Politics

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.

Read more
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."

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Politics
3:06 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Majority Leader Reid Moves Senate Closer To 'Nuclear Option'

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:22 am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is preparing to push through contentious changes to filibuster rules, if Republicans do not agree to approve seven presidential nominations on Tuesday. Reid convened a closed meeting of all 100 senators Monday night to hash out the arguments ahead of the deadline.

It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Reid's Limited Senate Options Lead To 'Nuclear' Threat

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warns that if Republicans don't relent on filibusters, they will leave him no choice but to change the chamber's rules.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:23 pm

Sen. Harry Reid may sound a tad hypocritical to some for saying he now supports changing Senate rules in order to end the one that says 60 senators must approve before presidential nominations can get up or down votes. This comes only several years after he indicated he opposed changing the requirement to a simple 51-vote majority.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:45 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' Laws Under Scrutiny Post-Zimmerman Verdict

George Zimmerman (right) is congratulated by his defense team Saturday night after being found not guilty of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Gary W. Green AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 9:47 am

George Zimmerman's defense team didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" defense in winning his acquittal of murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

But the specter of the 2005 law loomed, inescapably, over the proceedings.

It was inevitable that the racially fraught trial would again catapult Florida's law — which extends protections for the use of deadly force far beyond the traditional bounds of one's home — as well as those in 21-plus states with similar self-defense measures into the nation's consciousness.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

President George H.W. Bush Honored At White House

Former President George H. W. Bush, in a wheelchair, as he was escorted into the East Room of the White House on Monday by President Obama.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush, who spent nearly two months in a Houston hospital during late 2012 and early 2013 for treatment of a variety of life-threatening illnesses, was hailed by President Obama at the White House on Monday.

Read more
It's All Politics
1:05 am
Mon July 15, 2013

In Second Term, Obama Takes Softer Tone Toward Bushes

President Obama applauds as former first lady Barbara Bush and former President George W. Bush help President George H.W. Bush stand at the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on April 25 in Dallas. Former first lady Laura Bush looks on.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:10 am

Former President George H.W. Bush will visit the White House on Monday, along with his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, to celebrate a milestone for Points of Light, a volunteer service organization that got its start during the first Bush administration.

During President Obama's first term, he didn't see much of the Bushes. He met with the former presidents — father, son or both — a total of just five times in four years.

Read more
Politics
3:52 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

New York Turns To Old Voting Machines For Upcoming Primary

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 4:54 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Now to New York State where there have been other election problems. Election officials there say it's taking too long to finalize race results using electronic machines. So they're going old school and bringing out those with mechanical levers. WNYC's Brigid Bergin has the story.

Read more
News
2:49 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

The Civil Rights Stand Of A Young Gerald Ford

President Gerald Ford finishes giving a speech on Jan. 13, 1975. Ford was born 100 years ago Sunday.
Marion S. Trikosko Courtesy of Library of Congress

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 4:54 pm

President Gerald R. Ford, the only American to serve as both vice president and president without ever being elected to either office, was born 100 years ago Sunday.

Ford will be remembered for his role in the turbulent post-Watergate era. But a little-known story from his college days might also serve to define Ford's character.

The Gerald Ford We Know

In 1973, Ford was a congressman from Grand Rapids, Mich., who had risen through the ranks to become House minority leader. In those days before C-SPAN, Ford was barely known to most Americans.

Read more
Law
2:49 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law Gets Its Day In Court

The Penndot Drivers License Center in Butler, Pa., displays signs promoting the requirement for voters to show an acceptable photo ID at the polls. On Monday, a judge will rule on the constitutionality of the state's controversial voter ID law.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 9:13 pm

Pennsylvania's voter ID law will be back in state court Monday after more than a year of legal limbo. A state judge will decide whether the 2012 law — which hasn't been enforced — violates the state's constitution.

The measure requires voters to show a particular state-issued photo ID before casting ballots. Last week, civil rights advocates like the NAACP's John Jordan railed against the requirement.

"It's a ploy to take votes away from people who deserve them — veterans, seniors, students, people with disabilities, people of color and hard-working folk," Jordan said.

Read more
News
12:30 am
Sun July 14, 2013

A Bipartisan Duo Takes Tax Pitch On The Road

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. left, and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., speak about overhauling tax policy to an audience at the 3M tech company on Monday.
Hannah Foslien AP

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 12:11 pm

Congress is setting up for a showdown this fall on the budget, the debt ceiling and possibly immigration.

But another item on the agenda hasn't been getting as much attention: changing tax policy. The chairmen of the two tax-writing committees have been working for years, holding hearings, releasing white papers, even hosting bipartisan tax chat lunches at a pub — often with little notice.

Dave Camp is a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Max Baucus is a Montana Democrat and leads the Senate Finance Committee.

Read more
Politics
3:16 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Week In News: Farm Bill Without The Food Stamps

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 4:39 pm

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed their version of the Farm Bill without the food stamp provision that's been a part of the bill for decades. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about why the two have been linked in the first place.

Politics
5:16 am
Sat July 13, 2013

If The IRS Targeted The Left, Too, Will The House Hear It?

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland is a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He's released documents that suggest that the IRS targeted progressives as well as Tea Party groups.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:43 am

The House Oversight Committee will hold its latest hearing next week into how the IRS handled the applications of groups seeking tax exempt status. The hearings have morphed from a scandal over the targeting of Tea Party groups into something broader.

