Politics & Government

The Two-Way
6:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Married Same-Sex Couples To Receive More Federal Benefits

The Obama administration is set to announce expanded federal benefits for same-sex spouses, no matter what state they live in. On Thursday, demonstrators supporting same-sex marriage marched in front of the Supreme Court.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 4:31 pm

This post was updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

The Family Medical Leave Act's benefits will be extend to married same-sex couples in all of the U.S., under a White House announced today. The change comes as the Obama administration alters federal policies to fit the Supreme Court's repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act last June.

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Politics
5:22 am
Fri June 20, 2014

GOP: McCarthy Voted Majority Leader; Scalise Chosen As Whip

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:29 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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. NPR's Ailsa Chang takes a look at the frenzied, 10-day contest to fill the newly vacated positions.

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Iraq
5:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Political Solution Needed In Iraq, Obama Says

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 6:29 am

President Obama is sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to gather intelligence on the insurgency. He was adamant there will be no American combat operations on the ground in Iraq.

It's All Politics
4:58 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans' Top Leadership Gets A Red-State Member

Newly elected House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana (left) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speak to the media following the House Republican leadership elections on Thursday.
Kevin Dietsch UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:09 pm

House Republicans, whose voter strength can be disproportionately found in the red states of the South and Mountain West, have once again elected a majority leader from a state that voted twice for President Obama. But the race for majority whip was won by a red-state representative who made the case for regional diversity in Republican leadership.

Hailing from California, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy replaces Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, whose surprising primary loss to a political newcomer set the stage for Thursday's leadership elections.

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Court-Sex Ban
4:23 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Ala. AG Seeks Court Rehearing On Sex Law Ruling

Attorney General Luther Strange wants an appeals court to reconsider its ruling striking down Alabama's sexual misconduct law.
Credit lutherstrange.com

Attorney General Luther Strange wants an appeals court to reconsider its ruling striking down Alabama's sexual misconduct law.

The law criminalized all acts of anal and oral sex. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled unanimously Friday that the law is unconstitutional because of a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas law against consensual homosexual conduct.

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Politics
3:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

GOP Completes Leadership Shuffle, As McCarthy And Scalise Step Up

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:12 pm

House Republicans voted Thursday on leadership positions in the party's caucus. While House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy stepped up to the role of majority leader, Rep. Steve Scalise overcame a more crowded competition to replace McCarthy.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Accused Of Illegal Fundraising

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker speaks in Milwaukee in May. Newly released documents show prosecutors are alleging Walker was at the center of a nationwide "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate with outside conservative groups.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Prosecutors believe that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate fundraising with outside conservative groups in violation of state law.

The Associated Press reports that "documents were filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the probe by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth. They were ordered publicly released Thursday by a federal appeals court judge after prosecutors and the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object."

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

House GOP Picks McCarthy For Majority Leader; Scalise Gets Whip

Kevin McCarthy of Calif. arrives with his GOP House allies for leadership elections on Thursday. McCarthy won his bid to replace outgoing Rep. Eric Cantor as the party's majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:14 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been chosen by House Republicans to be their next majority leader, taking the place of Rep. Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning primary upset earlier this month. Louisiana's Rep. Steve Scalise has been selected to fill the majority whip post left vacant by McCarthy's promotion.

McCarthy defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative with close ties to the Tea Party, in a secret ballot for the position.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama: U.S. Forces Won't Return To Combat In Iraq Crisis

President Obama speaks about Iraq in the Brady Briefing room of the White House Thursday. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq — but that U.S. forces won't engage in combat with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:56 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict — and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

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It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

As More Latinos Drop Religion, Should GOP Be Extra Worried?

Catching up with a national trend, more Hispanics say they are not affiliated with a particular religion — a shift that could make the gap between Latinos and Republicans even wider.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 1:07 pm

A big deal has been made about the Republican Party's so-called Hispanic problem during recent U.S. election cycles. But there's another group — largely white and male — that has also struggled to increase the number of Latinos in its ranks: America's religiously unaffiliated. Until recently, that is.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Thu June 19, 2014

House Republicans To Vote On Cantor's Replacement Today

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:43 am

Republicans will vote by secret ballot today in the House of Representatives, as they choose a new majority leader and majority whip to lead them. Rep. Eric Cantor is stepping down from his No. 2 spot, after losing a primary contest earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Only 7 Percent Of Americans Are Big Fans Of Congress

Only 7 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:30 pm

The amount of confidence Americans have in Congress has hit a new low. Only 7 percent of the people polled by Gallup said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the legislature as an American institution.

The rock-bottom level of confidence in Congress "is not only the lowest on record," the polling company says, "but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits."

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Politics & Government
6:32 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Alabama DHR Gets $1.7 M Kellogg Grant

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded a $1.7 million grant to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

Gov. Robert Bentley says the department will use to grant to provide education and training for staff in day care centers and to improve child care services. A department spokesman says the grant will strengthen DHR's Quality Rating and Improvement System, which is being implemented in 150 day care centers across the state. DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner says one goal is to increase the number of low-income children in high-quality day care programs.

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It's All Politics
4:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

NPR Poll: In Senate Battleground States, Obama Ratings Lag

NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:30 pm

In the key battleground states that will decide control of the Senate this November, President Obama's approval numbers are lower than they are nationally — but not much lower.

That's the key finding in a new poll, conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, that sampled likely voters for NPR.

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NPR Story
4:14 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Speechwriters Deliberately Use Rhythm To Help Make Their Point

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 6:50 am

President Obama's biggest speeches have a musicality to them. That's not an accident. His speechwriters obsess over rhythm and cadence.

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