President Obama has picked Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, McDonald will face a difficult task. The VA is is embroiled in a controversy over falsified and lengthy wait times for veterans.
And let's hear more about that nomination that Cokie just mentioned. Bob McDonald was CEO of Procter & Gamble, and now if confirmed by the Senate, he'll be running the Department of Veterans Affairs. The White House says that agency is under-resourced and is suffering from a, quote, "corrosive culture that led staff to fake their reports about how long veterans are waiting to get health care." Here to talk to us about that more, NPR veterans correspondent Quil Lawrence. Quil, good morning.
DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Here in Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court wraps up its term today. And once again, we are waiting for a major decision on the Affordable Care Act. The High Court is set to rule on whether the health insurance that for-profit employers offer to their workers has to include birth control even if the employer has a religious objection. Our colleague Steve Inskeep spoke to NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley about the case.
It was one year ago when the US Supreme Court struck down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. That section required federal approval for voting changes in states with a history of racial discrimination, mostly in the south. And after the Supreme Court acted, many of those states rushed to enact laws requiring photo identification to vote, including here in Alabama. The state reported few problems during this month’s primary election. Critics of voter photo ID say they’re waiting for the November election when more voters show up at the polls.
The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been $2.13 since 1991. That pay rate tends to get lost in the larger debate over whether to raise the national minimum wage for nontipped workers, which is $7.25 an hour.
In theory, the money from tips should make up the difference in pay — and then some. But according to a White House report, tipped workers are more than twice as likely as other workers to experience poverty.
President Obama will ask Congress for about $2 billion in emergency funds and for a change in the law in an effort to stem the tide of Central American immigrants flooding the Southern border, according to a White House official.
Call it the first official contest of the 2016 presidential campaign. Sure, the election's a couple of years away. Nevertheless, we have a pair of finalists. They are cities hoping to host the Republican National Convention two summers from now. In this corner, Dallas, Texas.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG D")
FRANK LOESSER: (Singing)You're from Big D. My, oh, yes. I mean, big D, little A, double L, A, S.
GONYEA: And the other contender, hailing from the shores of Lake Erie...
The Republican runoff for state auditor on July 15 features two of Alabama's best known political mavericks who promise to transform the smallest office in the state Capitol into a center for uncovering wrongdoing.
Mobile attorney Jim Zeigler is known as "Mr. 49 Percent" for losing many close races. He takes on retired Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson, who became an Internet sensation in his 2010 race for agriculture commissioner where he toted a gun and promised to go after the crooks in Montgomery.
Past presidents have described the White House as "the crown jewel of the federal penal system" and "the great white jail." And lately, President Obama has been increasingly sending signals he's feeling claustrophobic in the presidential bubble.
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There might not be much legislation traveling down Pennsylvania Avenue for President Obama to sign, but there's plenty of back and forth over the president's use of executive power to act when Congress doesn't.
Week's end found Obama dismissing a lawsuit threatened by Speaker John Boehner, who alleges the president is violating the Constitution by exercising this often controversial power.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller was granted a stay by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear an appeal of a ruling Wednesday of the U.S. District Court. Wednesday's decision found the ban unconstitutional.