American Morning

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September 9th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

9/11 legacy: Unprecedented growth in the private security industry

Did you know that post-9/11, seven of the 10 wealthiest communities in America house people who are employed, not in the federal government, but in the "private security" industry?

Ten years after the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, one of the biggest changes the nation experienced is to the nation's security measures, both at home and abroad.

The Washington Post's Dana Priest believes that more has been spent in national security measures than physical wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Listen to her CNN podcast interview here.

Filed under: 9/11 • National security
September 9th, 2011
11:53 AM ET

WH economic adviser: Obama's plan will provide long-term confidence, short-term momentum to economy

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - President Obama unveiled a stimulus plan Thursday night that he says will boost hiring and provide a jolt to the stalled economy if it becomes law. A mix of $253 billion in tax cuts and $194 billion in new spending, the total bill 
for the plan is $447 billion. Given staunch Republican opposition to most new spending, the measure has almost no chance of passing the House in its current form.

But select parts of the bill could become law, and provide a measure of support for an economy at risk of falling into another recession. The question this morning: Can it work and will Congress pass it?

This morning on American Morning, Christine Romans talks with Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the President for economic policy. She asks him what it will take for Congress to pass the bill, and whether it will provide the kind of stimulus to get the economy moving.

Filed under: Economy • Jobs
September 9th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

After nearly a decade, two 9/11 survivors explain how the event changed their lives

Security will be tight and emotions will be high this weekend as Americans commemorate the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Although nearly a decade has passed, many who survived the attacks still struggle with the memories of that tragic day.

Michael Benfante was in a meeting on the 81st floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when American Airlines 77 struck the building four floors above him. As he descended the stairwell, he encountered 41-year-old Tina Hansen, stranded in her wheelchair. With help from a colleague, it took nearly an hour to carry her to safety.

John Yates was in a conference room in with four other colleagues, watching video of the Twin Towers when the plane hit the Pentagon. His colleagues died, but he was able to crawl to safety with second and third degree burns.

Benfante and Yates join Christine Romans on American Morning today to share their stories and to explain how 9/11 has changed their lives.

Filed under: 9/11
September 9th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

How do you put a price on a life? 9/11 fund administrator explains

Eleven days after the September 11th attacks, Congress created a $7 billion fund to compensate 5,562 family members of those who were killed. The payment for death claims averaged $2,083,000 for families, while compensation for injury claims averaged $400,000.

Families who took money from the fund had to sign a waiver that limited their legal recourse against the airline industry by preventing them from suing the airlines for negligence.

The fund closed in 2003, but President Obama reactivated it earlier this year in response to new concerns that exposure to toxins at Ground Zero have caused the deaths or illnesses of 9/11 victims, and in particular, first responders.

Lawyer Kenneth Feinberg was appointed as special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. He joins Carol Costello on American Morning today to explain what it was like to work for the fund.

Filed under: 9/11
September 9th, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Rep. Eric Cantor: 'There are plenty of things we can agree on'

Last night, President Obama called for bipartisan support for his jobs package in a speech to the nation, saying that the legislation will boost hiring and provide a jolt to the stalled economy. However, many Republicans are wary of the proposal, calling it a repeat of the 2009 stimulus and leaving many Americans skeptical as to what measures actually stand a chance at passing.

Although House Majority Leader Eric Cantor encouraged legislators to "find common ground" in the bill on Twitter last night, he also has reservations about many of the president's proposals.

Representative Cantor affirms his opposition to the creation of an infrastructure bank today on American Morning, telling Carol Costello that it is a "Fannie Mae and Freddie  Mac for roads and bridges."

He insists, however, that "there is a lot of room for commonality," particularly in relation to the president's support of the employer side of the payroll tax.

"Although we would like to see much more certainty and permanency in the proposal, it is something that we certainly would support," Cantor explains.

Filed under: Jobs • Politics
September 9th, 2011
11:04 AM ET

Can Obama's jobs plan pass in Congress? Ron Brownstein weighs in

Although the White House would prefer not to call the jobs proposal President Obama unveiled last night a "stimulus," referring to it rather as a "jolt" to the economy, some leading Republicans have already labeled the jobs package the second stimulus.

The proposal, named the "American Jobs Act," consists of a mixture of $253 billion dollars of tax cuts and $194 billion dollars of new spending. Although the president insisted that the plan includes measures that both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past, columnists have already started to speculate as to whether or not the bill will get passed in the Republican-controlled House.

Today on American Morning, Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst, weighs in on Obama's jobs proposal and when it could potentially get passed.

Filed under: Jobs
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