Politics

It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: It's GOP Senator Vs. GOP Senator

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., looks at a countdown-to-shutdown clock during a news conference in the Capitol on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:55 pm

Thursday's highlights (and lowlights):

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid raised the possibility that the Senate might be able to finish its work on the budget bill by the end of the day, sending it to the House sooner rather later. If Republicans went along, that would give the House more time to act to avert a government shutdown next week.

Perhaps predictably, Republicans didn't go along. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in particular.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

What The House Wants: A Debt Ceiling Preview

The government shutdown battle is just the beginning — next comes a fight over the nation's debt ceiling.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 7:53 pm

The showdown over a possible government shutdown is still going on, but already some Republicans are thinking about the next big battle on the horizon — the debt ceiling.

On Thursday, the House GOP's wish list of demands in return for raising the government's debt limit went public.

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It's All Politics
3:54 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Tea Party Strains GOP's Ties To Big Business

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks at a Sept. 10 Capitol Hill rally against Obamacare.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:10 pm

Is the GOP still the "party of business"?

With the party's long-standing and ongoing push for lower taxes and fewer regulations — both in Washington and in state legislatures — Republicans can reasonably make that claim.

Yet some of the congressional Republican rhetoric in the battle over a continuing resolution, the debt ceiling and defunding Obamacare makes it clear that there's a significant amount of tension between the party and the business community.

Much of the strong language comes from the Tea Party and its friends on Capitol Hill.

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It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Republican Tactics Slow Down Obamacare Prep

An online course for Affordable Care Act "navigators" in Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:23 pm

As Republicans try to figure out how to defund President Obama's health care law, some members of the party are attacking Obamacare on other fronts, too.

One House committee is investigating groups that were contracted to educate people about how to enroll, and the tactics are slowing down preparation for the rollout of the health care exchanges scheduled next Tuesday.

Investigating The "Navigators"

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Politics
3:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Sen. Murray: Replacing Sequestration A 'Top Priority'

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From talk of the House Republicans, now to a top Senate Democrat. Senator Patty Murray of Washington state is chair of the Senate Budget Committee and secretary of the Senate Democratic Conference. Welcome to the program, Senator Murray.

SENATOR PATTY MURRAY: Well, very nice to talk to you.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

House Republicans Ready To Move On To Debt Ceiling Debate

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

The clock is ticking towards a partial government shutdown, and congressional Republicans and Democrats are digging in their heels. In many ways, the House and Senate are no closer to a deal than they were three weeks ago when they returned from recess. NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith explains.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Obama: Obamacare Is 'Here To Stay'

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama declared today that his signature health care law is here to stay. That, despite efforts by Republicans in Congress to delay parts of the law or block them entirely. Next week, new online insurance markets will get up and running. And today, at a campaign-style rally outside Washington D.C., the president encouraged uninsured young people to sign up for coverage. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Middle East
3:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Kerry Meets Iranian Foreign Minister For Nuclear Talks

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 5:19 pm

Another round of talks on Iran's suspect nuclear program took place Thursday, this one at the United Nations and, for the first time, at the ministerial level. Secretary of State Kerry and Iran's new Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, will be among those in attendance along with their counterparts from the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Germany. No breakthroughs are anticipated in New York but the talks are expected to reconvene a week or so later in Geneva in search of an accord.

Politics
3:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Outside The Senate, DeMint Appears More Powerful Than Ever

Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, says he has more influence now than he did as a senator.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:12 pm

Congress has been getting most of the attention during this latest round of budget brinksmanship. But some of the biggest players in the debate have been outside conservative groups with close ties to Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Perhaps the most influential voice is also a soft-spoken one. It belongs to former South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who now heads the Heritage Foundation.

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It's All Politics
10:13 am
Thu September 26, 2013

'Green Eggs And Ham': A Quick Political History

President Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, reads Green Eggs and Ham at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in April 2010.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 11:26 am

During the fifth hour of his televised marathon speech protesting Obamacare, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz caught the attention of Dr. Seuss fans everywhere by pulling out a copy of Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor to read as a bedtime story to his children.

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It's All Politics
7:13 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Thursday Morning Political Mix

A statue of George Washington, in the U.S. Capitol's Rotunda.
SAUL LOEB AFP/Getty Images

Good morning, fellow political junkies.Today finds the Senate in continued debate aimed at reaching a legislative agreement that keeps the federal government open into the new fiscal year which starts Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing mood among congressional Republicans to test President Obama's resolve to not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling in a few weeks.

Here are some politically-connected items or themes that caught my eye this morning.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Thu September 26, 2013

George H.W. Bush Is Witness At Same-Sex Wedding Of Friends

Former President George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, and their newly wedded friends Helen Thorgalsen, center, and Bonnie Clement.
Susan Biddle AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:34 am

Former President George H.W. Bush's presence as a witness and guest at the marriage of two women in Maine last weekend is being treated by some as his quiet endorsement of same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: The Ted Cruz Show Comes To A Close

Democratic Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan visited with mothers and babies at a Capitol Hill Obamacare event Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:08 pm

Wednesday's Highlights

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ended his marathon Senate floor speech at noon when his appointed time ran out.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Sen. Wicker: Obamacare Should Go But Shutdown Won't Kill It

Robert Siegel speaks with Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) about defunding Obamacare, the continuing resolution battle and debt ceiling.

Politics
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Inches Closer To Resolution To Stave Off Shutdown

The Senate took the next step on its weeklong road to passing a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown next week. The legislative movement follows on the heels of a 21-hour talk-a-thon by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who is hoping to defund Obamacare.

Politics
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

If The Government Shuts Down, You May Not Notice (At First)

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We're less than a week away from a possible shutdown of the federal government and there is still no clear path to a stopgap budget agreement in Congress. A bill to keep things running did inch forward in the Senate today. But getting a final deal between the Senate and the House is another question.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports on what a government shutdown would mean for people's pocketbooks.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

U.S. Signs Arms Trade Treaty, But Will The Senate Ratify It?

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The United States added a signature to a new treaty today. It's on international arms trade. The agreement is meant to stem the flow of weapons to conflict zones around the world. Human rights activists are hailing the decision, but the Obama administration will have an uphill battle getting the treaty ratified by Congress. NPR's Michele Kelemen has more from the United Nations.

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It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Tale Of Two Talks: Ted Cruz Outlasts Rand Paul By 8 Hours

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to the media Wednesday after delivering a marathon Senate floor speech.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:23 pm

OK, so it wasn't a real filibuster, as no Senate action was actually blocked or delayed. But Texas Republican Ted Cruz's talk-fest did succeed in one key measure: duration.

At 21 hours and 19 minutes, Cruz held the Senate floor 8 hours and 27 minutes longer than Kentucky Republican Rand Paul did in March when he staged an actual filibuster over the country's drone policy.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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Books
11:02 am
Wed September 25, 2013

David Dinkins: Leading New York Is The 'Greatest Job There Is'

Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins
Jenny Dossin PublicAffairs

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 2:31 pm

As New York City enters the final stretch of its latest mayoral campaign, Tell Me More host Michel Martin hears from a former Big Apple mayor who made history: David Dinkins.

Winning the office in 1989, Dinkins earned the glare of national attention not only as the mayor of one of the country's most important cities, but also as that city's first black mayor.

It was a difficult time for the city. Race relations were fractured, the economy was struggling, and many neighborhoods were gripped by a crack epidemic.

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It's All Politics
9:54 am
Wed September 25, 2013

First Votes Counted In Two Races To Watch

Boston mayoral hopeful Martin Walsh at his primary election night party Tuesday.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:48 pm

Neither got much national attention, but two elections worth watching took place Tuesday: a House special election primary in southwest Alabama and a mayoral primary in Boston.

