Politics

It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Budget Reconciliation Explained Through Chutes And Ladders

Think of reconciliation as the biggest ladder in the game Chutes and Ladders — a procedural shortcut. But a presidential veto of whatever gets passed through reconciliation means tumbling back down a chute.
Ben Husmann Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:58 pm

There's a word you're going to be hearing a lot as Congress tries to pass a budget this year: reconciliation. It's a procedural fast-track lawmakers get to use after they approve a budget. Republicans are hoping to repeal the Affordable Care Act — or, at least parts of it — through reconciliation, but they're not likely to win that game.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Boehner Plans Trip To Israel This Month

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during a news briefing in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday. Boehner's office announced today that he would travel to Israel at the end of the month.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 1:39 pm

House Speaker John Boehner plans to travel to Israel at the end of the month, close on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election and the Israeli leader's controversial address to Congress.

Although there are no details on who he might meet in Israel, Boehner "looks forward to visiting the country, discussing our shared priorities for peace and security in the region, and further strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel," his spokesman, Kevin Smith, said in a statement.

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The Salt
3:05 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Both Parties Agree The Food Stamp Program Needs To Change. But How?

A new budget plan that calls for turning food stamps into a block grant program for states could affect stores that accept food stamps through an Electronic Benefits Transfer, or EBT, system like this one in Memphis.
Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 10:21 am

When it comes to the food stamps — or SNAP benefits as they're now called — there are few areas where Republicans and Democrats agree. But getting some of the 46 million people now receiving SNAP into the work force is one of them.

Last year Congress approved $200 million for states to test the best way to move people into jobs. And today, the Obama administration is announcing grants to 10 states to do just that.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the demonstration projects should help able-bodied recipients take advantage of an improving economy.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama To Iranians: 'Best Opportunity In Decades' For A Different Future

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:37 am

President Obama is using a Nowruz message to tell Iranians that "we have the best opportunity in decades to pursue a different future between our countries."

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It's All Politics
6:11 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Justice Ginsburg Turns Her Pen To Exodus' 'Women Of Action'

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at an annual Women's History Month reception on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, famous for her legal pen, has now written a short essay for a different occasion: Passover.

The essay highlights the key roles played by five women in the Exodus story: Moses' mother and sister; the midwives who defied Pharaoh's decree to kill the Israelite baby boys; and Pharaoh's own daughter, who defied her father to pluck the baby Moses out of the Nile.

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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama To Prince Charles: We'll Never Be Royals

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales smiles with President Obama at the White House Thursday.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

President Obama may be having some postcode envy.

As members of the press corps poured into the Oval Office in the White House to get pictures of Obama and Prince Charles, Obama whispered to Charles, "I think it's fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the royal family."

He went on: "They like them much better than they like their own politicians."

Prince Charles, laughing, gave the only polite answer he could in return: "I don't believe that."

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Politics
3:01 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Analysis Reveals Record Number Of FOIA Requests Filed Last Year

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Prime Minister Netanyahu Backtracks On Palestinian State Comments

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

California Governor Announces Billion Dollar Drought Relief Plan

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Environment
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

How President Obama Wants To Shrink The Government's Carbon Footprint

President Obama views solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy with Deputy Secretary Liz Sherwood-Randall, second from right, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt, right, and Energy Manager Eric Haukdal, left.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 12:02 pm

President Obama wants to shrink the federal government's carbon footprint.

With hundreds of thousands of buildings and vehicles, the government is the nation's single biggest energy consumer. The president signed an executive order Thursday directing agencies to get more of their power from clean energy sources.

"We're going to cut the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 2008 levels within the next ten years," Obama said, after touring a rooftop array of solar panels at the Department of Energy.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

French National Front Party Gaining Appeal In Regional Elections

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 6:19 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama Orders Reduction In Government's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

President Obama on Thursday signs an executive order directing the federal government to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 2:44 pm

President Obama signed an executive order at the White House on Thursday directing the federal government to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 40 percent from 2008 levels within the next decade and to increase its use of renewable energy sources to 30 percent of total consumption.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Thu March 19, 2015

What If Everyone In America Had To Vote?

"It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything," President Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland.
Jeff Roberson AP

Australia has near 100 percent turnout in its elections. How do the Aussies do it? They, like 25 other countries, require people to vote.

President Obama wondered aloud Wednesday whether it was time for the United States to consider a similar move.

"In Australia and some other countries, there's mandatory voting," Obama said at an economic event in Cleveland. "It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything."

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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

A First For Joe: Biden Could Break Tie To Confirm Attorney General

Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner wait for President Obama's State of the Union address in front of a joint session of Congress in 2012. As vice president, Biden is also leader of the U.S. Senate, but only gets a vote when senators are evenly divided.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 8:55 am

Vice President Joe Biden has been more visible than almost any of his 46 predecessors in the nation's No. 2 office. He's had more access to the Oval Office and more input on policy than all but a handful.

But there is one VP duty Biden has never fulfilled, because he's never had a chance: He has never broken a tie in the Senate, which is a salient VP responsibility embedded in the Constitution. In these past six years and two months, there hasn't been a Senate tie to break.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Who's Winning The 2016 Race — On Facebook And Twitter?

Sen. Rand Paul's Facebook page has nearly 2 million likes. It features posts from his travels, interviews and infographics about his potential competition.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 1:29 pm

While the 2016 presidential hopefuls are hitting the road in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the race is also taking off on social media.

