Politics

Commentary
2:37 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Week In Politics: Sen. Harry Reid's Retirement, Cruz's Appeal To Far-Right

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Africa
2:37 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 11:06 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:37 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

In YouTube Video, Sen. Harry Reid Announces Retirement From Senate

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 11:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's All Politics
12:49 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

How Senate Democrats Will Choose Their Next Leader

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, with then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle at a 1995 news conference on Capitol Hill. Harry Reid took over as leader in 2005 after Daschle unexpectedly lost his re-election. At the time, Reid was unknown to most Americans, but he beat back a challenge Dodd.
John Duricka AP

When word came of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire, various observers and Democratic constituencies quickly emerged with their choices for his successor as the party's Senate leader.

There were those who touted Patty Murray of Washington, the proven problem-solver and veteran legislator who has worked her way up the ladder of Senate succession. Others talked up Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who in just two years has emerged as a star in the caucus and who has also joined the leadership in a junior role.

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It's All Politics
12:18 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

With Reid Out, Republicans See An Opportunity

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, wearing sunglasses to protect an injured eye. His announced retirement should set off a scramble to replace him.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Harry Reid, the wily Democratic Senate leader, was likely — once again — to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election in 2016.

Few, though, would have bet the house against Reid — a sharp-elbowed campaigner — especially in a presidential year when demography will favor Democrats in a state where almost 3 in 10 people are Hispanic.

"Do you really want to go up against Harry Reid?" said one national GOP operative, pointing out Reid's bare-knuckles style of campaigning.

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It's All Politics
12:12 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

6 Things You Might Not Have Known About Harry Reid

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid greets supporters in his hometown of Searchlight, Nev., during a campaign stop in 2010.
Laura Rauch AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:45 pm

Longtime Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, 75, who announced Friday he would not run for re-election in 2016, isn't exactly known for his charisma on Capitol Hill. But he has become known as someone who will always put up a fight.

That toughness can be seen throughout his life and political career. It was an essential quality during his hardscrabble childhood and time in the boxing ring. And it's what he later brought to fighting organized crime in Nevada and, more recently, taking off his gloves against the Tea Party Republicans.

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It's All Politics
11:18 am
Fri March 27, 2015

What Reid Endorsing Schumer As Top Democrat Means

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York stands a podium March 3 as Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada looks on. Reid is backing Schumer to be his replacement as Democratic leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:58 pm

Harry Reid's exit could have ignited a scramble to fill the power vacuum among Senate Democrats.

But the Nevada senator is doing his best to avoid what he called a "knock-down, drag-out fight" by endorsing Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat better known as Chuck, who has been Reid's top lieutenant for years.

"He will be elected to replace me in 22 months," Reid told KNPR about Schumer. "One reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement."

Reid called Schumer "a brilliant man" and "a tremendous asset."

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Reid Backs N.Y.'s Schumer To Succeed Him As Senate Democratic Leader

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Reid said today that he won't seek re-election in 2016, adding he wants Schumer to succed him as the Democratic leader in the Senate.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has announced that he won't seek re-election in 2016, says he is backing Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate's No. 3 Democrat, to succeed him in the leadership position.

"He [Schumer] will be elected to replace me in 22 months," he told Nevada Public Radio. "One reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement."

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Sen. Harry Reid Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

YouTube

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:16 pm

Updated at 12:34 p.m.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Democratic leader in the Senate, said he won't seek re-election next year.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Fri March 27, 2015

WATCH: Obama, A 'Wire' Superfan, Talks To Show's Creator David Simon

President Obama talks to David Simon, creator of The Wire.
YouTube

President Obama is a fan of The Wire. He has even said Omar Little was his favorite character on the HBO show.

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Politics
4:53 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Senators Endure Vote-A-Rama With Coping Mechanisms

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 12:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Air War In Yemen May Come At The Expense of Coalition Against ISIS

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
4:15 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Amazingly, Congress Actually Got Something Done

House Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Jan. 6 at the start of the 114th Congress.
Mark Wilson Getty

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:58 pm

They said it couldn't be done. And for more than a decade they were right.

But on Thursday, staring at a deadline that could have disrupted health care to millions of seniors, the House got something done.

It voted to fix the flawed formula for compensating doctors who provide services to patients under Medicare. But this time it wasn't just a patch for a few months or years — like the ones Congress has done 17 times since 2003.

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It's All Politics
1:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

After Spending Scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock Says Goodbye

"Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did," Rep. Schock said on the House floor Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.

Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Indiana's Governor Signs 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence holds a news conference at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, on Thursday, where he signed into law a bill that would allow business owners with strong religious convictions to refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:32 am

Indiana business owners who object to same-sex couples will now have a legal right to deny them services after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.

The legislation, approved by Indiana's GOP-controlled House and Senate, prevents state and local governments from "substantially burdening" a person's exercise of religion unless a compelling governmental interest can be proved.

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It's All Politics
10:50 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Skinny Jeans, Expanded Waistlines, And A Washington 'Fix'

Congress tries every year to plug a loophole that would otherwise result in a 21 percent cut in Medicare doctors' pay. But it doesn't exactly always tighten its belt in the process.
Key Wilde Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:24 pm

Every year about this time, after a Washington winter of inactivity, I notice my pants have grown a little tighter. Years ago, I resolved to address this by cutting back on burritos and beer.

