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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.