Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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Middle East
2:54 am
Sat September 14, 2013

In Syria Debate, Obama's Internal Dialogue Becomes Audible

President Obama's speeches about Syria have at times seemed to reveal his own internal struggle on the topic.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 4:21 pm

A surprise agreement between the U.S. and Russia, announced Saturday, calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal follows a chaotic week of seat-of-the-pants foreign policy.

Performing on the international stage, Obama and his Cabinet secretaries have offered up one plot twist after another, though it often seems as if the actors are working without a script.

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Middle East
2:55 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Obama Puts Military Strike In Syria On Hold

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning.

President Obama's push for a military strike on Syria is on hold, at least for now. The administration is exploring a possible diplomatic alternative that calls for Syria to surrender its stockpile of chemical weapons. That could provide a face-saving out for the president, who appeared unlikely to win Congressional approval this week for a strike.

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Middle East
5:23 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Obama Wins Support From Only Half Of G-20

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:01 am

The president is back in Washington Saturday after spending several days trying to convince world leaders at the G-20 summit in Russia that a U.S. strike against Syria is necessary. Ten of the G-20 leaders signed a statement in support of U.S. action. The other half remain wary.

U.S.
3:20 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Obama Faces A Skeptical Audience As He Returns From G-20

The G-20 summit in St. Petersburg has ended with no consensus on a possible military strike in Syria.

Middle East
4:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Syria Becomes Unofficial Focus Of G-20 Meeting In Russia

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

While Americans debate the U.S. role in Syria, President Obama is meeting with the leaders of the world's biggest economies. They've gathered for the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. The official focus of the meeting is global economic growth, but there, too, Syria is the issue of the day.

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Middle East
3:14 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Syria Expected To Dominate G-20 Sideline Talks

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:58 am

The topic of military intervention is Syria is expected to over shadow the Group of 20 summit going on in St. Petersburg, Russia. President Vladimir Putin hosts but there are no plans for him and President Obama to meet one on one, given the controversy over Syria and Russia's grant of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Middle East
2:36 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Obama Tries To Build International Support For Syria Strike

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:27 pm

The crisis in Syria dominated President Obama's visit to Sweden on Wednesday, as he continued to push for Congressional approval of his plan to launch a military strike against Syrian government forces, in response to their use of chemical weapons against their own people.. "My credibility is not on the line. The international community's credibility is on the line," Obama told a news conference in Stockholm. "And America and Congress' credibility is on the line." The President travels to the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

Governing
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama Asks Congress To Approve Action On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

It was a stunner today for pundits on the Potomac. President Obama announced in the Rose Garden that while he has the authority to unilaterally attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons, he won't use it. Only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for military action, the president made the case for congressional approval.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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U.S.
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

White House Tries To Rally Support Around A Syria Strike

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

President Obama says the world cannot accept the use of chemical weapons on a mass scale in Syria, but much of the world seems unwilling to act in response. The president says the U.S. has not made a final decision either.

U.S.
2:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Treasury, IRS Debut New Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:01 pm

Officials of the Treasury Department and the IRS announced new rules allowing same sex couples who marry in states with gay marriage to file jointly if they move to other states.

Race
2:45 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama Encourages Next Generation To Carry On King's Vision

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:06 am

Freedom bells rang out in Washington and across the country on Wednesday, as Americans marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. President Obama, who's often noted his own debt to the civil rights leader, praised the tens of thousands of Americans who marched with Dr. King in 1963. He also challenged a new generation to continue to press for racial and economic justice.

Middle East
2:45 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Obama 'Concluded' Syrian Regime Conducted Chemical Attack

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 3:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

This morning in Syria, U.N. inspectors continue their investigation into last week's chemical weapons attack, which apparently killed hundreds of civilians. The U.N. plans for the inspection team to be in Syria's capital, Damascus, until Saturday.

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The March On Washington At 50
1:35 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Obama To Outline Unfinished Work, Decades After King's Dream

A spectator on the National Mall holds an image of President Obama and Martin Luther King during the 2013 presidential inauguration in January.
Gabriel B. Tait MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

President Obama will stand in the symbolic shadows of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, as he marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Aides say Obama will use the opportunity to celebrate the progress that's been made, thanks to the civil rights movement. He'll also discuss the work that he says still has to be done to realize King's dream of racial justice in America.

That includes fighting to protect voting rights and building what the president calls "ladders of opportunity" for poor people of all races.

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Education
3:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 9:39 am

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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Middle East
3:01 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Still Wary Of U.S. Military Intervention In Syria

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama continued his back-to-school bus tour today, visiting college campuses in New York and Pennsylvania. Back here in Washington, D.C., administration officials wrestled with how the U.S. should respond to this week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Obama says Wednesday's attack around Damascus, if verified, raises grave concern and could threaten core national interests of the United States.

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Politics
2:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Takes To The Road To Push College Affordability Plan

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on a two-day back-to-school bus tour. He's holding a town hall meeting today at the State University in Binghamton, New York. Later he'll visit a community college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The president is pushing his plan to make college education more affordable. NPR's Scott Horsley is along for the ride. He reports that the bus tour has the president in one of his comfort zones.

