• Power Players

    When she found out that the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, the first thing plaintiff Edith “Edie” Windsor did was cry.

    “Cried, first thing,” Windsor told ABC News' Diane Sawyer about her first reaction. “And the room was full of people both screaming and crying at the same time. Almost everyone cried somewhat, which is amazing.”

    Windsor sued the federal government after she had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes following the death of her wife, Thea Spyer, in 2009, because the federal government didn’t recognize their same-sex marriage.

    She says it feels “wonderful” to have won her case before the nation’s highest court, but she had doubts about what the outcome would be.

    “I had a doubt,” Windsor said. “I didn't think we would lose completely but I thought it might be a partial something. So, I was thrilled, completely thrilled.”

    Asked what she would say to those Americans who believe that marriage rights should not be extended to same-sex

    Read More »from Taking on DOMA, Edith Windsor wins case in Supreme Court
  • Undocumented: The faces behind the immigration debate

    Power Players

    In many ways, Jose Antonio Vargas is an American success story. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker.

    There’s only one problem: he didn’t immigrate to the United States legally.

    When Vargas was 12 years old, his mother sent him from the Philippines to live with his grandparents, who are naturalized U.S. citizens, in the United States. It wasn’t until he applied for a driver’s permit four years later that he learned he was living in the country undocumented.

    “I went to the DMV to get a driver's permit, like any 16 year old, and that's when they found out that the green card that my grandfather gave me was actually fake,” Vargas tells ABC Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila. “And then I went home, confronted my grandfather, and that's when he said to me, you know, ‘what are you doing showing that to people?’”

    While Vargas was initially shocked at learning he was not in the United States legally, he has since learned that his

    Read More »from Undocumented: The faces behind the immigration debate
  • Economics 101: Meet the students who will pay if Congress misses student loan deadline

    The Fine Print

    Brandon Anderson, a 28-year-old Iraq war veteran, is in pursuit of the American dream.

    After spending five years in the military and two more at a community college, Anderson was able to transfer to Georgetown University to complete his education. What has made it all possible, Anderson tells The Fine Print, is government-subsidized student loans.

    “I could not attend college here or probably anywhere else without the student loan program,” Anderson says, estimating that he’ll graduate $25,000 in debt. 

    But the interest rates on the Stafford loans upon which Anderson and about 7 million other financially needy students across the country rely are set to double on July 1 from the current 3.4 percent interest rate to 6.8 percent -- unless Congress acts to prevent it.

    The House and Senate are at odds over how to address student loan rates.

    Last month, the House passed a bill that would tie student loan rates to the interest rate of 10-year Treasury notes, plus 2.5 percent.

    Read More »from Economics 101: Meet the students who will pay if Congress misses student loan deadline

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