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News roundup: October 31, 2011

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Mitt Romney was called out by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace for dodging media scrutiny. Wallace has interviewed every Republican presidential candidate except Romney, who has refused to sit down for an in-depth interview on Fox or any other Sunday talk show since March 2010.

New analysis conducted by the Associated Press find that the jobs plans proposed by the Republican presidential candidates are unlikely to cure the nation’s economic and housing woes. Especially ineffective are tax cuts that only benefit the wealthy, who are painted by Republicans as being the most likely job creators.

The Republican assault on voting rights continues, this time in the state of Florida. The GOP-controlled state legislature passed new laws that decrease the early voting period from two weeks to one week and place new hurdles for college students who wish to register away from home. Additionally, voter registration organizations like the League of Women Voters have shut down registration drives in the face of possible fines for procedural errors.

In his weekly address, President Obama highlighted his recent actions to help families refinance their mortgages, put veterans to work, and lower the cost of student loans. He said, "The middle-class families who’ve been struggling for years are tired of waiting. They need help now. So where Congress won’t act, I will."

President Obama issued an executive order today that would require earlier FDA notification of impending shortages for certain prescription drugs. Early notification will help ensure patients will not have to wait for their medication to become available. The order also calls on the FDA to crack down on those who exploit patients by hoarding or marking up the price of drugs during shortages.