Ailsa Chang http://ktep.org en To Cope With Child Immigrants, Competing Plans Emerge From Congress http://ktep.org/post/cope-immigration-influx-competing-plans-emerge-congress Divergent plans are now emerging from the House and Senate on how best to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children from Central America across the border.<p>Though both would offer the president less money than he asked for to deal with the crisis, a major battle has developed over whether to amend a 2008 law that makes it harder to speedily deport the children.<p>House Republicans are drawing a clear line in the sand on this one: President Obama is getting no money from them if they can't attach some policy changes to the funding. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 45264 at http://ktep.org To Cope With Child Immigrants, Competing Plans Emerge From Congress VA Nominee Steps Before Senate Committee http://ktep.org/post/va-nominee-steps-senate-committee Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to run the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, is appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing. He faces the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, which will vote on whether to send his nomination to the Senate floor. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=VA+Nominee+Steps+Before+Senate+Committee&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA4NDI3MDk2MDEzMjA0NDE3NTExOWRjNg004)"/></div><p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:12:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 45206 at http://ktep.org House GOP Counters Obama's Request By Promising Own Proposal http://ktep.org/post/house-gop-counters-obamas-request-promising-own-proposal Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. It's a familiar dance in Washington - President Obama makes a request to Congress and the House says no. This time, the no is in response to the $3.7 billion dollars the president requested to respond to an influx of unaccompanied immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.<p>House Republicans say they won't grant anywhere near that amount. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 44742 at http://ktep.org Administration Officials Defend Funding Request To Stem Border Crisis http://ktep.org/post/administration-officials-defend-funding-request-stem-border-crisis President Obama has asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the southern border crisis. There are predictions the number of unaccompanied children entering the U.S. could reach 90,000 by October. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 44457 at http://ktep.org Could A Socialist Senator Become A National Brand? http://ktep.org/post/could-socialist-senator-become-national-brand As members of Congress continue hammering out a bill to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/06/04/318827245/va-health-cares-chronic-ailments-long-waits-and-red-tape">beleaguered health care system</a>, attention has focused on one man leading the charge: Bernie Sanders, Independent senator from Vermont and a self-described socialist.<p>Sanders barely got 2 percent of the vote when he first tried breaking into Vermont politics in the 1970s, but now there's buzz that the man known simply as "Bernie" may be a presidential candidate in 2016.<p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:23:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 44359 at http://ktep.org Could A Socialist Senator Become A National Brand? Supreme Court Invalidates 3 Obama Recess Appointments http://ktep.org/post/supreme-court-invalidates-3-obama-recess-appointments Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>In Washington yesterday, the Supreme Court limited the president's authority to make appointments when the Senate is gone. The justices unanimously ruled that the temporary appointment's President Obama made to the National Labors Relations Board in 2012 were unconstitutional because the Senate was technically still there, not in recessed. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 09:11:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 43539 at http://ktep.org Addressing Border Crisis, Politicians Find Invitation In Misperception http://ktep.org/post/addressing-border-crisis-politicians-find-invitation-misperception The House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing Tuesday to address the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson spoke at the proceedings, saying the situation at the border was "urgent." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:25:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 43351 at http://ktep.org GOP: McCarthy Voted Majority Leader; Scalise Chosen As Whip http://ktep.org/post/gop-mccarthy-voted-majority-leader-scalise-chosen-whip Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>House Republicans have elected a new majority leader. As expected, Kevin McCarthy of California, currently the third-ranked Republican in the House, easily prevailed. And Steve Scalise of Louisiana won the fight to replace McCarthy as majority whip. The leadership shuffle followed last week's unexpected primary defeat of the previous majority leader, Eric Cantor. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:22:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 43061 at http://ktep.org Hagel Defends Bergdahl Exchange Before House Panel http://ktep.org/post/hagel-defends-bergdahl-exchange-house-panel Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel explained why the Obama administration agreed to swap five top Taliban leaders for the release of an Army enlisted man, who willingly left his post in Afghanistan. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:12:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 42510 at http://ktep.org Senators Reach Deal To Pay For Veterans' Care Outside VA System http://ktep.org/post/senators-reach-deal-pay-veterans-care-outside-va-system Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>We will report next on the agency created to care for all of America's veterans. Eric Shinseki resigned a week ago. He was secretary of Veterans Affairs, and he stepped down amid reports of treatment delays and deceptive scheduling practices at VA medical centers. Now members of the U.S. Senate have cobbled together a bipartisan proposal to fix the problems. Their plans will provide more health facilities for veterans, allow them to visit private clinics if they wish and make it easier to dismiss poorly performing officials. