Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:09 am
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of two independents in the Senate. Now, the self-described socialist says he may run for president.
Sanders is aligned with Senate Democrats, but he has spoken lately of a problem with the Democratic coalition that elected President Obama. He says working-class white voters have abandoned Democrats in large numbers. The party, he says, has "not made it clear that they are prepared to stand with the working-class people of this country, take on the big money interests."
The USA Freedom Act had the support of not only the White House and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy but also that of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, but the bid to reform the NSA failed late Tuesday after it didn't receive enough votes to cut off debate.
After a 58-42 vote, the measure had the support of the majority β but it didn't get the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster. It was something of an odd end for a bill that had been approved by the Republican-controlled House back in May.
Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:43 am
The White House says President Obama will act "relatively soon," on immigration, granting temporary legal status to a large number of immigrants who are in this country illegally. Obama is acting after the Republican-controlled House refused to take up a bipartisan Senate bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system.
The decision to use executive powers to do what Congress would not has some critics complaining that Obama is going too far. Not so long ago, he was making that argument himself.
Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:42 am
With the HealthCare.gov website working for consumers much more smoothly than last year, health officials are focused on reaching out to potential customers.
For starters, they want to people who bought insurance last year to take another look at those plans. And, of course, the exchange wants to bring in new customers who didn't need or skipped insurance last year.
Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:36 pm
Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: The Senate voted against completing the Keystone pipeline.
The remaining portion of the Keystone pipeline project, if completed, will be fewer than 1,200 miles long β just a fraction of the existing 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines running beneath our feet in the United States.
Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 1:09 pm
President Obama and other Western leaders gave Russian leader Vladimir Putin an earful at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, today.
Obama said the United States is on the forefront of "opposing Russia's aggression against Ukraine," and referenced the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine β a move widely blamed on pro-Russia separatists armed with surface-to-air missiles provided by Moscow.
Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 8:21 am
Maybe this duck won't be so lame after all.
Judging by what we've seen so far, the "zombie Congress" that returned to town this week (the reelected and the not-so-lucky) will do more business in the weeks following the election than it did in many months preceding.
Consider these trains β all long-sidetracked, all suddenly leaving the station on Capitol Hill:
Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 6:48 am
Jane Byrne, who stunned Chicago's powerful political machine in becoming the first and still only woman elected mayor of the nation's third-largest city, died today at the age of 81.
She is being remembered as a trailblazer for women in politics who cracked the glass ceiling in a city whose political oligarchy 'don't want nobody nobody sent.' *
A product of the machine herself and a protege of late mayor Richard J. Daley, Byrne bucked party leaders to topple their annointed candidate, incumbent mayor Michael Bilandic, in the Democratic primary in February of 1979.
Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 1:13 pm
Several of this year's recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor the national government gives to civilians, are people of color. They include recording star Stevie Wonder and the late Alvin Ailey, legendary choreographer and founder of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.
Still, many of the honorees made their presence felt on the political stage, challenging America's presumptions about people of color.
Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:34 am
Tomorrow it begins again β open enrollment for Obamacare. Two very successful state health insurance exchanges, Connecticut's and California's, are both intent on reaching people who avoided signing up last year β especially young Latinos and African-Americans.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 2:13 pm
Following on a pledge to use his office's discretionary powers to adjust the U.S. approach to immigration, President Obama reportedly plans to remove the threat of deportation for up to 5 million people who entered the U.S. illegally.
The administration's shift in approach was reported by The New York Times, which cited "administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan."
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:19 am
Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors β Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. β head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:
"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'