Politics

Law
1:15 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Getting Federal Benefits To Gay Couples: It's Complicated

A gay rights activist waves a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in June, a day before the ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 7:54 am

It has been four months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling paved the way for thousands of same-sex married couples to receive federal benefits, and a special group of government lawyers has been working to make that happen.

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Shots - Health News
1:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

How Politics Set The Stage For The Obamacare Website Meltdown

It all seemed so easy then. Back in June, the Supreme Court declared the Affordable Care Act constitutional. Waiting for that decision may have cost the administration precious time.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:23 am

Since the Affordable Care Act's health care exchanges launched to a long series of error messages Oct. 1, most of the "what went wrong" fingers have been pointing at software developers.

But some say there's more to it than that — that politics has played a role as well.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Christie's Gay Marriage Decision Has Primary Consequences

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debates Democratic challenger Barbara Buono at Montclair University in Montclair, N.J., on Tuesday. Christie's decision not to fight gay marriage in the state takes away an issue Buono had been campaigning hard on.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:35 am

Republican Chris Christie's decision Monday to drop his administration's legal challenge to same-sex marriage made perfect sense for the governor of New Jersey,

But for the potential 2016 presidential candidate, whose path would presumably start in Iowa — where the Republican Party is dominated by social conservatives — the calculation is a bit more complicated.

Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa's powerful evangelical conservative, put it bluntly Monday.

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

5 Questions Kathleen Sebelius Must Answer

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is likely to have a very long day when she testifies before Congress about the Affordable Care Act website problems.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:12 pm

The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Government Shutdown Delays Rocket Launch

A Minotaur I at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
NASA

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:36 am

The launch of a rocket carrying a record-breaking 29 satellites — originally set for early next month — will be delayed by a few weeks after the partial government shutdown halted preparations.

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Economy
3:07 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Volkswagen Union Opposed By Tennessee Republican Officials

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. It's also the only VW plant around the world without a workers union.
Volkswagen

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

When it comes to union organizing at an auto plant, the tension is typically between the workers and the management. But not at Volkswagen in Tennessee. There, the United Auto Workers is attempting to finally unionize the automaker's first foreign-owned plant in the South. And so far, Republican officials are the ones trying to stand in the way.

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Politics
2:59 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Obama: ACA Is Not HealthCare.gov, Low-Cost Insurance Is

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Woman Who Nearly Fainted During President's Speech: 'I'm OK'

Karmel Allison, in red dress, stands behind President Obama as he gives a speech Monday. Later, she almost fainted, briefly interrupting the address.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 3:29 pm

A woman who nearly fainted, briefly interrupting President Obama as he spoke at the White House on Monday, says she's "OK ... just a little lightheaded."

Karmel Allison, who is pregnant and reportedly has Type 1 diabetes, stood behind the president as he spoke about problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

At one point during Obama's speech, Allison can be seen closing her eyes and looking a bit unstable. Suddenly, she begins wobbling.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Obama: Health Care Site Is Troubled; Affordable Care Act Is Not

"There's no sugarcoating it: The website has been too slow," President Obama said at the White House on Monday. Obama said the health care system's online problems are being addressed.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 1:05 pm

The website that's meant to allow Americans to shop and sign up for new medical plans under the Affordable Care Act isn't working as well as it should, President Obama says. But he promised that the problems will be fixed — and he said the Affordable Care Act is bringing many benefits that aren't tied to those problems.

"Nobody is madder than me that the website isn't working as it should — which means that it's going to get fixed," Obama told a crowd at an outdoor address at the White House.

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U.S.
10:41 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Obama Says He's 'Frustrated' About Health Care Site Issues

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an acknowledgement of trouble by President Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK, the president is speaking right now to reporters and others in the White House Rose Garden. Our White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been listening in. He's in our studios. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK, the president's talking about Obamacare. What's he saying?

