Politics

Politics
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Seeing The House Through Freshmen Eyes

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

The 113th Congress convened last week, and introduced a batch of fresh faces to Washington. Host Rachel Martin speaks with two freshmen members of the House of Representatives, Democrat Ami Bera of California and Republican Rodney Davis of Illinois, about the incoming Congress and what they hope to accomplish.

Politics
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Rebel Republicans Tried To Send Boehner A Message

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Last week, House Speaker John Boehner narrowly held onto his leadership post after some in his own party voted against him or abstained.

It's All Politics
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Former Sen. Scott Brown May Be Eyeing Quick Return To Washington

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., attends the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 30. Scott lost his re-election bid, but could be running for office again in a matter of weeks.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 5:08 pm

Among the new members of Congress sworn in this week was Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And within days, the Massachusetts Democrat could become her state's senior senator.

That's because 28-year incumbent Sen. John Kerry is expected to be confirmed soon as secretary of state.

And replacing him later this year after a special election could be the very senator whom Warren unseated: Republican Scott Brown. For Brown, it would be an unusual second chance.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Obama's On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With Progressives

President Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff on Monday. Some progressives say the president was not aggressive enough with Republicans during budget talks and are hoping he is stronger in his second term.
Charles Dharapak AP

When Barack Obama first took office four years ago, many progressives were on cloud nine. Here was a president pledging to tackle some of the issues closest to the progressive base: climate change, gun control and what he called our "broken immigration system."

That was in 2008. Fast forward to now and these are just a few of the unresolved issues leaving progressives unsatisfied.

With Obama's second term around the corner, some progressives are wondering if President Obama will reboot and follow through with his earlier promises.

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NPR Story
2:41 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Kentucky's Andy Barr Says He'll Focus On Compromise In New Congress

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 3:10 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

When Congress reconvened on January 3rd, it did so with 84 newly elected members. We've been profiling a few of the newcomers over the past week. Today, we'll learn a bit more about the latest Republican to join Kentucky delegation Andy Barr. Here's Kentucky Public Radio's Kenny Colston.

KENNY COLSTON, BYLINE: The halls of Henry Clay High School in Lexington aren't that much different than the halls of power its namesake served in: loud and busy. But this place brings back memories for Congressman-elect Andy Barr.

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It's All Politics
2:00 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

What Happens When The Speaker Isn't Talking?

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in November.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:13 am

The last thing Washington policymakers need is another obstacle to reaching agreements in the next two months on mandatory spending cuts and raising the nation's debt limit.

But the start of the new 113th Congress brought word that House Speaker John Boehner had sworn off future one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.

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Opinion
6:00 am
Sat January 5, 2013

What Difference Will More Women Make In Congress?

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

The 113th Congress is setting a new record, with 101 women this time around. Now there's lots of speculation about what difference — if any — a sizable group of women might make to our national legislature.

Politics
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Pioneering N.H. Senator Looks Ahead To Next Term

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Linda Wertheimer speaks with freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire about the challenges facing the 113th Congress. Shaheen is a former governor of New Hampshire and a part of the state's new all-female delegation to Congress.

Author Interviews
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

'The King Years': An Intersection Of Race And Politics

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

President Obama will be publicly sworn in for a second term on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a notable confluence of events. Historian Taylor Branch joins guest host Linda Wertheimer to talk about race and democracy, past and present. Branch's new book is The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

It's All Politics
3:28 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Often Written Off, Biden Has Long List Of Deals To His Name

Vice President Joe Biden leads the first meeting of the working group to explore solutions following the Newtown shooting with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other law enforcement leaders on Dec. 20.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

When President Obama finally announced a fiscal cliff agreement late Tuesday night, he thanked several people who had worked to get a deal.

The first one he mentioned by name was the man standing next to him at the podium: "my extraordinary vice president, Joe Biden."

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It's All Politics
3:28 am
Sat January 5, 2013

As The Capitol Turns: Little Has Changed In Congress' New Season

House Speaker John Boehner swears in the newly elected members of the 113th Congress on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

This week saw both a frantic finale to the much-unloved 112th Congress and, hours later, the swearing in of the new 113th. The cast of lawmakers and their leaders is mostly unchanged. The same can be said for Capitol Hill's never-ending drama over taxes, deficits and spending.

What was arguably this week's most sensational congressional moment did not even take place in Washington. On Wednesday in Trenton, N.J., Republican Gov. Chris Christie blasted the GOP-led House for closing down the last Congress without even considering a Superstorm Sandy disaster relief bill.

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It's All Politics
2:54 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Liberals In A Dither Over Whether Obama Blew It, Or Nailed It

President Obama leaves the Oval Office early Wednesday after the House passed legislation to retain tax breaks for most Americans, let tax rates rise for the wealthiest, and delay action on mandatory spending cuts.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:14 am

Fiscal cliff week has mercifully ended with a deal done, hurricane relief approved, President Obama vacationing, and both parties bickering internally over what was won — and lost — in the early hours of the new year.

What we have found most intriguing is the vigorous post-facto wrestling within the liberal community over what the fiscal cliff negotiations say about President Obama.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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Politics
2:45 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Congress Approves Nearly $10 Billion In Superstorm Sandy Aid

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. New York and New Jersey and getting some much needed federal disaster relief, but at least for now, it's far less than the state's leaders have requested. Today, Congress approved nearly $10 billion to replenish the National Flood Insurance program. The move comes after a major blowup earlier this week when House leaders failed to act on a larger aid package. NPR's Tamara Keith has our story.