Let's start with Twitter: With nearly 3 million Twitter followers, Hillary Clinton is way ahead of the other potential candidates:

Clinton only started tweeting in June 2013, and she tweets sparingly — though she seems to be ramping up this week. It's a calculated mix of her opinions on political news, photos from her travels and work to empower women and girls as well as family photos.

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Middle East
3:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu And Washington

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 5:14 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
1:49 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Obama Says Critics Making 'The Same Argument' Despite Better Economy

President Obama takes questions from the audience Wednesday after speaking about the economy and the middle class to the City Club of Cleveland.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:05 pm

Barack Obama let down his graying presidential hair a little bit on Wednesday. He also joked about coloring it.

Speaking to the City Club of Cleveland, Obama seemed to be in a reflective mood. During the question-and-answer period, he was asked by a seventh-grader what advice he would give to himself now, if he could go back to his first day in office.

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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Bad Blood Gets Worse Between Barack, Bibi And Israel

President Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in 2013. The two have never had a warm and fuzzy relationship.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:22 pm

The U.S.-Israeli relationship was one of the issues in the Israeli elections — in particular Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's poisonous personal relationship with President Obama.

Now, with Netanyahu's return to power, that relationship doesn't look like it will be improving anytime soon.

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It's All Politics
4:49 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Chicago Mayor's Race Reveals Deep Divide In Democratic Party

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to capture a majority of the vote last month, forcing him into a runoff. It's highlighting a divide among Democrats playing out nationally.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:39 pm

One of the nation's savviest politicians is in an unexpected fight.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former White House chief of staff, is in an unprecedented runoff election next month.

The challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, contends that Emanuel favors the rich and powerful over working-class Chicagoans. But Emanuel is firing back, attacking Garcia for having no plan to deal with the city's deep financial problems.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Chicago Race Exposes Progressive, Wall Street Wings Of Democratic Party

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:24 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Trade Policy Vote Could Affect Organized Labor's Role In 2016 Election

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:24 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

After Netanyahu Win, What's Next For Israel Still Unknown

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
11:45 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Attorney General Holder Jokes That Republicans Have 'A New Fondness For Me'

Attorney General Eric Holder has endured a rocky relationship with lawmakers during his tenure. But he's all they have until his successor is confirmed.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 4:00 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder joked Wednesday that given nearly six months of Senate delays in confirming his successor at the Justice Department, "it's almost as if the Republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for me."

"I'm feeling love there that I haven't felt for some time. And where was all this affection the last six years?" the attorney general asked, to laughter, in brief remarks at the Center for American Progress in Washington.

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It's All Politics
10:05 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Obama Picks Kentucky To Win NCAA Tournament, Mixes In Politics

University of Kentucky basketball players celebrate their Southeastern Conference tournament championship victory earlier this month.
Steve Helber AP

President Barack Obama didn't exactly go out on a limb with his college-basketball picks this year.

Like most people, he picked Kentucky to run the table, go 40-0, and win the NCAA Tournament. He also picked three No. 1 seeds and one No. 2 to make it to the Final Four.

"I don't think you can play a perfect basketball game anymore than you can do anything perfectly," the president said of Kentucky, "but these guys are coming pretty close."

The president did mix in a little politics.

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It's All Politics
8:58 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Can't Protect The Real White House? Get An $8 Million Fake One

A member of the Secret Service's uniformed division stands by a fence in front of the White House.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:25 am

It's no secret that the Secret Service has had a few public-relations problems over the past few years.

Not the least of which was a man who scaled the White House fence and made it all the way inside the home of the American president and his family.

There have been a lot of solutions floated — better training, improved schedules for overworked agents, even a higher fence.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy has another idea — an $8 million replica White House complete with fountains, guard booths, even plants.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Would Automatic Voter Registration Increase Turnout?

Advocates are looking to a new Oregon law as a model for increasing voter turnout.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Go to renew your driver's license in Oregon, and you will now be signed up to vote automatically.

It's the first state in the country with that sort of law, which is designed to make voting easier, and stands in contrast to the trend seen in the past several years in more conservative states.

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Politics
3:38 am
Wed March 18, 2015

The Sudden Fall Of Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 10:23 am

Copyright 2015 WCBU-FM. To see more, visit http://www.peoriapublicradio.org.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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U.S.
3:38 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Why Defense Hawks Are Rejecting House Republicans' Budget

U.S. soldiers patrol near Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan on June 2014. The House Republicans' budget proposal requests less money for defense than the Obama administration's plan, but tries to close some of the gap by adding billions to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which has been helping pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 1:00 pm

Budget season is just kicking off, and already House Republicans' plan is hitting a wall. This time, over defense spending.

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Politics
3:38 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Abortion Provision In Human Trafficking Bill Delays Lynch Vote

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:34 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Largest Group Of U.S. Presbyterian Churches Allows Same-Sex Marriages

Tammy Brown, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of North Alabama, reads a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on Feb. 21 at First Presbyterian Church in Florence, Ala. The amendment allows Presbyterian ministers to officiate at marriages of same-sex couples in states where that is legal. A majority of presbyteries have approved the measure.
Kay Campbell Landov

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:38 pm

The Presbyterian Church (USA), which includes more than 4,000 ministers and 1.8 million members of their congregations, approved new language Tuesday that allows its churches to perform same-sex marriages.

In a statement, the Covenant Network of Presbyterians said the change would become effective June 21.

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