Politics & Government

Politics
4:45 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Lawmakers Want Answers about Flaws In Joint Terrorism Task Force

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Friday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

Congress has held its first hearing on last month's Boston Marathon bombing. Boston's police commissioner testified yesterday that he did not know about an FBI probe into one of the suspects. He also said he's not clear the information would have made a difference.

But as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, lawmakers still want answers about the flaws and inadequacies of joint terrorism task forces.

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Politics
4:45 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Immigration Bill Remains Largely Intact After 1st Hearing

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Let's get an update now on one of this year's major policy debates. There is an immigration bill under consideration. The law, if passed, has the potential to be a major success story for President Obama and for the bipartisan group of lawmakers who drafted it. Opponents of the bill have major concerns about how it treats people who came to the U.S. illegally, and also about how much the law would cost.

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State Budgets
5:18 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Ala. Legislators OKs $5.8 Billion School Budget

A nearly $5.8 billion school budget now heads to Governor Robert Bentley for his approval.
Credit State of Alabama

The Alabama Legislature has approved a nearly $5.8 billion education budget that will fund a 2 percent pay raise for K-12 employees and give extra money to all levels of education.

The House approved the budget 70-26 Thursday afternoon. The budget got approved in the Senate 22-11 on Tuesday and now goes to the governor for his review. The budget provides a 3.6 percent increase in spending after several years of recession-riddled budgets.

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Private School Tax Credits
5:07 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Senate Approves Changes To Ala. Accountability Act

The Alabama Senate has approved changes to the Alabama Accountability Act regarding transferring students.
Credit The Associated Press

The Alabama Senate has approved legislation saying private schools and non-failing public schools don't have to take students transferring from failing public schools.


The Senate voted 21-12 Thursday for a bill making changes to the Alabama Accountability Act. The bill makes clear that a student transferring from a failing school in one school system to a non-failing school in another system has to provide his own transportation. It also tightens up which schools will be designated failing schools.

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Gun Compromise
4:58 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House, Senate Still Negotiating On AL Gun Law

The two chambers of the Alabama legislature are still working out their differences over this session's main gun bill.

The main gun bill before Alabama lawmakers is headed to a compromise committee of senators and representatives.


Sen. Scott Beason, the Senate sponsor, says he couldn't sign off on the version that House members passed late last week after reaching a compromise that involved law enforcement leaders and the National Rifle Association.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Skeptical Of Republican 'Debt Prioritization' Bill

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:48 pm

House Republicans have passed a bill that would tell President Obama which bills to pay first, should the U.S. Treasury run out of cash and risk default, like it almost did two summers ago. The proposal is not likely to move in the Democratic Senate, and the issue itself is fading in urgency as the deficit picture improves.

The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Colorado Lawmakers Set Taxes And Rules For Marijuana Sales

Colorado lawmakers approved two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax. A photo depicts a quarter of an ounce, left, and one ounce of marijuana, along with a handful of rolled joints at a Denver dispensary.
Ed Andrieski AP

Colorado is set to become the first U.S. state to regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana, after lawmakers approved several bills that set business standards and rules. Legislators expect enforcement of the rules to be paid for by two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax.

Other measures included in the package set limits on how much marijuana visitors to Colorado can buy (a quarter of an ounce), as well as a limit on how many cannabis plants a private citizen can grow (six).

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NPR Story
11:17 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Washington Insider Escapes Politics With Gospel And Eminem

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to a segment we call In Your Ear. Sometimes, after we've asked our guest about their work, we ask them about the music they listen to while they relax or play. Today, we hear from Ambassador Ron Kirk. He recently stepped down as United States Trade representative. But we caught up with him shortly before he left his post, and here's what he had to say about the music that kept him moving.

RON KIRK: Right now on now I'm enjoying "Once In A Lifetime" by Smokie Norful.

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Politics
11:17 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Who Will Hurt The Most From Immigration Bill?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later in the program, we will talk more about the story that's riveted the country, about those three women who were missing for a decade who were recently found alive. In a few minutes, we'll speak with a local columnist who stayed in touch with the mother of one of the missing women, who never gave up hope, but, sadly, did not live to see her daughter free. We'll hear more from columnist Regina Brett.

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It's All Politics
9:18 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Five Reasons Vetoes Have Gone Out Of Style

President Obama may not like the bills Congress considers, but he has vetoed only two of them.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:40 pm

President Obama in recent weeks has twice threatened to veto legislation before Congress. Don't hold your breath that it will happen.

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Politics & Government
7:29 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Ala Prisons Still Understaffed Despite New Workers

Alabama's prison system is getting dozens of new officers, but officials say it's still badly understaffed.

The Department of Corrections is holding a graduation ceremony in Selma on Thursday for 70 new correctional officers. It's the first of three corrections classes planned for this year at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center.

But department spokesman Brian Corbett says the agency loses more than 20 officers a month through attrition, so the new officers only make up for three months of normal turnover.

Politics
4:55 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Facebook Joins Lobby For Overhauling Immigration

Some progressive groups are angry with Facebook for running ads supporting GOP lawmakers on board with the immigration overhaul bill. The left-wing groups have turned a blind eye to what Facebook gets out of the overhaul measure, and what it may cost American tech workers.

Politics
4:54 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Republicans Vow To Keep Pressure On Benghazi Probe

A House committee held a hearing Wednesday into last year's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The event has been a key political weapon for Republicans, first against President Obama's re-election campaign, and now against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

Politics
4:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Lawmakers Use Web To Request Help Simplifying Tax Code

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:05 am

Steve Inskeep talks with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan about their bipartisan efforts to rewrite the tax code. On Thursday, the lawmakers launched TaxReform.gov in an effort to solicit direct input from Americans on simplifying the tax code.

It's All Politics
2:32 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Hope For A Bright Future In The Lone Star State

Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse in Blanco, Texas, after casting their ballots in November 2012. Democrats hope demographics and a new organizational push give them a brighter future in Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:51 am

President Obama travels to Texas on Thursday for the second time in as many weeks. He will talk about job training and economic opportunity, but he may have a political opportunity on his mind as well.

Obama lost Texas by more than 1 million votes last year. But Democrats believe their fortunes in the Lone Star State may soon change, thanks to demographics and a new organizational push.

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