Politics

Politics
3:12 am
Fri July 19, 2013

IRS Now Under Fire From Democrats, Too

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Washington, the man responsible for putting the IRS in the hot seat the last couple months found himself in the same harsh glare yesterday. The Treasury Department inspector general was grilled about which groups were flagged for extra scrutiny as they applied for tax exempt status. J. Russell George's reports focused on the targeting of Tea Party groups, but Democrats have released IRS documents showing liberal groups were also on watch lists. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, they want to know why his report didn't mention this.

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Shots - Health News
1:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking about the Affordable Care Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Obama argued that the law is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:13 am

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

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Business
1:20 am
Fri July 19, 2013

With Filibuster Deal, NLRB Could Soon Return To Full Force

The National Labor Relations Board building in downtown Washington.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

For decades after the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Board served as the arbiter for squabbles between management and unions, or workers who wanted to join a union. In more recent years, though, the board itself has become a battleground.

Democratic appointees to the NLRB have grown increasingly sympathetic to organized labor, while Republican appointees have grown increasingly hostile, says Harley Shaiken, who studies labor relations as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

GOP Won't Defend Ban On Veterans Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on June 29.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

House Republicans, who defended in court the Defense of Marriage Act only to see it struck down by the Supreme Court last month, have now decided not to try to defend a similar law that denies veterans' benefits to married, same-sex couples.

BuzzFeed, which broke the news Thursday of the GOP's decision, reports that:

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Health
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

State By State: How Health Law Will Affect Premiums

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In that speech today on the health care law, President Obama made a point of highlighting some good news the administration got yesterday.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: State officials in New York announced that average premiums for consumers who buy insurance in their new marketplace will be at least 50 percent lower next year than they are today. Think about that, 50 percent lower.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Obama Pushes Back Against Efforts To Undermine Health Law

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

President Obama gave a White House address Thursday, flanked by Americans now paying less for health insurance or receiving reimbursements from health insurers under Obamacare. It was a response to recent efforts by House Republicans to repeal or undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Politics
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

IRS Hearing Turns Tables With Auditor In The Hot Seat

Congress held yet another hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday. But unlike previous hearings, where the IRS took the brunt of the tough questions for flagging conservative groups, Thursday's hearing saw the auditor whose report sparked the whole proceedings get equally tough questions from Democrats. They accuse him of neglecting to point out that liberal groups received similar scrutiny. Audie Cornish gets the latest from NPR's Tamara Keith.

Politics
2:24 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Lawmakers Work To Finish Deal On Student Loan Rates

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:31 pm

A bipartisan group of senators announced a deal Thursday to protect college students from an interest rate hike on federal student loans. Those rates doubled on July 1, and lawmakers raced to forge an agreement before most students begin taking out loans for the new school year.

The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

EPA, Labor Nominees Confirmed

By 59-40 vote mostly along party lines, the Senate on Thursday afternoon confirmed Gina McCarthy as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

That followed a 54-46 vote early in the day to confirm Thomas Perez as Labor secretary.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

World's Biggest Virus May Have Ancient Roots

Pandoraviruses were discovered lurking in the mud of Chile and Australia, half a world apart.
courtesy of Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:14 am

Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.

In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.

"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.

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Politics
12:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

The United States Of Dynasty: Boom Times For Political Families

Liz Cheney walks off the stage with her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2010.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Another day, another political dynasty.

This latest one is taking shape in Wyoming, where Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced Tuesday that she's challenging incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary.

Her announcement is a fitting prelude to the next four years, when voters will witness America's political royalty in its full glory.

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Business
3:20 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Wall Street Poised For Bernanke's Senate Panel Testimony

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues his two-day monetary policy testimony on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, the chairman appeared before the House Financial Services Committee.

NPR Story
2:58 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Congress Takes Renewed Aim At Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 5:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For the first time since the housing crash, lawmakers are getting serious about dismantling the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were rescued with $190 million bailout. Two prominent senators - a Democrat and a Republican - have a bill that's attracting some bipartisan support. A separate Republican bill is being introduced in the House today and a third may soon come from Democrats. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

San Diego Mayor Faces More Calls To Resign

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in the video statement he released last week.
City of San Diego

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 6:11 pm

San Diego voters knew that Bob Filner could act like a jerk on occasion. But in 2012, they elected him mayor anyway.

Now, though, Filner's behavior may have crossed a threshold that few politicians can recover from.

The Democrat is facing numerous accusations of sexual harassment, and growing calls for him to step down from office.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Obama Could Declare An Immigration Amnesty, But ...

President Obama has enough problems with Congress without waving the red cape of a presidential amnesty to immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
Univision screen shot

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:07 pm

In an interview this week, Univision's Adriana Vargas asked President Obama if, in the event Congress failed to pass immigration legislation, he could simply use his presidential power to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million people currently in the U.S. illegally.

The president didn't exactly shut the door on that possibility, though he did strongly suggest it was a portal he'd rather not go through.