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Economy
10:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Post Shutdown, Economy Needs Restart

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 12:00 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, one blogger wants black women to be more welcome in the world of comic books, videogames and science fiction. We'll talk about her efforts to change geek culture in just a few minutes.

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It's All Politics
6:40 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Monday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:55 am

Good morning.

Happy Tech-Surge-To-Fix-Healthcare.gov Day in your nation's capital.

In the wake of a disastrous rollout of his legacy legislation, President Obama will speak in the White House Rose Garden later this morning to declare the problems unacceptable.

And to outline how the White House has dispatched an A-Team to fix glitches that have frustrated many of the 19 million Americans that have gone online to research or sign up for insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Cheney Says He Couldn't Overrule Doctors Who Declared Him Fit

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in April.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 7:43 am

Among the newsworthy moments in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday's 60 Minutes is a discussion about how Cheney came to be the 2000 Republican vice presidential nominee even though he had already suffered three heart attacks by that time.

Here's how CBS News' website puts it:

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The Two-Way
4:43 am
Mon October 21, 2013

UPDATE: N.J. Gov. Christie Won't Fight Gay-Marriage Ruling

The hands of Beth Asaro, left, and Joanne Schailey after they exchanged vows to become the first same-sex couple married in Lambertville, N.J., early Monday.
Rich Schultz AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 12:09 pm

"Gov. Chris Christie announced today that he was dropping the fight against same-sex marriage in New Jersey by withdrawing his appeal of a major case that was being heard by the state Supreme Court," The Star-Ledger writes.

Christie's office has released a copy if its court filing, in which it officially withdraws its appeal.

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Politics
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Obama To Address Health Care Website Problems

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's look at the politics of the Obamacare rollout with NPR's national political correspondent, Mara Liasson. She's on the line.

Hi, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK. So the standoff is over for the moment. The government is reopened. The battle over the debt ceiling is behind us. And now the focus is on this actual law.

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Politics
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Where Does The GOP Go From Here?

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We are joined now by the Atlantic magazine's Molly Ball, who's been writing about how Ted Cruz is shaking up the Republican Party. Good morning.

MOLLY BALL: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What stood out for you about Ted Cruz in the piece we just heard?

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Politics
3:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Cruz Takes Center Stage, Drawing Cheers And Jeers

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Let's talk this morning about the fight for the future of the Republican Party. Let's begin with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. It was Cruz who led the fight against Obamacare that resulted in a partial government shutdown. He alienated colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and also won widespread praise from Tea Party Republicans.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn has this profile.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Enrollments For Health Care Exchanges Trickle In, Slowly

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:37 pm

The Obama administration's hopes ran high that millions would flock to enroll for health insurance on state and federal exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.

Those exchanges went online Oct. 1. The administration projected that half a million individuals or families would enroll within 30 days, according to The Associated Press.

But three weeks in, the data suggest the actual number of enrollments is lagging far behind that number.

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Politics
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Can The GOP Put Its Internal Feuds Behind It?

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 5:40 am

This week, politicians and pundits of almost all persuasions seemed to agree that the Republican Party took a hit from the shutdown. But Jonah Goldberg of the National Review sees a path forward. Hos Scott Simon talks with Goldberg about how the party can put its schisms behind it.

Politics
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Shutdown Is Wrapped Up, But Other Issues Are Starting To Unfold

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 5:40 am

The U.S. is back from the brink after a deal to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling, but more crises may be on the horizon with a compromise budget due by mid-December and the federal government only funded through Jan. 15. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving about what comes next.

Politics
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

'It Takes A Crisis': How '73 Embargo Fueled Change In U.S.

Drivers and a man pushing a lawnmower line up at gas station in San Jose, Calif., in March 1974.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 5:26 pm

Americans started thinking differently about U.S. dependence on imported oil 40 years ago this Sunday. Decades later, the U.S. is in the midst of a homegrown energy boom.