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Education
3:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Obama Calls For College Affordability On Bus Tour

President Obama was in Buffalo, N.Y., today, talking up the college affordability program at the SUNY campus there and urging Congress to do more to support higher education. The president also has a political agenda as he drives from town to town. NPR's Scott Horsley is with the president and joins us now.

It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Obama Heads Back To School To Talk College Affordability

President Obama steps off his bus, nicknamed "Ground Force One," as he arrives for breakfast at the Ossorio Bakery and Cafe in Cocoa, Fla., during a two-day bus tour last year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:51 pm

It's back-to-school season for college students — and President Obama plans to be right there with them.

The president will spend the next two days on a bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania that includes stops at three colleges and a high school. At each stop, he'll be talking about ways to make college more affordable.

The president's big black bus will make its first stop at the University at Buffalo on Thursday — the same day incoming freshmen will be moving in, hauling suitcases and mini-refrigerators.

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Africa
3:11 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama Calls On All Egyptians To Exercise Restraint

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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National Security
6:21 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Obama Outlines Surveillance Proposal

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 5:43 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Energy Standards For Ceiling Fans Spin Up D.C. Debate

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 9:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In these dog days of summer, a ceiling fan still offers an inexpensive way to cool down - except maybe in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where a partisan battle is heating up over efficiency standards proposed by the Obama administration. The Energy Department is in the early stages of crafting new rules to encourage the spread of ceiling fans that use less electricity, but House Republicans want to put that idea on ice. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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News
2:56 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Obama Breaks His Silence On Trayvon Martin Verdict

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," President Obama told the press Friday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 2:48 pm

President Obama broke his silence on the Trayvon Martin shooting case Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman.

Obama didn't question the jury's not-guilty verdict, but he spoke in unusually personal terms about the history and experiences that shape the way African-Americans in particular see the case.

He spoke frankly about the pain the Trayvon Martin case has left, especially in the African-American community. He said that's a product of a common history that doesn't go away.

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Business
1:20 am
Fri July 19, 2013

With Filibuster Deal, NLRB Could Soon Return To Full Force

The National Labor Relations Board building in downtown Washington.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 4:00 am

For decades after the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Board served as the arbiter for squabbles between management and unions, or workers who wanted to join a union. In more recent years, though, the board itself has become a battleground.

Democratic appointees to the NLRB have grown increasingly sympathetic to organized labor, while Republican appointees have grown increasingly hostile, says Harley Shaiken, who studies labor relations as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 5:11 pm

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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Middle East
2:53 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

After Promising Military Aid, U.S. Sends Little To Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One place military aid does not appear to be flowing yet is Syria. Rebel commanders in Syria say they are waiting for promised arms from the United States and growing impatient. Nearly a month has passed since the Obama administration said it would begin sending military help. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, opposition in Congress appears to be a stumbling block.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Understanding The Recess Appointment Truce

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Congress is in recess this 4th of July week and, for a change, it's a real recess. Lawmakers haven't bothered with the kind of going through the motions sessions, a relatively recent political strategy that have marked some past legislative breaks. That suggests at least a temporary truce between the Senate and the White House over the contentious issue of presidential appointments.

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Middle East
5:25 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

With Turmoil In Egypt, Obama Urges All To 'Avoid Violence'

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

President Obama said tonight that he is deeply concerned by the situation in Egypt where the military has suspended the constitution and removed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi from office. Mr. Obama said the U.S. is monitoring what he called a very fluid situation, and he urged the military to return authority to a democratic government as quickly as possible.

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U.S.
4:02 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

After DOMA Ruling, Government Scrambles To Adjust

Naomi Hendrix (right) and Rio Waller exchange their wedding vows in a small garden across from the Fresno County Clerk's office in California on Monday.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:12 pm

At gay pride events throughout the country last weekend, marchers celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Now, the rainbow flags are giving way to calculators and sharp pencils, as gay and lesbian couples start to grapple with the practical impact of what the ruling means for them.

President Obama has directed Cabinet members to implement the ruling "swiftly and smoothly" by extending federal recognition to same-sex marriages for the first time. But that will be easier for some federal agencies than others.

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It's All Politics
4:58 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Big Growth Could Shake Up Texas' Old Political Equation

A bilingual sign stands outside a polling center at a public library ahead of local elections on April 28 in Austin, Texas.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 7:36 am

It's no secret: Texas is big. And it's getting bigger.

The Lone Star State has added about 5 million people since the turn of the century, and its population is expected to swell by another 5 million by 2020.

This week, NPR examines the dramatic demographic shifts underway in the Lone Star State in our series Texas 2020. We'll look ahead to how the second-biggest state could change in the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of America.

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Europe
3:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Obama Evokes Cold War In Speech At Berlin's Brandenburg Gate

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. In front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate today, President Obama stood, as he said, along the fault line where a city was divided. In a speech on the former path of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Obama said that while the barbed wire and checkpoints are gone from the city, the struggle for freedom and prosperity continues in many other parts of the world.

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