Politics

It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Obama's Shift In Rhetoric Helping Democrats Stick Together

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid celebrate the open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. During the government shutdown, the Democrats have been more unified than they have been in a long time.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:56 pm

President Obama has been railing against Republicans in Congress nearly every day this week.

"One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government," he said in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday. "All because they didn't like one law."

He's expected to take that message on the road on Thursday, visiting a construction company in Maryland to talk about the impact of the shutdown on the economy.

And that finger-pointing at Republicans is sure to be part of his speech again.

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Around the Nation
2:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Skeleton Crews At Closed National Parks

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And finally to the national parks. In total, 401 park service sites have been closed due to the government shutdown, ranging from Yellowstone and Yosemite to Civil War battlefields and the Statue of Liberty. And the many memorials along the National Mall here in Washington are barricaded: Lincoln, Jefferson, World War II.

The director of the National Park Service, Jon Jarvis, told me even sites like those that may not seem to require park service supervision do.

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Health Care
10:12 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Health Care Act Reminds Young Adults They're Not Invincible

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, you've probably heard a lot about the Stand Your Ground law in the death of Trayvon Martin, but you might not have heard about the woman who said she just fired a warning shot at her abusive husband and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Now her case is getting a second look, and we'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Solution? None To Be Seen Yet, But Sides Will Talk

The Lincoln Memorial is officially closed. National parks and monuments are among the parts of the federal government affected by the shutdown.
Dennis Brack Landov

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 4:16 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Mara Liasson on the government shutdown

(We most recently updated this post at 8:31 p.m. ET.)

We said it Tuesday: "No end in sight."

The story's the same a day later.

Pardon us for being repetitive, but there's no end in sight to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

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It's All Politics
5:20 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix

A visitor to the federally run Folk Art Center in Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday expressed the dismay many felt because of the government shutdown.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 6:30 am

It's Day Two of the Federal Government Shutdown, 2013 edition with no end in sight.

So there's a heavy focus on shutdown-related items or themes today in this morning's political mix of items and themes that caught my eye:

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

The Shutdown's Squeeze On Science And Health

posted by NASA to the agency's official Instagram account." href="/post/shutdowns-squeeze-science-and-health" class="noexit lightbox">
This image was posted by NASA to the agency's official Instagram account.
NASA Getty Images

In addition to shutdowns of national parks (including Alcatraz Island and Yosemite) and the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, the mandatory furloughs are affecting a wide range of government science and health agencies. Here's a snapshot:

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It's All Politics
4:20 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Congressional Staff Pay Caught Up In Health Care Fight

Congressional staffers, as well as some in the executive branch, could end up getting hit with a large pay cut if a plan to cut a subsidy related to the Affordable Care Act moves forward.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:20 pm

The big fight among members of Congress over the Affordable Care Act could spell big pay cuts — as much as $12,000 — for their employees.

How is this possible? Congressional staffers are most likely wondering the same thing.

Look back to the drafting of the act four years ago. At the time, Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley argued that if the health insurance exchanges were good enough for ordinary Americans, they should be good enough for members of Congress and their staff members. Democrats went along with his argument, and it was included in the law.

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It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Diary: War Of Words, And A Victory For Some WWII Vets

Veterans who came to Washington Tuesday to see the World War II memorial on the National Mall were able to complete their visit, although the memorial — like other federal museums and memorials — was officially closed to the public.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:33 pm

Day 1 of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition, was business as usual, at least when it came to each side trying to win the message war and keep the pressure on the political opposition in the hope of getting them to blink first.

President Obama had a White House Rose Garden event to mark what also was the first day individuals were able to enroll in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges. With real people who would benefit from the law arrayed behind him in a photo op, he used the moment to blast Republicans.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown And Out: Waiting For The Train Home

Pat Barnes of Hanover, Md. waits for her train at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 1, the first day of the government shutdown. Barnes is a federal employee and was sent home early in response to the shutdown.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 11:07 am

Two extra midday commuter trains left D.C.'s Union Station this afternoon, shuttling federal employees deemed "nonessential" home to Virginia and Maryland.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Scenes Of A Shutdown: A Synagogue Hosts Furloughed Workers

To lighten the mood, organizers provided Ping-Pong paddles decorated with head-shots of party leaders in Congress.
Christina Cauterucci NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:51 pm

As more than 800,000 government employees were sent home this morning, the staff at Washington, D.C.'s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue opened "Shutdown Central," a gathering space for furloughed locals to work and play.

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Takes A Toll Across D.C.

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Of the hundreds of thousands of federal workers not working because of the shutdown, many are, of course, here in Washington, D.C. The region is home to dozens of federal agencies, from Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency. NPR's Allison Keyes spoke with some of those affected.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

More Political Blame Game As Shutdown Continues

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

For the first time in 17 years, the U.S. government has shut down, at least in part. Some 800,000 federal workers are being furloughed. Over a million other essential civilian employees remain on the job, but it's unclear when they'll be paid. Speaking in the White House Rose Garden today, President Obama said he blames Republicans.

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Head Start Shut Down By Government Shutdown

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. It hasn't even been a day since lawmakers failed to come to an agreement over a spending bill to keep the government open, but in less than 24 hours, the impact of the shutdown is already evident around the country and we're not just talking about government workers. Children are affected, too. About 19,000 kids won't be able to attend Head Start, a federal education program for preschoolers.

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Health Care
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Ill. Governor Touts Health Exchange Legislature Rejected

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Amidst all this talk of a government shutdown, another big story has gotten less attention today. It's the first day people can sign up for health coverage on the new insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. To get a sense of how things are going, we'll hear several reports throughout the program. In a moment, we'll take you to Florida, where Governor Rick Scott has fought hard against the law.

