It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. This is likely the last day the Senate will be in session until mid-September. Tomorrow members of the House will lave town as well. They're heading out for their August recess with none of the frantic legislative scrambles and deal making that typically end a summer session. Instead, lawmakers seem to be saving their strength for epic battles when they get back. Here's NPR's David Welna.
Back in the day, when Anthony Weiner was still a youthful Democratic representative from Brooklyn, before the dirty texts and the penis photos chased him from Washington, before his scrabbling, sinking campaign for New York City mayor, he strove to emulate his predecessor.
Congressional Republicans are accusing the IRS of dodging their questions and requests for documents in the inquiry into the flagging of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status. One House committee warns the agency it could use its investigative powers to enforce compliance. And a second committee says it now has proof that conservative groups were treated worse than progressive groups.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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President Obama rarely visits Capitol Hill, but today, he traveled down Pennsylvania Avenue to meet with House and Senate Democrats. He wanted to rally their support on a range of issues before Congress sets off on its long August recess. NPR congressional reporter Ailsa Chang joins us from the Capitol. And, Ailsa, meeting just with Democrats, no Republicans this time.
Friday is the last day before the 113th Congress scatters for their summer recess. And what has it accomplished so far? Almost nothing, says New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman. As he points out in a recent article:
On October 1st, online health insurance exchanges open up as part of the Affordable Care Act. Kaiser Health News' Mary Agnes Carey speaks to host Michel Martin about what will change, and how you can prepare for the roll-out.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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President Obama is offering Congress what he describes as a grand bargain on corporate taxes. He laid out the terms in Chattanooga, Tennessee yesterday on the latest stop of his national economic speaking tour.
With a public battle between two likely Republican presidential contenders, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and a private meeting between possible Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, it feels like 2016 is just around the corner. The two parties are already aligning themselves for a presidential race that's still three years away.
Big Money often gets what it wants in Washington. But not always.
In few policy debates is that more true than in the proposed overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.
The big donors and corporate leaders of the Republican establishment mostly favor remaking U.S. immigration laws to give those now here illegally an eventual door to citizenship and to increase the annual quota for guest workers.
Liz Cheney's decision to move to deep red Wyoming and launch what promises to be an expensive primary challenge against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi continues to baffle.
And it's not just pollsters — whose early surveys show her trailing the popular Enzi badly in a state where an overwhelming majority of voters say they don't view her as a "Wyomingite" — who are scratching their heads.
Despite mounting pressure from rivals and even former supporters, Anthony Weiner is giving no indication that he'll drop out of New York City's race for mayor. Recent events — including a Quinnipiac poll showing that a majority of New York City voters want him to make a quick exit — have made his uphill battle even steeper.
We turn now to the debate about Detroit. It's been almost two weeks since Detroit became the largest municipality to file for bankruptcy in this country, but the debate on why it happened and what lessons, if any, other cities in the country can learn from it are still going on.
Let's turn now to Congress and the way some lawmakers want to rein in government surveillance programs. There was a vote last week, it was defeated. Despite that, critics of the surveillance program say they plan to keep trying. Some proposals call for minor tweaks, others go much further and could lead to major reforms of the secret surveillance court.
NPR's Larry Abrahamson looks at what might be ahead.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
When a New York state senator was recently taken into custody for embezzlement, he was the 32nd politician in that state to be indicted or convicted in the last seven years. And there's a new theory that explains corruption in state governments.
NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, who joins us often at MORNING EDITION, is back with us. Hey, Shankar.
American attitudes towards abortion reflects strong regional differences in opinion, and a new poll shows that divide seems to be growing. For more on what Americans have to say about abortion, we're joined now by Michael Dimock. He's the director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which conducted the survey. Good morning.
President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Monday for a private lunch that immediately sparked speculation about what it means for the 2016 presidential race.
The visit marked at least the second time the two have met privately since Clinton left the State Department earlier this year. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, met with Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for a private White House dinner in March.
Tammy Spencer did a double take when she read the address on her paper and looked at the house in front of her.
Spencer, a volunteer with the nonprofit Enroll America, was spending a hot and humid Saturday morning knocking on doors in Boca Raton, a mostly posh South Florida city, looking for people without health coverage. She wanted to let them know about new online insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1.
As you heard, North Carolina's legislature has passed some tighter voting restrictions. But that's just one of the issues that's been driving Moral Mondays. Moral Mondays is a series of demonstrations by religious and progressive activists taking place at North Carolina's state capital.
The man in charge of Anthony Weiner's campaign is stepping aside in the wake of new revelations that the candidate exchanged lewd online messages with several women. But Weiner says he's staying in the race to become mayor of New York.
Danny Kedem, who joined Weiner's campaign in early spring, resigned over the weekend, the candidate said on Sunday.
"We have an amazing staff, but this isn't about the people working on the campaign. It's about the people we're campaigning for," Weiner said after speaking at a Brooklyn church, according to The Associated Press.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the debt ceiling needs to be raised, but without another economically damaging partisan fight.
In a series of interviews on the Sunday morning political talk shows, Lew said Congress needs to lift the "cloud of uncertainty" over the nation's finances and raise the limit before it fully expires on Sept. 30.
"The fight over the debt limit in 2011 hurt the economy, even though, in the end, we saw an extension of the debt limit," the secretary said on NBC's Meet The Press.
The GOP has tried to bolster the number of women on Capitol Hill, as well. This week, the National Republican Committee launched Project Grow. It's aimed at recruiting, mentoring, and electing more Republican women into office - federal, state and local. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee's 7th District, joins us from City Hall in Fairview, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
Welcome to you and thanks so much for joining us.
REPRESENTATIVE MARSHA BLACKBURN: Oh, I'm delighted to be with you. Thank you.