Politics

Politics
3:09 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Aid Package For Ukraine Moves Slowly Through Congress

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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NPR Story
3:05 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Senate Committee To Consider Fischer For Fed's No. 2 Spot

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Stanley Fischer used to be head Israel's Central Bank, and he was once second in command at the International Monetary Fund. Barring the unexpected, he'll soon be confirmed as vice-chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. President Obama nominated him for that post. And today he'll go before the Senate Banking Committee.

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Politics
3:05 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Obama To Push Expanded Overtime Pay

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Today, President Obama will tell the Department of Labor to rethink the rules for how employers pay overtime. The president wants millions more people to get paid overtime, particularly those who are exempt. And by signing a presidential memo to the department, he doesn't have to ask Congress to make that happen.

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senate Panel Clears Ukraine Aid Package

A bill aimed at punishing Russia for sending its forces into Crimea by imposing sanctions on Moscow and providing economic aid to Ukraine has passed a key vote in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14-3 to pass the measure that authorizes $1 billion in loan guarantees to the new government in Kiev as well as the freezing certain Russian assets in the U.S.

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Politics
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Menendez On Crimea: The Question Of Sanctions And Sending Aid

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Aid for Ukraine, sanctions against Russians. Those are key features of a bill that Senator Robert Menendez proposes. He is a New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And he joins us from Capitol Hill. Welcome to the program once again.

SENATOR ROBERT MENENDEZ: Good to be with you.

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News
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Obama Rolls Out White House Welcome Mat For Ukrainian Prime Minister

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is visiting the White House Wednesday. The meeting comes days before a vote in Crimea over whether to secede from Ukraine.

News
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

President Obama Moves To Expand Overtime Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama is taking another step to raise the wages of workers and he plans to do it without getting Congress involved. The White House says tomorrow Obama will direct the Labor Department to change the rules for businesses on overtime pay. The change could mean that millions of private sector workers currently classified as management could eventually qualify for overtime.

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It's All Politics
12:11 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Obama's Overtime Move Designed To Excite Base, Swing Voters

President Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour during an event last week in New Britain, Conn. The effort to raise wages is seen as part of his State of the Union promise of a "year of action."
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:42 am

President Obama's planned move to expand the pool of the nation's employees covered by overtime pay laws was hailed Wednesday by Democrats as key to their midterm election strategy.

And it was just as predictably criticized by conservatives as an overreach by a president who recently characterized income inequality as the "defining challenge of our time."

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Reports: Obama Will Move To Expand Overtime Pay

Punching a time card: It's still one way of tracking hours worked. President Obama believes more workers need to be able to add overtime to their pay.
Armin Weigel dpa/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 11:37 am

The Obama administration's push to put income inequality atop the domestic political agenda has another battlefront.

According to The New York Times, the president "this week will seek to force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers, the latest move by his administration to confront corporations that have had soaring profits even as wages have stagnated."

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Code Switch
6:22 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Changing Demographics A Factor In Rhode Island's Gubernatorial Race

Two supporters of gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo walk past protesting union members outside a rally at which Raimondo announced her run for the Democratic nomination in Rhode Island in January.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 10:06 am

Parades, social clubs and awards dinners are part of the routine of political campaigns everywhere. But if you're running to be Rhode Island's next governor, then there's one more stop you just can't miss.

Namely, the makeshift studios of Latino Public Radio, which is housed in a two-story, single-family home complete with a living room, dog and cat.

This local Spanish-language radio station based in Cranston, R.I., was co-founded almost a decade ago by Pablo Rodriguez.

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Politics
4:35 am
Wed March 12, 2014

White House Meeting To Examine Women's Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

President Obama is expected to meet on Wednesday with female members of Congress. There are reasons for the president's focus on women that involve both policy and politics.

Politics
4:12 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Feinstein: CIA Tampered With Senate Panel's Work

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Senator Dianne Feinstein has accused the CIA of interfering with efforts by Congress to oversee the agency. Feinstein said the CIA had removed documents from computers used by her committee's staff.

Business
4:04 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt General Motors

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Both houses of Congress are set to investigate, and the Justice Department is reportedly looking into why it took GM so long to inform the public. GM may have known about the problem for a decade.

Business
4:02 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Bipartisan Plan Reached On Fannie-Freddie Overhaul

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Senate lawmakers, this week, are announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's mortgage market. The stock prices of the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged on the news.

NPR's Chris Arnold has our report.

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Politics
3:10 am
Wed March 12, 2014

In Closely Watched Congressional Election, GOP Wins In Florida

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A special election for a congressional seat on Florida suggests trouble ahead for Democratic candidates who backed Obamacare in swing districts. Republican David Jolly claimed victory last night in a congressional district that includes part of St. Petersburg, beating a strong Democratic candidate, Alex Sink. As NPR's Greg Allen reports, the results aren't encouraging for Democrats looking ahead to the fall midterm elections.

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It's All Politics
5:41 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Feinstein's CIA Outrage Splits Senate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA publicly and at length of hacking Senate computers to spy on Senate aides and remove documents.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:07 pm

The Senate was a chamber divided in reaction to Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein's diatribe against the CIA for allegedly hacking into Senate computers.

A no-nonsense Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, took to the Senate floor Tuesday to speak at length and publicly for the first time about a dispute with the agency.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Health Care Enrollments Up, But Still Well Short Of Goal

The HealthCare.gov website has been a source of delays and confusion for those trying to sign up for health insurance under the ACA.
Jon Elswick AP

Another 940,000 people signed up for health insurance in February under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total to 4.2 million since the troubled HealthCare.gov website was launched, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. The number is still well short of the administration's goal for March 31, when open enrollment ends.

