Politics

Economy
10:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

How Helpful Is Extending Unemployment Benefits?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, for years now we've been talking about ways to close the achievement gap. Now some states are asking to set standards based on race. You can imagine why this is controversial. So we'll try to learn more about this in just a few minutes.

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Politics
2:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Taxes Are A Stumbling Block To Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Americans are not optimistic that leaders here in Washington will strike a budget deal in time to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts. A new poll by the Pew Research Center found nearly half the country expects the budget stalemate to drag on.

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NPR Story
2:42 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Senate Fails To Ratify U.N. Treaty On Disabilities

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And amid that budget debate, a wall of Republican opposition to a new United Nations treaty kept it from being ratified in the Senate. The treaty is aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of disabled people. And even though it was inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Republicans argue that it would harm U.S. sovereignty and even interfere with home schooling. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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The Salt
12:36 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Milk Producers Peer Over The Dairy Cliff

Dairy farmer Bob Andrews feeds heifers in the same barn his grandfather used. He says today "the harder you work, the further you get behind."
David Sommerstein NCPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

There's more than one cliff drawing controversy this month. The federal farm bill is one of many items caught in congressional gridlock. The bill resets U.S. agriculture policy every four years, and most farmers are still covered by crop insurance and other programs until next planting season. But there's one exception: dairy.

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It's All Politics
12:35 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Is A Recess Appointment Valid If The Senate Says It's Not Really Gone?

The Senate side of the U.S. Capitol.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:09 am

In a tug of war between President Obama and Congress, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., will hear arguments Wednesday on the legality of Obama's controversial recess appointments.

The White House says it was forced to install three new members of the National Labor Relations Board in January because of inaction by Senate Republicans. But those lawmakers argue the Senate wasn't really in a recess at the time.

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Politics
4:05 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Social Security's COLA At Stake In 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:34 am

The Republican plan to avert the "fiscal cliff" that the White House rejected Monday includes at least one element that's likely to produce controversy: a proposal that would, among other things, affect the cost of living adjustment for Social Security.

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It's All Politics
2:36 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

For Tea Party Activists In Florida, The Health Care Battle Goes On

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 4:50 pm

President Obama's re-election sent a message to state capitals: The war over the president's health care overhaul is finished.

Even in Florida, where Republican leaders led the legal battle against Obamacare, there's recognition now that the state has to act fast to comply with the new law.

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It's All Politics
1:14 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Obama And Boehner Call It Negotiation; The Rest Of Us Are Permitted To Laugh

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner meet in the White House on July 23, 2011. At that time, they were discussing how to avert a debt default. The talks ultimately led to the deal that now brings us aspects of the so-called fiscal cliff.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 11:29 am

If you're tempted to throw back your head and guffaw when you hear the word "negotiation" linked with "Congress" and "fiscal cliff," please, don't hesitate.

Because what you're seeing play out publicly between congressional Republicans and Democrats and the White House bears little resemblance to negotiation.

"The game that's being played is the same game that's been played over the past few years — brinksmanship, and hard positional bargaining," says William Ury, who knows negotiation when he sees it.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Outgoing Political Mavericks Reflect On Careers

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 1:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. When the 112th Congress adjourns, some of the most vivid politicians of our times will leave the stage. We've already spoken with Democratic Representatives Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich. Today two political mavericks.

One ran for president of the United States, the other for vice president. Both at one time or another left their parties. Both left indelible marks on politics and on Washington, D.C.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

To Fix The Debt, Compromise Is Key

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later in the program, exit interviews with Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Ron Paul as they leave Congress after many years. But first we continue our Opinion Page series on the fiscal cliff.

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Politics
9:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Time For A 'Black Agenda' In The White House?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program we are going to head to Central Africa to find out what's happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an armed rebel group managed to take over one of the country's most important cities, despite the presence of a massive United Nations peacekeeping force. We'll talk about how that happened and why it matters with a reporter who is there on the ground. That's coming up later in the program.

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It's All Politics
6:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Obama Changes Tack With Congressional Republicans

President Obama speaks at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday. Since his re-election four weeks ago, Obama is showing signs of a new, more aggressive leadership style.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:37 am

Throughout his first term, some of President Obama's critics said he wasn't a tough enough negotiator. They felt he caved to Republicans too early, too often. Since his re-election, Obama has subtly changed his approach. He's bringing a more aggressive style — but some critics say it's not the best way to find common ground.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Allison Joyce Reuters /Landov

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

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Economy
4:55 am
Tue December 4, 2012

White House Rejects GOP's Counteroffer

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's talk about that new offer now. The proposal from House Republicans includes a combination of revenue raising and spending cuts. What it doesn't include is any rise in tax rates.

To help us dig into this offer and what it means for the state of negotiations, we're joined by NPR congressional reporter Tamara Keith.

Good morning.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: House Republicans are billing this as a bold counter-offer. Why are they calling it bold?

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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

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Politics
2:27 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Republicans Counter With $2.2 Trillion Deficit Plan

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block.

