Thursday February 16, 2012 Happening Now

Lots going on today..

Congress is very busy. It looks like there is a deal to extend the payroll tax cut, and to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed. There are also several important hearings that could bring us some news:

1000EST -- House Appropriations Subcmte on Defense general budget hearing. Secy Panetta, Joint Chiefs Chair Gen Dempsey, and Undersecy of Defense (Comptroller) Robert Hale testify. LIVE

1000EST -- Senate Budget Cmte hearing on "The President's FY2013 Budget and Revenue Proposals." Secy Geithner testifies. LIVE

1000EST -- Senate Foreign Relations Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Global Narcotics Affairs Subcmte hearing on "Iran's Influence and Activity in Latin America." STREAMING LIVE

We'll monitor for any news.

Also today.. two GOP Senators - Coburn and Burr - are holding a news conference to unveil their plan to rescue Medicare.

New signs today foreclosures are accelerating.. and we get weekly unemployment claims.. we'll keep the biz news in our bloodstream.

Mitt Romney is in Michigan. Rick Santorum also in Michigan. Ron Paul is in Idaho. Newt Gingrich is in California.

President Obama has several campaign events today in California.

The underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, faces a life sentence today for trying to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas in 2009.

Israel has stepped up protection for its diplomats around the world after a series of attacks on Israeli embassy workers around the world. Israel blames Iran.

There are reports today that Syria is attacking the city of Daraa right now. Raids and arrests are being reported.

Reuters is reporting that Afghanistan will join in peace talks with the Taliban. We'll add a guest on this.

Also note.. Sarah Palin will join us today at the top of the Noon! Should be a fun conversation!

Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.