Politics

The Two-Way
3:09 am
Tue October 1, 2013

After Shutdown, A Familiar Feeling At The White House

Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday for NPR's Morning Edition.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:17 am

President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.

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Politics
3:03 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Transcript And Audio: NPR Interview With President Obama

President Obama speaks with reporters at the White House on Monday about the threat of a government shutdown.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen To The Full Interview

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama on Monday about the looming government shutdown, the upcoming debt ceiling fight and more. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: As you have watched what's happening in Congress, do you feel that House Republicans are coming any closer to anything that you could sign?

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It's All Politics
3:02 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Unable To Stop Shutdown, Obama Pins Blame On GOP

President Obama makes a statement to the press about the government shutdown in the White House briefing room Monday.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

President Obama says he's tired of the seemingly never-ending rounds of budget crises.

"When it comes to Congress paying its bills ... we cannot be a country that is lurching every two months or three months from crisis to crisis to crisis," Obama said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Yet that is precisely the situation the president finds himself in.

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Politics
2:39 am
Tue October 1, 2013

House, Senate Stay Faithful To Their Measures

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:35 am

Before parts of the government began shutting down, the House and Senate bounced a series of stopgap spending bills between the chambers. The House would insert language to delay or limit the president's health care law, and the Senate would reject the Obamacare language and send the bill back. The two chambers did not reach an agreement before the midnight deadline.

It's All Politics
5:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: A Closure Appears Inevitable

As the sun started its descent behind the U.S. Capitol building on Monday, it seemed virtually certain to rise on a partially shuttered federal government.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Monday's Highlights:

Only hours before a partial shutdown of the federal government would take effect, House Republicans still hadn't arrived at a temporary spending bill that Senate Democrats were willing to approve to keep government workers on the job. A closure appeared inevitable.

On Monday afternoon, Senate Democrats rejected a stopgap spending bill passed by the House over the weekend because it contained anti-Obamacare measures that Democrats found objectionable.

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It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Shutdown: A Guide To What Would And Wouldn't Close

If Congress does not reach a budget agreement and the government shuts down, the U.S. Postal Service is one agency expected to remain in operation.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 6:05 pm

With House Republicans and Senate Democrats still miles apart on a budget deal, the federal government appears headed for a shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Here's a quick breakdown of what government agencies and programs would and would not remain operational in the event of a shutdown:

What Stays Open

  • The Postal Service would continue to deliver mail on its regular schedule.
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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Here's Something Congress Can Agree On: Helium

Party On: Legislation passed last week allows the Federal Helium Reserve to continue selling the stockpiled gas. Above, Jonathan Trappe launches his 370-balloon craft from Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12.
Alexandre Ayre Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 3:03 pm

With the government on the brink of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to compromise on helium. Legislation passed late last week will keep the gas used in party balloons flowing from a national reserve.

The helium bill's passage shows that compromise is still possible in the fractious political climate. But finding agreement over this inert gas was tough. The new law came after more than a year of intensive lobbying by some of America's largest businesses and academic institutions.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Obama: 'We Still Have A Window' To Avert A Shutdown

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:00 pm

Audie Cornish talks with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about his interview Monday afternoon with President Obama. We hear excerpts from the interview, more of which will air Tuesday on Morning Edition.

Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

With Shutdown Looming, Senate Takes Up Stopgap Spending Bill

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.

REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?

REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? With time so short and issues so long, where oh where has the Senate gone?

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Economy
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

What Happens To The Economy If The Government Shuts Down?

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There's no guarantee that a shutdown, if it happens, will be short. The mere possibility of a longer stalemate was enough to push down markets here and abroad today.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If there is a shutdown, about 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed, although many will still be required to show up for work.

CORNISH: Social Security checks will still go out and the postal service will still deliver the mail.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Rep. Roe: 'We're Not Interested In A Shutdown'

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Earlier today, I spoke with Congressman Phil Roe, Republican of Tennessee. He's a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He's also a medical doctor. He'd like to see the healthcare law repealed or defunded but, he insists, he doesn't want to see a shutdown.

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Politics
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Hours From Shutdown, Senate Says No To House Plan

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Four more hours, that's how long lawmakers have to agree on a spending bill before the federal government shuts down. Hundreds of thousands of employees will be furloughed. National parks and museums will close and some food safety programs will shut down. This afternoon, President Obama criticized Congressional Republicans for the economic impact a shutdown would have.

