When investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS this year, she did not go quietly. She contends, the network refused to run stories that might damage President Obama. And her claims have become a flashpoint in arguments over ideological bias in the media. NPR's David Folkenflik has more.
We're going to remember now an influential figure and financier of the American conservative movement. Richard Mellon Scaife has died. He was a Pittsburgh newspaper publisher and philanthropist. He used his billions to bankroll numerous right-wing causes. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang has more.
HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: The name Richard Mellon Scaife may not ring a bell for many political conservatives today.
RICHARD VIGUERIE: Richard Scaife, through his generosity, through his media outlets, was very much below the radar.
Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Ramesh Ponnuru of The National Review, discuss the Supreme Court's decision on contraception, June jobs numbers and immigration protests in the California city of Murrieta.
As the saying goes, all politics is local. And that couldn't have been clearer this week in and around Murrieta, Calif., a sleepy conservative enclave 60 miles north of San Diego.
Local leaders here made a loud stand against the planned movement of immigrant detainees to their city from overcrowded U.S. Border Patrol stations in Texas — and in the process rather purposefully thrust their city into the national political spotlight.
For the typical Democrat running in 2014, frequent condemnation of the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision is a no-brainer as a rallying cry to raise money and energize voters — especially women.
The House Ethics Committee is undoing a recent change it made to lawmakers' annual financial disclosure forms. The committee had deleted a line asking what free trips members have taken in the previous year. These trips are usually paid for by companies or private interest groups. Members justified the change this week, saying that the information was redundant. But they've now decided to reverse course and put the question back. Joining us from the Capitol to explain this is NPR's Laura Sullivan. And Laura, what started this controversy?
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. A debate has been raging in Washington, D.C. over the future of an obscure federal agency - the Export-Import Bank. And all the way across the country in the other Washington - Washington state - businesses, labor unions and politicians say the bank's demise would have severe consequences. Ashley Gross of member station KPLU in Seattle reports.
For years, the main federal transportation program has been spending more money than it takes in. This year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the Transportation Department will disburse $45 billion while collecting only $33 billion for its Highway Trust Fund.
As a result, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned states on Tuesday that they will start seeing cuts of 28 percent in federal funding for roads and bridges next month unless Congress comes up with some extra money.
If terrorists were to attack a U.S. city again, who would pay for catastrophic damage? In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, Congress provided the answer: the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
It's rare to find Sally Jewell in her Washington, D.C., office.
A little more than a year into her job as Interior Department secretary, she spends much of her time out in the field. It's unavoidable for someone who heads the federal agency that oversees some 400 national parks and nearly 300 million acres of federal lands.
"It's in the job description," she says. "It's also a fun part of the job."
Of late, Jewell has been in the forefront of the administration's efforts to raise awareness of the threat of climate change.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected the right of corporations and unions to spend money on political speech. That decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, didn't affect how much money organizations could donate to political campaigns — but it removed limits on how much they could spend themselves.
Let's take a closer look now at what's happening to the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned state officials in a letter today that unless the fund is patched quickly, the federal government will start limiting payouts to states on August 1. The average state will lose nearly 30 percent of its federal road money and that could mean a lot less asphalt. NPR's Scott Horsley reports on one idea for fixing the trust fund and the roadblocks in front of it.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The Obama Administration is now looking for another way to promote broader access to birth control. This comes after yesterday's Supreme Court decision that closely held corporations don't have to include contraceptive coverage in employee health insurance, that is if the company's owners have a religious objection. Here's NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley.
President Obama's tough predicament on immigration is only getting worse.
He certainly didn't want to be dealing with an influx of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the U.S. across the Southern border, overwhelming the Homeland Security Department's ability to deal with them during a critical midterm election year.
From NPR news, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama came out to the White House Rose Garden today to plead, once again, for Congress to act on the bipartisan immigration bill the Senate passed a year ago. Since then, it's been stalled in the House.
President Obama has picked Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald will face a difficult task. The VA is is embroiled in a controversy over falsified and lengthy wait times for veterans.
DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Here in Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court wraps up its term today. And once again, we are waiting for a major decision on the Affordable Care Act. The High Court is set to rule on whether the health insurance that for-profit employers offer to their workers has to include birth control even if the employer has a religious objection. Our colleague Steve Inskeep spoke to NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley about the case.