To reach 6 million sign ups under the ACA, as the White House had hoped for, another 1.8 million people would need to enroll by the end of the month.

As The Associated Press reports:

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Business
3:39 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt GM As It Continues Its Makeover

The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the GM models being recalled for faulty ignition switches.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

General Motors is coming under mounting criticism for its handling of a serious defect. Last month, the company recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. The cars, made from 2003-2007, could stall or fail to deploy their airbags.

It's an issue GM has known about for a while, and now Congress wants to know why it took the automaker almost a decade to warn the public about it.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

To Sell Health Care To Young People, Obama Steps 'Between Two Ferns'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Christie Aides Refuse To Comply With Subpoenas

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Two key aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are now trying to convince a judge not to force them to testify. They're citing their fifth amendment rights in order to avoid complying with subpoenas.

News
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

On Senate Floor, Rift Opens Between Lawmakers And CIA

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

In Washington today, a remarkable dispute between the CIA and the lawmakers who oversee its operations. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein accused the agency of thwarting a Senate investigation into the torture of detainees by snooping on her staff's computers.

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Health Care
2:32 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

March Marks A Crucible For Obamacare As Deadline Nears

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

Facing a deadline, the Obama administration is desperate to boost enrollment in health care exchanges. Still millions from their goal, they're stepping up outreach and forgetting politics — for now.

Politics
2:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Outside Groups Lay Millions On Florida Special Election

Republican David Jolly thanks supporters during a campaign rally in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.
Steve Nesius AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:51 pm

The campaign for a congressional seat in St. Petersburg, Fla., will have seen some $10 million in spending by candidates and outside groups. Where did all of this money go?

The Two-Way
11:52 am
Tue March 11, 2014

CIA Tampered With Senate Panel's Work, Feinstein Says

Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks to reporters after speaking about her oversight committee's problematic relationship with the CIA Tuesday. CIA Director John Brennan says his agency isn't trying to delay the panel's report on the U.S. interrogation program.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 3:32 pm

The Senate's intelligence oversight panel had its computers searched by CIA workers, who also improperly removed some documents that had been provided to the panel, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a lengthy and scathing speech on the Senate floor Tuesday. She said some of the actions could be illegal or unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Obama Goes Between The Ferns To Talk With Zach Galifianakis

In an interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis on the Web series Between Two Ferns, President Obama pitched health insurance to a younger audience.
Funny or Die

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:01 pm

"My mouse pad broke, and I had to get my great-aunt some diabetes shoes."

That's how comedian Zach Galifianakis begins his segment with President Obama in an episode of the online interview show Between Two Ferns that was posted Tuesday. It was an interview unlike any other for a sitting U.S. president, as Galifianakis probed the commander in chief's views with a range of oddball questions.

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It's All Politics
5:37 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink, shown working the phone in Clearwater on Nov. 23, supports the Affordable Care Act but has said she would like to see it improved.
Steve Nesius AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:50 am

There's a congressional election in Florida on Tuesday that's worth watching — even if you don't live in the Tampa Bay-area district where it's taking place.

It's not because the winner of the neck-and-neck special election between Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly will affect the GOP's stranglehold on the U.S. House this cycle. It won't.

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Around the Nation
4:38 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Maryland Transportation Bill Held Up Over War Reparations

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now to a story of how a long ago association with the crimes of Nazi Germany could stop a French company from doing business today in Maryland. A Maryland House committee heard testimony yesterday on a bill that would bar companies that played a role in the Holocaust from bidding on state contracts unless the companies pay reparations to victims.

State officials told the hearing that if that bill passes, it could jeopardize federal funding for a major light rail project. NPR's Allison Keyes explains.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Fla. Lawmakers Turn Deaf Ear Toward 'Stand Your Ground' Protesters

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Inside Florida's Capitol, calls to change or repeal Stand Your Ground are having little impact.

On Tuesday, several hundred people in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered outside the Capitol building calling for changes in the law. The march and rally came a month after a jury in Jacksonville deadlocked on a murder charge in the case of Michael Dunn. Dunn is the software designer who shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music.

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Politics
1:27 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences

Already one of the longest-serving attorneys general in history, Eric Holder says he has no immediate plans or timetable to leave. Here, he speaks at the annual Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington on Feb. 25.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:13 am

Virtually any time a major event ripples across Washington, the Justice Department is positioned near the center of it.

From the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner that carried three Americans on board to the fate of voting rights for millions of people, the attorney general has an enormous portfolio. And the stress to match it.

But after an elevated heart rate sent him to the hospital last month, Eric Holder says he's on the mend.

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It's All Politics
4:08 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Gas Exports Debate Makes Better Domestic Politics Than Geopolitics

Lawmakers and others are calling on the Obama administration to increase natural gas exports to Europe in an attempt to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his Ukraine incursion.
Alexei Nikolsky AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:35 pm

Russia's intervention in Ukraine has sparked another debate over the Obama administration's energy policy.

Russia is a major provider of natural gas to Western Europe. That's caused some U.S. policymakers — largely but not exclusively congressional Republicans — to call on the Obama administration to clear the way for increased exports of U.S. natural gas to Europe. That's a two-fer, they argue: It would diminish Russia while helping the domestic energy industry.

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