In Washington yesterday, the Supreme Court limited the president's authority to make appointments when the Senate is gone. The justices unanimously ruled that the temporary appointment's President Obama made to the National Labors Relations Board in 2012 were unconstitutional because the Senate was technically still there, not in recessed. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the decision was a victory for Republicans but it won't have much impact so long as Democrats remain in the Senate majority.
Following up on its recent report on the ever-widening ideological gulf between Americans, the Pew Research Center unveiled its latest sorting of voters into categories based, in part, on the relative strength or weakness of their partisan attachments.
Howard Baker, who died Thursday at age 88, was a former Senate majority leader and chief of staff to President Reagan. Both his father and stepmother served in Congress; one of the Senate's office buildings is named for Baker's father-in-law, Everett Dirksen.
A year-long effort to push a comprehensive immigration reform bill through the House was officially declared dead yesterday. Prospects for the bill were always dicey and the debate became more complicated by the recent wave of unaccompanied children seeking entry into the United States. NPR's Richard Gonzales has more.
Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 12:54 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that three appointments President Obama made in 2012 to the National Labor Relations Board are not valid because they were not approved by the Senate, which was in pro forma session at the time.
In a unanimous decision, the justices said the Constitution's recess-appointments clause gave Congress the power to decide when it is in recess, and that there was no recess when Obama acted. The case is National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning.
New York Rep. Charles Rangel has fended off a Democratic primary challenge from Adriano Espaillat, placing the longtime Harlem congressman on a glide path to a 23rd term in Congress.
The Associated Press called the Democratic primary in New York's 13th District for Rangel on Wednesday afternoon, with the incumbent leading Espaillat 47 percent to 44 percent, and 100 percent of precincts reporting.
In the Harlem- and Bronx-based district, one of the most solidly Democratic seats in the nation, the Democratic nomination is tantamount to victory in November.
One year ago, the Supreme Court threw out a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The law gave the federal government a kind of veto power over voting arrangements in states with a history of discrimination. Now, without those protections, civil rights activists say many states are moving polling places and enacting laws that disproportionately hurt minorities.
The Export-Import Bank is an 80-year-old Washington institution whose mission is to help U.S. companies sell products abroad. Now the bank is being threatened with extinction. Tea Party Republicans argue that the bank's really just providing corporate welfare. NPR's John Ydstie has more.
Native American tribes across the country have been closely watching the efforts of one small tribe in North Dakota as it tries to regain control of its foster child program. Reports of deaths and abuse surfaced two years ago at the Spirit Lake Reservation, causing the Federal Bureau of Indian affairs to step in. But as NPR's Laura Sullivan reports, a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday made clear the federal takeover has not ended the controversy.
When the country's mayors gathered for their annual conference, much of the talk was about income inequality. And New York's new mayor was in the thick of it.
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At his inauguration six months ago, Bill de Blasio told the crowd we are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love. Now, he's heading a task force to tackle the issue at the local level. And we reached Mayor de Blasio at his office at City Hall. Welcome to the program.
Veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran squeaked by challenger Chris McDaniel on Tuesday in a bitterly contested Republican runoff that likely represented the Tea Party's best remaining chance to take down a longtime incumbent.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press called it for Cochran, who had 51 percent to McDaniel's 49 percent.
Five other states — Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma and Utah – held primaries Tuesday, and another, South Carolina, had runoff elections, but the marquee race was the Cochran-McDaniel showdown.
Republican Sen. Thad Cochran held on to a slim margin of votes to defeat his Tea Party-backed challenger and win his party's nomination.
Cochran, who at 76 has served six terms in the Senate, made a last-ditch effort to attract traditionally Democratic voters into the Republican primary runoff to bolster his flagging poll numbers against state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
The Export-Import Bank, created by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 to boost U.S. exports during the Great Depression, needs its charter to be reauthorized by September's end if it is to continue providing loans to U.S. exporters and overseas companies.
The bank has the support of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, so it sounds like an easy vote.
But Cantor was recently defeated in his primary by David Brat, the libertarian college professor who portrayed the soon-to-be-ex-majority leader as a shameless tool of big business.
The House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing Tuesday to address the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke at the proceedings, saying the situation at the border was "urgent."
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It's a rich irony that on the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders risking life and limb in Mississippi to help African-Americans register to vote, black Democrats may decide which Republican wins Tuesday's runoff for the GOP Senate nomination.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I am Renee Montagne. Here in California today, a controversial gun control bill gets its first hearing. It was introduced in the wake of last month's mass murder near the campus of UC Santa Barbara. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.
KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: When California lawmakers began debate today, expect the case of Elliott Rodger to come back into focus.