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Obama (Officially) Wins! Electoral College Votes Tallied Before Congress

Vice President Joe Biden shows the certificate of the Electoral College vote for Ohio to House Speaker John Boehner during a joint session of Congress on Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:23 pm

President Obama has officially won the election, with 332 electoral votes tallied in his column.

Of course this is old news. But the formal count mandated by the Constitution took place Friday in a joint session of Congress, heavy on ceremony and light on attendance.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Now You Don't See Them, Now You Do: Pelosi Defends Doctored Photo

The four lawmakers who were, but weren't, there at the time. (We put the oval around them to make them easier to see.)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Facebook page

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:12 pm

Calling it a "historic record of who the Democratic women of Congress are," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today defended the move by her office to alter a photo taken Thursday on the steps of the Capitol so that four female lawmakers who were late could be "seen" with their colleagues.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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Barbershop
9:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Will Republicans Follow The Leader?

The Barbershop guys talk about which political party seems more bruised now that the battle over taxes has ended. They also guess who will be going down in the NFL playoffs this weekend. Guest host Celeste Headlee checks in with culture critic Jimi Izrael; sports writer Pablo Torre, NPR's Ken Rudin and former chair of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele.

The Two-Way
9:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Update: Senate Joins House In Passing Sandy Aid Bill

Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Passage In The Senate:

The Senate just passed, by unanimous agreement, a bill that injects more than $9 billion into the insurance program that will assist those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last October.

President Obama had urged passage and is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Our original post:

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Secretary Clinton Now Expected Back In Her Office Next Week

Wednesday: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (in sunglasses) as she left New York Presbyterian Hospital with her husband, former president Bill Clinton (top right), and their daughter, Chelsea.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:00 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "looking forward to coming back to work next week," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says.

Clinton, 65, was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
7:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

It's All Politics, Jan. 3, 2013

Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov
  • Listen to the Roundup

So what's the verdict on John Boehner? He had a bad week – pushed to the sidelines during the fiscal cliff deal, criticized by his colleagues over aid to Hurricane Sandy victims – but he was also re-elected House Speaker, with no direct challenge from a GOP rival. Also, big news in the two upcoming special Senate elections: The governor of Hawaii names a surprise pick to succeed the late Sen. Inouye, and Democrats rally around one candidate in the race to succeed John Kerry of Massachusetts. Even NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving are stunned.

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It's All Politics
1:29 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Outspoken Alan Grayson Gets Another Chance In Congress

After losing his bid for re-election in 2010, Democrat Alan Grayson of Florida is back in Congress after winning a safer district.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:24 am

Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.

After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."

His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.

'The People United'

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Politics
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

After Suspenseful Vote, Boehner Recaptures House Speaker Seat

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The 113th Congress was sworn in today, bringing with it a number of firsts. White men now make up a minority of the 200 members in the House Democratic Caucus.

CORNISH: In the Senate, there will be 20 women, an all-time high.

SIEGEL: Also, the first Republican African-American senator in more than three decades.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

New Congress Already Has Full Plate With Spending Cuts, Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

The 113th Senate formally began on Thursday, with fully one-fifth of them women, the highest percentage to date. Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, who suffered a stroke a year ago, also made his return.

U.S.
1:20 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The Phantom Tax That Made The Deficit Look Better

The alternative minimum tax created a "useful fiction," as one analyst says, by appearing to shrink budget deficits.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

As Americans continue to sort out the contents of the fiscal cliff legislative package passed by Congress Tuesday, they are finding elements they like and some they hate.

There's one exception. Everyone is glad Congress finally found a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

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National Security
12:03 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The F-35 Fighter Jet: The Cost And Controversy

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If plans go ahead, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be the workhorse of the Air Force, Navy and Marines for decades to come. The F-35 boasts a sleek profile that makes it nearly invisible to radar, and it's scheduled to replace as many as 10 planes that are currently in service, including the venerable F-16. Lieutenant Colonel Todd LaFortune is among the first to make the transition.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Coming Up: House Selects Its Speaker

A thumbs-up in thanks: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the floor of the House today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 12:29 pm

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who has come under criticism from some conservative members of his Republican caucus for — in their opinions — conceding too much in negotiations with the White House, was reelected Thursday as speaker of the House.

The speaker, known for showing his emotions, later choked up several times during a mid-afternoon address to the House. He challenged members to "do the right thing" and come to their jobs "humbled."

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Nice Moment: Sen. Mark Kirk Returns To Capitol One Year After Stroke

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., holding a cane. He was helped up the steps of the Capitol by Vice President Biden (behind Kirk) and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., (in red tie). Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is at right.
C-SPAN

Before lawmakers get back to the business of arguing about taxes, deficits and other issues as they open a new session of Congress today, there was just a nice moment outside the Capitol.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke last Jan. 21, came to the Capitol for the first time since then. And as C-SPAN cameras watched, he made a very public return — slowly walking up the steps of the Capitol with assistance from Vice President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.

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Politics
9:54 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Latinos Shifting Political Trends

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:05 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Politics
9:54 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Will Congress Get Along In 2013?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:05 am

A new Congress takes office today, after a nail-biting end to the last term. There were reports of choice words from House Speaker John Boehner to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but Congress came together on a budget agreement. Guest host Celeste Headlee asks how congressional deals are made, and what to expect from the freshman class.

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