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.

Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The black-tie event has evolved into a glitzy celebrity roast, but it began as a simple chance for journalists to break bread with the presidents they cover.

This year, the White House Correspondents' Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it plans to posthumously honor the first African-American reporter to cover a presidential news conference.

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Senate Republicans blocked a vote Wednesday on a bill to raise the nation's minimum wage. But don't expect that to be the end of the story.

For more than a year now, Democrats, including President Obama, have been pushing to boost the minimum wage. Their latest target is $10.10 an hour.

GOP critics argue that would depress hiring in an already weak job market.

But raising the wage is popular with voters, and Democrats plan to make the issue a rallying cry between now and the November elections.

President Obama returned to Washington on Tuesday after a weeklong visit to Asia.

The four-nation tour was designed to showcase U.S. involvement in the region, but it produced only modest diplomatic developments. And toward the end of the trip, the president offered a modest assessment of his overall foreign policy.

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President Obama sets off for Asia this week. He'll be visiting four countries - Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. The trip is part of the president's long-term strategy to refocus America's attention towards Asia, something that's proving a little bit hard to do.

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about the trip. Good morning.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning.

President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law.

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.

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And I'm Audie Cornish. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius got a fond farewell today from President Obama. She's resigning after a rocky tenure marred by the botched rollout of the government's health insurance exchange last fall. The president's tapping his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to replace Sebelius. NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

The move comes about 6 months after the disastrous roll out of the health insurance website. It was eventually fixed, but not before delivering a severe blow to the president's approval ratings.

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from her position as secretary of health and human services. President Obama accepted her resignation, and he plans to nominate Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace her.

Money and politics don't always make for polite conversation, but President Obama tried to tackle both at the White House on Tuesday.

Obama signed a pair of executive orders aimed at encouraging conversation about men's and women's pay scales. It's a talk that Democrats hope will yield political gains this year.

It also raised questions, though, about how the administration pays its own people.

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Today is Equal Pay Day, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The government calculates the average pay of men and women.

GREENE: A woman would've had to work all last year, then all the way until today in order to match what the average man made just last year.

INSKEEP: She needed more than 15 months to match what the man made in 12.

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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President Obama met Friday with the king of Saudi Arabia. There's considerable friction in the U.S.-Saudi relationship at the moment, with key differences over Syria and Iran.

Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.

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The Ukrainian government ordered its border guards to withdraw from Crimea today. Pro-Russian forces there seized more Ukrainian property, including at least two warships. We have more details on those events elsewhere in the program.

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

The Obama administration is ordering new sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The move is designed to penalize Russia for efforts to split Crimea away from Ukraine.

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Colorado's Senate race is heating up with the entry of a well-regarded Republican challenger. Colorado is also the model for Democratic voter mobilization efforts in battleground states nationwide.

With an executive order Thursday, President Obama authorized sanctions on Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. Speaker Boehner praised the sanctions and offered congressional support going forward.

On Tuesday, President Obama will unveil his budget proposal for the coming year. But for all the sound and fury surrounding the president's spending plan, it's likely to have very little significance. Congress routinely ignores the president's budget. And lawmakers have already settled on overall spending levels for the coming year.

That's led some to ask whether it's time to bring the curtain down on this annual exercise in political theater.

The program is to encourage young African American and Latino males facing a difficult environment and hard choices. The president is once again wading into turbulent racial waters.

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It's a sign of deeply partisan times when a Democratic president and a Republican House speaker make headlines just by sitting down and talking to each other. That's what happened today in a rare hour-long meeting that aides call constructive. How constructive is not exactly clear. And while the president and House speaker agreed to work together in areas where there's common ground, that appears to be very small territory.

President Obama met Friday with more than a dozen Democratic governors at the White House. They emerged from the meeting declaring their united support for a higher national minimum wage.

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President Obama is in Mexico today, for a one-day summit meeting with his fellow North American leaders. Trade tops the agenda. And President Obama signed an executive order today designed to speed up cross-border commerce. But the president's broader trade agenda appears to be slowing in the face of stiff congressional opposition.

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