Politics

News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Lawmakers Seek To Lay Roadblock To Powerful Painkiller

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Sen. Joe Manchin is introducing a bill to force the Food and Drug Administration to ban potent new painkiller Zohydro, backed by a bipartisan effort to get the FDA to remove its approval of the drug.

Commentary
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Week In Politics: Florida 13 And The CIA

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss the Florida special election and Sen. Feinstein's dispute with the CIA.

News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

After Record Deportations, Obama May Turn To More 'Humane' Options

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

The White House announced the president is willing to review his stance on deportations, a policy that's drawn objection from Hispanics and other groups the president depends on politically.

Shots - Health News
1:26 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Can Congress Put An End To Annual Medicare Payment Ritual?

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after House Republicans passed a measure Friday that would overhaul the system Medicare uses to pay doctors.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 6:08 pm

Congress is still searching for money to avoid a 24 percent cut in pay for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

But seniors are already paying their share of the cost in premiums, as if the pay cut — scheduled to kick in on April 1 — won't happen.

Seniors' premiums cover 25 percent of their Medicare Part B outpatient services, including doctor visits, outpatient lab tests and hospital visits, medical equipment and home health care.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:38 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Is The Law Making Us Less Free?

"We need to rewrite and radically simplify and re-humanize the structure of public law in our society." —Philip K. Howard
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 12:32 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Philip K. Howard's TED Talk

Lawyer Philip K. Howard says the U.S. has become a legal minefield — especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of lawsuits.

About Philip K. Howard

Read more
Economy
3:03 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Senators Agree To Compromise Extending Jobless Benefits

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

Negotiators in the Senate reached a bi-partisan deal to extend unemployment benefits for 5 months, retroactive to the end of last year. A full Senate vote isn't expected until later this month.

The Salt
5:10 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:41 am

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Will Democrats Change Their Health Law Message After Florida Loss?

Democrats may have lost the battle in a Florida special election, which Republican Rep. David Jolly (right) won and in which the Affordable Care Act figured prominently. But they don't think they have lost the health-law messaging war.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:35 am

Congressional Democrats' messaging on the Affordable Care Act obviously didn't work as they had hoped in the Florida special election for a vacant House seat, since Republican David Jolly won the Tuesday vote.

But does that mean Democrats should abandon the "fix it, don't nix" it message delivered by Democrat Alex Sink, who narrowly lost a race that Republicans sought to nationalize and turn into a referendum on the health law?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., certainly isn't saying so.

Read more
U.S.
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Where Does The U.S. Stand On Secessionist Movements Abroad?

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Crimea isn't the only region in Europe with cessation on its agenda. There's a referendum planned this fall in Catalonia. That's the Mediterranean coastal region of northeastern Spain that includes Barcelona. And the Scots are weighing independence from the United Kingdom. A few years ago in Africa, South Sudan became independent of Sudan, and before that, of course, the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia involved various declarations of independence, not all of them well received by the former power.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:32 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

New Climate For Drug Sentencing, Guidelines Expected To Change

In remarks last year to the American Bar Association, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed what he characterized as harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug crimes.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:27 pm

The nation's highest law enforcement official Thursday endorsed the "All Drugs Minus Two" proposal — as it's known by prison sentencing reformers — to change the way drug crime sentences are handed down.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Obama: If You 'Work More, You Should Get Paid More'

President Obama signs a memorandum for overtime protections for workers, at the White House on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:50 pm

Flanked by a cadre of salaried workers, President Obama signed a memo directing his labor secretary to rewrite the rules governing overtime in the country.

"Americans have spent too much time working more and making less," Obama said during comments preceding the signing ceremony.

Obama's proposal would rewrite a commonly used exemption in which a salaried worker designated as "executive, administrative and professional" is denied overtime if he or she is making more than $455 a week.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:38 am
Thu March 13, 2014

What's Holding Up Ukraine Aid Bill In Congress? Anger Over IRS

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. (from left), Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., met on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Mike Theiler UPI /Landov

With members of the House and Senate scrapping over a Ukraine aid bill, Republicans say a magic bullet could break the logjam.

It has nothing to do with the former Soviet republic, its ability to withstand Russia's military intervention in Crimea, or this weekend's referendum in the Ukrainian territory.

It has everything to do with conservatives' fury at the IRS, which they say has waged a partisan, and unconstitutional, war against President Obama's opponents.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:28 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew Dies At 85

This Dec. 16, 1999, file photo shows former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew in Tallahassee, Fla. Askew, who guided the state through a period of school busing to achieve integration in the 1970s, died early Thursday at 85.
Mark Foley AP

Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who supported racial equality and tax reform during his two terms in the 1970s, died early Thursday aged 85.

The Associated Press says Ron Sachs, a former aide, confirmed that Askew died surrounded by family members at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.

Read more
Business
6:49 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages

Economists are divided about the White House plan to boost overtime pay for workers.
Doug Finger Gainesville Sun/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 12:56 pm

On Thursday, President Obama rolled out his plan for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.

But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.

Which scenario is right?

Read more
Politics
3:13 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Republican Candidate Heats Up Colorado's U.S. Senate Race

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

Colorado's Senate race is heating up with the entry of a well-regarded Republican challenger. Colorado is also the model for Democratic voter mobilization efforts in battleground states nationwide.

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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."

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages