all across kabul. it's common to pull people out of vehicles, to frisk them and search the vehicles themselves but as you can see, it's incredibly uncommon to search under a turban. to remove a turban in public would be considered an insult. it was an explosive-laden turban that killed the kandahar mayor yesterday. and just last week, koofi herself was invited to a gathering where two people were
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killed. have you changed any way that you go about life because of these threats? >> i did a little bit. but, you know, when it comes to assassination and planned killing, nothing can protect you. >> reporter: guards stand by her front gate and she admits sometimes she even travels disguised in a burka. >> i know what i'm doing can make a difference for my future and for my daughters' future and for other women and children of this country. then it's worth sacrificing one life. >> reporter: a sacrifice that's become disturbingly familiar here. seth doane, cbs news, kabul. >> schieffer: back home, there has been another stalemate in congress: this one over funding a federal agency. anditis a disaster for many workers. that's next. called psoriatic arthritis. hing i had some intense pain.
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>> schieffer: well, here is what passes for good economic news these days. the government reported today that 24,000 fewer people filed unemployment claims last week. but just under 400,000 americans did apply for help. the number of people laid that you have week because of a congressional argument over funding keeps growing. as we've been reporting, the federal aviation administration has been forced to partial shutdown by the argument. we have the latest now from sharyl attkisson. >> reporter: a $31 million air traffic control tower at oakland international airport halted in
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mid-construction, idling workers like greg talmadge. >> people out of work, that can't work. like yesterday i missed a day. >> reporter: at f.a.a. headquarters empty offices of nearly a thousand furloughed workers. all because congress can't agree on a new $16 billion a year funding bill for the f.a.a. the old one expired friday. that hits every big weak spot in the economy: jobs. 70,000 construction workers and 4,000 f.a.a. employees furloughed. stimulus: 150 airport construction projects stalled. the deficit: $200 million a week in ticket taxes lost because the f.a.a. has no authority to collect them. there are two main staking points. democrats want to make it easier for airline and railroad workers to unionize, republicans don't. and republicans want cuts in so-called essential air servic services. essential air service pays $163 million tax dollars for airlines to fly on little-used routes
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that might otherwise shut down. in a cbs news investigation, we took one government subsidized flight from washington to virginia's shenandoah valley. we found just four passengers on board and the plane went on to west virginia empty. today transportation secretary ray lahood urged congress to solve their disputes. >> and for all of my friends on capitol hill who give speeches everyday about jobs, the importance of jobs, putting people to work, this is not the time to be laying off 70,000 construction workers. >> reporter: all this doesn't affect air traffic controllers, flights, or safety. but it foreshadows choices other government agencies may have to make if congress can't solve the debt and deficit. bob? >> schieffer: okay. in health news, the maker of extra strength tylenol is reducing its maximum dosage from eight to six 500-milligram pills
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you may not know they're there until you get that ticket in the mail, but they are causing an uproar in los angeles. and ben tracy tells us why. >> reporter: preventing accidents like these is part of why los angeles installed cameras to catch drivers running red lights. >> then, boom, camera went off. >> reporter: one of those automatic cameras snapped a shot of abigail stone and sent her a $480 ticket. >> the light was clearly red when i went through it even though i registered it as green. >> reporter: los angeles has cameras at 32 intersections around the city. although they have caught. 180,000 drivers running red lights, the city says they did not improve safety and were too costly to run. >> we need to stop beating this dead horse. >> reporter: so on wednesday, the l.a. city council voted unanimously to turn off the cameras, joining at least 32 other cities nationwide that have ended their red-light programs. >> this was a fill your. we were able to give people $500
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tickets but not necessarily improve any of the safety in those intersections. >> reporter: yet l.a.p.d. data shows collisions at those intersections dropped 63%. nationwide, the insurance institute for highway safety found that red light cameras are thought to have saved 159 lives in 14 of the largest cities that use them. turning off the cameras here in los angeles may be less about safety and more about the city's inability to collect the fines. the courts weren't enforcing the tickets so paying them was essentially voluntary. the city says it was losing up to $1.5 million a year on the program because only 60% of drivers ever paid their fines. abigail stone wishes she knew that before she mailed her check. >> if i had known that everybody's been ignoring it, then i would haven't paid it. >> reporter: on sunday, l.a. turns off the cameras for good. ben tracy, cbs news, los angel angeles. >> schieffer: and that's the news. for scott and all of us at cbs
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news, i'm bob schieffer. good night specific suspects, it targets. one of the guys punche your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. the specialized training for bay area police and the specific suspects it targets. one of the guys punched the captain in the eye here on his face. >> fists fly on a flight headed to san francisco. then the fbi is steps in. passengers tell how it got ugly. it is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world. and now this the new solar attraction at yosemite. good evening, i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. the pilot got punched and then passengers stepped n tonight two men are behind bars and are accused of attacking an airline crew heading to san francisco. linda yee at sfo with


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