Politics & Government

Politics
5:06 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Coburn Proposal Would Make Buyer Prove Ability To Buy Guns

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:26 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma about why he voted no against the measure to expand background checks. The measure failed to get the 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate.

Politics
5:06 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Disgraced Politicians Try To Stage Their Second Acts

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is all things considered. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Americans love a political comeback. When it comes to sex scandals, voters seem increasingly willing to forgive, if not forget. That's what former Congressman Anthony Weiner and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford are hoping, as they attempt a return to public office.

But, as NPR's Joel Rose reports, both politicians face major hurdles.

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It's All Politics
4:49 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks after losing a vote on broader background checks for gun buyers, Wednesday at the Capitol.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:54 pm

If it seems perplexing why an idea that has broad support nationally could fail to pass the U.S. Senate, here's an important reminder: The Senate is not a democratic institution.

It never has been, and it was never designed to be. Rather, it was structured to give small or sparsely populated states the ability to stop the majority's will. And on Wednesday, that's how it worked out, as the Senate failed to reach a 60-vote threshold to support new background checks on gun purchases.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Newtown Residents: Senate Gun Votes 'A Slap In The Face'

Neil Heslin, father of 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Jesse Lewis, holds a picture of the two of them as he testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Following the Senate's rejection Wednesday of a range of gun control measures, including universal background checks, many in Newtown, Conn., are reacting with surprise and disappointment. The town is still stricken with grief from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December that took the lives of 20 students and six adults.

On Thursday morning, Mike Cragin stopped by the Dunkin' Donuts in Newtown with his bulldog, Truman.

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Politics & Government
3:33 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Conn. Governor Lambastes Senate After Gun Control Bill Fails

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The failure of gun control measures to get through Congress yesterday stands in sharp contrast to sweeping moves approved by some state legislatures after the Newtown shootings. Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut all passed broad expansions of gun control laws.

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It's All Politics
2:14 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Gang Begins To Sell Immigration Plan

The "Gang of Eight" senators hold a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss their immigration overhaul bill. The senators, from left, are Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., John McCain, R-Ariz., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:59 pm

Bipartisan bonhomie broke out Thursday afternoon when four Democratic and four Republican senators made a case for their comprehensive immigration overhaul proposal.

The scene at the Dirksen Senate Office Building stood in marked contrast to the ugly end Wednesday of a smaller cross-party effort to fashion gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and banned assault-style weapons.

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Politics & Government
10:41 am
Thu April 18, 2013

North Korea: End U.N. Sanctions, And Talks Can Resume

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 1:33 pm

North Korea on Thursday says it is ready to resume talks with the U.S. and South Korea if they end joint military exercises and the United Nations drops sanctions.

The official KCNA news agency carried the statement from North Korea's National Defense Commission calling for a resumption of dialogue.

"The first step will be withdrawing the U.N. Security Council resolutions cooked up on ridiculous grounds," the statement said.

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Around the Nation
10:34 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Angela Davis Film Explores The 'Terrorist' And Scholar

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:52 am

Angela Davis was once on the FBI's most wanted list. But decades after her brush with the law as a political activist, she remains a hero to some, and a villain to others. Host Michel Martin talks with Shola Lynch, the director of the new documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.

Politics
10:34 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gun Control Battle: Any Room For Political Leeway?

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:52 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we will tell you about an up and coming emcee who's making a splash in Los Angeles and he's not somebody you might expect to see rocking the mic. That's just one of the stories NPR's new Code Switch team will be bringing you. We'll tell you more about that in just a few minutes.

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Politics
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Obama's Pressure Fails To Get Gun Measure Passed

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, President Obama had promised to put the full weight of his office behind getting Congress to pass new gun control legislation. That weight was apparently not enough. When the legislation failed yesterday, Obama went into the White House Rose Garden and made a blistering speech, calling it a shameful day for Washington.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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Politics
4:56 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Gun-Rights Groups Claim Victory On Rapid Series Of Votes

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We are following two major stories this morning. One is the fire and explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. We'll have more on that in a moment.

INSKEEP: We begin with a victory for gun rights groups and a stinging defeat for gun control. Senate Republicans joined a small group of Democrats to reject every major gun control proposal President Obama has been pushing since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Politics
5:38 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Criticizes Congress After Background Check Bill Fails

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From Boston now to the White House, where President Obama reacted angrily tonight to the failure of an effort in the Senate to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment, proposed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, got only 54 votes - six short of the necessary 60. President Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden. He called this a pretty shameful day for Washington.

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It's All Politics
5:31 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Obama Uses And Loses Political Capital On Gun Control

Mark Barden, the father of a young Newtown, Conn., shooting victim, speaks at a White House news conference on Wednesday, with President Obama and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obama denounced the Senate's defeat of a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers. "This was a pretty shameful day in Washington," he said.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:53 pm

The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.

Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. And in recent weeks, the president had campaigned for overall gun control legislation — especially the bipartisan background-check compromise — with a sense of urgency.

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Immigration Proves A 'Rubik's Cube' For Many Republicans

Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Capitol on April 10.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

While an immigration overhaul has drawn support from church groups, business, labor and even former opponents, there's still deep opposition — mostly centered in the Republican Party.

The last time a president tried to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul was in 2007, and George W. Bush's fellow Republicans in Congress killed his bill. Republican strategist Kevin Madden says a lot has changed since then — including the way the Republican Party is dealing with its own internal divisions.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Senate Rejects Expanded Background Checks For Gun Sales

President Obama makes a statement on gun violence as Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and family members of Newtown, Conn., shooting victims look on at the White House Rose Garden.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:36 pm

A bipartisan compromise that would have expanded federal background checks for firearms purchases has been rejected by the Senate.

The defeat of the measure by a 54-46 vote — six votes shy of the number needed to clear the Senate — marks a major setback for gun-control advocates, many of whom had hoped that Congress would act to curb gun violence in the wake of December's Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six adults were killed.

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