Politics

It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Insurance For Fake Identities The Latest Skirmish Over Obamacare

Investigators were able to fraudulently sign up for coverage through HealthCare.gov, sparking criticism from Republican lawmakers.
J. David Ake AP

House Republicans went on the attack Wednesday over what they say is the latest bungling of the Affordable Care Act: fake identities used to get insurance.

Undercover investigators were able to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance from the government's website 11 out of the 18 times they tried, according to a preliminary report from the Government Accountability Office.

Republicans on the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee say fraud and abuse will be rampant and may already be.

Democrats question all the fuss.

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Education
2:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Glenn Beck Takes His Campaign Against Common Core To The Big Screen

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
2:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Faced With Undocumented Minors, Iowa Is Wrenched By Stark Divide

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 2:47 pm

Although the governor of Iowa says that unaccompanied minors from Central America should not find shelter in his state, more than 100 are already there. But the mayor of Des Moines, the state's largest city, and many religious leaders are at odds with the governor. They say Iowa should be welcoming and help children in need.

Politics
2:08 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

To Cope With Child Immigrants, Competing Plans Emerge From Congress

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with incoming Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., talks with reporters on Wednesday about House Republican plans to deal with the border crisis.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:09 pm

Divergent plans are now emerging from the House and Senate on how best to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children from Central America across the border.

Though both would offer the president less money than he asked for to deal with the crisis, a major battle has developed over whether to amend a 2008 law that makes it harder to speedily deport the children.

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Politics
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Rubio Interview Sparks Heated Comments On Immigration, Economy

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Amy Walter of Cook Political Report about the social media response to his two-part interview with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Politics
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Congress And Biden Aim For Job Training That Actually Leads To Jobs

Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, greets Enis Sullivan, 101, during a visit to XMA Corp. in Manchester, N.H., on March 25.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:05 am

Something pretty remarkable happened Tuesday afternoon in a small windowless auditorium next door to the White House. President Obama signed a new law: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

It streamlines and updates the nation's job training programs and was 11 years overdue. The bill got overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

"Folks in Congress got past their differences; they got a bill to my desk," Obama said at the signing ceremony. "So this is not a win for Democrats or Republicans; it is a win for American workers."

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Politics
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Long GOP Primary Season Gives Democrats Time To Fill Campaign Coffers

Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia is one of several Democratic women making strong election bids.
Akili-Casundria Ramsess AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 9:31 am

Georgia Republicans picked their Senate nominee Tuesday night. Former corporate CEO David Perdue will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the November general election.

Nunn, the daughter of a popular former senator, is among several Democratic female candidates who are showing strength as the party tries to preserve its Senate majority. She's also considered a real contender to turn the Georgia seat Democratic.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

Members of the California Nurses Association say they rallied in Sacramento in May to raise public awareness of their concerns about patient care in California hospitals.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:51 am

Going to a union meeting of nurses is a little bit like going to an evangelical church service.

"We all have to stand up, and it's a struggle," says Veronica Cambra, a nurse reporting a grievance at Kaiser Hospital in Fremont, Calif., as though she's giving testimony. "And we will overcome this, OK?"

The rest of the nurses respond with the passion of a devout congregation, humming "Mmm hmmm," and "That's right," through the series of speeches.

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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

On Immigration, America's Concerns Are Fiery But Fleeting

Police officers separate demonstrators on opposing sides of the immigration debate outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, Calif., on July 4.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:28 pm

Americans today are most likely to name immigration the nation's biggest problem, but polling history suggests the alarm may have a limited shelf life.

In a Gallup survey released last week, 17 percent volunteered immigration as America's most pressing issue, narrowly topping concerns that weigh more consistently on the nation's mindset, like jobs and political leadership.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

VA Nominee Steps Before Senate Committee

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to run the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, is appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing. He faces the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, which will vote on whether to send his nomination to the Senate floor.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
2:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Deal In Detroit Could Signal Cuts To Pensions Elsewhere

Retirees Mike Shane (left) and William Davis protest near the federal courthouse in Detroit on July 3. Workers and retirees approved pension cuts in Detroit's bankruptcy by a landslide, the city reported Monday.
Paul Sancya AP

It used to be that if you were a public employee, you knew your pension benefits could not be touched.

