Now, the partial shutdown prompted angry debate across the country. But at the center of that debate, we found quiet yesterday. We dropped by a Senate office building where the halls were empty. Papers taped on doors read: We regret that due to the government shutdown our office is closed. *
What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.
But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.
Are House Republicans still seeking Democratic concessions on the Affordable Care Act? Or have they switched their sights to even bigger targets: federal spending on entitlements like Medicare and Social Security?
The answer on Wednesday depended on which Republican you asked.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:10 pm
Janet Yellen got the official nod from President Obama Wednesday afternoon for the Fed's top spot. If Yellen's nomination is confirmed by the Senate, she'll be the first woman to head the Federal Reserve System and the most powerful central banker in the world.
But since she would be the first woman to get the job, just what exactly would her title be? Chair? Chairman? Chairwoman?
Yellen would replace Ben Bernanke, whose official salutation is chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
As Congress looks for a way out of the current crisis, many Republicans are hoping for a big budget initiative to make worthwhile the pain of a government shut down and threatened debt default. Toward that end, House Budget Committee chairman and former GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan floated a plan in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. He makes the case for President Obama to negotiate with House Republicans on a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.
In 2014, Texas voters might just see something they haven't experienced in two decades — a competitive race for governor.
Current Republican Gov. Rick Perry isn't running for re-election, so it's an open race, with new faces and new optimism for Texas Democrats.
Earlier this year, the Democrats were once again facing the prospect of scrambling to find someone to run as their candidate. Then, on June 25, state Sen. Wendy Davis came to the Capitol in Austin wearing running shoes and ready to block a restrictive abortion bill.
Janet Yellen is President Obama's choice to replace Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve. The announcement came Wednesday afternoon. If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will be the first woman to lead the Fed.
For a view of the partial government shutdown across the country, Melissa Block talks to Felice Belman, opinion editor of the Concord Monitor in Concord, N.H.; Patrick Malone, political reporter for The Coloadoan based in Fort Collins, Colo.; and Brian Pearson, managing editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph in Tyler, Texas.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. In a few minutes, we will talk about people and their attachment to the land in two very different places in the United States, and how that attachment to the land may be threatened.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The partial government shutdown is now into its ninth day. There's no sign of a breakthrough anytime soon. So we are going to look at a number of ways the country is being affected. Later in the program, we'll speak with NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax about how this stalemate is playing out with our trading partners overseas.
So finally today, you might have noticed I've been out of the office a bit lately. I'm taking that trip a lot of us have, or will be taking: having to get more involved in caring for an elderly parent. And because I've been on that road, I have found myself going through old drawers and boxes in a way I had no reason or right to do before now.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:05 pm
It is good to be the king.
That old adage holds, even though nowadays we call our chief executive "Mr. President."
After another long day of showdown over the shutdown, President Obama was able to dominate the headlines, break the tension and change the atmosphere in Washington. He could demonstrate everything that is different about being in the White House — as opposed to that other House where Speaker John Boehner lives.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 6:18 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies. It's Day 9 of the partial federal government shutdown. Global financial markets at this point still appear to expect sanity to eventually prevail in the Washington fiscal standoff. We'll have to see if they're right.
The day's big news is expected to be President Obama's choice to head the Federal Reserve of the candidate thought to be his second choice since his first proved politically problematic.
Here are some of the more interesting politically related items that caught my eye this morning.
The White House says President Obama will nominate Janet Yellen as the new head of the Federal Reserve Board. She has been a key player in the Fed's efforts to bring the economy back from the Great Recession. If confirmed, she would succeed Ben Bernanke.
The Treasury Department says it will begin running out of money to pay its bills by Oct. 17, if the partial government shutdown isn't over by then. That prospect worries the financial markets. Treasury debt plays a fundamental role in the global economy, and economists agree that a debt default would have dire consequences. But some Republicans insist that a default doesn't have to happen.
Steve Inskeep talks to syndicated conservative columnist George F. Will about the current partial government shutdown, and whether the strategies pursued by both sides are any different from previous such crises.
Cory Booker, the celebrity mayor of Newark, N.J., was expected to cruise to victory in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. But just a week before voters go to the polls, he's facing a surprisingly strong challenge from Tea Party favorite Steve Lonegan.
The race was supposed to be a mismatch: Booker, the Democrat, and his 1.4 million Twitter followers versus the Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J. — population 8,000.
Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 6:30 pm
On Day 8 of the federal government's partial shutdown, President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner. But the morning phone call produced no movement toward resolution, according to readouts by aides to both men.
Here are some of Tuesday's news highlights:
Obama gave his first lengthy press conference since early August, answering questions for more than an hour.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 8:19 am
The federal government shutdown is now in its second week, and one big reason for the division in Washington is the growing divide between different kinds of voters back home. Those differences make news on Election Day, but they're visible every day.
Members in both parties find less and less common ground, in part because their constituents have such contrasting notions of government's proper role. And those contrasting visions often coincide with contrasting lifestyles — evident in many of the choices they make.
The U.S. Supreme Court re-entered the debate over money and politics on Tuesday, hearing arguments in a case that could further erode limits on campaign cash.
Just three years ago, a narrow 5-to-4 conservative majority ruled that corporations are people, entitled to spend unlimited amounts on candidate elections as long as they do it separately from candidates' campaigns. On Tuesday, the court moved on to grapple with direct contributions to campaigns — in particular the aggregate limits on contributions by wealthy donors.
Robert Siegel interviews Sen. Mark Warner (VA-D), about why it's so hard to pull together moderate Democratic and Republican senators together to try and come up with ideas for ending the government shutdown and to avoid government default.
House Republicans had a closed door meeting this morning, and emerged with the same talking point they've used all week: They just want to negotiate with the president. President Obama quickly gave his response: He will not negotiate over the government shutdown or the debt ceiling.
President Obama held a news conference at the White House Tuesday to urge Republicans to vote on a bill to reopen the government, saying it was time to focus on the next issue: raising the debt ceiling.