Time’s running out to avert the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. And on Wednesday, a Senate hearing gets underway to evaluate a proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on banning assault weapons. We’ll talk with Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, who’ll hear debate over the proposed ban Wednesday. Politico’s Manu Raju and The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty also join us.
Pope Benedict XVI holds his final audience at the Vatican Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s planned abdication. The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne and Father Barron join us at this pivotal moment for the Catholic Church.
After a bruising few weeks, former Senator Chuck Hagel was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday to lead the Defense Department. He makes his first address at the Pentagon Wednesday morning. Republican strategist John Brabender and Democratic strategist Karen Finney will discuss.
Plus, how will the sequester’s impact be felt on women? We’ll hear from Marie Clarie’s Lea Goldman and iVillage’s Kelly Wallace.
And msnbc’s Richard Lui “drills down” on the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday about the law, after nearly five decades, is still constitutional.