Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:23 pm
The federal government shutdown has given governors across the country an opportunity to take part in one of their favorite pastimes: scolding Washington.
Among Republicans, though, there appears to be some disagreement over exactly who's to blame for the latest budget impasse.
One camp of GOP governors — often those in blue states or with national ambitions (if not both) — has largely chastised all parties involved. They're eager to distance themselves from Washington and portray themselves as results-oriented "outsiders."
In other immigration news, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure that makes it harder for federal immigration officials to detain people believed to be in this country illegally. The new state law, called the Trust Act, restricts local police from holding undocumented immigrants without serious criminal records and turning them over to immigration authorities. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.
The government shutdown was a plan months in the making — the brainchild of a constellation of dozens of conservative groups — according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who co-wrote an article about it in The New York Times. The report describes a conservative blueprint that linked funding the government with undoing Obamacare.
One week into the federal shutdown and the reviews are coming in in the form of public polls. The Pew Research Center has a new poll out today that shows widespread public frustration, but also deep partisan differences about how to relieve that frustration. Michael Dimock is the director of the Pew Center. Welcome to the program once again.
MICHAEL DIMOCK: Hi, Robert.
SIEGEL: I gather the answer to the question, whom do you blame for the shutdown is that depends on which people you ask.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Coming up, diplomats around the world continue to pay close attention to the events in Syria and Iran, but one scholar explains why we shouldn't forget about Egypt. That's in a few minutes.
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:30 am
As the partial government shutdown nears the start of its second week, Democrats say the only way out is for House Republicans to pass a clean spending bill to re-open the government with no changes to the Affordable Care Act. Some Republicans agree. So why don't moderate House Republicans rise up, and do something to end the shutdown?
Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:22 am
A partial shutdown of the federal government is now in its seventh day. At the heart of the impasse is a political battle. For the government to re-open, Republicans are insisting on big changes to President Obama's signature health care law. This is not the first time there's been GOP resistance to a new social welfare program that was advocated and signed into law by a Democratic president.
When the rest of the government shuts down for a blizzard, the U.S. Supreme Court soldiers on. And so it is that this week, with the rest of the government shut down in a political deep freeze, the high court, being deemed essential, is open for business.
It is, after all, not just any week for the justices. It is the opening of a new term.
With a government shutdown nearing its second week, there were no signs of a new deal in Washington Sunday. But several leaders are speaking out about the impasse, even as they look ahead to the next battle: an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
When House Speaker John Boehner was asked on ABC's This Week about the possibility that he might present a "clean" funding bill that doesn't attack the new health care system in the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio Republican said there was no point.
By a slight margin, Americans think Republicans are to blame for the government shutdown, says Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Dimock talks to host Rachel Martin about how the public is responding to the standoff in Congress.
As we just heard, the government shutdown is affecting people inside and outside the Beltway. All over the country, there are workers going without pay and services grinding to a halt. But the government shutdown has also made for some great comedic fodder. Here's late night host Stephen Colbert earlier this week.
The shutdown is affecting communities all over the country. We're going now to San Diego. There is a big U.S. Navy presence in town and San Diego is home to the Miramar Air Show. But that show has been cancelled this weekend due to the partial government shutdown. In past years, the event has drawn over half a million people, earned millions of dollars for programs that help military families. NPR's Sam Sanders reports from San Diego.
From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.
The U.S. government has been shut down for five days. Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted to grant federal workers back pay when the shutdown ends, but there is no sign that end is coming anytime soon. And frustration among those on the job is growing.
The Department of Defense is ordering most of its furloughed civilian employees back to work, in a move announced just after midday Saturday. The plan will put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job next week.
"Today, I am announcing that most DoD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown will be asked to return to work beginning next week," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 1:58 pm
Federal workers who were furloughed by a government shutdown will receive back pay once they return to work, if a bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday meets Senate approval. The White House has said it favors such a move.
The vote came after the U.S. government began the fifth day of a shutdown that has put 800,000 people out of work. The bill was approved without a vote against it. The Senate is expected to hold its own Saturday session that begins at midday.
Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 9:45 am
The federal shutdown that has idled some 800,000 government workers could be over by now — if members of Congress were able to vote on a bill that doesn't include an attack on the new U.S. health care system, President Obama says. "There are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today," he told The Associated Press Friday.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Officials are asking for patience from the public in the opening week of state health care exchanges. People across the country were supposed to get the chance to begin signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare. But the online system has been overloaded since October 1st when the exchanges opened.
Even at the end of the week, NPR's Kathy Lohr reports that health care assistance in Georgia was still stymied.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The government shutdown upset more than the federal budget. It also disrupted members of Congress in their campaign fundraising. Across Capitol Hill, routine fundraising events are being cancelled. But the political parties and advocacy groups are following an old axiom: There is no time like a crisis to raise cash. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
Nobody says they like the government shutdown. Everyone says they'd like to reach some kind of deal. So, why is a deal so hard to come by? NPR's Senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins us. Ron, thanks for being with us.
RON ELVING, BYLINE: Pleasure to be with you, Scott.
The shutdown of the U.S. government occurs in the weeks leading to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and it might be an inviting time to look at a book he published in 1956 while in the U.S. Senate: Profiles in Courage.
Kennedy profiled eight politicians of all stripes who crossed party lines or defied the sentiments of their constituents to do what they felt was right — at a cost to their careers. To cite a few chapters:
The Affordable Care Act has been at the center of the budget debate that has shut down the government.
Tea Party Republicans in the House have led the charge to try to repeal or delay Obamacare in exchange for funding the government.
They were cheered for taking on the health law by Tea Party activists across the country, including Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator for the group, Tea Party Patriots. Martin told Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon recently that Congress ignored the will of the people when Obamacare was enacted.
The work that Shaun O'Connell does is required by law, yet now he's sidelined by the government shutdown.
O'Connell reviews disability claims for the Social Security Administration in New York, checking that no one's gaming the system, while ensuring people with legitimate medical problems are compensated properly.
Billions of dollars are at stake with this kind of work, yet O'Connell is considered a nonessential employee for purposes of the partial government shutdown.
Many of the world's largest radio telescopes, operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, are going inactive — the latest casualty of the government shutdown.
NPR's Geoffrey Brumfiel reports that the NRAO, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and operates radio telescopes in West Virginia, New Mexico, Arizona and even Chile, will be pointing the giant dishes straight up, in the "stow" position.
The White House has cancelled President Obama's trip to Asia, where he was planning to attend some major international summits. Instead, Kerry will attend these meetings while Obama deals with the government shutdown at home.
Day four of the government shutdown brings no signs of any progress in resolving the stalemate between Republicans and Democrats. It may be some small solace to know that this is by no means the first time the government has been largely closed because of disputes between Congress and the White House. In fact, by some accounts this is the 17th time that an impasse has shuttered federal agencies.