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 09:16:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 42151 at http://ktep.org Outraged Senators Reach Across Aisle For Deal On VA Wait Times http://ktep.org/post/outraged-senators-reach-across-aisle-deal-va-wait-times Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Some U.S. senators have crafted a bipartisan response to the crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned last week, amid controversy over treatment delays at veterans' hospitals. Now, a Senate plan calls for construction of new medical centers for veterans. It would also allow quicker dismissal of high-level employees at the VA.<p>NPR's Ailsa Chang is following all of this from the capital. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 42117 at http://ktep.org Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination http://ktep.org/post/old-senate-tradition-lies-behind-controversial-judges-nomination As President Obama continues to take heat for nominating to the federal bench a judge who once wanted to keep the Confederate emblem on the Georgia state flag, the White House says what's partly to blame for the choice is an old Senate tradition.<p>It turns out that tradition — which gives virtual veto power over judicial nominations to home state senators — helps explain why almost all the judicial vacancies without nominees are now in states with Republican senators.<p>There's an idea in the Senate that it's still a chamber operating on mutual respect and goodwill between colleagues, even in Thu, 29 May 2014 20:27:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 41673 at http://ktep.org Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination Sen. Isakson: Boggs Fight Won't Break White House Deal http://ktep.org/post/sen-isakson-boggs-fight-wont-break-white-house-deal If the judicial nomination of Michael Boggs gets derailed, at least one of Georgia's senators says it won't unravel a deal the two senators entered with the White House to select seven nominees for the federal bench in Georgia.<p>"The deal was we agreed on seven nominees for seven judicial appointments and asked for all of them to get a hearing at the same time, and that was the deal," said Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Thu, 22 May 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 41220 at http://ktep.org Sen. Isakson: Boggs Fight Won't Break White House Deal House Panel Wants More Done To Undermine Boko Haram http://ktep.org/post/house-panel-wants-more-done-undermine-boko-haram The House Foreign Affairs Committee got a briefing on the threat from Boko Haram, a terrorist group that has kidnapped and is holding hundreds of Nigerian girls captive. Thu, 22 May 2014 09:05:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 41143 at http://ktep.org Obama Judicial Nominee Gets A Hostile Reception From Democrats http://ktep.org/post/obama-judicial-nominee-gets-hostile-reception-democrats Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>One of President Obama's most controversial picks for the federal bench faced a barrage of hostile questions from Democrats, during his confirmation hearing today. Michael Boggs is a state judge in Georgia. Tue, 13 May 2014 20:05:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 40563 at http://ktep.org Election-Year Politics Dooms Energy Bill, Averts Pipeline Vote http://ktep.org/post/election-year-politics-dooms-energy-bill-averts-pipeline-vote As expected, an energy efficiency bill failed in the Senate on Monday, which makes a separate Senate vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline unlikely before the November election.<p>Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had made a Keystone vote contingent upon passage of the energy efficiency bill, and letting one doom the other may have temporarily gotten him out of a bind.<p>Reid faced a dilemma: Some Senate Democrats — especially vulnerable ones running in conservative states this year — want to support the pipeline. Tue, 13 May 2014 06:38:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 40504 at http://ktep.org Election-Year Politics Dooms Energy Bill, Averts Pipeline Vote Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done http://ktep.org/post/women-capitol-hill-may-be-better-crossing-party-lines There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?<p>There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Thu, 08 May 2014 09:15:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 40211 at http://ktep.org Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done From Humble Beginnings, A Powerhouse Fundraising Class Emerges http://ktep.org/post/humble-beginnings-powerhouse-fundraising-class-emerges Women are far less likely than men to run for Congress. But here's the curious thing: When it comes to the hardest, most miserable part of campaigning — fundraising — women do just as well as men.<p>Study after study shows this, but it wasn't always that way. Efforts over the past 30 years to teach women how to <em>raise</em> money and <em>give</em> money have helped them catch up to men as powerhouse fundraisers. <br /> Tue, 06 May 2014 21:24:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 40115 at http://ktep.org From Humble Beginnings, A Powerhouse Fundraising Class Emerges Senate Republicans Block Bill To Raise Federal Minimum Wage http://ktep.org/post/senate-republicans-block-bill-raise-federal-minimum-wage One of the Democrats top election themes this year was stopped cold in the Senate on Wednesday. Republicans successfully blocked Democrats from even taking up a bill to raise the minimum wage. Thu, 01 May 2014 09:12:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 39766 at http://ktep.org Hey, Superheroes On The National Mall: Any Advice For Congress? http://ktep.org/post/superheroes-go-washington-and-theyve-got-political-advice Hundreds of people gathered on the National Mall Friday to see if they could break the Guinness World Record for the largest group dressed as comic book characters ever assembled.<p>It was the kickoff to Awesome Con 2014, a comic book convention that will take place in Washington, D.C., this weekend. In the end, the group came up short by several hundred people to break the world record.<p>But with so much superhero power concentrated next to the U.S. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 38941 at http://ktep.org Hey, Superheroes On The National Mall: Any Advice For Congress? As Election Nears, Congress Is Expected To Be Less Productive http://ktep.org/post/election-nears-congress-expected-be-less-productive Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Let's look at the calendar now. We are seven months away from the midterm elections. Members of the House of Representatives and a good number of senators have turned much of their focus to campaigning. There are still votes happening in Congress, but often of a different kind. This year, we've seen a flurry of show votes: votes on bills with no realistic hope of passing, but are done to make political points. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, both parties have been in on it.<p>AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: In eighth grade civics class, it was simple. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:28:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 38612 at http://ktep.org Mega-Donor Opens Wallet On The Hill To Kill Online Gambling http://ktep.org/post/mega-donor-opens-wallet-hill-kill-online-gambling Now that the Supreme Court has eliminated the cap on the total amount one individual can give to candidates in each election, many are wondering how the very rich will respond.<p>If they spread their money across a wider swath of lawmakers, would that improve their chances of passing the legislation they want?<p>Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson could be the first test case.<p><strong>Expanding One's Reach Across Congress</strong><p>Adelson is pushing a bill through Congress that would ban online gambling, and he has pledged he will spend "whatever it takes."<p>The Supreme Court has ruled that a Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:02:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 37973 at http://ktep.org Mega-Donor Opens Wallet On The Hill To Kill Online Gambling As Obamacare Deadline Nears, Louisiana Gets Special Attention http://ktep.org/post/obamacare-deadline-nears-louisiana-gets-special-attention With only four days left before the March 31 enrollment deadline, the White House is kicking into high gear trying to round up more Affordable Care Act enrollees – and Louisiana got special attention Thursday.<p>Why? Enrollment in the federal healthcare exchange there has lagged behind other states and, perhaps as important, citizens are getting bombarded with anti-ACA ads as Democratic Sen. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:10:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 37528 at http://ktep.org As Obamacare Deadline Nears, Louisiana Gets Special Attention How To Meet Your Congressman http://ktep.org/post/how-meet-your-congressman For all the campaigning and schmoozing members of Congress have to do, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans will never actually meet their lawmakers.<p>To be fair, not everyone wants to. But among those who do, there's serious competition for a lawmaker's time. So, how does an average citizen get access on Capitol Hill? The quick answer: It's not easy.<p>First, do the math. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 37382 at http://ktep.org How To Meet Your Congressman With Clock Ticking Down, Obama Polishes Judicial Legacy http://ktep.org/post/clock-ticking-down-obama-polishes-judicial-legacy Republicans have a decent shot at taking control of the Senate in November, so President Obama could have as little as nine months left to shape the judiciary he will leave behind.<p>Senate Democrats positioned themselves to help with that endeavor when they eliminated the filibuster for most judicial nominees last November. But Republicans are still finding ways to slow things down.<p>When Senate Republicans lost their ability to filibuster judicial nominees, many claimed the federal bench would change forever. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:16:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 37137 at http://ktep.org With Clock Ticking Down, Obama Polishes Judicial Legacy Senators Agree To Compromise Extending Jobless Benefits http://ktep.org/post/senators-agree-compromise-extending-jobless-benefits Negotiators in the Senate reached a bi-partisan deal to extend unemployment benefits for 5 months, retroactive to the end of last year. A full Senate vote isn't expected until later this month. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 09:03:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 36642 at http://ktep.org Gillibrand, McCaskill Square Off Over Military Assault Prosecutions http://ktep.org/post/gillibrand-mccaskill-square-over-military-assault-prosecutions Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>The Senate has rejected a proposal that would have allowed military prosecutors, rather than commanders, to decide which sexual assault cases to pursue. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:55:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 36156 at http://ktep.org Senate Blocks Military Sexual Assault Reforms http://ktep.org/post/senate-blocks-military-sexual-assault-reforms Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>After months of anticipation, the Senate has rejected a proposal to fundamentally change the way the military prosecutes sexual assault. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York needed 60 votes for a bill that would give military prosecutors, rather than commanders, final say over which sexual assault cases to prosecute. The legislation got 55 votes today.<p>With us now is NPR's congressional reporter Ailsa Chang to talk about the fight around Gillibrand's legislation. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 36124 at http://ktep.org Democrats Help Block Nominee For DOJ's Top Civil Rights Job http://ktep.org/post/democrats-help-block-nominee-dojs-top-civil-rights-job Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>And I'm Linda Wertheimer.<p>A handful of Senate Democrats joined Republicans yesterday to defeat President Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.<p>Debo Adegbile is a civil rights lawyer who once helped handle the appeal of a cop killer. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:22:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 36078 at http://ktep.org House Approves Measure To Ease Flood Insurance Hikes http://ktep.org/post/house-approves-measure-ease-flood-insurance-hikes Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>The House overwhelmingly passed legislation last night to undo flood insurance reform that Congress passed less than two years ago. When homeowners started calling lawmakers about sharp premium hikes, both chambers moved swiftly to ease the pain.<p>NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.<p>AILSA CHNAG, BYLINE: In 2012, Democrat Maxine Waters of California put her name on a bill that was meant to help the National Flood Insurance Program dig itself out of huge debt. Last night, she said she made a big mistake.<p>REPRESENTATIVE MAXINE WATERS: Mr. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 10:13:00 +0000 Ailsa Chang 36004 at http://ktep.org