Politics

Politics
3:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:51 pm

There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?

There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Studies have found that women in Congress not only sponsor more bills but also collect more co-sponsors for those bills.

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It's All Politics
1:04 am
Thu May 8, 2014

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:53 am

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

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It's All Politics
11:47 am
Wed May 7, 2014

She's A Doctor, Mom, and Republican - But Conservative Enough?

Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby, right, talks to supporter Marvin Hausman in Lake Oswego, Ore. Wehby has drawn national attention and money in her effort to win her party's nomination.
Jonathan J. Cooper AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 1:04 am

Monica Wehby is the Senate candidate Republicans have been waiting for: a camera-ready pediatric neurosurgeon, mother of four, in a party that desperately needs to elect more women.

Make that a candidate some Republicans have been waiting for.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Democrats Play Wait-And-See On Benghazi Panel

A Libyan man is shown inside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:05 am

Updated on May, 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

Late Tuesday, House Republicans made public on Speaker John Boehner's website their draft resolution to create the Benghazi select committee. The resolution calls for a panel of seven Republicans and five Democrats and no written rules for the panel.

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Politics
4:17 am
Wed May 7, 2014

With Midterm Elections 6 Months Away, Primaries Begin

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Congressional elections do not come for months, but in many districts the real action is now. Its primary season and yesterday voters went to the polls around the country. In North Carolina's Republican Senate primary, Thom Tillis, the State House speaker, won a big enough margin to avoid a runoff.

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Politics
3:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Obama Sounds Alarm Bell On Climate Change. Is Anyone Listening?

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 6:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Everybody makes conversation about the weather. And today that includes President Obama. He's appearing on three network TV shows to discuss a new government report on climate change. It's on a day when the president also visits Arkansas to survey the damage from last week's tornadoes.

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It's All Politics
8:11 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Establishment Favorite Thom Tillis Wins Senate Nod In N.C.

Thom Tillis greets supporters at a election night rally in Charlotte, N.C., after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:23 pm

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, a victory for GOP establishment forces over the Tea Party in a battleground state that will feature one of the nation's most competitive Senate races this fall.

Tillis, who avoided a runoff by winning more than 40 percent of the vote, will face first-term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November. Hagan rates among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Gaffe Breathes New Life Into Iowa Senate Race

Iowa Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst debates fellow U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs, a retired CEO, in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

This year, Iowa will elect a new U.S. senator, thanks to the retirement of five-term Democrat Tom Harkin.

For a time, this was a seat Democrats didn't think they needed to worry about; Rep. Bruce Braley was considered the favorite to win the seat in November.

Thanks to a serious gaffe, though, the seat looks to be in play. Now, five Republican hopefuls, none well-known statewide, are all racing toward the June primary.

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She Votes
3:24 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

From Humble Beginnings, A Powerhouse Fundraising Class Emerges

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., asks a question of a witness on Capitol Hill during a June 2013 committee hearing. Since her appointment in 2009, Gillibrand has become one of the Senate's top fundraisers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:54 am

Women are far less likely than men to run for Congress. But here's the curious thing: When it comes to the hardest, most miserable part of campaigning — fundraising — women do just as well as men.

Study after study shows this, but it wasn't always that way. Efforts over the past 30 years to teach women how to raise money and give money have helped them catch up to men as powerhouse fundraisers.

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Abortion Opponents Find Winning Strategy In Ohio

In Ohio, four of the state's 14 abortion clinics have shut down over the past year, with three more in legal peril.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

The old abortion rights slogan — "safe, legal and rare" — has been turned on its head.

By imposing greater safety requirements on clinics, abortion opponents have succeeded in putting many of them out of business.

The goal of this strategy is not to ban abortion — "there are things that are banned that occur every day," says Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life — but to end it.

"Abortion is legal, so you must have incremental legislation to save as many babies as we can," Gonidakis.

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Code Switch
2:03 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny

An Arkansas voter enters an early-voting polling place on May 5.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:04 pm

Three states are holding primaries Tuesday, and voters might understandably be confused over what kind of identification they need to show at the polls.

