Politics

The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Decrying 'Dumb, Arbitrary Cuts,' Obama Says 'We Will Get Through This'

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:23 pm

"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.

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Law
10:02 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Weighing The Future Of The Voting Rights Act

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, you've heard the pundits and the politicians give their take on the new S-word - sequestration. We'll ask the Barber Shop guys for their perspective on this later in the program. But first we want to talk about another big topic in Washington this week. That is the challenge to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. That's before the Supreme Court, specifically section five of the act.

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NPR Story
9:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Mapping The Effects Of The Sequester On Science

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

As I just mentioned, the automatic spending cuts go into effect today, covering much of the federal budget, and we were trying to talk with Lamar Smith about where those cuts might come, obviously across the board. Well, someone who might be more forthcoming or know more about it is here with us, Michael Lubell. He is professor of physics at City College at the City University of New York, director of public affairs at the American Physical Society. He's here in our New York Studio. Good to see you again.

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NPR Story
9:39 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Talking Science With The House Committee Chair

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:03 am

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, discusses the nation's top science priorities, including the importance of research on how to protect Earth from dangerous asteroids. But in a tight budgetary climate, who will pay?

The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Woodward: White House Dislikes Being 'Challenged Or Crossed'

Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward speaks at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., in June.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:08 am

On a day when we're in the final countdown for sequestration, Washington is still abuzz over whether or not White House economic adviser Gene Sperling threatened journalist Bob Woodward.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:08 am
Fri March 1, 2013

It's All Politics, Feb. 28, 2013

Department of Defense/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

The sequester is upon us, and NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving try to explain how it all affects them. But it's a good week for Chuck Hagel, who finally gets the votes he needs to become Defense Secretary, and Robin Kelly, who wins the Democratic primary in Illinois' 2nd district and is likely to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. in the House.

The Two-Way
5:37 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Deja Vu All Over Again As 'Sequester' Deadline Looms

The White House: When night falls, it looks like the "sequester" will arrive.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 9:55 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Ari Shapiro reports

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET. As Expected, No Deal:

President Obama and Congressional leaders met at the White House Friday morning and, just as pundits predicted, they could not reach a deal to avert the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin at the end of the day. We've posted on that news:

Decrying 'Dumb, Arbitrary Cuts,' Obama Says 'We Will Get Through This'

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Politics
3:16 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Why Republicans Are Out Of Step With Young Voters

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:16 am

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has begun a series of meetings with groups that have overwhelmingly gone Democratic in the past two presidential elections.

He's sitting down with Latino and Asian voters and with young people across the country. The youth group is of particular concern to the GOP because voting habits established at this stage could last a lifetime.

College students at Ohio State University were eager to talk about the state of the GOP brand. The class is called American Political Parties.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Christie's Post-Sandy Remarks About House GOP Behind Non-Invite To CPAC

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks with reporters in Trenton, N.J., this month. Christie was not invited to this year's CPAC conference.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:17 pm

If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hoping for a return invite to the big CPAC convention this year, he probably should have thought of that before he bad-mouthed House Speaker John Boehner a couple of months back.

Christie was incensed by the House's failure to pass a relief bill helping victims of Superstorm Sandy, which hammered New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast last autumn. In typical Christie style, he did not pull any punches.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Some Political Lessons From The Violence Against Women Act Vote

Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act rally in front of the U.S. Capitol last June. On Thursday, the House passed a reauthorization measure.
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:22 pm

The fight over reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act is now behind us. But like much of what happens in Washington, the process wasn't pretty.

In the debate leading up to Thursday's House vote, you had Democrats accusing Republicans of continuing a "war on women," and Republicans accusing Democrats of crass political pandering.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

After Tough 2012, Conservative Koch Brothers Regroup

David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, attends an event at The Economic Club of New York last year.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

The network of political groups headed by conservative industrialists David and Charles Koch spent millions of undisclosed dollars in last year's elections. Now, after failing to help Republicans win the White House or the Senate, the Koch brothers are re-examining the network, its goals and strategies.

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Justice Department Warns Of 'Pain' From Looming Cuts

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks before a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General on Tuesday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

President Obama minced no words when he talked about how the looming budget cuts known as sequestration could hurt the Justice Department.

"FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go," Obama said.

Starting late Friday, if Congress and the White House can't come to an agreement, the Justice Department will face $1.6 billion in cuts — about 9 percent of its budget. Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of state law enforcement officials who met in Washington this week that the situation looks ugly.

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Law
2:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

House Passes Expansion Of Violence Against Women Act

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

It has been a long, strange journey on Capitol Hill for the Violence Against Women Act. Today, after months of debate, the House finally passed an extension of the law, known as VAWA, and sent it to the president. It helps combat sexual assault and domestic violence. But the law had gotten tangled up over other hot-button political issues.

NPR's Ailsa Chang explains what happened.

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Around the Nation
12:11 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

On Heels Of Sequestration, The Business Of Spending Cuts

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The metaphors become unbearably trite: the debt ceiling; the fiscal cliff and now the meat cleaver of the sequestration. Details are important, we'll get to those in a moment, but underlying the repeated rounds of budgetary crisis, lies a deeper political paralysis.

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It's All Politics
12:01 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

$85 Billion Versus $42 Billion: The New Sequester Argument

Just how much will the sequester cut? It depends on whom you ask.

The White House has been saying spending will be reduced by $85 billion this year, unless the automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday are averted.

The Congressional Budget Office, however, just released a new report saying the cuts will only amount to $42 billion.

Why do they differ so much?

