Politics

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.

It's All Politics
4:45 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Was Boehner's Fiscal Cliff End Run Past GOP The New Normal?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (right), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., enter a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

By letting the House take up the Senate's fiscal cliff-dodging legislation that raises income tax rates on the wealthiest earners, Speaker John Boehner answered affirmatively a question that had been on many minds: Would he allow an up-or-down floor vote on a bill opposed by most fellow House Republicans?

Until the New Year's Day vote, Boehner had generally operated the House under what was known as the Hastert Rule. Named for former Speaker Dennis Hastert, it required a "majority of the majority" to support legislation before the speaker approved a floor vote.

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Business
3:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Skirmishes Over Taxes, Spending Are Ahead

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:54 am

David Greene talks to Wall David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about what the "fiscal cliff" deal did not accomplish, and what fiscal tasks face the new Congress.

Around the Nation
3:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Wind Power Changes Landscape In Multiple Ways

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:22 am

The "fiscal cliff" deal leaves in place tax subsidies for the wind power industry for at least one more year. Windmills have dramatically changed the picture of the Midwest. Wind has also changed the landscape economically and politically.

Analysis
3:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Does John Boehner Cause Problems For Himself?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:02 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Robert Costa, Washington editor of the National Review, about the trials of House Speaker John Boehner. What makes it hard for Boehner to control the Republican caucus?

Around the Nation
3:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Farmers Frustrated By Farm Bill Extension

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.

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It's All Politics
1:27 am
Thu January 3, 2013

After Upset Win, House Freshman Looks To Make A Name For Himself

Then-candidate Eric Swalwell speaks as Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., walks offstage during an endorsement meeting at the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club in Oakland, Calif., in September.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:27 am

A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.

His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Clinton Discharged From Hospital After Blood Clot Treatment

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital today, after being treated for a blood clot. In December, Clinton and former President Bill Clinton attended a dinner for Kennedy honorees at the Department of State.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:40 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she was admitted Sunday for treatment of a blood clot that followed a concussion she suffered after fainting. Clinton has reportedly been taking blood thinning agents to help the clot dissolve.

"She's eager to get back to the office," according to a statement from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant Secretary of State, announcing Clinton's discharge.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Democratic Leader Pelosi to GOP Colleagues: 'Take Back Your Party'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a Dec. 19 news conference on Capitol Hill.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:00 am

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she has urged Republican colleagues in Congress to "take back your party" from "anti-government ideologues" in their ranks.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

With New Congress, GOP Could Ditch Boehner As Speaker

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That squabble over aid related to Hurricane Sandy comes at a critical time for House Speaker John Boehner. Tomorrow, Congress is sworn in on Capitol Hill. And in the House, majority Republicans will decide if Boehner keeps his post.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

UPDATE: With A Swish Of His Autopen, Obama Signs Fiscal Cliff Bill

President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii, Wednesday. Obama returned to Hawaii to continue his vacation — prompting questions about how he will sign the fiscal cliff bill.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:43 am

Update at 7:35 a.m ET, Jan. 3. Signed By Autopen:

As many had expected he would, the president did sign the fiscal cliff agreement with an autopen. The bill was back in Washington, D.C., while Obama was in Hawaii on vacation. So, it was signed by an autopen machine that produces a copy of the president's signature. As we outlined earlier, this has been done before.

Our original post — "How Will President Obama Sign The Fiscal Cliff Bill?"

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Politics
3:22 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Includes Breaks For Tuna Canneries, Rum Makers

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The American Taxpayer Relief Act is 157 pages long. It's not all about avoiding impending tax hikes. Some of it has to do with tax benefits for ceiling fans and tuna canneries. NPR's Ari Shapiro is here to explain.

And Ari, in spending bills, little weird provisions like this might be called pork-barrel spending or projects. Are we looking at a kind of earmark?

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Politics
3:21 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

With Cliff Averted, Other Fiscal Challenges Remain

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. It's a new year, and on Wall Street and in official Washington, there is the ring of crisis averted. Long threatened across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts did not materialize, but don't breathe too long a sigh of relief. We're about to look forward to the next few months.

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It's All Politics
1:29 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Bidding Adieu To Congressional Trailblazers

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the nation's most prominent gay politician, speaks in Washington last month about his imminent retirement.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 8:15 am

The drama over the fiscal cliff and the familiar up-against-a-deadline dysfunction of Congress have largely overshadowed the leave-taking of some Capitol Hill originals.

So we wanted to remember a few true congressional trailblazers whose long Washington careers are ending. They include the first openly gay member of Congress, a leader of the libertarian movement, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party presidential ticket, and the most fervent supporter of a U.S. Department of Peace.

