One leader for whom immigration has always been an issue is Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles. He steps down this weekend, after two terms in office. He's the city's first Latino mayor in over a century, a local boy born in East L.A., far from the L.A. that dreams are made of. He joined us here at NPR West to talk about his time leading the second-largest city in the country. Good morning.
MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA: Good morning to you, Renee.
The Senate passed a sweeping immigration overhaul bill Thursday with bipartisan support. The legislation, passed by a vote of 68 to 32, would put millions in the country illegally on a path to citizenship and vastly expand border security.
An irony of therecent Texas political theater: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster aimed at stopping anti-abortion legislation raised not only her profile but that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.
Shortly after Davis' talkathon ran out the clock on a bill that would potentially have made abortions much harder for women in Texas to obtain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Perry put himself back in the national headlines.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:10 am
Changing its story. Walking it back. Clarifying.
Whatever you call it, the IRS inspector general now has a different account of what investigators knew about the ideologies of the groups that underwent extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Inspector General J. Russell George explained in a letter released Thursday morning that investigators knew all along "progressives" were listed in documents used by IRS agents to screen applications.
The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.
The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:03 am
It's deja vu all over again in Maine.
For the first time in years, a state has acted to allow its citizens to purchase prescription drugs by mail from other countries. The idea is to take advantage of those nations' lower prices, which can be half the cost of those at American pharmacies.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. In Senegal today, President Obama had a full schedule: a visit to the presidential palace, a news conference, meetings with Supreme Court justices from around Africa, and a tour of a slave port. Through it all, the president kept returning to themes of equality and human rights, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Dakar.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. It's Markey in Massachusetts, the court nixes DOMA and Prop 8, and the president bows to the summer heat and discards his jacket to take on climate change. It's Wednesday, and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It's not that sexy.
CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.
VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?
This was the scene last night in the Texas Capitol building.
MONTAGNE: Crowds who came out to support a nearly 11-hour filibuster by Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis erupted in screams in an attempt to stop a vote on a bill that would have forced all but a handful of abortion clinics in Texas to close. That's because, among other things, the bill would require clinics be upgraded to ambulatory surgical centers, something that the clinics say they can't afford.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. In the midst of the housing crisis in 2008, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were brought into government hands. And today, over 90 percent of mortgages are guaranteed by the U.S. government. That's a potential burden for taxpayers if mortgages fail. Yesterday, a bipartisan Senate bill was introduced to try to unwind the government takeover, as well as Fannie and Freddie. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.
And before leaving on his trip to Africa, President Obama had some other words on another subject. He announced a wide-ranging plan to address climate change. Rather than taking that plan to Congress and fighting it out, Obama is using his executive powers to implement it without new laws. The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The biggest source of those emissions is coal-fired facilities.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
President Obama flew home from Europe less than a week ago, and this morning, he is headed back overseas. This time, Air Force One is bound for Africa. It's a weeklong journey that will take the president and his family to three countries covering vastly different regions. This is Obama's first extended trip to the continent as president.
The official clock ran out on Texas lawmakers overnight, which effectively killed a bill that would have dramatically restricted abortion in the nation's second most populous state. Hours of chaos and confusion in Austin finally lifted as Texas Senate leaders decided that the vote on Senate Bill 5 did not clear a constitutionally-mandated hurdle that it pass before midnight.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:42 am
By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)
"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.
Amid the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration and a general belt-tightening mood among many on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon is being asked to reduce its spending after a decade of increases.
Some argue that even with cutbacks, the U.S. spends far more than other countries on defense, and that the drones and special operations forces increasingly being used in the counterterrorism fight cost less than conventional military operations.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This morning in a much anticipated decision, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Writing for a five-four majority, Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that Congress' action to protect minority voting rights in nine states was based on outdated data, and the formula used to determine which areas were subject to federal oversight was thus unconstitutional.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we are going to take a look at a sensitive topic. We are going to talk about infidelity. Sure, we talk about it when a politician or a celebrity gets caught, but what about friends, neighbors, ourselves? Hundreds of listeners have been sending in their stories. We'll hear some of them and new research about this topic. That's later in the program.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
The scandal at the Internal Revenue Service is becoming more of a muddle. We're learning more this morning about which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny. Turns out both conservative groups and progressive groups were on the so-called Be on the Lookout List at the IRS. Meanwhile, the man currently leading the agency says an internal investigation has found no evidence of intentional wrong doing.
President Obama today is scheduled to announce a sweeping plan to address climate change. The president has framed the issue as a moral responsibility, to leave the Earth in good shape for generations. Certainly though, the nitty-gritty of any serious plan to address climate change is a huge challenge because it means gradually moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy supplies. That will involve economic winners and losers.
Joining us to talk about the plan's specifics is NPR's Richard Harris. Good morning.
Both candidates for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts are finishing a frantic day of campaigning ahead of Tuesday's special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey is running against Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez. But they are struggling to get voters to the polls in a summer election that has yet to capture much attention.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
And now to an issue that lawmakers are not spending a lot of time debating: climate change. Tomorrow, President Obama will lay out a strategy to address the problem, using executive powers. It's an admission that's sweeping climate legislation stands little chance of passing Congress as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.
JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Aides say Mr. Obama's plan includes limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The reaction from House Speaker John Boehner was blunt.