Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:19 am
When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.
This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
With the government shutdown now in its 11th day, polls show that voters think Republicans bear the biggest share of the blame.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Virginia — a state that's home to some 172,000 federal civilian workers and where federal spending is a big part of the economy. In the race to be Virginia's next governor, GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli is falling in the polls.
Both sides have gone to great lengths to make one thing clear, while they're talking, they're not yet compromising. That's because many lawmakers don't want to. For House members backed by the Tea Party who come from strongly Republican districts support is high for taking a hard line.
NPR's Don Gonyea visited one district this week. It's in the northwest corner of Georgia, and it's home to Congressman Tom Graves. He was elected in 2010 and has helped lead the movement to defund the health care law.
The government is still shut down. And the debt ceiling still needs to be raised or the country may not be able to pay all of its bills after next week. And how either of those issues is resolved remains unclear. But as NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith reports, there has been some movement.
The government shutdown means that more than 9,000 children have been shut out of Head Start, which provides meals and preschool programs for low-income children. Last week, we heard from a regional director for Head Start in Alabama, Dora Jones. She told us she had to close programs serving 770 children in six counties.
David Dinkins served as New York City's first African-American mayor. But his rise through the political ranks came with hard-learned lessons. Host Michel Martin speaks with former Mayor Dinkins about his book, A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic. This segment initially aired September 2, 2013 on Tell Me More.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:19 pm
The partial government shutdown was part of the buzz this week at an international gathering of mayors, city planners and urban experts in New York City.
Passing mentions of the U.S. government during several seminars at the CityLab conference sent knowing chuckles rolling through the audience. As in: "Those guys? They're closed for business! At least we're still on the job."
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 12:25 pm
Most Americans say they aren't directly affected by the shutdown. But some pockets of society, beyond furloughed federal workers and their families, are being severely hit.
We used NPR's social media network to ask about the impact and were deluged by messages from people who are worried and scared, especially veterans and the disabled, and many others who are angry and frustrated.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:05 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. It's the 11th day of the partial federal government shutdown, 2013 edition.
President Obama and House Republicans at least opened a line of communications before the second week of the shutdown ended, so that was good news.
Less positive was that it came only a week before the Oct. 17 expiration date Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave for when he would run out of tricks to keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its obligations.
There's been a lot of speculation about whether John Boehner could lose his job as speaker of the House if he doesn't placate the Republican's vocal Tea Party faction. So far there's been no attempt to oust Boehner.
And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it would actually be quite hard to kick him out of the job in the middle of a congressional term.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
One sign of potential progress in Washington is what President Obama and House Republicans did not say. After meeting last night at the White House, the two sides issued polite and diplomatic statements stripped of partisan rhetoric. They have not agreed to extend the federal debt ceiling or reopen the government, but they suggested they're working on it. Their meeting came at the end of an eventful day.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:49 am
Steve Stevens wants politicians in Washington to know that the budget stalemate is having real consequences back home.
"There comes a point where they've got to know about the pain in their district," says Stevens, who is president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "We've got to put a real face on it."
That kind of argument isn't having much effect, at least not in his own backyard. The local congressman, Rep. Thomas Massie, is a freshman Republican who has remained an adamant supporter of his party's shutdown strategy.
A possible deal is brewing between the White House and the GOP House leadership, but it's unclear if Congressional Democrats will go along with it. To find out, Robert Siegel talks to Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, to hear how the proposal to extend the debt ceiling deadline into late November is being received by his fellow party members.
The 10-day-old government shut down and the need to raise the federal debt limit next week have been tied together as a single political crisis. But now, House Republicans seem ready to cleave the debt ceiling debate. Economists of all stripes say breaching the debt ceiling could be catastrophic, and on Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said he is prepared to support a bill to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks if the president will agree to negotiations on long-term deficit reduction.
As the debate over the debt ceiling continues, we thought it'd be helpful to explain just how the Treasury pays bills and how many bills it pays. To help with that, we brought in Tony Fratto. He was assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Treasury under the George W. Bush administration.
TONY FRATTO: The best estimates are around four million transactions a day, on the order of around 100 million transactions a month, so it's a lot.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:48 pm
This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.
After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:26 pm
Most business interests would do anything to avoid a public fight with the most powerful man in the Senate.
Not Koch Industries.
The privately owned conglomerate of conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch is busy trading volleys with Majority Leader Harry Reid in the battle over the Affordable Care Act and the government shutdown.
What's unusual here is the word trading. It wasn't so many years ago that the Koch brothers and their company would have said nothing, just absorbed political slams without comment.
The nation is in the 10th day of a government shutdown, and the deadline over raising the debt limit is quickly approaching. But all that might seem like a day at the park for Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). He explains why in his new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
He speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his political journey and the fight for immigration reform.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
Seven days from now - according to the U.S. Treasury Department - the U.S. approaches the point where it can no longer pay its bills. The federal budget deficit has been dropping dramatically. But in the wake of the Great Recession, it is still very high.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:02 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 10 of the federal government's partial shutdown. And while it's a dreary, rainy day in Washington, there did appear to be more glimmers of hope this morning than in recent days.
Today's theme is movement, as in, there seem to be some tentative steps towards resolving the current fiscal impasse as President Obama and House Republicans are scheduled to meet at the White House later Thursday.