In Alabama's 1st District GOP primary — the only one that really matters in the conservative, Mobile-based seat — former state Sen. Bradley Byrne and real estate developer Dean Young emerged from a nine-candidate field. They'll go head to head in a Nov. 5 runoff primary that pits the GOP establishment against Tea Party forces.

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It's All Politics
6:57 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix — Sept. 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, worked a rare Senate overnight shift as he kept up a lengthy diatribe against Obamacare (with many digressions.)
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 9:21 am

It's Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, which puts us five days away from a possible federal-government shutdown that would begin Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a stop-gap spending bill.

So the drama in the Senate over the spending bill leads the day's interesting political items and features Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. At this writing, Cruz was in the last gasps of an anti-Obamacare talkathon. That's where we start:

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Your Government Shutdown Questions, Answered

If Congress can't come to an agreement to fund the government, there will be a shutdown on Oct. 1.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 7:29 pm

There's a showdown underway in Congress.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government running only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to go along with that plan. If the two sides can't resolve their differences by Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.

We asked you what you wanted to know about the potential government shutdown, and journalists from NPR's Washington Desk tracked down the answers:

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The Two-Way
11:09 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

With A Call For Prayer, Cruz Wraps Up Protest Against Obamacare

Sen. Ted Cruz's anti-Obamacare strategy seemed to fall flat Tuesday with many of his fellow Senate Republicans. They urged him to back down out of concern over a possible government shutdown next week.
C-SPAN.org screen shot

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:17 am

Update at noon ET. It's Over:

Saying that "it's fitting that this debate concludes with a prayer" because he believes Americans are pleading with Congress to defund President Obama's health care law, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas just wrapped up his marathon protest on the Senate floor.

Cruz began speaking just after 2:40 p.m. ET Tuesday and abided by Senate rules when he finished at noon today.

"The pleas from the American people," he said of what he sees as the public's opposition to Obamacare, "are deafening."

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Government Shutdown? Not Over Obamacare, Polls Say

A new survey shows that a majority of Americans want Congress to keep the government running and deal with Obamacare separately.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A new poll released Tuesday shows that a clear majority of Americans want Congress to keep the federal government operating and deal with President Obama's health care law separately.

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Politics
3:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Obamacare Funding Fight Leaves Senate Republicans Split

A Tea Party attempt to defund Obamacare has the Senate moving in slow motion toward a bill to fund the government beyond Sept. 30. Today, Senate Republicans met in a closed-door strategy session, where a number of them were expected to register their displeasure with the defund plan and its chief proponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Politics
3:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Rouhani Addresses U.N. Amid Iranian Charm Offensive

Tuesday was the opening day of the UN General Assembly in New York City. President Obama opened the session. His speech was followed by addresses from a number of foreign dignitaries, including Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

Politics
3:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

In U.N. Speech, Obama Calls For Diplomacy, U.S. Engagement

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. We begin with a day at the United Nations, as world leaders gathered in New York. President Obama gave his annual speech to the General Assembly. He spent about 40 minutes giving a detailed defense of America's role in the world. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, the president insisted that the U.S. will remain a key player in international events, despite criticism at home and overseas.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Cruz Control Scenario In Texas

Republican Ted Cruz (left) raises his hand with his father, Rafael, while holding his daughter Caroline during a victory speech in November 2012.
David J. Phillip AP

Could Texans soon be represented in the U.S. Senate by the Cruz family?

It's an entertaining though wildly improbable scenario that's been generating some chatter at the GOP grass-roots level. But the notion of Tea Party hero Sen. Ted Cruz serving with his father, Rafael Cruz — a Tea Party star in his own right after a series of anti-Obama speeches at town halls hosted by Heritage Action — just got a wee bit less outlandish.

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Around the Nation
9:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Can Mass Shootings Really Be Stopped?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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