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The Government Shutdown
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Beyond The Shutdown, There's A Bigger Battle Brewing

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.

"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Rep. Dent: Congress Has An Obligation To Fund Government

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Melissa Block speaks with Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania on ways to resolve the government shutdown.

Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Send Us Your Government Shutdown Questions

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

As the shutdown continues, we're sure you'll have specific questions about how the government is working or not.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Perhaps you're a federal worker, maybe you rely on a government service. We want to know how the shutdown is affecting you and what you're worried about.

BLOCK: Or if you've been affected by past shutdowns and have wisdom to share, feel free.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Hill Workers' Health Perk A Sticking Point In Spending Fight

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Among the things House Republicans are asking for in the ongoing spending battle is an elimination of health benefits for members of Congress and their staff. As the law now stands, congressional staff are required to buy their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges and the federal government will help pay for their plans.

House Republicans say that kind of assistance amounts to a special subsidy. But as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, taking away the health benefit would amount to a large pay cut.

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Program Feeding Women And Infants In Lurch

At a farmers market in Washington, D.C., recipients of federal food assistance like the WIC program can use vouchers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:23 pm

Among those affected by the chaos of the government shutdown are 9 million low-income women and children who may be worrying where next week's meal is going to come from.

They rely on the government for food assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

How The Shutdown Is Affecting The Military

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:52 pm

Larry Abramson, who covers national security for NPR, sent us this missive, about how the shutdown of the federal government is affecting the Pentagon:

If you are a soldier, sailor, airman or marine, you will be paid during a shutdown. But only half of civilian defense workers are supposed to show up for work, and the rest do not get paid.

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It's All Politics
1:16 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

No Talks Underway To Resolve Shutdown

A sign announces the closing of the Statue of Liberty on Tuesday.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:53 pm

If you're wondering how long the shutdown will last, well, don't hold your breath.

As of this writing, there are no indications that talks are underway — or even in the offing.

Indeed, the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected House legislation Tuesday morning calling for a House-Senate conference to try to settle the disagreement behind the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.

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Pop Culture
10:33 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Reporting On The Shutdown, One Facebook Post At A Time

Craig Thoricht's wife Linda.
Courtesy of Craig Thoricht

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:26 am

Shutting down the government is nothing new; Congress did it 18 years ago, suspending federal operations for three weeks.

History suggests Americans will accept the inconvenience for the duration, and Congress eventually will find a compromise.

But what if history is bunk? What if what we think we know about government shutdowns doesn't apply to this one?

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It's All Politics
10:07 am
Tue October 1, 2013

The Panda Cam? That's Shut Down, Too

A self-portrait taken by the NASA exploration rover Curiosity in Gale crater on Mars.
NASA AP

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:17 am

By now, you've probably heard that the federal government shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday after members of Congress were unable to reach a budget agreement in time to keep the government funded.

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The Two-Way
4:11 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Hillary Clinton Films That GOP Objected To Are Canceled

Hilary Clinton at last week's Clinton Global Initiative forum in in New York City.
PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:15 am

Both of the Hillary Clinton biopics that drew protests from the Republican National Committee have now been canceled before even being made.

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The Two-Way
3:15 am
Tue October 1, 2013

No End In Sight As Government Shutdown Nears First Full Day

Members of the U.S. Park Service place barricades around the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. A partial shutdown of the federal government has led to the closing of national parks.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:08 pm

Update at 8:18 p.m. ET. Impasse:

As first day of a federal government shutdown came to a close, Congress was not any closer to a resolution.

Case in point: Republicans in the House proposed three bills that would have reopened national parks, the Department of Veteran's Affairs and kept the D.C. government afloat. But all three bills didn't even make it out of the House.

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It's All Politics
3:13 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Boehner's Blues: Why Would Anyone Want This Job?

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes his way to the House chamber for a procedural vote on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

John Boehner might not have the worst job in politics, but not many people envy the House speaker these days.

The GOP rank and file won't listen to him, grass-roots conservatives don't trust him, and Democrats say he can't deliver votes.

For a man who occupies the most powerful position in the House, Boehner's inability — or, possibly, his unwillingness — to persuade his fellow House Republicans to accept a budget without delaying or blocking parts of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in the first government shutdown since 1996.

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The Two-Way
3:09 am
Tue October 1, 2013

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:17 am

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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Politics
3:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Transcript And Audio: NPR Interview With President Obama

President Obama speaks with reporters at the White House on Monday about the threat of a government shutdown.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen To The Full Interview

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama on Monday about the looming government shutdown, the upcoming debt ceiling fight and more. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: As you have watched what's happening in Congress, do you feel that House Republicans are coming any closer to anything that you could sign?

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It's All Politics
3:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Unable To Stop Shutdown, Obama Pins Blame On GOP

President Obama makes a statement to the press about the government shutdown in the White House briefing room Monday.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

President Obama says he's tired of the seemingly never-ending rounds of budget crises.

"When it comes to Congress paying its bills ... we cannot be a country that is lurching every two months or three months from crisis to crisis to crisis," Obama said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Yet that is precisely the situation the president finds himself in.

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Politics
2:39 am
Tue October 1, 2013

House, Senate Stay Faithful To Their Measures

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:35 am

Before parts of the government began shutting down, the House and Senate bounced a series of stopgap spending bills between the chambers. The House would insert language to delay or limit the president's health care law, and the Senate would reject the Obamacare language and send the bill back. The two chambers did not reach an agreement before the midnight deadline.

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