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It's All Politics
12:56 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Cliff Deal: What We Learned; What Comes Next

Although the fiscal cliff deal was passed by majorities in both chambers, it has still drawn criticism from the left and right.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:03 pm

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

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Politics
12:08 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Incoming Congressional Reps. Discuss The Fiscal Fights Ahead

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Congress clamors back up the cliff but not before the speaker flips off the majority leader, and it's déjà vu all over again as we hit the debt ceiling. It's Wednesday and time for a....

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Groundhog Day...

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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It's All Politics
11:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

'Rum Cliff' And Other Close Shaves In The Tax, Spending Deal

The 'rum tax' is extended.
istock

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:12 pm

You might have thought the intense partisan negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff were all about who wins and who loses when it comes to taxes and government programs.

And that assessment would be essentially correct — but some of the winners might strike you as a bit odd.

Tucked away in the bill's obscure cul-de-sacs are a bevy of obscure tax and spending provisions. We picked five for your perusal. Here goes:

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The Two-Way
6:01 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Bipartisan Outrage As Vote On Superstorm Sandy Aid Is Postponed

Nov. 6: Some of the damage from Superstorm Sandy on New York's Staten Island.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:01 pm

(We put a new top on this post at 3:45 p.m. ET.)

The House of Representatives will vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy before Jan. 15, according to promises Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made to legislators from the affected areas this afternoon. The speaker met with angry representatives at 3 p.m., seeking to quell their outrage over the postponement of a vote on federal help.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

It's Not Over: Big Battles Ahead Even After 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

President Obama was in the Oval Office late Tuesday night as the House finished voting on the "fiscal cliff" deal. After praising the passage, he left for Hawaii to resume a vacation with his family.
Aude Guerrucci/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 12:59 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': The upcoming battles

We're sorry to start the first work day of 2013 on a negative note, but here goes:

Though the House voted 257-167 late Tuesday to OK legislation that kept the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff — and stopped income taxes from rising for about 99 percent of Americans — lawmakers didn't reach agreement on other very divisive issues.

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Shots - Health News
1:49 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Pete Stark, Health Policy Warrior, Leaves A Long Legacy

Rep. Pete Stark, a California Democrat, was defeated in November. Stark leaves a long-lasting mark on the nation's health care system.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:25 am

The 113th Congress will be the first one in 40 years to convene without California Rep. Pete Stark as a member.

Stark was defeated in November by a fellow Democrat under new California voting rules. Stark may not be a household name, but he leaves a long-lasting mark on the nation's health care system.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Inside The Fiscal Cliff Budget Compromise Bill: Tax Cuts and Tax Hikes

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 4:44 am

The budget compromise bill that is meant to allow the U.S. government to avoid higher tax rates and austere budget cuts has tax rates as its central issue, with discussions about more spending cuts, and the federal debt limit, put off until the coming weeks.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Harkin Explains 'No' Vote On 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

It looks like House lawmakers will take action on a compromise bill to avert the fiscal cliff. Early this morning, the Senate approved a compromise deal hammered out by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, it appears the House may follow suit, or at least they'll try. An up or down vote is scheduled later tonight.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Action Moves To The House

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. And we begin this hour in limbo. Early this morning, barely two hours into the new year, the Senate voted 89 to 8 to keep tax rates just where they were last year for all household income up to $450,000. Midnight brought the expiration of those rates, along with a schedule of new, deep spending cuts that the Senate vote would delay. But that vote means nothing without the House acting as well.

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It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Sinema, First Openly Bisexual Member Of Congress, Represents 'Changing Arizona'

Rep.-elect Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., appears at a news conference with newly elected Democratic House members in Washington on Nov. 13.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Arizona's new 9th Congressional District is sending a different type of representative to Washington this week: She's young — 36. She grew up homeless for a time. And she'll be the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema marvels at the number of women, minorities and members of the LGBT community who will join her in the freshman class, which will be sworn in Thursday.

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It's All Politics
1:58 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Tea Party Texan Cruz Gives GOP Hope In Hunt For Hispanic Votes

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas answers a question from a television reporter on Nov. 6 in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas is a bright young Hispanic star who will be sworn in this week in Washington. The Republican Party nationally hopes Cruz will be part of the solution to its growing problem luring Hispanic voters.

Almost nobody had heard of Cruz when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But when he stepped in front of a microphone, he could light up a room in a way that made the other Republican candidates seem lifeless.

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Politics
12:35 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

House Prepares To Take Up Senate Budget Compromise

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Early this morning, the Senate approved a fiscal cliff package that includes some important steps forward on taxes, an unemployment extension and a new farm bill, among others. But now it appears that bill may be in trouble in the House of Representatives. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins us now from his home here in Washington, D.C. Ron, Happy New Year.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Happy New Year to you, Neal.

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