It all started when a report from IRS Inspector General J. Russell George said groups with Tea Party in their name were targeted for extra scrutiny for possible political activity. When asked if progressive groups were also targeted, he said no.

Read more
Simon Says
3:47 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Retire The Phrase, 'This Wouldn't Be A Scandal In Europe'

Reporters swarm around former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as he attempts to collect signatures for his run for New York City comptroller.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 13, 2013 11:22 am

I hope we've heard the last of people saying, "This would never be a scandal in Europe." They usually mean "sex scandal," and by now I think Americans are entitled to boast that we've become as blase about politicians with their pants down — or, in the case of Anthony Weiner, pec-flexing with his shirt off — as Europeans like to think they are.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

'Illusioning Victory From Defeat': A Washington Story

New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer speaks at a news conference on gun legislation earlier this year.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:39 pm

At the end of another demoralizing and unproductive Washington week, it struck us that the messaging of failure is a very delicate business — for members of both flailing parties.

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's straight-faced characterization of the House GOP's rejection of his immigration bill as "encouraging" best illustrated the problem.

For nothing was hopeful and nobody was a winner in the nation's capital this week.

Read more
National Security
3:05 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano To Resign

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 4:19 pm

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is stepping down to take charge of the University of California system.

Business
10:45 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Does The Canadian Rail Explosion Make Pipelines Look Safer?

A police photograph shows burned and wrecked crude oil carrying rail tankers piled up in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on Monday. Dozens of people died in the disaster.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:48 am

When an oil-laden train derailed last weekend, it turned into an inferno that killed dozens in Lac-Megantic, a small town in Quebec.

This week, the Canadian tragedy is morphing into something very different. It is becoming Exhibit A in the political case for building pipelines — as well as for opposing them.

How could the same tragedy prove opposite points? Listen in to the debate:

Read more
It's All Politics
10:10 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Remembering A Scholar Who Reshaped States

For an academic, Alan Rosenthal had unusual political clout at the Capitol in New Jersey, his home state.
Tim Larsen AP

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 10:54 am

You've probably never heard of Alan Rosenthal, but few people have done more over the past half-century not only to describe state governments, but redefine how they operate.

Rosenthal, a longtime political scientist at Rutgers University and a giant in his field, died Wednesday at age 81, after battling cancer. He wrote nearly 20 books, but his value was not purely academic.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:43 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano Is Stepping Down

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:14 am

(Click here for latest updates.)

Saying the post has been "the highlight of my professional career," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday morning that she is stepping down to become president of the University of California.

Her statement followed a Reuters report that broke the news.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:44 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Top Democrat Says Documents Show IRS Also Targeted Liberals

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (right) speaks with the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings, during a hearing last month.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:04 am

Newly released documents appear to further undermine the idea that Tea Party groups were the only ones given extra scrutiny by the IRS for potential political activity.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:32 am
Fri July 12, 2013

VIDEO: 'I Need Help' San Diego Mayor Says

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

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:51 am

Read more
Politics
3:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Senate Democrats Fed Up With Filibusters On Nominations

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:29 am

Senate Democrats are once again threatening a rules change to allow President Obama to win approval for his executive branch appointments on a simple majority vote. Republicans complain that this strike against the filibuster is both unfair and a bad precedent.

Politics
3:42 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Some House Republicans Optimistic About Passing Immigration Reform

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

The prospects for a sweeping immigration overhaul dimmed as House Republican leaders said they would not take up a comprehensive bill passed by the Senate last month. Instead, they argued for a slower, step-by-step approach. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R, Fla.) tells Audie Cornish that he remains optimistic that the House can still pass a bill to fix the immigration system.

The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

House Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamps

House Speaker John Boehner discusses the farm bill vote at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

House Republicans have approved a farm bill sans food stamps, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the measure for the first time in 40 years.

The 216-208 vote was largely on party lines, with no Democrats supporting it. Twelve Republicans also voted against it.

The decision to cleave food stamps — formerly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, from the rest of the farm bill gives Republicans a victory after GOP lawmakers in the House turned down the full measure last month.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'A $34 Million Waste Of The Taxpayers' Money' In Afghanistan

Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
SIGAR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:22 pm

"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."

That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.

Read more
Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Resurrected Farm Bill Passes Without Food Stamps Component

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The farm bill is back. Three weeks ago, the House surprised Hill watchers when Democrats and Republicans alike voted against the bill. Well, today, they passed it - narrowly. In today's bill, though, a huge component was missing. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, House leaders stripped out the section of the bill that deals with food stamps.

Read more
Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Virginia Governor Mired In Controversy Over Gifts, Loans

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's already been a long summer for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. A steady stream of news reports have revealed gifts and loans he and his family accepted from a campaign donor, totaling some $145,000. McDonnell has been mentioned as a possible future presidential candidate, though with these revelations some now express doubt about his chances.

As NPR's Brian Naylor reports the trouble for McDonnell could also affect the Republican who hopes to succeed him in the governor's office.

Read more
Politics
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'Nuclear Option' Would End Filibusters For Appointments

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Senate Democrats appear so fed up enough by Republicans blocking President Obama's appointments that they are preparing to change Senate rules. The so-called "nuclear option" would end the use of the filibuster when it comes to appointments, dramatically diminishing the power of the minority party in the chamber.

Pages