But the (ever more abundant) flesh is weak. And burritos are soooo tasty. So instead, every spring I simply let out my waistband a bit, while promising to redouble my dieting efforts next year. I call this, "The belt fix."

Sound familiar?

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Released From Prison

In this Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington to learn their fates when a federal judge sentences the one-time power couple for misusing $750,000 in campaign money.
Susan Walsh AP

Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has stepped out of a federal prison in Alabama and now goes to a halfway house to complete a 2013 sentence for spending hundreds of thousands in campaign money on personal items.

WLS in Chicago reports: "The Jackson entourage, consisting of his father, Reverend Jesse Jackson; his wife, Sandi Jackson; and the former congressman's two children, arrived at Maxwell Air Force Base around 4:15 a.m. Thursday."

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Politics
5:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Payday Loans — And Endless Cycles Of Debt — Targeted By Federal Watchdog

Maranda Brooks stands in January outside a payday loans business that she used to frequent. Troubled by consumer complaints and loopholes in state laws, federal regulators are proposing expansive, first-ever rules on payday lenders, aimed at helping cash-strapped borrowers from falling into a cycle of debt.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. E.T.

For millions of cash-strapped consumers, short-term loans offer the means to cover purchases or pressing needs. But these deals, typically called payday loans, also pack triple-digit interest rates — and critics say that borrowers often end up trapped in a cycle of high-cost debt as a result.

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Law
4:55 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Republicans Join Fight To Reduce Prison Terms For Drug Crimes

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
1:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:11 am

Updated at 12:10 p.m. E.T.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

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It's All Politics
3:03 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 hopeful, takes a selfie with an Iowa supporter earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:44 am

Just after midnight Monday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scooped his own big announcement by about 10 hours. Ahead of a planned speech, he posted the news of his presidential bid on Twitter.

"I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!" he tweeted.

The tweet, which included a 30-second video, was retweeted more than 3,000 times in 30 minutes. Cruz's announcement generated 5.7 million interactions (likes, posts, comments and shares) Monday on Facebook. And during his planned speech at Liberty University, his staff live tweeted lines from the speech on his account.

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Politics
12:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Journalist Says Ted Cruz's Message Is Clear That 'Compromise Is For Losers'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. On Monday Ted Cruz, the first-term senator from Texas, became the first Republican candidate to officially declare he was running for president.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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It's All Politics
10:27 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Obamacare Five Years Later: Thriving Or On Political Life Support?

President Obama speaks at the White House Wednesday about the fifth anniversary of his signing of the healthcare law.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The health care law, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Whatever you call it, five years after President Obama signed the law, it remains polarizing.

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It's All Politics
9:21 am
Wed March 25, 2015

With Sen. Dan Coats' Retirement, One More Gone From The Old School

Sen. Dan Coats on midterm election night in 2014.
AJ Mast AP

Senate Republican Dan Coats of Indiana announced Tuesday — probably surprising no one — that he would not seek another term in 2016. Although he has been a stalwart Republican through a turbulent generation in Washington, Coats seems less at home in the hyper-partisan world of Congress today.

While Coats, 71, said his decision was strictly personal and age-related, he did refer to the "terribly dysfunctional Senate" in an interview with the Howey Politics Indiana newsletter.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Rejects Ruling That Upheld Alabama's Gerrymandering

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 5:43 am

The U.S. Supreme Court called a district court ruling that upheld Alabama's redistricting plan, which overloaded some districts with black Democrats, "legally erroneous." In a 5-to-4 ruling, the justices rejected the ruling and sent it back to the lower court.

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It's All Politics
2:02 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Obama Administration Emissions Rules Face Supreme Court Test

Steam from a coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the sun near St. Marys, Kan. Industry groups say there should be a far more aggressive consideration of costs of regulation than the Obama administration took into account.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 5:20 pm

The Supreme Court hears a challenge Wednesday to Obama administration rules aimed at limiting the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants emitted from coal- and oil-fired utility plants. The regulations are being challenged by major industry groups like the National Mining Association and more than 20 states.

The regulations have been in the works for nearly two decades. Work on them began in the Clinton administration, got derailed in the George W. Bush administration, and then were revived and adopted in the Obama administration.

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Lessons In Moving Forward On Race From A 40-Year Mayor

"It's an intense job, you give it all, everyday, and I just don't want to get into another term where I say 'Gee, it would be nice to take it a little bit easier,'" Mayor Joe Riley says.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

It might not sound newsworthy that Charleston, S.C., is getting a new mayor next year. But the last time the city elected a new mayor was 40 years ago, in December 1975.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

U.S. Reconsiders Troop Withdrawal Plan In Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're going to talk more now about the decision to keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of this year. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman is here in the studio.

Welcome, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

President Obama Holds First Meeting With Afghan President

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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It's All Politics
9:49 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Calif. Lawyer Proposes Ballot Initiative To Kill Gays And Lesbians

Rainbow flags fly in front of San Francisco City Hall in 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
Noah Berger AP

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 10:35 am

California's system of direct democracy — the voter initiative process — has produced landmark laws reducing property taxes, banning affirmative action and legalizing medical marijuana.

Now there's a bid to declare that "the people of California wisely command" that gays and lesbians can be killed.

You read that right.

The "Sodomite Suppression Act," as proposed, calls sodomy "a monstrous evil" that should be punishable "by bullets to the head or any other convenient method."

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