Post Reports

What happened to Beto O’Rourke?

Damian Paletta explains how the U.S. government got behind on its bills. Plus, Jenna Johnson unpacks Beto O’Rourke’s lackluster fundraising numbers. And Sarah Kaplan on NASA’s upcoming experiments on old moon rocks.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

The ongoing negotiations to raise the debt limit 
With the Treasury Department poised to run out of cash as early as September, lawmakers are newly pressed to negotiate a debt ceiling and budget deal before next month’s summer recess begins. 

“This is like the fiscal nuclear bomb,” says senior economic correspondent Damian Paletta. “It's one thing if Congress doesn't appropriate money and the agencies have to shutdown. But if the government cannot pay its bills … then it's a huge, huge disaster.” 

Paletta explains how the government reached this point and what could happen if the debt ceiling isn’t raised before a breach – a possibility as long as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House continue to disagree over the content of a budget deal.

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Is Beto O’Rourke’s bubble bursting?
Beto O’Rourke was expected to be a magnet for political donations. His campaign raised $9.4 million in its first 17 days – $6 million in the first 24 hours. But on Monday, O’Rourke reported second-quarter campaign contributions that fell far below the first – just $3.7 million in the last three months.

Political correspondent Jenna Johnson reports on what this lackluster report spells for the O’Rourke campaign and for the Democratic presidential primary race at large. 

“There’s only so many Democratic donors and they only have so much money,” Johnson says. “A lot of them want to make sure that that money is going to campaigns that are going to be around for a while. And so the scramble for dollars is very real.” 

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Moon rocks to face experiments after 50 years of solitude
The air is a thousand times cleaner in NASA’s Lunar Sample Laboratory than in the outside world. That’s where moon rocks are kept – the ones that NASA has kept sealed since the Apollo missions brought them to our planet and has left unstudied for fear of contamination. 

It’s been half a century since we first got samples from the moon, and NASA has finally decided that a few of these carefully curated samples will be made available to scientists for the first time. Science reporter Sarah Kaplan explains.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.