Lawmakers return to Congress on Monday, following a week's hiatus. Host Rachel Martin checks in with NPR congressional correspondent David Welna about what's on their agenda for the upcoming session. Internet sales tax, paying creditors, immigration, Benghazi hearing, Syria, Guantanamo
This type of bulletproof whiteboard, produced by the Maryland company Hardwire, has been purchased by a Minnesota school district.
Credit Hardwire, LLC
Cold Spring, Minn., Police Chief Phil Jones (left) and Rocori School District Superintendent Scott Staska hold bulletproof whiteboards in April while announcing the school system's $25,000 investment in the shields.
A recent news item out of Minnesota caught our eye: "Bulletproof Whiteboards Unveiled at Rocori Schools."
Bulletproof what? Where?
That would be whiteboards, at the small central Minnesota Rocori School District, which will spend upward of $25,000 for the protective devices produced by a company better known for its military armor products.
The latest employment figures are out and they show gains in hiring. The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy joins host Michel Martin to talk about the report, and the millions of working Americans who still fall below the poverty line.
The president celebrates the 100th day of his second term by holding a news conference in which he seems unsure as to why he held a news conference in the first place. As Obama discusses "rumors of my demise," Massachusetts voters pick Senate nominees, and South Carolina's 1st District prepares for a special — and surreal — election.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
It's one of the basic lessons in school - how a bill becomes a law - sounds so finite. Of course the part they don't always teach is how the political debate over a law can just keep going. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is now the law of the land. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional.
But as NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports, the fight of the law will likely just intensify ahead of the next elections.
On a Friday morning, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Earlier this week, President Obama said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a game changer. And although there is evidence that chemical weapons have been used, the president insists he needs all the facts before taking further action - the who, the how, the when.
After any contentious debate in Washington, it's often interesting to see how a lawmaker is welcomed home, depending on how he or she voted. Some of the senators who voted down bipartisan gun control legislation last month are taking heat in the aftermath of December's mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the state of Connecticut. The bill would have expanded background checks, and the only New England senator who opposed it was New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte. NPR's David Welna traveled to her state and sent this report.
A woman holds a .22-caliber Crickett youth rifle at a Gander Mountain store in Flint Township, Mich. This type of gun, which is marketed to children and comes in a variety of colors, was involved in the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Kentucky.
Credit Steve Jessmore / The Flint Journal/Landov
A man and a boy out hunting with shotguns, circa 1955.
Penny Pritzker, one of the nation's richest people and a "longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser," as TheChicago Tribune writes, is President Obama's choice to be his next secretary of commerce.
The president announced the news this hour at the White House. He also said that one of his economic advisers, Michael Froman, is his choice to be the next U.S. trade representative.
NPR's business news starts with two new cabinet appointments.
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MONTAGNE: This morning, President Obama appointed Penny Pritzker to run the commerce department.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Pritzker is an heiress to the Hyatt hotel empire. She also served on the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and she is a long time financial backer of the president's political campaigns. Forbes ranks her as one of 300 richest Americans.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Mexico's agonizing war on its drug cartels is about to change and President Obama is about to hear it personally from Mexico's new president. On a trip to Mexico that begins today, Mr. Obama will also focus on trade and economic opportunities between the two countries.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
President Obama today announced two new heads of agencies that play key roles in the economy. He tapped former wireless and cable industry executive, Tom Wheeler, to head the Federal Communications Commission. And he's naming North Carolina Democrat and veteran Congressman Melvin Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.
That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Now, you've probably noticed this. Political drama is not confined to just the news on TV these days. We are in an era that is seeing a proliferation of politically themed television and other forms of streaming. And maybe you've also noticed shows like "Veep."
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JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Vice President Selina Meyer) I'm the vice president of the United States, you stupid little (bleep).
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Mass momentum for Markey, Sanford's ears and what they can't always hear, and Obama's sequester quest for an understanding with the GOP. It is Wednesday and time for a...
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Trapped in a Taylor Swift album...
DONVAN: Edition of the political junkie.
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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?
Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez speaks last month in South Boston, Mass. On Tuesday, Gomez won the GOP nomination and will face Democratic Rep. Ed Markey in a June 25 special election.
Credit Elise Amendola / AP
Rep. Ed Markey on Tuesday won the Democratic primary in the race to replace Sen. John Kerry.
When Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was tapped to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, his state — and national — party bosses were wringing their hands.
Why? The prospect of Republican Scott Brown launching another campaign to return to the Senate, where he served after winning a special election in 2010 to complete the term of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy. Brown lost to Democrat Elizabeth Warren last November in a race for a full Senate term.
Most Muslims around the globe tend to be deeply committed to their faith and believe that it should shape not only their personal lives, but the societies they live in, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center (PDF).
Pew's face-to-face survey of more than 38,000 Muslims, including many in the United States, between 2008-12 produced a telling snapshot of attitudes and beliefs.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are going to spend some time today talking about relationships across borders, especially the southern border. Later, we will hear about a practice called medical repatriation that's been documented by a law school think tank. Researchers there claim that a number of hospitals around the country have been sending undocumented patients back to their home countries, even while they're unconscious, to avoid paying for expensive care.
Republican Senate hopeful Gabriel Gomez celebrates with supporters as he makes his way to the stage to deliver a victory speech Tuesday in Cohasset, Mass.
Credit Steven Senne / AP
Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Ed Markey greets a supporter in Boston on Tuesday as he celebrates his primary win. Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez won their party primaries Tuesday, setting up a race between a 36-year veteran of Washington politics and a political newcomer for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry.
Veteran Democratic Rep. Ed Markey, who has been in office for 36 years, and novice Republican Gabriel Gomez will face off in the race to become the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts. They won their party primaries Tuesday in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Officials say voter turnout was light. The race for the open Senate seat has been overshadowed by the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama declared May as Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, National Building Safety Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
The president also issued a statement on the investiture of the new king of the Netherlands.
While small and routine, these moves were all easy to understand, as were the accompanying proclamations from the White House press shop.