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Who's Likely To Lose The Shutdown 'Blame Game'?

Sign of the times? A room where the Senate Democratic caucus was meeting on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:07 pm

With the seeming certainty of a federal shutdown at the stroke of midnight, there's been some polling in the past week or so aimed at divining the political fallout.

Who will be blamed?

Will it be House Republicans, with their unyielding efforts to defund and delay Obamacare, or Democrats (and President Obama) who will be viewed as unwilling to compromise?

Here's a short guide to some recent polling:

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Obama And Netanyahu Discuss Iran And Syria At White House

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives Monday at the White House to meet with President Obama. The two are expected to discuss Iran's nuclear program, Syria's civil war, and peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:03 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the White House, meeting with President Obama to discuss security and intelligence matters, including Iran's nuclear program.

The White House says the two will discuss "final status negotiations with the Palestinians, as well as developments in Iran, Syria and elsewhere in the region."

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: Leaders Describe Their Meeting

The White House has released a transcript of the two leaders discussing their meeting. Below are some highlights.

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It's All Politics
6:15 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Monday Morning Political Mix

There's definitely an air of foreboding as Washington prepares for a partial government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:44 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

It's not just any morning. It's what may be government-shutdown eve, since it is looking more likely that the federal government will experience its first partial closure in 17 years come 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Given that, little of the political coverage and analysis this morning is what most people would call uplifting. Here are some of the more interesting items and themes we've come across so far:

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Shutdown? Here's Monday's Schedule

Inside the Capitol, lawmakers are battling over health care and the budget. Outside, many government services may come to a stop at midnight.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:37 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ailsa Chang on what's expected to happen Monday
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Scott Horsley on the history of shutdowns

We probably don't need to tell you that it's almost certain there will be a partial shutdown of the federal government just after midnight Monday.

But we do want to lay out the day's agenda.

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Analysis
2:34 am
Mon September 30, 2013

House, Senate Disagree On How To Keep Government Open

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Let's try to understand a congressional boxing match that, for all we know, could continue beyond the final bell.

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Governing
1:32 am
Mon September 30, 2013

A Short History Of Government Shutdowns

With President Jimmy Carter watching, Benjamin Civiletti is sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger as U.S. attorney general on Aug. 16, 1979. The following year, Civiletti issued a legal opinion saying that federal work cannot go on until Congress agrees to pay for it.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 7:54 am

Drawn-out fights over spending bills are nothing new for Congress. But that's where the fights used to stay: in Congress. The rest of the country didn't have to pay much attention to countdown clocks and all this drama.

"In the '60s and '70s down until 1980, it was not taken that seriously at all," says Charles Tiefer, a former legal adviser to the House of Representatives, who now teaches at the University of Baltimore Law School. In the old days, he says, when lawmakers reached a budget stalemate, the federal workforce just went about its business.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Shutdown Standoff: 'How Dare You,' And Other Views From Congress

The federal government remains on track to miss a midnight Monday deadline to fund its operations. Chambers of Congress sharply disagree over a temporary funding bill. Here, the Capitol is seen Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:10 am

The federal government has moved closer to the brink of a shutdown, as the House of Representatives approved a temporary funding bill Saturday night that the Senate and White House say has no chance of becoming law.

The House bill would avert the budget deadline at midnight Monday by funding the U.S. government into December. But it also includes a one-year delay of Obamacare — a provision that Democrats and some Republicans say has no place in a stopgap funding bill.

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Politics
6:02 am
Sun September 29, 2013

The Ins And Outs Of A Shutdown

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 9:22 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For more on the budget standoff, we're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: Sounds like this is happening, Mara. Are we on our way to a government shutdown?

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Politics
3:43 am
Sun September 29, 2013

House Vote Brings Government To The Verge Of A Shutdown

The lights are on at the Capitol as the House of Representatives works into the night Saturday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 9:22 am

Shortly after midnight Sunday morning, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would keep the government's lights on. It would also delay the Affordable Care Act for a year, making the legislation a non-starter for Senate Democrats and the president.

The ball is back in the Senate's court now, with fewer than 40 hours until a government shutdown begins.

