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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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.
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.
Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.
Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.
And the cuts come at a time when there's a severe shortage of affordable housing across the country.
Now to the hunger strike underway in the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It began back in January. At first, a few dozen prisoners refused meals. Now, more than 100 of the 166 men still at the facility have joined the protest, and more than a dozen of those are being force-fed. Well today, their action drew a response from the president. As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, President Obama vowed at a news conference to try once again to close the island prison.
The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.
An openly gay basketball player? Next thing you know, there will be openly clever ScuttleButton puzzles.
Only not this week.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
Host Michel Martin continues her conversation about the first 100 days of President Obama's second term. She turns to two Americans with different perspectives on the president's record so far. Tracey Winbush is an Assistant Treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party, and Aracely Panameno is Director of Latino Affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today marks the 100th day of President Obama's second term. At his inauguration he set up an ambitious agenda and revived his campaign theme of hope.
(We updated the top of this post with a recap at 11:45 a.m. ET.)
Joking that a reporter's question Tuesday about whether he has "any juice" left to get things done in Washington made it sound like "I should just pack up and go home," President Obama paraphrased Mark Twain:
"Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated," the president said, as he predicted that an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws will be among the things that get accomplished in his second term.
There's a high profile congressional race going on in South Carolina and last night the two candidates met in their first - and only - debate. For the Republican, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. This is an attempted political comeback, but it's being hindered by new allegations by his ex-wife that reminds some voters of how Sanford left office in the first place.
As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?
It's one of the smallest law enforcement agencies in the federal government, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has sure had a busy couple of weeks.
Dozens of its agents raced to Boston, where they analyzed bombs left near the finish line of the marathon. Others went south to Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded under mysterious circumstances. Members of the ATF's national response team are still on the scene in tiny West, Texas, sifting through rubble at the blast site, near a crater that's 93 feet wide.