Politics

Politics
2:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

An Insider's View Of The Debt Ceiling And Shutdown Talks

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So what is going on behind closed doors? Just how do these top-level congressional talks work? We're going to get some inside dope now from a former insider, Jim Manley who was a top adviser to Senator majority leader Harry Reid and, before that, press secretary to Senator Ted Kennedy. Jim Manley, welcome.

JIM MANLEY: Thank you very much.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar On Monday's Hill Negotiations

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Melissa Block spoke with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., about Senate negotiations on the debt ceiling and partial federal government shutdown.

Politics
2:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Optimism, But Still No Debt Deal, On Capitol Hill

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

President Obama says he's hoping for a new spirit of cooperation to end the two-week old government shutdown and avoid a crippling default. And there are some encouraging signs this afternoon. Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate say they're optimistic a deal can be reached soon. The President had summoned congressional leaders to the White House this afternoon, but that meeting was postponed to allow more time for talks to continue on Capitol Hill.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Rep. Cole: Shutting Down Government Was Not A Good Tactic

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm joined now by Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma. He's also House deputy whip, one of those who counts and cajoles fellow Republicans ahead of a vote. Congressman Cole, welcome to the program.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM COLE: It's great to be with you.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

More Negotiations, Still No Deal, On Shutdown, Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. Both the House and the Senate were in session today as the country closes in on the debt ceiling deadline. If Congress doesn't raise the debt limit before Thursday, the White House says the country will likely begin defaulting on its obligations. President Obama postponed a meeting with congressional leaders this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Reid And McConnell Cite 'Progress' As Default Deadline Looms

Still Right Twice A Day: Visitors look at the Ohio Clock outside the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill Sunday. The clock that has stood watch over the Senate for 196 years stopped running shortly after noon Wednesday. Employees who wind the clock weekly were furloughed in the federal shutdown.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 4:34 pm

This post was last updated at 6:10 p.m. ET.

The House and Senate were in session on Columbus Day, the 14th day of the federal government shutdown. A meeting that had been arranged between President Obama, Vice President Biden and the four main leaders of Congress was postponed, as the White House cited the progress being made in negotiations.

The latest word of a possible deal calls for raising the federal debt limit through Feb. 15 and funding a return to work for the government through Jan. 15. We'll update this post as more news comes in.

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Analysis
2:21 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown In Day 14, Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 2:43 am

Congress and the White House continue to work through the twin fiscal crises of funding for the federal government and the debt ceiling. Steve Inskeep and David Greene explore the dimensions of this massive political drama with Cokie Roberts, who weighs in on political topics most Mondays on Morning Edition, Robert Costa of the National Review, who's been following developments on Capitol Hill, and Terence Samuel of The Washington Post, who has been following public attitudes nationally.

Politics
1:23 am
Mon October 14, 2013

How The Debt Limit Became 'A Nuclear-Tipped Leverage Point'

Congress set a limit on how much debt the U.S. Treasury could accrue back in 1917.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:14 pm

Political battles over the debt limit have been around nearly as long as the law passed by Congress in 1917 that set a statutory limit for how much debt the Treasury could accrue.

Since then, Congress has had to increase that limit on more than 100 occasions — and 40 of those times, lawmakers have tried to tie strings to raising the debt ceiling. In the last few years, though, there's been a marked escalation in those demands.

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Animals
3:53 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Birds Of A Feather Spy Together

AFP/ Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 4:12 pm

The scene: Two men in a chilly Soviet apartment converse in whispers, careful to protect their plans from enemy ears. Little do they know, the benign-looking raven outside their window is not merely a city scavenger hunting for food, but a spy for the U.S. government.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Sequester Emerges Anew In Senate Shutdown Debate

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), left, seen here speaking with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in an elevator Sunday, says that undoing the sequester cuts is "one of the sticking points" in budget talks. Congress is struggling to find a solution to end the government shutdown, now in its thirteenth day.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 4:15 pm

The federal government shutdown is in its 13th day, with little sign of a budget deal that could win the approval of both houses of Congress, as well as the White House. The debate now includes efforts to avoid a default if the government's debt limit isn't raised by Thursday.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Barriers Breached At World War II Memorial On Mall

A crowd gathers at the World War II Memorial to call for reopening national memorials closed by the government shutdown. The rally drew support from military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:52 pm

A crowd of demonstrators converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday morning, protesting the government shutdown that has included blocking full access to monuments in Washington.