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

'We're Here To Stay' Says Newly Confirmed Consumer Watchdog

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Ron Sachs/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

One day after his two years in limbo ended and he was confirmed by the Senate as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray told NPR that though political bickering held up his nomination he now believes he has bipartisan support for the bureau's work.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Senate Revisits Voting Rights Act Following Court Ruling

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has held the first congressional hearing on how to resurrect the Voting Rights Act. That's after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law last month.

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Politics
2:09 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Liz Cheney Throws Down Challenge To Veteran Republican

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Liz Cheney's campaign to nudge veteran GOP Sen. Mike Enzi into retirement has become an official challenge to his re-nomination. Enzi, 69, has said he is seeking another term. Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the questions Cheney's campaign raises: Will he still run? And what implications does this have for Wyoming, for control of the Senate in 2015 and for women in the Republican Party in the long run?

It's All Politics
1:13 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Slow Ride To City Hall For Female Candidates

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, shown here at City Hall in September 2010, is a good bet for re-election.
Prentice Danner AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:36 pm

This is a big year for mayor's races. And it was supposed to be "the year of the woman" for mayoral candidates.

When 2013 began, there was a fair amount of hope that women could make up for their relatively measly representation in local offices nationwide by capturing the mayoralty in three of the nation's five largest cities.

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Politics
9:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

The Politics Of Abortion Rights And Restrictions

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 11:55 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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It's All Politics
8:44 am
Wed July 17, 2013

How To Make A Congressman Sweat

U.S. Rep. Mike Honda speaks during the City of Fremont Legislative Brunch at Tesla Motors in Fremont, Calif., in May.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 9:30 am

In January, most members of Congress were catching their breath after a long campaign. Not California Rep. Mike Honda.

Just two months after winning a landslide re-election victory, the veteran Democrat was already busy campaigning for 2014. By the end of February, he had a campaign team in place. And he had lined up endorsements from a list of national Democratic heavyweights, beginning with President Obama.

Why the hurry?

A potential Democratic opponent named Ro Khanna was eyeballing Honda's seat.

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Politics
2:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Senate Fails To Detonate 'Nuclear Option'

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

Democrats had been preparing to change Senate rules on filibusters to push through President Obama's nominations to executive branch positions. Republicans agreed to allow votes on five nominations, and Democrats agreed to replace two particularly contentious names with others.

Around the Nation
2:42 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Paul, Cruz Back Bill Changing Military Sexual Assault System

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 4:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And support is growing in Congress for a bill that to allow military prosecutors to decide whether or not to try serious military crimes, including sexual assault. That would take the decision out of the hands of commanders, commanders who are in a position of overseeing the careers of both the victims and the accused. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that two Republican senators and possible presidential hopefuls in 2016 are joining forces with Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

READ: The Theft Complaint Filed Against Bachmann Aide

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:11 am

Two envelopes filled with cash. A hidden camera. The office of a high-profile politician.

Sounds like a John Grisham novel.

The end result? Maybe not so dramatic.

As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us:

A now-former staffer for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has been arrested for allegedly stealing cash from the desk drawer of a co-worker.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Liz Cheney, Daughter Of Former VP, To Run For Senate

Liz Cheney in 2010.
Chris Usher CBS/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:55 am

Liz Cheney, the elder of former Vice President Dick Cheney's two daughters, a former State Department official and a conservative commentator who's often on Fox, is going to challenge Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi in next year's Republican primary.

According to The Associated Press, Cheney, 46, confirmed what had been wide speculation about her plans on Tuesday — not long after the 69-year-old Enzi said that he will seek a fourth term.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, at a news conference Tuesday with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas (right) and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul and Cruz have endorsed Gillibrand's bill regarding sexual assault in the military.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 3:29 pm

On most recent days, nothing that wasn't bitterly partisan has seemed possible in the nation's capital.

On Tuesday, the city got its exception.

Republican Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas stood with liberal Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, endorsing her bill that would dramatically change how military sexual assault cases are reported and prosecuted.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Senate Democrats Back Off 'Nuclear Option' To End Filibusters

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Senate went to the brink of the so-called nuclear option but then, today, dialed it back. Senators struck a last minute deal in their fight over President Obama's nominations. Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid had threatened a rules change. It would've stripped the Republican minority of their ability to filibuster executive branch nominations. The deal reached this morning diffuses that threat, at least for now.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Investigation Reveals A Military Payroll Rife With Glitches

Scot Paltrow is a special enterprise correspondent for Reuters.
Reuters

A new investigative report from Reuters says payroll errors in the military are widespread. And that "once mistakes are detected, getting them corrected — or just explained — can test even the most persistent soldiers."

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

3 Reasons The Senate Didn't Go Nuclear

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was credited by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with playing a crucial role in the filibuster pact.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:55 pm

With Tuesday's bipartisan agreement to let senators vote on seven of President Obama's previously stalled nominations, the Senate proved that the art of compromise isn't dead in Washington, even if it might be severely wounded.

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NPR Story
10:07 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Will 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Stand Up To Scrutiny?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program we will speak with our money coach Alvin Hall about why you cannot take a break from watching your finances, no matter how hot it is. He'll have tips for a mid-year financial check-in. That's later in the program.

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