Politics & Government

Politics
4:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

What A Week: White House Rattled By Controversy

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 6:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

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It's All Politics
4:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Immigration Bill Chugs Along, But Some See Deal-Breakers

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to work on immigration legislation on May 9.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 6:23 am

It's been a long slog already for the bipartisan immigration overhaul proposed by the Senate's Gang of Eight.

The legislation has been the target of more than 300 amendments during days of debate and votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But while the bill has largely held its own so far, its prospects for getting through Congress remain uncertain.

In Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy's view, the immigration overhaul is "moving very well."

"It's moving a lot faster than people said it would," says Leahy, a Vermont Democrat.

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Politics & Government
4:47 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Democrats Say Delay Won't Fix Alabama Tax Credits

Governor Robert Bentley isn't finding much love on either side of the aisle for his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama's Republican governor isn't getting support from key Republicans or Democrats for his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.

The Republican architect of the tax credits, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, says a delay isn't needed.

The Senate Democratic Caucus and House Minority Leader Craig Ford say the tax credits should be repealed rather than delayed.

But Bentley is persisting. He sent a letter to legislators Friday and is contacting legislators urging them to support a delay when they wrap up the 2013 legislative session on Monday.

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Campaign Finance
4:42 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Sponsor Says Still Work To Do On Campaign Finance Bill

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws.
Credit fox10tv.com

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws.


But Rep. Mike Ball of Madison says he doesn't want to give in on House GOP proposals concerning political contributions by corporations and utilities, including the influential Alabama Power Co.

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It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Obama U: What Graduation Speeches Say About The President

President Obama's commencement speeches seem to be his real State of the Union addresses. On May 5, he told Ohio State students that they were graduating into a "healing" economy.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:52 pm

This weekend, President Obama will give a speech that very likely won't be about the controversies of the moment.

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Politics
3:20 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Outgoing Acting IRS Director Grilled By House Lawmakers

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:52 pm

The House Ways and Means Committee became the first oversight panel in Congress to weigh in on the IRS tax-exempt group controversy on Friday morning.

It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

A Field Guide To Democratic Responses To Scandals

President Obama checks to see if it's still raining as a Marine holds an umbrella for him during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House on Thursday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:49 pm

President Obama's first term was free from the kind of scandal that consumes every ounce of political oxygen in Washington. Now, in light of a trio of controversies, his supporters find themselves in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of having to defend some hard-to-defend events.

Democrats have offered up a range of responses. They view the issues — Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department snooping on The Associated Press — as separate issues that shouldn't be lumped together.

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U.S.
2:11 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

After Deadly Chemical Plant Disasters, There's Little Action

The PBF Energy refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., uses toxic chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid. Rather than using "inherently safer" design methods, the industry says, other safety measures are taken to prevent accidents like the one in West, Texas.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:52 pm

You might think that everything would have changed for the chemicals industry on April 16, 1947. That was the day of the Texas City Disaster, the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. A ship loaded with ammonium nitrate — the same chemical that appears to have caused the disaster last month in West, Texas — exploded. The ship sparked a chain reaction of blasts at chemical facilities onshore, creating what a newsreel at the time called "a holocaust that baffles description."

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Conservative Advice To GOP: Don't Legislate, Focus On Scandals

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:25 pm

Heritage Action, the political activist offshoot of the conservative Heritage Foundation, has some advice for House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor: focus on the scandals plaguing the Obama administration and stay away from legislation that could "highlight major schisms" within the House Republican Conference.

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Health Care
10:31 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Nearly Half The Country Doesn't Know Health Law Exists

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:51 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we go to Ohio where black business owners are meeting to swap some new ideas. Basketball legend Magic Johnson even got a lead on an investment there. We'll tell you more about that in just a few minutes. But first, House Republicans voted yesterday to repeal President Obama's signature healthcare law - again.

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Barbershop
10:31 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Could The President's Week Get Any Worse?

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:51 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee. This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away and it is time yet again for a visit to the Barbershop. That's where the guys talk about what's in the news, what's on their minds.

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Alabama Unemployment
8:56 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops to 6.9 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in April.
www.aim.org

Alabama's unemployment rate has dipped to 6.9 percent.

Politics & Government
8:33 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Marsh to Block Plan to Delay School Tax Credits

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh wants to block Governor Bentley from delaying the private school tax credits by two years.
alprotem.com

The architect of Alabama's new private school tax credits intends to block the governor's proposal to delay the tax breaks for two years.

   Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston said families of children trapped in failing schools need the option of school choice now. Marsh said Thursday he intends to block the governor's proposal, either by getting the Legislature to reject it or never bringing it up for a vote.

   The new law provides tax credits for parents who send their children to private schools rather than public schools rated as failing.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
8:18 am
Fri May 17, 2013

It's All Politics, May 16, 2013

J. Scott Applewhite AP
  • Listen to the Roundup

NPR's Ron Elving and National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson, sitting in for Ken Rudin, look back at the week of scandals rocking the Obama administration. The president says he's angry and fires the IRS chief for the agency's targeting of groups with names that include "Tea Party" and "patriot" for extra scrutiny. And Attorney General Eric Holder is back on Capitol Hill, this time testifying on the Justice Department's seizing of phone records of journalists.

The Two-Way
7:54 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Gingrich Cautions GOP About 'Overreach' On Scandals

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in April 2012.
Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:36 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was front-and-center during the Republican-led impeachment of President Clinton in 1998, is cautioning his GOP colleagues about the risk of appearing to be too eager as they dig into the scandals now dogging the Obama administration.

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