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President Shalala Hosts Timely Debt Discussion on PBS

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    From left, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tara Wall, UM President Donna E. Shalala, To the Contrary executive producer Cari Stein, Gretchen Hamel, and Maria Teresa Kumar

    As the debt ceiling debate rages on, families across America are worried about how spending reductions could negatively affect their jobs and programs they depend on.

    Meanwhile, women’s organizations are voicing their concerns about what a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid could mean. And to top it off, a CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows that 54 percent of people disapprove of Obama’s handling of the crisis, while 55 percent of people disapprove of the Republican Party.

    On Friday, as guest host of PBS’ To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbé, University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala discussed the “Debt Ceiling Countdown” with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Daily Caller contributor Tara Wall, Public Notice executive director Gretchen Hamel, and Voto Latino executive director Maria Teresa Kumar.

    Shalala and her panelists addressed the question: When the dust settles, what impact will this debate have on jobs for Americans?

    As Shalala noted, “We haven’t even gotten to the real debate, and that is – who pays? Who in the end is going to feel the burden? Is it going to be the poor, is it going to be single moms, is it going to be the people who are wealthy, or are we going to share the pay?”

    Holmes Norton added, “When the dust settles, then the so-called debate fallout is likely to be worse than anything we do with the debt ceiling.”

    The episode aired locally on WLRN-TV Channel 17 yesterday, July 31, at 2:30 p.m. To watch it online, go to and click on “Watch Episodes.”

    To The Contrary is a 30-minute news analysis program nationally broadcast every weekend on more than 90 percent of PBS stations. Hosted by veteran journalist Bonnie Erbé, it tackles pertinent, hard-hitting issues from the diverse perspectives of influential women who debate demographic and cultural trends, politics, and other events that affect viewers’ lives.


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