Politics

Politics
2:25 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

After 5 Weeks Of Haggling, Congress Inks Bipartisan VA Bill

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:05 pm

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

NPR Story
3:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

The Week In Politics: Progress On Upgrading VA Health System

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 11:52 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Congress is heading into its last week before taking a summer recess. For a change, lawmakers are not racing the clock to overt a fiscal calamity. Still, the standoff between the two parties has all but stopped the process of governing.

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Law
3:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

Volunteers at the Lincoln Memorial help roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the Constitution during an October 2010 demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 11:52 am

Are corporations people? The U.S. Supreme Court says they are, at least for some purposes. And in the past four years, the high court has dramatically expanded corporate rights.

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It's All Politics
6:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Time Running Short For Congress To Agree On Border Bill

Immigrants run to jump on a train in Ixtepec, Mexico, during their journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border. President Obama wants nearly $4 billion in emergency funds to deal with the tens of thousands of children from Central America who've been crossing the border.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 9:26 am

Congress is set to disband later this week for a summer break stretching past Labor Day. That leaves lawmakers only a few more days to act on an urgent request from President Obama.

The president wants nearly $4 billion in emergency funds to deal with the tens of thousands of children from Central America who've been illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. The GOP-led House may act on just a fraction of that request, setting up a clash with the Democratic-led Senate.

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Politics
8:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Congress Leaves Town Next Week, But Will Anyone Notice?

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

'I Love Your Country,' New House Member Tells U.S. Officials

Speaking about India, Rep. Curt Clawson told U.S. officials from the State and Commerce departments, "I am familiar with your country. I love your country."
Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:37 pm

Rep. Curt Clawson hasn't been in Congress long — he was sworn into office exactly one month ago. We mention that as a caveat, because in a congressional hearing Thursday, Clawson seems to have mistaken Americans who work in the U.S. departments of State and Commerce for representatives of India's government.

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Politics
2:47 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter

An official assists a voter at a polling station inside Fort Garrison Elementary School in Pikesville, Md., on primary day, June 24. As in many states this primary election season, turnout was low in Maryland.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:40 pm

Several new surveys show voter interest is low, anti-incumbent sentiment is high, and voters from both parties are questioning whether their elected leaders should return to Congress next year.

In short, the electorate is disengaged and disgusted with politics.

Voter turnout in the 2010 primaries was only about 18 percent, and now it's even lower. Less than 15 percent of eligible citizens cast ballots in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries this year, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

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Commentary
2:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Week In Politics: Violence In Gaza And Paul Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:40 pm

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

News
2:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Central American Leaders Stop By White House To Talk Border Crisis

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:40 pm

The presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras met with President Obama at the White House Friday, discussing the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America. So far, Obama has not seen eye to eye with Congress on possible solutions to the crisis.

Politics
2:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Army War College Opens A Probe Into Sen. Walsh's Alleged Plagiarism

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Barbershop
10:28 am
Fri July 25, 2014

In A Luxury Apartment, Is A Separate 'Poor Door' Segregation?

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
10:28 am
Fri July 25, 2014

The GOP's New Plan To Tackle Poverty: Helpful Or Hurtful?

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

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Conservative Rep. DesJarlais Faces Primary Challenge In Tennessee

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:14 am

Copyright 2014 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

Politics
4:22 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Montana Senator Comes Under Fire For Plagiarism Allegations

Sen. John Walsh of Montana was appointed to his seat in February, and he's preparing to face voters for the first time. The Democrat's bid will likely be complicated by allegations of plagiarism, reported by The New York Times. It seems that in a paper Walsh submitted for his master's degree from the U.S. Army War College, long passages were borrowed without attribution.

Politics
4:22 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Rep. Ryan Unveils His Anti-Poverty Plan, A Rebuke To LBJ Programs

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, speaking before the start of the Virginia GOP Convention in Roanoke last month, has unveiled a new plan aimed at tackling poverty in America.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:22 am

For much of this year, Republicans have talked about finding new ways to get Americans out of poverty but have offered few specifics — until now.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his plan Thursday to fight poverty, which he says will help fix safety-net programs that he calls fragmented and ineffective.

Here are the highlights of Ryan's plan:

  • Allow states to experiment with federal aid, by merging things like food stamps, child care and welfare into what he calls an "Opportunity Grant."
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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

Sen. John Walsh, a Democrat from Montana.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 8:24 am

After The New York Times reported that Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least a quarter of his master's thesis, the Montana Democrat is telling The Associated Press that post-traumatic stress disorder may have played a role.

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Politics
4:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

A Strange Political Dustup Clouds Kansas Governor's Future

Paul Davis, third from left, the presumed Democratic nominee for Kansas governor, receives the endorsements of more than 100 current and former Republican politicians on July 15, 2014, in Topeka, Kan.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 9:40 am

Kansas's Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is locked in an unexpectedly tough re-election battle for doing exactly what he said he would do — cut taxes.

Citing mounting evidence that those tax cuts are creating a budget crisis – not stimulating the Kansas economy as promised — some in the state's moderate Republican establishment recently did the unthinkable: endorse a Democrat for governor.

That's not only endangering Brownback's re-election hopes, it's also tarnishing his plans to turn one of the reddest of red states into a national model.

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It's All Politics
5:04 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Democrats Make New Bid To Require Donor Transparency

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition reception in Washington in June. On Wednesday, he appeared at a Senate rules committee hearing to oppose a campaign finance bill proposed by Democrats.
Yuri Gripas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:05 pm

Senate Democrats have rolled out this year's model of the DISCLOSE Act. Or, if you want to be more formal: the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act.

It's the third version of DISCLOSE since 2010. Broadly speaking, it would force donor disclosure on the big-money, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that are flourishing in post-Citizens United politics. Unlike almost all other players in an election campaign, 501(c)(4)s are not covered by the disclosure laws. Their donors are never publicly named.

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The Two-Way
4:56 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Campaign Finance Transparency Bill Gets Chilly Reception In Senate

A bill that would require transparency by nonprofit groups related to federal elections met with united opposition from Republicans Wednesday, at the first Senate hearing on what its supporters call the Disclose Act.

The legislation would require any politically active group that spends more than $10,000 to list its donors. It was introduced last month, with 52 senators listed as its sponsors or co-sponsors (including the chamber's two independents).

NPR's Peter Overby reports:

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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

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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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 8:36 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.

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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 8:36 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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