Politics

Business
2:57 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S.-Foreign Mergers Raise Calls For Tax Reforms

Medtronic Chairman Omar Ishrak said the $43 billion merger with Covidien isn't just about cutting taxes — it makes business sense.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

This week the big medical device company Medtronic said it was moving its legal headquarters from Minneapolis to Ireland. It's part of a $43 billion merger with another medical company, Dublin-based Covidien.

The move is a tax-saving strategy called an inversion and it's growing more common in the corporate world.

U.S. companies make huge amounts of money overseas every year and much of it stays there, stashed away in foreign accounts.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Twisty Miss. Primary May Mean End Of Road For Longtime Senator

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. Next week, voters in Mississippi once again go to the polls; this time in the runoff for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Six-term incumbent Thad Cochran remains locked in a tight race against challenger Chris McDaniel, a Tea-Party-backed State Senator. It is seen as a referendum on whether the GOP establishment can beat back Tea Party fervor. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

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Energy
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Ohio Rolls Back Renewable Energy Standards

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Many states around the U.S. have adopted policies that encourage the development of renewable energy. Lately, though, there's been a major push nationwide for states to repeal those policies. As Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports, Ohio appears to be the first state to temporarily halt some of their standards for utilities.

Politics
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

IRS Chief Tangles With Lawmakers Over Missing Emails

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. On Capitol Hill today, the House Ways & Means Committee drilled down on one question - what happened to Lois Lerner's e-mails? Lerner is the former official who was at the center of an IRS controversy last year. She oversaw agents who investigated advocacy groups and delayed the applications for tax except status. Conservatives say their groups were unfairly targeted. NPR's Peter Overby was at today's hearing, and he filed this report.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

VA Bill Was An Easy Sell, But Some Senators Still Feel Sticker Shock

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

No politician wants to be seen voting against veterans. A recent bill to increase veterans' benefits and overhaul much of the VA sailed through the Senate, and now the House is working on a compromise to get it to the president. Despite to the momentum, one thing caught lawmakers in both parties by surprise this week - the bill's cost. NPR's Laura Sullivan reports.

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Commentary
2:20 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Week In Politics: Military In Iraq And Leadership On The Hill

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We're going to stand subject of Iraq star Friday political commentators, columnists David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne Washington Post and the Brookings Institution, who joins us from New York this week. Hello guys.

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

SIEGEL: And as we just heard, President Obama, who ran against the war in Iraq and pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq, announced that he is a few hundred advisers there. And when he did so, he was careful to point out what they won't do.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

U.S. To Open Immigrant Family Detention Centers In Response To Influx

Young migrants seen apprehended by the Border Patrol near the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, TX, earlier this year. The next stop for many is either a detention center or deportation.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:40 pm

Citing a rise in the number of children and families attempting to immigrate into the Southwestern U.S. illegally, the Obama administration says it will use new detention facilities to house the families.

The administration says it will boost enforcement efforts and speed up removal proceedings. And it will try to dispel a notion among some migrants that current U.S. policies allow them to enter the country illegally.

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Politics
10:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Obama On Iraq: Defense Strategy Or Political Compromise?

President Obama announced that he's prepared to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq. Analysts join guest host Audie Cornish to discuss some of the biggest political stories of the week.

The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Married Same-Sex Couples To Receive More Federal Benefits

The Obama administration is set to announce expanded federal benefits for same-sex spouses, no matter what state they live in. On Thursday, demonstrators supporting same-sex marriage marched in front of the Supreme Court.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:31 pm

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

The Family Medical Leave Act's benefits will be extend to married same-sex couples in all of the U.S., under a White House announced today. The change comes as the Obama administration alters federal policies to fit the Supreme Court's repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

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Politics
4:22 am
Fri June 20, 2014

GOP: McCarthy Voted Majority Leader; Scalise Chosen As Whip

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

House Republicans have elected a new majority leader. As expected, Kevin McCarthy of California, currently the third-ranked Republican in the House, easily prevailed. And Steve Scalise of Louisiana won the fight to replace McCarthy as majority whip. The leadership shuffle followed last week's unexpected primary defeat of the previous majority leader, Eric Cantor. NPR's Ailsa Chang takes a look at the frenzied, 10-day contest to fill the newly vacated positions.