The "Million Vet March," protest was organized by groups including the Brats for Veterans Advocacy, which called on military veterans and others to march against the barricading of the memorial, which its website calls "a despicable act of cowardice."

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Politics
5:49 am
Sun October 13, 2013

How To Be A 'Super Forecaster'

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 6:47 am

Experts and pundits' predictions of the future aren't particularly accurate, according to University of Pennsylvania professor Philip Tetlock. He tells host Rachel Martin that making accurate predictions might be a trainable skill.

Politics
5:49 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Senators Hunt For Budget Agreement

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 6:47 am

Deal or no deal? That's the question in American politics right now as the shutdown drags on and the debt ceiling looms. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's political correspondent Mara Liasson.

It's All Politics
3:41 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Senate Gets A Dose Of Scolding With Its Morning Prayer

Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black has been using his morning prayer to express his displeasure with political gridlock.
Drew Angerer AP

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:21 pm

It's easy to tune out when the Senate goes through its morning rituals. The president pro tem calls the chamber to order; there's the Pledge of Allegiance. One morning could sound like any other.

Except for the past two weeks. Barry C. Black, the Senate chaplain, has been using his morning prayers to say exactly what he thinks is wrong with Washington lawmakers: "Remove from them that stubborn pride, which imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism."

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Visit Obama; Boehner Says Talks Are Over

Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves after discussing the government shutdown with his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill Saturday. Boehner reportedly told his colleagues that talks with the White House had ended without a deal.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:02 pm

President Obama hosted the Senate's leading Democrats at the White House for more than an hour Saturday afternoon, in a session that came the same day that Majority Leader Harry Reid met with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

No details were available about the Democrats' discussion, which is one of several lines of communication that are aimed at reaching consensus on a budget deal. Earlier Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House were over, after the president rejected the GOP's most recent plan.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Grand Canyon And Other National Parks Reopen, On States' Dime

Tourists stop on the roadside near Mount Rushmore, after their visit was canceled due to the government shutdown. South Dakota and other states have reached an agreement to fund operations to reopen the parks.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Thanks to agreements between the Department of the Interior and several states, a dozen popular national parks are open again, at least temporarily. The parks range from the Statue of Liberty to the Grand Canyon; the states are paying to keep them open for up to 10 days.

State officials say it's particularly important to have the parks open during the Columbus Day holiday weekend. National Park Service employees began opening some facilities Friday; others will reopen today or Monday.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Kerry And Karzai Meet To Discuss U.S. Presence In Afghanistan

Ahead of an expected — and repeatedly delayed — news conference, an Afghan worker leaves the area where Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai were expected to speak Saturday in Kabul.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:12 am

The U.S. desire to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan is the subject of talks today in Kabul, where Secretary of State John Kerry is in prolonged discussions with President Hamid Karzai. Most of the U.S. troops would continue training Afghan forces, while another contingent works against terrorist groups.

As for how many Americans would be posted to Afghanistan, NPR's Sean Carberry says a precise number hasn't emerged, but he adds that "through conversations and comments by military officials, the range is about 5,000 to 10,000."

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Tea Party Leaders Unwilling To Rebrand

Polls show the Republican Party is taking the biggest hit politically for the government shutdown, and leaders are wondering how to appeal to more diverse voters nationwide. But Tea Party leaders are holding the line on the shutdown, and have no interest in muting their message. Host Scott Simon talks with political correspondent Don Gonyea about the strategy crisis for Republicans.