And today there is a counter offer. Republicans have put forward the broad strokes of their proposal to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled at the end of the year. It should sound familiar to those who followed the presidential campaign. House Speaker Jon Boehner offered a plan that borrows heavily from ideas put forth by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

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Opinion
12:12 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Op-Ed: Go Over The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:34 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And now, The Opinion Page; in fact a first, an Opinion Page series on the latest round of arguments on taxes and spending that have come to national attention under the ominous term the fiscal cliff. At the moment, the White House and congressional Republicans are at an impasse, and if that sounds familiar, that's because they arrived at a similar stalemate last year. When a subsequent supercommittee failed to reach agreement, the clock started ticking.

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Political Junkie
11:11 am
Mon December 3, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

We're close to reaching the breaking point. The White House knows it. Democrats and Republicans in Congress know it. Wall Street knows it, economists know it. We've been pushing this off for quite some time, and now it's time to take action.

Of course, I'm talking about solving this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.

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Political Junkie
4:33 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Gov. Christie Re-Election Bid In N.J. Heads Up 2013 Election Calendar

President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 31 before visiting areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:01 am

We may be still catching our collective breath over the 2012 elections, but fear not, political junkies: The 2013 elections are already getting under way. Here is what's at stake:

Governor: New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie (R) has announced he will seek re-election, and Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) must step down after one term.

Mayor: The big attractions are New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and Seattle.

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Around the Nation
2:57 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Dallas Residents Weigh In On Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 11:30 am

The battle over the looming spending cuts and tax increases known as the "fiscal cliff" begins this week where it ended last week — deadlocked. While there is no agreement on how lawmakers should work out the details of a compromise, there is widespread consensus that a deal must get done for the good of the country.

It's All Politics
1:26 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Pick A Number: Let's Play 'Cap Those Deductions'

In the presidential debate on Oct. 16, Mitt Romney presented a hypothetical way to cap deductions and raise revenue.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:35 am

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it's up to congressional Republicans to take the next step in budget talks to avoid the pending automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year.

Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, Geithner said there's "no path to an agreement" until Republicans are willing to accept higher tax rates on the rich.

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Economy
3:06 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

The Tax Battle Decoded: What $250,000 Gets You

As Congress and the White House battle over a tax and spending plan before the end of the year, one number is at the forefront: $250,000. That's the income level above which the White House wants taxes to rise. Host Guy Raz speaks with Reuters personal finance columnist Linda Stern about where that amount of money goes a long way, and where it doesn't. Plus NPR's Mara Liasson weighs in on the state of budget talks in Washington.

Politics
3:06 pm
Sun December 2, 2012

Busting The Filibuster: Setting New Terms

Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico tells host Guy Raz that next month might be the perfect time for Democrats to try a controversial technique to reform the filibuster.

It's All Politics
11:51 am
Sun December 2, 2012

No Deal On 'Fiscal Cliff' Without Tax Increase On Rich, Geithner Says

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, seen here on NBC's Meet the Press on July 10, 2011, took to the Sunday talk shows to make the administration's case on the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."
William B. Plowman AP

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 12:50 pm

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took to the Sunday talk shows to push the Obama administration's plan to avert the "fiscal cliff," saying that while he was optimistic about a deal with Republicans, there would be no agreement without an increase in tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners.

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Politics
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

Obama Not The First To Take Fiscal Fight On The Road

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Before the official start of his second term, the president himself has to deal with a major legislative challenge, the across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect next year unless the White House and Congress can reach a compromise. But in lieu of banging out a deal with congressional leaders face to face, the president is taking his case for how to solve the crisis on the road.

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Politics
3:59 am
Sun December 2, 2012

No Nominees, But Obama Cabinet Already Has Critics

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

President Obama has less than two months before the start of his second term. Often, that means a lot of shuffling in the presidential cabinet. The recent resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus means there's an open spot at Langley. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she will leave that office at the end of the year.

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Politics
3:58 am
Sun December 2, 2012

A Month Away, Fiscal Deadline Looms With No Deal

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 3:59 am

Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Tamara Keith about the latest developments in the federal budget negotiations and the impending package of tax increases and spending cuts that are set to automatically go into effect unless Congress acts by Jan. 1, 2013.

It's All Politics
1:20 am
Sun December 2, 2012

The 3 Unofficial GOP Rules That Are Making A Deficit Deal Even Harder

House Speaker John Boehner takes questions during a news conference Friday on Capitol Hill.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:40 pm

Making an already head-splittingly difficult deal on the fiscal cliff even harder to resolve is a set of three rules by which the Republicans who run the House play.

These are not official regulations; they're more shibboleths that House GOP leaders have adopted in recent years. And those rules are leaving House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, little room to maneuver as lawmakers try to avoid a set of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year.

1. "The majority of the majority"

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It's All Politics
10:39 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Think Congressional Gridlock Is Bad? If Reid Changes Filibuster Rules, Look Out

Jimmy Stewart in a scene from the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:44 am

Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, was clearly frustrated with the tactics some of his colleagues were using to gum up the legislative process.

The mere threat of a filibuster of a procedural motion to allow the defense authorization bill to be considered on the floor caused the Senate's leadership to balk at scheduling the legislation at all.

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Politics
4:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

The Debt Talks: Where One Republican Stands

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 8:41 am

Weekend Edition host Scott Simon talks with Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga, of Michigan, about his year in Congress and the impending so-called fiscal cliff.

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