Politics

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

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
3:59 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
3:58 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.

It's All Politics
3:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 2:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Raising Taxes On The Rich: Canny Or Counterproductive?

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. (right), shown at a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is arguing for raising taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:44 pm

As negotiations continue in Washington over a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff — that combination of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for Jan. 1 — one big sticking point is whether to raise tax rates for high-income Americans.

Congress and the White House constructed the cliff last year, thinking it would force them to focus on solving the deficit problem. But they're still battling over what approach makes the most sense.

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It's All Politics
4:06 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Boehner Names Rep. Candice Miller Chairwoman Of House Administration Committee

Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., will head the House Administration Committee in the 113th Congress.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:56 am

Facing criticism over appointing an all male slate of chairmen to lead major House committees, Speaker John Boehner on Friday announced that Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan will head the House Administration Committee.

As of now, Miller is the only Republican woman expected to head a House committee when the 113th Congress convenes Jan. 3.

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It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Rice Controversy Raises Ayotte's Profile

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain, discusses the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:44 pm

Freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has been standing side by side with colleagues John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in questioning the Obama administration's version of events about the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

It is just the latest in a series of high-profile moments for Ayotte, who is seen as a rising star in a party struggling to win female voters.

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Politics
2:55 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Boehner: Fiscal Cliff Negotiations At A 'Stalemate'

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Election 2012
2:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

2012 Election The Most Expensive In History

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Among the many distinctions of the 2012 election season was that it was the most expensive in history. President Obama and Mitt Romney each raised around a billion dollars and outside groups spent another billion or more. We know that a lot of that money went to pay for advertising, but what about the people who placed the ads or produced them or think up the strategy behind them?

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It's All Politics
12:50 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Kerry: In The Shadow Of Rice's Firestorm

Committe Chairman John Kerry , D-MA, speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Beecroft to be ambassador to Iraq Sept. 19 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:19 pm

President Obama has yet to make known his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but plenty of Republicans have made theirs: John Kerry.

And that puts the Massachusetts senator and former Democratic presidential nominee in a bit of a bind. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he'd normally be one of the loudest voices defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice against GOP attacks that she mishandled her role in explaining an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. But she's the other top contender for the Cabinet post.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:53 am
Fri November 30, 2012

It's All Politics, Nov. 29, 2012

Win McNamee Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin take you over the cliff in the latest podcast.

This week: a less-than-friendly reception for Susan Rice among Senate Republicans; some in the GOP declare their independence from the no-tax pledge; an update in the battle to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress; and the 2013 gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey begin to take shape.

Politics
10:19 am
Fri November 30, 2012

What Allen West And Abraham Lincoln Have In Common

U.S. Rep. Allen West came to Washington as part of the 2010 wave of Tea Party-backed candidates. He became known as aggressive and outspoken, but his tenure in Congress was short-lived. He recently conceded a close race for Florida's 18th District. West sits down with host Michel Martin to reflect on his term and his outlook for the future.

The Two-Way
6:53 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as he arrived at the Capitol on Thursday for negotiations with congressional leaders.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect.

As NPR and others cover the story, we'll try to to point to interesting reports and analyses. Here are three of the latest.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Idaho's Rep. Labrador On Immigration Jobs Bill

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:06 am

Renee Montagne talks with Rep. Raul Labrador, Republican from Idaho and one of the congressmen who introduced the bill that's set for a vote Friday. The STEM Jobs Act allows people who are in the U.S. legally who are getting advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to stay and get their green cards, he says.

Politics
3:04 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Republicans Bristle At Obama's Tax, Spending Plan

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:05 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A high stakes negotiation that got underway two weeks ago on a congenial note has turned acrimonious. We're talking about the effort by the White House and Congress to avoid those automatic tax hikes and sweeping spending cuts that kick in on January 1st. The top two Republicans on Capitol Hill are flatly rejecting what the White House proposed to them yesterday. NPR's David Welna has the story.

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