The House adjourned for the holidays Thursday night after passing a two-year budget agreement. But despite pressure from Democrats, it did not include an extension of the long-term unemployment benefit program.
While the issue may be reconsidered in January, more than a million Americans will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Year's.
Texan John Cornyn is the No. 2 man in Senate GOP leadership and by most measures holds high conservative ratings — according to National Journal's rankings, he was the second most conservative senator in the last Congress.
A Texas teen escaped a jail sentence after being involved in a drunk-driving accident that killed four people. Defense attorneys say he suffered from 'affluenza' because his privileged parents never set limits for him. The Barbershop guys weigh in on the controversial ruling.
Reverend Matthew Crebbin had to comfort shocked residents after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 28 people last year. A year later, he speaks with host Michel Martin about the role faith played in keeping the town together.
A compromise defense bill is making its way through Congress. The authorization measure deals with everything from sexual assault in the military to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to operations in Afghanistan.
Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 11:59 am
President Obama's oft-repeated promise that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" is 2013's "lie of the year," according to the fact checkers at the Tampa Bay Times' nonpartisan PolitiFact project.
House Speaker John Boehner leaves a news conference Thursday, after criticizing conservative groups that he said held too much sway in Republican politics, "pushing our members in places where they don't want to be."
Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:05 am
The House has approved a bipartisan budget deal to cut around $23 billion from the federal deficit over 10 years while removing the threat of a possible government shutdown until 2015. A shutdown deadline had loomed for Jan. 15.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 also sets spending levels for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years, which its backers say will add more stability to both the U.S. economy and the government's operations.
More than 200 people have been killed this year in Baltimore. Most of them were black, and most of them were shot to death, despite Maryland having one of the nation's toughest gun laws. This comes two years after the city recorded its lowest murder rate in more than two decades.
Members of one of the few African-American social firearm clubs in the nation think teaching young people different ideas about guns might help deter them from a life of violence.
From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Reporters today gave White House press secretary Jay Carney a tough time over the way the administration controls President Obama's image, in this case literally by limiting the situations in which professional photojournalists get to take pictures of the president. News organizations have formally protested and NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now to explain
The House voted late Thursday to pass the House-Senate budget compromise. Speaker John Boehner urged passage of the "fine work" by budget chairman Paul Ryan, and was critical of conservative groups, who he said opposed the deal "before they've even seen it." The uncharacteristic criticism prompted reporters to ask if this is a turning point.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We want to take up some noteworthy international news now. In a few minutes, we'll go to India where the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on gay sex - actually, what it called unnatural acts. We'll talk about what that means for the LGBT community there, but also the reaction the ruling has gotten in the country on the whole. That's later. First though, we want to talk about the memorial service in Johannesburg earlier this week.
A budget bill is making its way through Congress, after leaders agreed to a deal. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle aren't completely sold. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, and Callie Crossley, host of Under The Radar in Boston.
Loretta Fuddy, a Hawaiian health official who in 2011 was briefly in the national spotlight when she verified the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate and authorized the release of information about it, died Wednesday in the crash of a small plane off the island of Molokai.
The House is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan deal that would set spending levels for the next two years, replace many of the indiscriminate "sequester" budget cuts and, in theory at least, take off the table one of the most partisan of the many partisan issues that have contributed to the gridlock in Washington.
NPR's Tamara Keith tells our Newscast desk that passage is expected but not certain. She adds that:
Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 7:38 pm
Unless Congress acts very quickly, some 1.3 million workers will lose their extended jobless benefits on Dec. 28.
Democrats were scrambling late Wednesday to link an extension of benefits to a budget deal that is expected to get a vote as soon as Thursday. But if the effort fails, they will come back at it in 2014.
"We're going to push here after the first of the year for an extension of emergency unemployment insurance when the Senate convenes after the new year," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on Wednesday.
After weeks of negotiations, there is a bipartisan plan to finance the government. The House is expected to vote on it tomorrow. The bill sets budget levels for two years. It also rolls back some of the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester, and it would reduce the deficit by $23 billion over a decade. NPR's Tamara Keith is gauging enthusiasm for the deal.
Since the Newtown shootings, the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns has spent upwards of $15 million on ads supporting tougher gun laws and on candidate ads around this issue. Most of that money comes from New York City Mayor Michael Blumberg. One year later, we're going to check in on what the results have been. Mark Glaze is the coalition's executive director and he joins me here in the studio. Welcome.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., walk to announce a tentative agreement Tuesday between Republican and Democratic negotiators on a government spending plan.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Earlier today, Sebelius announced an inquiry into the agency's launch of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov site.
Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 5:14 pm
"The launch of HealthCare.gov was flawed and simply unacceptable."
Those are the words of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, published Wednesday just before she met with people who share those views: members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
With her agency under fire since the website's failed release last month, Sebelius announced an internal inquiry and other steps that will focus on improving the contracting process, project management and employee training.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn smiles during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill on Dec. 5 in Chicago. Looking on from left are Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno; Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville; Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; House Speaker Michael Madigan and Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago.
Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:18 am
Federal workers have reason to be nervous. The budget agreement announced Tuesday — if it passes — would raise revenue by making employees contribute more toward their pensions.
It's part of a trend. Governments at all levels have been cutting back on pension benefits in recent years, in an attempt to fix funding problems caused by the recession and years of fiscal mismanagement.
In many cases, states and localities have made benefits less generous. But that has, for the most part, only affected newly hired workers.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan announced a bipartisan budget proposal Tuesday. For more details on the plan, Steve Inskeep speaks with Murray, who led her party in the negotiations.