They don't, really. It's a technical difference, more than anything.

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It's All Politics
11:57 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Federal Gay Marriage Ban Hurts The Bottom Line, Businesses Argue

Starbucks is among the companies urging the Supreme Court to strike down the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:13 pm

After years of legal wrangling, the Defense of Marriage Act — the law that prevents the federal government from recognizing marriage as anything but a "legal union between one man and one woman" — comes before the Supreme Court next month.

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Race
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Black Reverend: Guns Are Important To My Church

Gun violence devastates many predominantly African-American neighborhoods in places across the country. But some faith leaders feel that legal access to guns is part of the solution, not the problem. Host Michel Martin speaks with Reverend Kenn Blanchard about why he wants his congregation to have wider access to guns.

Africa
10:11 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Kenya's Candidates Spar In First TV Debates

For the first time, Kenya recently aired presidential debates, ahead of its election. But despite the wide audience, many people doubt the country can get through the election without violence. Host Michel Martin catches up with journalist and debate moderator Uduak Amimo.

The Two-Way
10:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

House Reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:02 pm

After much handwringing from GOP House members, the Democratic minority and some Republicans joined forces to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

The vote was 286 to 138. Eighty-seven Republicans voted in favor of the bill; no Democrats voted against it.

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It's All Politics
9:35 am
Thu February 28, 2013

How Washington Chose Not To Be Careful With Spending Cuts

Under sequestration, federal agencies don't have the flexibility to choose to spare popular programs or services by making administrative cuts elsewhere.
Tatiana Popova iStockphoto.com

Inconveniencing the public is part of the plan.

It may never have been intended to play out in quite this way, but the automatic spending cuts set to take effect for most federal programs Friday leave little room for preserving the most visible and popular programs.

"The law basically says the cuts have to be across-the-board by 'project, program and activity,' " says Stan Collender, a federal budget expert with the communications firm Qorvis. "That was specifically written to take away flexibility from the administration."

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Thu February 28, 2013

The Meaning Of 'Regret': Journalist Bob Woodward, White House Disagree

Bob Woodward speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate in Washington in June.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:39 am

It all depends on how you interpret the phrase "you will regret doing this." That piece of advice coming from a parent might be taken far differently than it would as a line from a Joe Pesci movie.

Where it falls on a spectrum from friendly advice to outright threat is apparently a matter of opinion. Bob Woodward, The Washington Post reporter of Watergate fame, and the Obama White House disagree on more than just the sequester story.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Countdown To The Sequester: 3 More 'Should-Read' Stories

Will the clouds part, the sun shine and a sequester solution be found?
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov
  • NPR's Tamara Keith on where things stand
  • NPR's Brian Naylor on the sequester and aviation safety
  • KCUR's Frank Morris on meat inspections

Friday's deadline looms, and as we heard earlier today on Morning Edition: "Oh, it's gonna happen."

The "it" is sequestration — $85 billion worth of across-the-board federal spending cuts that are due to start kicking in at the end of Friday unless Republican and Democratic leaders somehow bridge their differences.

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Politics
4:27 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Democrats Move To Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

A hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday included tears, cheers and a recording of bursts of gunfire. It was all part of a new push by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, a ban that expired nearly a decade ago.

NPR's David Welna was there.

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Politics
4:06 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Sequester Countdown Clock Keeps Ticking

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

The sequester countdown calendar now has the number one on it. Tomorrow is the big day. Over time, the automatic across the board spending cuts could slow economic growth and lead to the furlough of hundreds of thousands of government employees. And we're going hear more about that in a moment.

NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage with the efforts to stop that from happening.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Spoiler alert.

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It's All Politics
3:06 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Conservative Group Gets Jump On 'Primarying' Republicans In 2014

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., is among those Republicans the conservative Club for Growth is looking to "primary" in 2014.
Susan Walsh AP

Live in a solidly Republican congressional district but think your member of Congress isn't conservative enough? Well, the Club for Growth has a new website for you.

PrimaryMyCongressman.com targets "moderate Republicans" who have "joined with Democrats to pass liberal policies that harm economic growth," the group says.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

For Bloomberg, Guns (Like Big Sodas) Are A Health Issue

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media outside the White House after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss the administration's proposals to reduce gun violence.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 3:17 pm

The victory of a pro-gun-control candidate in the Illinois Democratic primary race to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was also a political win for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose superPAC backed the winner over a candidate it linked to the NRA.

But Robin Kelly's victory Tuesday was, for Bloomberg, more than just another achievement on the gun control front. It was one more win in Bloomberg's unique assault on what he views as the public health problems of our time.

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It's All Politics
1:13 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

On Message: What Boehner's Saying (And What He's Not) About Sequester

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, discusses the sequester Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:33 pm

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

On Message: What Obama's Saying (And What He's Not) About Sequester

President Obama speaks Tuesday about the sequester in Newport News, Va.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 12:34 pm

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Health Care
12:30 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

The Changing Politics Of Health Care

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now it's a supersize edition of the Political Junkie. Ken Rudin, of course, is staying with us. John Kasich, Rick Scott, now, Chris Christie - three high-profile Republican governors and outspoken critics of Obamacare - have all decided to accept federal money to expand Medicaid coverage. The governor of New Jersey explained his reasoning yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Politics
12:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

The Tough Moments Mayors Face

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 3:00 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The mayor of New York plays kingmaker in Chicago. The Senate ends the filibuster that wasn't, and the first lady opens the envelope. It's Wednesday and time for a...

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM ROLL)

MICHELLE OBAMA: Argo...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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