The House bill does three things. First, it's a temporary measure to keep government operations funded through the middle of December.

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

My Governor Can Beat Up Your Governor (Or Thinks He Can)

In friendlier times, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in a 2011 panel discussion in Washington, D.C. At the time, O'Malley was chairman of the Democratic Governors Association; Perry was chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Now they're in a spat over Perry's efforts to lure Maryland businesses to Texas.
Alex Brandon AP

Rick Perry wants your business.

The Republican governor has been turning up in other states, touting the wonders of Texas and promising business owners they'll find lower taxes and more manageable regulation there.

"It does help get the word out to business leaders that may be frustrated," says David Carney, a longtime consultant to Perry. "Going in person can get literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of free media coverage."

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Sat September 28, 2013

House Ties Government Funding To One-Year Obamacare Delay

Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives at the Capitol on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 6:52 am

Updated at 12:24 a.m. ET Sunday

The House voted early Sunday to tie government funding to a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare, sending the dispute back to the Senate, where it is certain to get a frosty reception. The House measure also repeals the Affordable Care Act's tax on medical devices.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Women's Health Groups Sue Texas Over Its New Abortion Law

Women's health clinics have sued the state of Texas over its new abortion law, which they say will close more than a third of abortion providers in the state. Here, advocates for and against the bill are seen outside the Texas Capitol in Austin in July.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:08 am

More than a dozen women's health care clinics have filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas, seeking to revoke parts of a controversial health law that puts new restrictions on clinics that provide abortions.

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Politics
5:57 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Showdown Over The Shutdown

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

Congress needs to approve a budget by midnight Monday — at which point the U.S. government is set to shut down. Weekend Edition Sunday host Scott Simon talks with Ramesh Ponnuru of The National Review about the GOP and looming potential government shutdown.

Simon Says
5:57 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Dr. Seuss Suited For The Senate; Shakespeare, Not So Much

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, read from Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss during a 21-hour talking protest on the Senate floor.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is an educated man. But like a lot of well-educated people who run for office, you might not detect it by the quotations he deployed over his 21 hours holding the floor of the U.S. Senate.

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It's All Politics
1:44 am
Sat September 28, 2013

In Washington's Fiscal Tango, Obama's Lacking A Dance Partner

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act on Thursday in Largo, Md. In the latest fiscal fight with Republicans, the president is lacking a partner to make a deal with — or even to vilify.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

Top White House aides constantly refer to a "civil war" in the Republican Party.

They sometimes use the phrase with near delight, reveling in the tensions that threaten to pull apart the GOP. But for President Obama, the divided opposition creates a major problem: He has neither a partner to cut a deal with nor a high-profile adversary to vilify.

That situation stands in stark contrast to previous fiscal standoffs.

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Politics
1:43 am
Sat September 28, 2013

With Government Shutdown Looming, All Eyes Turn To House GOP

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, express frustration on Friday after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of language crafted by House Republicans to defund Obamacare.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 1:21 pm

As expected, the Senate passed a bill Friday to keep the government funded through mid-November — without stripping any funding away from the president's health care law.

Now the action returns to the House, where Republicans earlier in the week tied the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act. With the threat of a shutdown looming three days away, the question is now, what will the House do?

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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Countdown To Shutdown: Obama Says 'Gears Of Our Economy' At Risk

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:25 pm

Friday's highlights:

As expected, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed its own version of a short-term spending bill. It's the version the House approved last week, minus language that would defund Obamacare. That effectively tossed the ball back to the Republican-controlled House.

And President Obama warned House Republicans to avoid the twin disruptions of a government shutdown (at midnight Monday) and a debt default (in mid-October).

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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Shutdown Politics, Bill Clinton-Style

President Clinton shakes hands with House Speaker Newt Gingrich prior to giving his State of the Union address in January 1996.
Denis Paquin AP

If the government shuts down on Oct. 1, hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be temporarily forced out of their jobs — and we will almost certainly begin to hear a few of their stories soon after.

On NPR's Tell Me More Friday, Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington editor, reminded us of a Social Security Administration worker, Richard Dean, who was laid off during the 1995-96 government shutdown and thrust into the forefront of the budget debate by President Bill Clinton.

What made his story unique?

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