In Indiana, it has to be a government-issued photo ID. In Ohio, you can get by with a utility bill. In North Carolina, you won't need a photo ID until 2016. But that law, along with ID laws in many other states, faces an uncertain future.

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Law
9:51 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Controversy Over Title IX Protecting Transgender Students

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:38 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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It's All Politics
6:39 am
Tue May 6, 2014

This Could Be The Year Iowa Sends Its First Woman To Congress

Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, shown during a recent debate with her GOP primary opponents, is attempting to become the first female Republican to win her party's nomination to run for U.S. Senate in the Hawkeye State.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:55 am

In its 168 years, Iowa has never elected a woman to Congress or picked one as its governor.

For many residents who pride themselves on a progressive civil rights history that predates statehood, that political reality has become an exasperating distinction shared with only one other state — Mississippi.

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It's All Politics
6:04 am
Tue May 6, 2014

5 Things To Watch In Tuesday's Primaries

North Carolina Republican Senate hopeful Greg Brannon (left) greets Adam Love and his daughter Gwendolyn Love during a campaign event in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:00 am

Get ready for election season.

Tuesday's primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio serve as the kickoff for an intense two-month stretch that will go a long way toward outlining the shape of the midterm election landscape.

By the end of June, more than half the states will have conducted their primary elections. And the answers to some of the most important questions about the November elections will be clearer.

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She Votes
1:24 am
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Softens Its Edge In An Attempt To Appeal To Women

"We have allowed ourselves to be branded [in] a way I do not feel is representative of who we are as Republicans," says Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., of her party's negative reputation on women's issues.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:34 am

Republicans have a problem with women.

Since the 1980s, women have been much more likely than men to vote Democratic.

Increasingly, however, Republican operatives see getting more women to vote for their candidates as key to the party's future.

Take Equal Pay Day, for instance, a political holiday that Democrats have used to push a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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She Votes
3:58 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Best Way To Get Women To Run For Office? Ask Repeatedly

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., plays in the annual Congressional Women's Softball game in 2011. She says it's hard to get more women to run for office.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 3:34 pm

Women make up less than 20 percent of those serving in Congress, but more than half the population. There are many reasons for this, but one simple answer comes back again and again. It's about recruiting.

When Monica Youngblood got the call, she thought it was a joke. The call came from a man she had worked to help get elected.

"It's your time," she says he told her. "We need people like you in Santa Fe. We need a voice like yours who's lived here, who's been through what you've been through. I think you need to really consider it."

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

More Health Insurance Equals Fewer Deaths In Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed a health care reform bill during an April 12, 2006, ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston. The bill made Massachusetts the first state in the country to require that all residents have health insurance.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Fewer people died in Massachusetts after the state required people to have health insurance, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

In each of the first four years of the state law, 320 fewer Massachusetts men and women died than would have been expected. That's one life extended for every 830 newly insured residents.

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Politics
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Intra-Party Landscape, Seen From The Edge Of Primary Season

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Voters in three states go to the polls tomorrow in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio. It's the beginning of an eight-week stretch of primaries that should give us a good idea of how the political landscape is shaping up for this November.

NPR's political editor Charlie Mahtesian joins us now to talk about that. Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE MAHTESIAN, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.

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It's All Politics
1:15 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

The Energy Behind Repealing Obamacare May Be Ebbing

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, have backed off pushing for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:39 pm

Sure, you can still hear congressional Republicans talking about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

But there's clearly something different about the current climate, and the GOP approach to Obamacare. The thrill of repeal may not be gone for Republicans, but much of the urgency of repeal is.

For starters, the House GOP doesn't have more repeal votes lined up for these weeks after the spring recess.

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Politics
5:40 am
Mon May 5, 2014

George HW Bush Receives JFK Profiles In Courage Award

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

The John F. Kennedy Library gave an award to the first President Bush. Kennedy wrote a book called "Profiles in Courage," about politicians who made unpopular decisions they believed to be right. George HW Bush now gets the Profiles in Courage Award. In 1990, he broke his own read-my-lips-no-new-taxes pledge and accepted higher taxes to cut the federal deficit. It may have caused Bush's job but for many reasons the deficit went down.