Politics
6:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Obamacare Drops Off The Shutdown Script

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Both the Senate and the House are meeting today for the second Saturday in a row. It's Day 12 of the government shutdown and Republican lawmakers are so far getting much of the blame for the lapse in federal funding that caused the shutdown. But they appear to have dropped their central demand of the budget standoff, a dismantling or delay of the Affordable Care Act. NPR's David Welna reports.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Shutdown's Reach Extends To South Pole

Research season was just getting started when the government shutdown put McMurdo Station into "caretaker" mode, halting data collection. Host Scott Simon speaks to Gretchen Hofmann, a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, about the government shutdown's impact on research in Antarctica.

Economy
6:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

To The Debt Limit And Beyond

Will the bottom fall out of the economy on Oct. 17 if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling? New York Times columnist Joe Nocera talks to Weekend Edition Sunday host Scott Simon about what the extended government shutdown and the debt limit could mean for our economy.

Politics
6:05 am
Sat October 12, 2013

D.C. To IMF: 'Welcome To Crazy Town'

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are holding their annual meeting this week. That means top finance officials and economists from all over the world are in Washington, D.C., during a display of brinksmanship from members of Congress.

Politics
5:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Some In Congress Have Behaved Badly From The Start

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 7:59 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The shutdown of the U.S. government has sparked lots of finger-pointing and name calling in Congress. But our friend A.J. Jacobs says this is hardly the nastiest dispute in the history of our democracy. A.J., an editor-at-large at Esquire Magazine - until they come to their senses - joins us now from New York. A.J., thanks so much for being with us.

A.J. JACOBS: Thank you for having me.

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Politics
5:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

D.C. Tourists Shell Out Admission Fees Amid Shutdown

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 6:05 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The government shutdown is now entering its second week. That's left many lawmakers with little to do and many tourists in Washington, D.C. wandering wanly through the streets of the city, wondering how to spend their pre-planned vacations. NPR's Alan Yu checks in with some of them.

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It's All Politics
4:01 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Would The U.S. Be Better Off With A Parliament?

A view of the German Bundestag, or federal Parliament, in Berlin.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 1:31 pm

There are many reasons for the gridlock in Washington. Some are recent developments, as the U.S. becomes more politically polarized. Others are structural, built into the American political system.

Regardless, the extreme paralysis that has recently become the norm in D.C. almost never happens in Western European democracies.

"You're asking: Do other democracies have this problem? And the answer is: Not many," says Jane Mansbridge, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

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It's All Politics
4:57 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Worst Since Nixon? Report Slams White House Leak Policy

President Obama arrives to make a statement to the press at the White House.
Charles Dharapak AP

The most open and transparent administration in history? That's not how some veteran members of the press see it.

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Business
3:42 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

At Global Gathering, Many Worry About U.S. Strength

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began Thursday in Washington amid a partial government shutdown. Many delegates are concerned that the U.S. budget impasse may threaten global economic stability.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:19 am

When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.

This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Takes A Toll On GOP In Virginia Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

With the government shutdown now in its 11th day, polls show that voters think Republicans bear the biggest share of the blame.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Virginia — a state that's home to some 172,000 federal civilian workers and where federal spending is a big part of the economy. In the race to be Virginia's next governor, GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli is falling in the polls.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Message To Congress In One Georgia District: Don't Back Down

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Both sides have gone to great lengths to make one thing clear, while they're talking, they're not yet compromising. That's because many lawmakers don't want to. For House members backed by the Tea Party who come from strongly Republican districts support is high for taking a hard line.

NPR's Don Gonyea visited one district this week. It's in the northwest corner of Georgia, and it's home to Congressman Tom Graves. He was elected in 2010 and has helped lead the movement to defund the health care law.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hope For Solution As Obama, Boehner Agree To Keep Talking

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The government is still shut down. And the debt ceiling still needs to be raised or the country may not be able to pay all of its bills after next week. And how either of those issues is resolved remains unclear. But as NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith reports, there has been some movement.

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