Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:19 pm
What New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday may have mattered less than how long he took to say it.
With his presidential ambitions and, potentially, his governorship put at risk by a scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the Republican Christie fielded dozens of questions from reporters during a midday news conference that lasted nearly two hours.
This post was updated with the latest news at 8:45 p.m. ET.
Saying he is "embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some people on my team," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday apologized to the people of New Jersey for his aides' role in a scheme to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee by closing lanes that lead to the George Washington Bridge.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in National Parks and forests in the Civilian Conservation Corps. President Obama's Secretary of the Interior wants to bring back that spirit, to create jobs and a new generation of conservationists.
But as NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, it's not the easiest thing to do in tight budget times.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne.
This week, and in the coming year, we're marking the anniversary of a famous declaration. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson called for an unconditional war on poverty in his first State of the Union Address after the assassination of President Kennedy.
It was a two-step move for Republicans at the Capitol Wednesday: to both praise the sentiment of the War on Poverty – but also to critique it.
"We are here to mark the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of the War on Poverty," said Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida. "And while this war may have been launched with the best of intentions, it's clear we're now engaged in a battle for attrition."
Forces allied with al-Qaida are battling to retake two major cities in Iraq's Sunni-dominated Anbar province: Ramadi, the capital of the province, and Fallujah, the city where U.S. troops prevailed after fighting two major battles.
There have been no American forces in Iraq since 2011, when President Obama ordered the last troops to leave. Now the man who lost the presidential race to Obama five years ago is pointing a finger at the president for al-Qaida's resurgence.
We've been marking the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty from a number of perspectives. Now, the Republican take. Republicans have long been critical of Lyndon Johnson's expansive approach to a federal safety net. Today, the Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, proposed what he says is a better way forward. His way? Take power away from Washington and give it to the states. NPR's Don Gonyea is here to tell us more. And, Don, first, give us some context. What was the setting for Senator Rubio's speech?
Fifty years after Lyndon Johnson famously declared his War on Poverty more than 46 million Americans are still poor. The official poverty rate has dropped only a few points in the last half century. Critics say that's partly because the government is still using an outdated measure of poverty. It's based on what it cost to feed a family back in the 1950s.
Utah is instructing state officials to put services and paperwork for same-sex couples on hold, reflecting a recent U.S. Supreme Court order that halted gay marriages in the state. Utah is appealing a district court's ruling last month that its ban on same-sex marriage is not constitutional. The state was granted a stay as it pursues the matter.
Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:38 pm
A record-high percentage of Americans identified as political independents last year, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.
The survey, based on more than 18,000 interviews conducted throughout the year, found that 42 percent identified as independent, the highest figure since the polling firm began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago.
In 2013, 31 percent identified as Democrats, while 25 percent identified as Republican.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We start the program today with reflections on money, speaking broadly. In a few minutes, we'll talk about some myths and facts about credit. Consumer columnist Sheryl Harris will help us clear up some confusion over what exactly helps and hurts your credit. That's in just a few minutes.
In a tally that surprised even its sponsors, a half dozen Republican senators gave Democrats enough votes to move forward with a bill extending emergency unemployment benefits for another three months. The proposal likely faces an even tougher hurdle in the Republican-controlled House.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has written a memoir. The book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, will be released next week. In it, Gates makes sharp and sometimes profane assessments of the Bush and Obama administrations.
Katherine Hackett of Connecticut introduces President Barack Obama during a White House event on unemployment insurance Jan. 7. Hackett spoke about her financial struggles during unemployment before Obama put pressure on the House to extend benefits.
The Senate surprised quite a few people in Washington today when it voted to proceed on a bill to temporarily extend emergency unemployment benefits. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to get the measure over a key procedural hurdle.
But it was only the first step, and the president is applying pressure to keep it moving.
Poverty and income inequality have long been staples of the Democratic Party platform, but they haven't often been high priorities. This year, that appears to be changing, and what's more, some Republicans seem eager to join the conversation.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:37 pm
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a book due out later this month, describes President Obama as "a man of personal integrity" who nonetheless was skeptical of his administration's "surge" strategy in Afghanistan and openly distrustful of the military leadership, The Washington Post and
When a reporter asked Reince Priebus Tuesday if Republicans would respond to a question about any issue by somehow directing the conversation back to the Affordable Care Act, the Republican National Committee chairman answered tongue-in-cheek.
"The answer is Obamacare," he said. "No, I'm just kidding."
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:25 am
This post was updated at 12:00 p.m. ET.
A three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans won a key procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday.
The 60-37 vote indicates there's enough Republican support to move the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which expired on Dec. 28, forward to a full vote. As The Associated Press writes, the measure "is the leading edge of a Democratic program that also includes raising the minimum wage and closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and corporations."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio poses for pictures with visitors at Gracie Mansion, the official residence of the mayor, during an open house and photo opportunity with the public as part of the inauguration ceremonies on Sunday.
Credit John Minchillo / AP
Visitors wait in the cold outside Gracie Mansion as newly elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, not pictured, holds an open house and photo opportunity with the public on Jan. 5.
I've always wondered what it would have been like to be at the White House in 1829 when President Andrew Jackson was inaugurated. He threw open the White House to the public and some 20,000 people stomped through, apparently causing a rowdy mob scene.
So I was intrigued with the fact that New York's new progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio, planned to open Gracie Mansion to the public this past Sunday. He kept calling the official mayoral residence, "The People's House." I decided to go.
The Senate has approved Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. At a ceremony commemorating the Fed's centennial last month, Yellen sat with (from left-to-right) former chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, and current Fed leader Ben Bernanke.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 5:13 pm
The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.
White House National Economic Council Chairman Gene Sperling speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Monday. With Congress back, the Senate is expected to work on a three-month extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:26 pm
President Obama and fellow Democrats, just back from a long holiday break, are immediately embracing a legislative agenda that would increase the minimum wage and extend unemployment insurance benefits to an estimated 1.3 million long-term jobless in America.