That's no longer the case.

Pensions have been under political attack in recent years, with some politicians arguing they can't afford to fund generous retirements at the same time they're cutting services. Numerous states and cities have trimmed the type of pension plans they're offering employees — mostly new employees.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Tue July 22, 2014

U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:03 pm

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dealt a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act, when it threw out an IRS regulation that governs subsidies. But before the ink dried on that decision, another three-judge panel hearing a similar case issued a decision that was completely opposite.

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The Two-Way
2:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Rubio: U.S. Cannot Admit All Children Seeking Asylum

Rubio, seen here addressing the National Press Club in May, told NPR he'll decide on a presidential run in the next few months
Alex Wong Getty

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:24 am

Sen. Marco Rubio argued that the nation's immigration laws need to be overhauled and said that Hillary Clinton would be a flawed candidate for president.

"I just think she's a 20th century candidate," he said. "I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now."

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Politics
2:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Sen. Alexander Outpaces Tea Party, But Remains In Its Cross Hairs

State Rep. Joe Carr holds a news conference in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Jan. 16, 2013. He is challenging incumbent Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:35 pm

Tennessee's Lamar Alexander is one of a number of incumbent Republican senators caught in the cross hairs of Tea Party groups, taking on several challengers in next month's GOP primary.

But while Tea Party groups may be optimistic about the race, challengers like Joe Carr face an uphill battle to unseat the two-term senator.

Carr's campaign office is just across the street from Murfreesboro's antebellum courthouse. An American flag hangs out front, and in the window a big campaign sign calls on Tennessee Republicans to vote for "Carr, not Lamar."

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News
2:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Obama Signs Order To Protect Against Anti-LGBT Bias

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama signed an executive order today giving new employment protections to gay and transgender people. And this is for people who work for the government. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports that the move comes after years of pressure from LGBT activists.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: At the White House today, President Obama signed the order saying we're on the right side of history. He said it was time to address this injustice for every American.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Law
2:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

GOP Marks Dodd-Frank's 4th Birthday With Calls For Repeal

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Four years ago today, President Obama signed a massive overhaul of the nation's financial laws, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law was a response to the Wall Street bailouts and regulatory failings that sparked the financial crisis and caused the great recession. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the anniversary is being marked by calls from some to repeal parts of the law.

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Politics
11:53 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Longtime LGBT Activist Reflects On The Early Days Of Her Advocacy

In 1972, Madeline Davis argued for the Democratic party to embrace gay rights. In this encore broadcast, Davis remembers her historic speech and the evolution of the gay rights movement.

Around the Nation
3:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Legal Battle Looms Over Florida Congressional Districts

Florida's state capitol. A redistricting plan crafted by the Republican-controlled Legislature in Tallahassee was partially thrown out by a state judge.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:18 pm

With the midterm election a little more than three months away, a legal battle in Florida has cast uncertainty over the state's upcoming congressional races.

A state judge ruled this month that maps for two of Florida's 27 congressional districts violated the state constitution. He ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps.

The question now is when.

Like most states, Florida redrew the maps for its congressional districts after the 2010 census. Some states appoint special commissions to do the job, but in Florida, redistricting is done by the state Legislature.

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The Two-Way
3:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Rubio: Small Government Can Help Fix Economic Inequality

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, shown here at an event in Washington last month, spoke with NPR's Morning Edition about the country's economic challenges.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:07 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, is concerned about issues of access to affordable education, availability of job training and prospects for economic mobility. While shunning the "income inequality" language of the left, he insists that those problems need to be viewed through the lens of limited government.

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Politics
3:33 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Tax Cuts Fallout Put Kansas Governor On Defense

Kansas is now in a budget shortfall after a wave of dramatic tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. In response, more than 100 former GOP office holders in the state have endorsed Paul Davis, Brownback's opponent in the gubernatorial race this fall. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Steve Kraske of KCUR and the Kansas City Star.