NPR Story
3:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Senate May Bypass White House And Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:40 am

The Senate is expected to vote soon on the controversial pipeline. Supporters introduced the bill after the White House put its approval process on hold indefinitely because of a legal dispute.

NPR Story
3:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Overhaul Bill Criticized For Ending Affordable Housing Goals

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., (left) and ranking member Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, are proposing a major overhaul of the U.S. mortgage market.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 11:25 am

There's a fight in Washington over the future of homeownership in America. At issue is a bipartisan bill to dramatically reshape the housing finance industry — the industry that was at the heart of the financial crisis. It's also an industry that's at the heart of the American dream — and the bill before Congress may affect who can afford to buy a house.

The Obama administration supports the bill. But civil rights groups and housing advocates say it would weaken rules that push banks to lend to low- and moderate-income homebuyers.

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She Votes
2:21 am
Mon May 5, 2014

All The Single Ladies: 5 Takeaways About Unmarried Female Voters

Democrats have an urgent problem this year: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 2:11 pm

In a midterm election that's expected to hinge on the demographic composition of the electorate, single women could be the key to Democratic chances to hold on to the Senate in November.

While Republicans have a longstanding problem with female voters, this year it's Democrats who have the more urgent problem: how to get their most reliable female supporters to become more reliable voters.

Here are five things to know about single female voters.

They're Not Up For Grabs

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Politics
2:53 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Obama Needs To Pick Up Approval Rating, For Senate Democrats' Sake

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 7:45 pm

Recent polls have President Obama's approval ratings hovering around 40 percent. That's a new career low. NPR's Arun Rath talks with correspondent Mara Liasson about what that means for Democrats in November's midterm elections.

Politics
9:33 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Boehner Plays It Loose With His Speakership At Stake

While House Speaker John Boehner is almost certain to win re-election in his suburban Cincinnati district, his prospects of being re-elected as speaker are far less clear.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 11:32 am

House Speaker John Boehner is almost certain to win re-election in his suburban Cincinnati district, but that will only get him back to Congress.

To get another term as speaker, he'll need to win a floor vote that doesn't happen until January — and Boehner's prospects in that contest are far less clear.

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It's All Politics
8:20 am
Sun May 4, 2014

From Family History To Ballot Fights: What Drew You To Politics?

An audience, mostly women, listen behind President Barack Obama in Oct. 2012 as he speaks about the choice facing women in the election during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Susan Walsh AP

As part of our "She Votes" series about women and politics in this mid-term election year, we posted a question on Instagram and Twitter.

"What or who first got you interested in politics? Share your memories and show us the person, thing, or event that made you pay attention or become active, using the hashtag #shevotes."

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Politics
5:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

The Story Of The Parties' Crucial Appeals To Women In 'She Votes'

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. We are six months away from this year's midterm elections, and Democrats and Republicans are ramping up campaign messaging. Both parties agree women could hold the key to victory in November. And many of the most endangered incumbents and high-profile challengers are also women.

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The Two-Way
12:45 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner

Obama has two ferns brought to the podium as a spoof of his appearance on "Between Two Ferns" for his standup at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:14 pm

President Obama made fun of himself at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday, the annual nerd-ball schmooze fest where Washington's media stars get comfy with a mix of political bigwigs and Hollywood beautiful people to celebrate a year of journalism.

Obama, known for his comic timing and delivery, didn't disappoint.

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Author Interviews
7:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Ralph Nader Seeks A United Front Against Corporate America

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:33 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ralph Nader has never been elected president, but his new book has a broad-based coalition of endorsements that range from Grover Norquist on the right to Robert Reich and Cornel West on the left, in which Mr. Nader finds in a partisan time the outlines of a new political force that crosses all party lines. His new book is "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State." Ralph Nader joins us in our studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

RALPH NADER: Thank you very much, Scott.

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It's All Politics
3:35 am
Sat May 3, 2014

John Boehner Faces A Primary Challenge, But Only Barely

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, listens to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., before talking to reporters at the Republican National Committee headquarters on April 29.
AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:21 pm

Let's stipulate that Speaker John Boehner doesn't really have to worry about his Republican primary challengers Tuesday.

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