The oil embargo began in 1973. The United States had long taken cheap and plentiful oil for granted when Saudi Arabia shocked the country by suddenly cutting off all direct oil shipments in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel. Other Arab countries followed suit.

Prices soared. Gasoline lines stretched for blocks. Richard Nixon became the first of many U.S. presidents to call for energy independence.

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It's All Politics
3:00 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Conservative Group Backs Challenge To 'Liberal' McConnell

Matt Bevin speaks during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., on Aug. 3. Bevin, a Louisville businessman, is challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Republican Senate primary.
Stephen Lance Dennee AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 3:37 pm

Days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell helped negotiate a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, a prominent conservative group endorsed his primary challenger.

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It's All Politics
3:00 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

After Budget Fight, No Sign Of Cease-Fire

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Oct. 2.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

As it dragged on in recent weeks, the debate about the budget, the debt ceiling and Obamacare felt like an epic battle.

But now that it's over, there's reason to think it was actually only another skirmish during the long period of partisan warfare Americans have become accustomed to.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Week In Politics: Shutdown Post-Mortem And Looking Ahead

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we'll continue our discussion about the politics of the week with our Friday regulars, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of the New York Times. Hey, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Former Defense Dept. Lawyer Tapped To Head Homeland Security

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama today named former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson as his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would succeed Janet Napolitano who stepped down in August. The president said of Johnson, he's a cool and calm leader with experience running big, complex organizations. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, he'll need those skills to tackle what President Obama himself called a monumental task.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Tea Party Activist: It Was Worth 'Getting In The Ring'

Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express speaks at the National Press Club in 2011. Russo predicts the Tea Party will be re-energized for the 2014 midterm elections.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:09 pm

It's been a tough week for the Tea Party and its supporters in Congress. The Affordable Care Act survived the Capitol Hill standoff largely untouched. President Obama and the Democrats stared them down and won. And fights with establishment Republicans revealed the depth of division within the GOP.

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It's All Politics
12:34 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Obama's Immigration Pivot Hits A Bruised GOP's Weak Spot

Demonstrators supporting an immigration overhaul stage a sit-down protest at the offices of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., on Oct. 11.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:58 pm

After successfully staring down congressional Republicans in the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, President Obama pivoted to immigration in a move with almost no downside.

That makes it perfect as the next vehicle for him to use to cause the GOP major indigestion.

Before being re-elected last year, President Obama said he hoped the Republican "fever" of opposition to him would break during his second term. But if the just-completed standoff is any indication, that temperature is still spiking.

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NPR Story
11:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

With Shutdown Over, Scientists Assess the Damage

Transcript

JOHN DANKOSKY, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is away. After nearly three weeks, the shutdown is finally over. The Smithsonian is open, national parks have opened up their gates, and federal labs all over the country are turning on their lights. But not everyone is back to business as usual. Many scientists who were about to start their field season in Antarctica had their trips cancelled or postponed.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Former House Speaker Tom Foley Dies At 84

House Speaker Tom Foley (back, right) and Vice President Al Gore applaud during President Bill Clinton's State of the Union address on Jan. 24, 1994.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:20 am

Former House Speaker Tom Foley, who led the chamber from 1989 to 1995, has died, according to his family. He was 84.

The Associated Press says Foley's wife, Heather, confirmed that the Washington state Democrat died at his Washington, D.C., home.

He had reportedly been in ill health in recent months.

The AP says:

"Foley became the first speaker since the Civil War to fail to win re-election in his home district.

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Politics
9:43 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Shutdown Nightmare's Over, Is Capitol Hill Still Dreaming?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later this hour, our Friday features, the Barbershop guys will be here and we'll meet a mother who says she and her husband did everything their conservative church asked of them, including campaign against same-sex marriage, until they realized their own son is gay. And she'll tell us how she's now trying to reconcile her love of her church with her love of her son. That's Faith Matters and that's coming up.

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