The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Kremlin Blacklists 13 Americans In Tit-For-Tat Over U.S. Sanctions

Retiring Virginia Reps. Jim Moran (center) and Frank Wolf talk as congressmen leave the House of Representatives in April. Moran's name appears on on a Russian visa blacklist issued on Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 4:36 pm

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET.

Moscow has issued a quid pro quo for sanctions imposed on it by Washington, banning a U.S. congressman and 12 other Americans from entering Russia.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports that the Foreign Ministry in Moscow says the new blacklist is in response to U.S. visa restrictions on Russian citizens in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Biden: Loved By The Left, But With Limits

Vice President Biden addresses Democratic activists Thursday at Netroots Nation in Detroit.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:45 am

The annual progressive gathering known as Netroots Nation wraps up its annual conference in Detroit this weekend.

In the hallways and the meeting rooms, much of the buzz was about the presidential race in 2016 — and who might run on the Democratic side.

But Vice President Joe Biden, who gave the keynote address on opening day, didn't factor much into that speculation, despite being President Obama's wingman on everything from the stimulus package to the Affordable Care Act.

Biden was even ahead of the administration's position on same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
3:31 am
Sat July 19, 2014

No Filter: Interior Tweets America The Beautiful

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Twitter account routinely produces electrifying visuals.
Tom Koerner/@USFWS U.S. Department of the Interior via Instagram

It isn't one of the largest federal agencies. Its Twitter following pales next to many other Cabinet departments.

But the Department of Interior's Twitter (@Interior) account — replete with stunning visuals, straightforward hashtags, and snappy captions — is nevertheless steadily building a devoted following.

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Commentary
2:19 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Week In Politics: Sanctions On Russia, And Invasion Of Gaza

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now to our Friday political commentators - David Brooks of the New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

CORNISH: And E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Welcome, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Greetings.

CORNISH: So as we heard President Obama - not directly calling out Vladimir Putin - but saying all evidence, so far, points to the Russian-backed separatists as being responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airline jet.

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Berlusconi Underage Sex Conviction Overturned By Italian Court

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi (center) arrives for a court hearing in Naples in June, where he was appearing as a witness in the trial of an associate. Berlusconi's conviction on sex with a minor and abuse of power was overturned by a court in Milan on Friday.
Ciro Fusco EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:26 am

An appeals court in Italy has overturned the conviction of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and then abused his power to cover up the crime.

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Politics
3:35 am
Fri July 18, 2014

While Campaigning For Other Democrats, Sen. Warren Gains Fans

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We report next on a woman who's become a focus of presidential speculation. Hillary Clinton, of course, is an overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but Elizabeth Warren has excited a lot of Democratic activists. The Massachusetts senator is spending her summer traveling the country.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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News
3:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

Ireland (shown here in this Dingle Peninsula photo) has been among the greenest pastures for countries seeking to reduce their tax liabilities through a process called "corporate inversion."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?

That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.

The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid Roiled Landscape Of Border Politics, Obama's Plans May Change

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

The Obama administration's request for more funds on immigration could get a congressional vote soon. Meanwhile, the crisis at the border is complicating Obama's plan to take unilateral action to ease deportations. The politics of immigration are shifting quickly.

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At a Senate hearing today, there were calls for General Motors top lawyer to step down. Recent media reports have made clear that company lawyers knew faulty ignition switches were causing fatal accidents. Despite that GM blocked internal efforts to issue a recall and they kept information from federal safety regulators. The ignition defect is responsible for at least 13 deaths and will cost GM billions of dollars. NPR's Sonari Glinton has the latest.

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Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Senate Re-Authorizes Government's Role In Terrorism Insurance

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize a bill first passed after 9/11. It allows the government to act as a financial backstop in the event of a large terrorist attack. Supporters say it's crucial for anyone trying to build a shopping mall or skyscraper. But as NPR's Laura Sullivan reports, the bill may run into trouble in the house.

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