Virginia Republican Scott Rigell was elected to the House of Republicans in the Tea Party wave of 2010, but in recent days, he's argued for compromise. When I reached Congressman Rigell earlier today, he was already certain how he'd vote on this Senate deal.
The government shutdown should end tonight and America should be able to pay its bills. Both the House and Senate will vote this evening on legislation to achieve those goals. For months, President Obama has said he would not negotiate with Republicans in Congress about Obamacare or the federal deficit until those goals were met. After weeks of stalemate and more than two weeks into a partial shut down of the federal government, the GOP met his demands.
On Wednesday, the stock market cheered the debt ceiling deal in Congress. The Dow gained 206 points and all the major indexes closed higher.
Investors of course have been watching the showdown in Washington very closely, since a default could have been a global financial disaster. At the same time, economists are trying to figure out how much the jitters and uncertainty over all this has been hurting the economy.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:40 pm
Since the start of the fiscal standoff that led to a government shutdown and a flirtation with a historic debt default, Democrats have been led by the tag team of President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
At times, their tactics resembled the good cop, bad cop routine where one officer offers the suspect a cup of coffee and the other smacks it from the suspect's lips. Reid, of course, is the smacker.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
Hours before a deadline to extend the federal debt limit, the stock market seems kind of comfortable. The Dow Jones Industrials are actually up this morning, amid some hope that Congress may agree on a measure to avoid default and also reopen the federal government.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll meet two award-winning photojournalists being honored in a new National Geographic exhibition, "Women of Vision." They'll share their stories from the field, and they'll talk about how why being a woman can sometimes be an advantage in war zones as well as a liability. That's coming up.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 11:37 am
New Jersey voters are choosing a new member of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, in a special election pitting Newark Mayor Cory Booker against Steve Lonegan.
Democrat Booker is favored in the polls to win the race to fill the vacancy left by the death of Frank Lautenberg in June. However, his Republican opponent, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota, has managed to close the gap a bit in the run-up to election day.
Among the bargaining chips in the budget crisis on Capitol Hill, there's the small but persistent issue of taxing medical device manufacturers.
The 2.3 percent sales tax covers everything from MRI machines to replacement hips and maybe even surgical gloves. The tax was imposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act. It didn't attract much attention at first — at least, not outside the world of medical device manufacturers.
But they have waged a persistent campaign to undo the tax, and right now is the closest they have come to succeeding.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:03 pm
It's one of the oldest axioms in politics: Voters always say they want to "throw the bums out," except when it comes to their own representative. That's why the re-election rate for House members is typically over 90 percent.
Heading into the 2014 midterms, that long-standing rule appears to be holding true. But against the backdrop of the federal government shutdown, a potential default and general dysfunction in Washington, there are signs it's reaching a straining point.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:14 am
The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.
To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.
The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.
New Jersey will choose a new U.S. Senator Wednesday. Pundits thought Newark Mayor Cory Booker would win it easily, but the Democratic Party's rising star is facing a tougher than expected challenge from Tea Party Republican Steve Lonegan — a sign of the Tea Party's growing stature in deep blue New Jersey.
The president hosted Democratic congressional leaders Tuesday afternoon to discuss the ongoing government shut down and threat that the U.S. could breach the debt ceiling. Earlier in the day, a House GOP plan to end the dual crisis fell apart.
With the threat of defaulting on the nation's obligations now possibly just two days off, the focus shifted back to the House, where Speaker John Boehner called a caucus meeting to sell his plan — and then quickly had to downplay the idea that he even had a plan. The Senate, meanwhile, slowed things down to see if Boehner could pass anything at all.
Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:12 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
NPR's business news begins with the latest on the deadlock here in Washington.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: We've been following the story all this hour: House Republicans have been expected to announce their own plan to end the partial government shutdown and avert a default on the national debt. But House Speaker John Boehner came to the microphones a short while ago and kept things very vague.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might've been hearing the name Malala Yousafzai. She is the Pakistani teenager who was shot at point-blank range by Taliban extremists a year ago because she dared to speak up about her desire to go to school. She has made a remarkable recovery. She is in the U.S. now. I spoke with her a few days ago and we'll bring you a portion of that conversation a little later in the program.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:52 am
Good morning from Washington, D.C., your nation's capital, where we are now into Day 15 of your government's shutdown and counting down to your government's looming default on its debt.
Yes, we all wish we were still in bed with the pillow over our head. (Even, we imagine, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told The Wall Street Journal that military readiness is being damaged by the budget standoff.)
Dire? There is little argument, except from the most ardent default-is-no-big-deal fringe.
Steve Inskeep talks to Jonathan Chait, a commentator for New York magazine about how liberals are viewing the current budget negotiations in Congress, and if they might be willing to compromise on a deal.
With the debt ceiling deadline looming just two days away, Senate leaders say they're close to a deal that would reopen the government and avert default. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been leading bipartisan talks on a way out of the deadlock. Even if a bipartisan agreement clears the Senate, it will likely be a hard sell to House Republicans.
Crabbing season starts today in Alaska, well, except it doesn't. Crabbers and their boats are stuck in port because they can't get the permits that they need to begin their work. Federal workers who issue those permits are off the job because of the partial government shutdown and this is cutting into the short three month Alaska crab season, which is worth upwards of $200 million for the crabbers alone.
The U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue of affirmative action again Tuesday, but this time the question is not whether race may be considered as a factor in college admissions. Instead, this case tests whether voters can ban affirmative action programs through a referendum.