A liberal think-tank closely allied with the Obama administration is proposing a health care spending plan it says could save hundreds of billions of dollars in entitlement spending without hurting middle- and low-income patients.
Political leaders from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have not been shy about their intent to seek as much federal funding as possible for their storm-struck states. Damages and lost economic activity as a result of Hurricane Sandy have been estimated as high as $50 billion.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., wants $30 billion in federal assistance to help rebuild his state. This request, and others, come at a time when Congress is already consumed with reducing the deficit.
Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:46 pm
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
As the White House and Congress debate taxes and entitlement reform, an influential liberal think-tank is offering what appears to be an olive branch. It comes at a time when many Democrats are trying to protect entitlements, such as Medicare. At the same time, Republicans say those entitlements are too expensive in their present form.
After President Obama's news conference today, he moved on to a meeting with the CEOs of a number of big corporations to talk about avoiding the fiscal cliff. We're going to talk now with one business leader who has advised the White House in the past, although he was not at today's meeting. Gary Loveman is the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, the worldwide casino company. He's been a member of President Obama's export council, and he's also part of the Fix the Debt campaign. Welcome to the program.
President Obama sounds like he's in for a fight over the woman who could be the next secretary of state. Republicans have been blasting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the way she characterized the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.
But the president came to her defense in his news conference Wednesday afternoon.
"When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me," he told reporters.
Now, to one place where the fight over the future direction over the Republican Party is playing out - the House of Representatives. A race for the number four House Republican leadership post has taken on broader significance, pitting a conservative congressman from Georgia against a congresswoman from Washington state, who has said the GOP has to become, quote, "more modern." And today, that Washington congresswoman won.
President Barack Obama takes questions from reporters at the White House today, in his first press conference since March. NPR's Ken Rudin and political strategists Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman, and Anna Greenberg, a democratic pollster, analyze the President's remarks.
Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 12:20 pm
Maine, Maryland, and Washington passed same-sex marriage on the ballot in the 2012 election. Minnesotans struck down a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Now, people on both sides of the issue are reevaluating their strategies.
Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 12:36 pm
A good deal of credit for President Obama's re-election has gone to his campaign's sophistication at interpreting data about potential voters and its use of behavioral research to get supporters to actually vote.
And because success in politics spawns imitators, the approach could well shape how future campaigns are run.
If voters were surprised to watch TV networks call the election for President Obama over Republican Mitt Romney minutes after polls closed in California last week, perhaps it was because of earlier statements like these:
--"Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida."
--"I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we've already painted those red, we're not polling any of those states again."
November 6th saw most Tea Party members reelected to Congress, but there were also notable defeats. Tea Party candidates lost Senate races in Indiana and Missouri. This week, one Tea Party lawmaker suggested in an interview with Politico that it's time to moderate the approach. We invited New York Times reporter Kate Zernike to talk about the status of the Tea Party. She's written a book about it with a great title, "Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America."
Congress is beginning a busy post-election session. Lawmakers have weeks to prevent higher taxes and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of the year. Then there are hearings on the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and the scandal over the affair that ended the career of CIA Chief David Petraeus. Here's NPR's David Welna.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jacki Lyden in Washington; Neal Conan is away. It's been just more than two months since the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Four Americans died there, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Congressional committee hearings resume today, on the handling of the attack.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:29 am
Anyone who follows the adventures of the alternative minimum tax has to be getting sick of the many sequels. Again and again, this unpopular income tax threatens to hit middle-class families with large and unexpected tax increases.
And each time the threat reappears, Congress applies a "patch" to fix the problem temporarily. That makes the threat an annual event — along with the associated congressional hand-wringing and taxpayer confusion.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, we're hearing a lot about the so-called fiscal cliff: those automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that will take effect if lawmakers and the White House don't come up with a deficit reduction plan by the end of the year. We're going to focus on a tax hike that may hit many more people than you might think. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.
If the government goes over the "fiscal cliff," millions of households could see tax increases because of an obscure part of the tax code, known as the alternative minimum tax. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about exactly what could happen and who would be affected.
I know what you're thinking. Same old president. Same old Senate. Same old House.
And yes, same old ScuttleButton.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:36 am
Immediately after last week's election, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the state would not be setting up its own health insurance exchange. Next door in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback announced that Kansas will have no involvement in running a state exchange either. The moves open the door for increased federal involvement in health care in staunchly Republican territory.
President Obama meets with labor leaders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff. It's the first of many meetings aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of the new year.
A week ago, the president proved again that he and his team are good at winning elections. The question now is whether he can translate victory at the ballot box to success in shaping policy.
Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:08 am
In the wake of last Tuesday's elections, a lively debate has erupted into the open over whether conservatives and the Republican Party were well-served by their favorite media outlets.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney was reported to have been so certain of a victory on Tuesday night that he cast aside tradition and did not draft a concession speech. But conservatives now say his misplaced confidence — and theirs — were bolstered by the predictions of many like-minded pundits, which were broadcast and posted online around the clock by sympathetic news outlets.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, with the election now over President Obama and members of Congress are getting no end of free advice about how they should spend the next four years. So today and tomorrow, we'll talk about that with people we are calling the loyal opposition. Today, we speak with one of Mr. Obama's former advisors, Van Jones, and we'll ask him what progressives want to see in the next four years.
Van Jones has become a leading voice on the progressive left. That only happened after a short stint as the Obama administration's Green Jobs czar. Jones is now the co-founder of the policy group, Rebuild the Dream. He talks with host Michel Martin about what progressives should expect — and demand — in a second Obama term.