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Iraq
4:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Political Solution Needed In Iraq, Obama Says

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 5:29 am

President Obama is sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to gather intelligence on the insurgency. He was adamant there will be no American combat operations on the ground in Iraq.

It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans' Top Leadership Gets A Red-State Member

Newly elected House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana (left) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speak to the media following the House Republican leadership elections on Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:09 pm

House Republicans, whose voter strength can be disproportionately found in the red states of the South and Mountain West, have once again elected a majority leader from a state that voted twice for President Obama. But the race for majority whip was won by a red-state representative who made the case for regional diversity in Republican leadership.

Hailing from California, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy replaces Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, whose surprising primary loss to a political newcomer set the stage for Thursday's leadership elections.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

GOP Completes Leadership Shuffle, As McCarthy And Scalise Step Up

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:12 pm

House Republicans voted Thursday on leadership positions in the party's caucus. While House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy stepped up to the role of majority leader, Rep. Steve Scalise overcame a more crowded competition to replace McCarthy.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House GOP Picks McCarthy For Majority Leader; Scalise Gets Whip

Kevin McCarthy of Calif. arrives with his GOP House allies for leadership elections on Thursday. McCarthy won his bid to replace outgoing Rep. Eric Cantor as the party's majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:14 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been chosen by House Republicans to be their next majority leader, taking the place of Rep. Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning primary upset earlier this month. Louisiana's Rep. Steve Scalise has been selected to fill the majority whip post left vacant by McCarthy's promotion.

McCarthy defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative with close ties to the Tea Party, in a secret ballot for the position.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Accused Of Illegal Fundraising

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks in Milwaukee in May. Newly released documents show prosecutors are alleging Walker was at the center of a nationwide "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate with outside conservative groups.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:28 pm

Prosecutors believe that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups in violation of state law.

The Associated Press reports that "documents were filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the probe by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth. They were ordered publicly released Thursday by a federal appeals court judge after prosecutors and the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object."

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama: U.S. Forces Won't Return To Combat In Iraq Crisis

President Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House Thursday. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq — but that U.S. forces won't engage in combat with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:56 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict — and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

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It's All Politics
11:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

As More Latinos Drop Religion, Should GOP Be Extra Worried?

Catching up with a national trend, more Hispanics say they are not affiliated with a particular religion — a shift that could make the gap between Latinos and Republicans even wider.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:07 pm

A big deal has been made about the Republican Party's so-called Hispanic problem during recent U.S. election cycles. But there's another group — largely white and male — that has also struggled to increase the number of Latinos in its ranks: America's religiously unaffiliated. Until recently, that is.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans To Vote On Cantor's Replacement Today

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 10:43 am

Republicans will vote by secret ballot today in the House of Representatives, as they choose a new majority leader and majority whip to lead them. Rep. Eric Cantor is stepping down from his No. 2 spot, after losing a primary contest earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Only 7 Percent Of Americans Are Big Fans Of Congress

Only 7 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:30 am

The amount of confidence Americans have in Congress has hit a new low. Only 7 percent of the people polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislature as an American institution.

The rock-bottom level of confidence in Congress "is not only the lowest on record," the polling company says, "but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits."

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Politics
3:16 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Rep. McCarthy, Possible Cantor Successor, Walks Fine Line On Immigration

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

House Republicans are to pick a new majority leader Thursday, following Eric Cantor's primary defeat. The favorite is Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, whose district is more than a third Latino.

