President Obama continued his outreach to congressional Republicans on Thursday with a lunch with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the Budget Committee and author of a plan to balance the budget in a decade.
The first major gun bills in nearly two decades had their first hearing in the Senate on Thursday, including an assault weapons ban and a ban on so-called "straw purchases." Still, even in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the legislation faces an uphill battle. Ailsa Chang talks to Melissa Block.
Yesterday, Republican Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, filibustered the Senate floor for nearly 13 hours in protest of the administration's use of drones.
SENATOR RAND PAUL: This is not about partisanship. I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees, but I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution. I cannot sit at my desk quietly and let the president say that he will kill Americans on American soil who are not actively attacking a country.
Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:22 pm
As he rose to begin his nearly 13-hour filibuster Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said "no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court." He would filibuster John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director, Paul said, because he wanted a clear statement from the Obama administration acknowledging that U.S.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, many small colleges say they're making a big push to diversify, but what happens when those diverse students and faculty actually show up? We'll talk about that in just a few minutes. But first we want to talk about some of the financial struggles that cities and towns have been having over the last few years.
Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:52 am
Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. One Measure Approved So Far:
"The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday making gun trafficking a federal crime as lawmakers cast the first vote in Congress to curb firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school," The Associated Press writes.
The bills that would restrict the right to own and sell some guns will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. It's the most progress gun legislation has made in nearly two decades, in the aftermath of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
The House has approved a bill to fund the federal government through the end of September. The $982 billion continuing resolution introduced by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), who heads the Appropriations Committee, would avoid a potential government shutdown on March 27.
Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire at the Capitol last month. The senators are among a group invited to dine Wednesday with President Obama.
President Obama recently acknowledged the obvious: He doesn't have the supernatural powers necessary to do a mind meld, Jedi or otherwise, with Republican congressional leaders that would lead to pacts on fiscal policy or anything else for that matter.
But if he doesn't have the power to force meetings of the minds with his Republican opponents, he can at least still get meetings with them.
Popping up on the president's schedule all of a sudden was a Wednesday night dinner at a Washington, D.C., hotel with a group of GOP senators.
Now, more on the long speech Carrie mentioned from Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. He's engaged in an old fashioned stand on the floor and talk till you can't filibuster. It began shortly before noon, aimed at blocking the president's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA.
SENATOR RAND PAUL: I've chosen to make a stand on this one and not so much the person, but the principle of this. I have nothing personally against Brennan. I have nothing personal against the president.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. It began around mid-day today, while wet snow fell on Washington D.C. Inside the Capitol building, a conservative Republican senator began to talk and talk - and talk. Rand Paul launched a filibuster to block the nomination of John Brennan for CIA director because of concerns over the administration's drone policies.
Arkansas has approved a law banning most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, as both houses of the state's legislature vote to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. The Republican-backed Human Heartbeat Protection Act will become the nation's most restrictive law.
In vetoing the Senate version of the bill Monday, Beebe said that it "would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability."
In his profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this week's issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin writes: "Ginsburg has suggested that she would like to serve as long as Louis Brandeis, her judicial hero, who retired at eighty-two." Ginsburg turns 80 this month and is marking her 20th year on the court. She has had cancer — colon and pancreatic — and her tiny, frail-looking stature leads many people to wonder if she'll be retiring soon.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, officials in a number of major cities around the country are looking to close public schools to save money, but some parents and activists say the cost of that move is higher than you might think. We'll talk with a reporter and an activist in her city in just a minute.
Look around your kitchen table and you'll see the work of Ambassador Ron Kirk. He's the United States Trade Representative, which is a cabinet-level position, and he's negotiated trade deals all around the world. Host Michel Martin talks to him about why he's choosing to step down from his post and the importance of U.S. trade.
House Speaker John Boehner answers reporters' questions after the weekly House Republican caucus meeting with (from left) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Steve Daines on Tuesday.
When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush got to work on his new book on immigration, he was expected to be out in front of his party urging a broader conversation with Hispanics and more open legislation. After all, he had previously supported a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally. Instead, it's fellow Florida Republican Marco Rubio in the lead, and Bush who's explaining an apparent reversal on the issue of citizenship. Both are likely candidates for president in 2016.
Some members of Congress have put aside partisan sparring in defense of a legendary fighter. Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Harry Reid are among those calling for a posthumous pardon for the heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Johnson became the first black man to win that title back in 1908. His next win in 1910 sparked race riots and his relationships with white women added to the controversy.
Here's actor Samuel L. Jackson as Johnson in the 2005 Ken Burns documentary, "Unforgivable Blackness."
If Nov. 7 brought pangs of withdrawal from the end of the presidential race — good news!
The next one has already started.
Witness last week's dust-up over the American Conservative Union's failure to invite New Jersey's Chris Christie, one of the most popular Republican governors in the country, to its annual Conservative Political Action Conference. And if that flew under the radar, this week's book tour launch by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has removed all doubt that the countdown to Iowa has begun.
Federal spending on seniors already far outpaces that devoted to children. Last year, overall spending on children dropped for the first time in 30 years. The sequester, which expressly protects programs for the elderly, will exacerbate that difference.
Credit The Urban Institute
Credit Courtesy: Next Generation
The nonprofit group Next Generation took out this full-page ad in The Washington Post on Sunday, arguing that "America made a choice to help lift seniors out of poverty. We need to do the same for our kids."
For years, federal programs for seniors and those that help kids have been on a collision course.
Now, given the automatic spending cuts taking place under sequestration, the moment for real competition may have arrived.
While Medicare and Social Security will come through the sequester mostly unscathed, a broad swath of programs targeted toward children — Head Start, education, nutrition assistance, child welfare — stand to lose hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.
If Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has his way, Detroit will become the sixth and largest city there to come under state control. But steering a city out of crisis can be a tricky task. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jerome Vaughn, of WDET, and Robert Bobb, a former emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, about the situation.