While Republicans are trying to bridge their differences, Democrats find themselves broadly united behind the president's second term agenda. That doesn't mean the work will automatically get done, however, so as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, some of Obama's biggest supporters are meeting in Washington to turn the president's campaign momentum into policy.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the nation's capitol, today is a day to talk about future agendas. For Democrats, it's about the second Obama term; for conservatives, it's the future of the Republican Party. We'll hear about both in the next few minutes, beginning with CPAC - that's the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that opened today.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 10:03 am
The late Raymond Telles may not be a household name, but he was a trailblazer for Latinos in politics; he was the first Latino elected mayor of El Paso, Texas and later became a U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. Host Michel Martin looks back on Ambassador Telles' life with former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 11:36 am
Which way the Republican Party?
In the hope of getting answers to that and other questions, many activists, party big wigs and political journalists have descended on a hotel in a Washington suburb to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, which started Thursday.
This annual CPAC gathering is the first since President Obama thwarted Republican efforts to retake the White House, a defeat of Mitt Romney that many in the GOP didn't see coming.
President Obama has been meeting this week with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to talk about long-term budget planning. On Wednesday, Obama met with House Republicans who offered mixed views on how the dialogue went.
During the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that begins Thursday, a slew of men who appear to want to try their hand at leading the GOP back to the White House in 2016 will be speaking, though not every potential presidential candidate was invited.
Yes, it's four years away, but that hasn't stopped Republican hopefuls from testing the waters. There are already polls — for whatever they're worth — of potential GOP candidates.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
The lines are now starkly drawn between Republican and Democratic approaches to the nation's finances. President Obama met with House Republicans today about the budget - they released their budget plan yesterday - and in the other chamber today, Senate Democrats unveiled their proposals.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:12 pm
In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.
This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.
What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 1:57 pm
From the ongoing budget battle to Sen. Carl Levin's retirement announcement, NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics. NPR's Phillip Reeves provides an update from Rome as cardinals elected a new pope.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we have some dramatic stories about retirement. One, somebody who retired young, and I mean really young. And another about how even the best planned retirement can go wrong when life happens. We hope you'll find something useful in each of those conversations which is in just a few minutes.
Let's explore the state of the deficit a little more for today's bottom line in business. Yesterday, we talked about the House Republican plan to address it, after Congressman Paul Ryan released the party's proposal. Senator Patty Murray will put out the Senate Democrats' alternative soon. And then, at some point, the president will offer his plan on the deficit.
Let's bring in David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, as we do many days. Good morning.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:23 pm
As he has said many times in recent years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is no fan of President Obama's health care law. The Republican repeated his view again Tuesday as he laid out the House Republicans' proposed budget:
Control towers at many small and medium-sized airports around the country are set to shut down next month because of the across-the-board federal budget cuts. The towers have been operated under contract to the Federal Aviation Administration.
One of the airports affected is in Latrobe, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh — the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, named after the golf great who grew up a well-placed drive from the runway. A statue of Palmer watches over the small terminal.
That's because once again House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposes a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans refer to as "Obamacare." But this time, the proposal describes the changes it envisions to the Medicare program in very Obamacare-like terms.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 8:34 am
Although he's been a public figure for three decades, the Rev. Al Sharpton is more visible these days than ever, often in ways even he wouldn't have dreamed when he was leading protests on the streets of New York in the 1980s.
If you watched the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama, you probably saw the dais behind him filled with the usual lot of past presidents, members of Congress and so on. You also may have caught sight of a new, and improbable, addition: Sharpton.
Ailsa mentioned the House budget, and today, it was presented by a cohort of House Republicans led by Budget Committee Chairman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The budget gives an indication of just how hard reaching a grand bargain will be. There's not a lot of overlap with the president's priorities, and it's almost an exact repeat of Ryan's budget from last year, right down to the title, "The Path to Prosperity." NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith tells us more.
President Obama came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, in the first of three planned visits to court lawmakers on a cluster of issues, from gun control legislation to a so-called grand bargain on tax reform and entitlement spending cuts. He spoke with Senate Democrats. Melissa Block talks to Ailsa Chang.
Like the famous cherry blossoms forecast to bloom in a few weeks, this time of year is also marked by the arrival of competing, partisan federal budget proposals that political foes immediately declare dead-on-arrival, though not so dead that they can't be used as campaign fodder.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) got the process underway Tuesday by introducing the House Republican budget for the coming fiscal year, DOA because it has no chance of getting through the Democratic Senate or to be signed by President Obama.
As with other recent presidents, Barack Obama is disliked and distrusted by roughly half the public. But some of his perceived failings may be the result of an inflated expectations game that all modern presidents must play.
An Air Force general's decision to dismiss the charges against a lieutenant colonel who was convicted of sexual assault has outraged many members of Congress and led new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to say he's ordered a review of the case.
Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:32 am
(Note at 11:20 a.m. ET: Scroll down to see the GOP plan, which has now been released; new comments from Rep. Ryan; and White House reaction.)
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, unveiled his latest budget plan Tuesday morning — and as NPR's Tamara Keith told our Newscast Desk, he says it would bring the federal budget in balance by 2023.
You have made it to Tuesday, ladies and gentlemen. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. This is a big week in Washington, D.C. for budget wonks. House Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan unveiled his budget plan this morning. Tomorrow, Senate Democrats will do the same. Last night, Senate Democrats also introduced their version of a stopgap funding bill to keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year.