NPR Story
3:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Speechwriters Deliberately Use Rhythm To Help Make Their Point

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:50 am

President Obama's biggest speeches have a musicality to them. That's not an accident. His speechwriters obsess over rhythm and cadence.

It's All Politics
3:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

NPR Poll: In Senate Battleground States, Obama Ratings Lag

NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:30 am

In the key battleground states that will decide control of the Senate this November, President Obama's approval numbers are lower than they are nationally — but not much lower.

That's the key finding in a new poll, conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, that sampled likely voters for NPR.

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It's All Politics
4:44 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Iraq's Meltdown Troubles U.S. Political Waters

Before talking about the situation in Iraq, President Obama bantered with (from left to right) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:25 pm

Iraq has a long history of roiling American politics. And that doesn't appear about to change anytime soon.

With the Shiite-led Iraqi government losing control of large parts of its country to the Sunni extremist group known as ISIS, the question of who lost Iraq is starting to reverberate through Washington the way "who lost Vietnam" and "who lost China" did in earlier eras.

That all of this is happening during a midterm election stirs even more politics into the mix than if the current violence and ISIS inroads had occurred last year.

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Business
2:22 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

GM Chief Makes A Return Trip To The Hill, Where A Grilling Awaits

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced another grueling hearing on Capitol Hill, two weeks after a critical internal report blasted the company's handling of defective ignition switches as incompetent. GM has recalled 20 million vehicles already this year and has set aside $700 million to cover repairs related to the recall.

Iraq
2:22 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

The Specter Of Iraq Haunts The Political Life Of Barack Obama

President Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., in December 2011.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:08 pm

Iraq has long played a major role in President Obama's political life, going back to his earliest days as an Illinois state senator barely known outside of his Chicago district.

Obama's early anti-Iraq war stand would become a centerpiece of his first run for the White House, but it's since been a persistent crisis that's been his to manage, despite his every effort to put it behind him.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

In Race To Replace Cantor, Southern Republicans See Opportunity

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California leaves a Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:03 pm

If today's Republican Party can be said to have a center of gravity, it's in the South.

The states that made up the Confederacy account for less than a third of the country's total population, yet in the 2012 election they gave Republicans close to half of their membership in the House and accounted for nearly 60 percent of Mitt Romney's electoral votes.

But in House leadership? There, the South has been underrepresented.

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Politics
4:14 am
Wed June 18, 2014

House Republican Conference To Choose Cantor's Successor

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:09 am

The House Republican Conference on Thursday will chose a new majority leader, who will succeed Eric Cantor at the end of the month. Cantor is stepping down after losing last week's primary.

It's All Politics
3:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Suspect's Capture Doesn't Arrest Benghazi Suspicions

During a visit to Pittsburgh Tuesday, President Obama comments on the capture of a Libyan militant suspected of the 2012 killings of four Americans in Benghazi.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 3:33 pm

Does the capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a key suspect in the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks, alter the political polarity of the episode?

If so, the change wasn't immediately apparent.

While Republicans said Tuesday they welcomed the news, they also made clear that their suspicions toward President Obama on all things Benghazi were far from assuaged.

Indeed, what appeared to happen was that Khatallah's apprehension added to — rather than subtracted from — the GOP points of contention with the Obama administration.

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Politics
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Lightning-Fast Trades Go Beneath The Congressional Microscope

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:33 pm

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is holding a hearing on problems in the financial markets caused by high-frequency trading firms.

Politics
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The Would-Be Ambassador To Norway Who Has Never Been There Himself

George Tsunis, the Obama administration's nominee for ambassador to Norway, at his January confirmation hearing.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:41 am

It wasn't expected to be a controversial nomination. After all, ambassador to Norway isn't a very high-profile position.

But the nomination of George Tsunis, a major fundraiser for President Obama and other Democrats in 2012, has turned into a minor embarrassment for the administration.

The reason? Several prominent Democrats say they won't vote for him on the grounds he's not qualified.

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