Politics & Government

Politics
4:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Does A Falling Deficit Change The Budget Debate?

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's explore the state of the deficit a little more for today's bottom line in business. Yesterday, we talked about the House Republican plan to address it, after Congressman Paul Ryan released the party's proposal. Senator Patty Murray will put out the Senate Democrats' alternative soon. And then, at some point, the president will offer his plan on the deficit.

Let's bring in David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, as we do many days. Good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning, Renee.

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It's All Politics
3:29 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retiring Carl Levin Says He Wants To Leave The Senate Fighting

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin speaks in Dearborn on Feb. 4.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Retiring Michigan Sen. Carl Levin says he wants to spend his last two years in the Senate focusing on issues "that I believe to my core are really, really important to the country."

Although the Democrat says he "kind of" enjoys campaigning, he has decided not to seek another term in 2014 after 34 years in office. Levin says campaigns cost too much.

"Even in a state which leans Democratic — at least we think it will — still there's fundraising involved, and it's much more important that we, frankly, do our job here," he tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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It's All Politics
2:06 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Republicans Face Off Over Strategy For Picking Candidates

Karl Rove and the big donors behind his Crossroads superPAC have formed a new group, the Conservative Victory Project, to vet and recruit Republican Senate candidates.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:36 pm

Republicans have a steep hill to climb if they want to take control of the Senate next year. The GOP would need to pick up six seats in 2014.

There are plenty of open seats and vulnerable Democrats up for re-election, but Republicans are debating the best way to win.

Last year's Senate results were disappointing for the GOP: The party ended up losing a number of seats it thought were winnable — and now it's trying to figure out what to do differently next year.

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It's All Politics
5:48 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan's Budget Plan Leaves Obamacare Taxes Alone

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:23 pm

As he has said many times in recent years, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is no fan of President Obama's health care law. The Republican repeated his view again Tuesday as he laid out the House Republicans' proposed budget:

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Alabama-Canada Trade
5:11 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Canada Consul General Promotes Trade With Alabama

Canada's consul general in Atlanta, Stephen Brereton visited Montgomery to promote trade between Alabama and his country.
Credit canadainternational.gc.ca / Government of Canada

Canada's consul general in Atlanta, Stephen Brereton, visited Alabama's capital to promote increased trade and garner support for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.


Brereton told Alabama legislators Tuesday that Canada has been Alabama's top trading partner for the last four years. That included nearly $3.9 billion in exports to Canada last year. More than half of that was in vehicles and vehicle parts. Brereton says Canadian companies with operations in Alabama provide nearly 10,000 jobs.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

'Unprecedented': Budget Cuts Could Hit Some Airport Towers

A statue of golf legend Arnold Palmer stands outside Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:45 pm

Control towers at many small and medium-sized airports around the country are set to shut down next month because of the across-the-board federal budget cuts. The towers have been operated under contract to the Federal Aviation Administration.

One of the airports affected is in Latrobe, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh — the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, named after the golf great who grew up a well-placed drive from the runway. A statue of Palmer watches over the small terminal.

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Shots - Health News
4:22 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan Budget Proposal Echoes Obamacare While Rejecting It

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds up a copy of the 2014 Budget Resolution as he speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Health policy watchers might have been amused reading the latest blueprint for the federal budget, out Tuesday.

That's because once again House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposes a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans refer to as "Obamacare." But this time, the proposal describes the changes it envisions to the Medicare program in very Obamacare-like terms.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Obama Travels To Capitol Hill To Talk Gun Control, Tax Reform, And Spending Cuts

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:42 pm

President Obama came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, in the first of three planned visits to court lawmakers on a cluster of issues, from gun control legislation to a so-called grand bargain on tax reform and entitlement spending cuts. He spoke with Senate Democrats. Melissa Block talks to Ailsa Chang.

Politics
3:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Nominee To Head Consumer Protection Bureau Faces Vocal Opposition From Senate Republicans

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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Politics
3:55 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan Budget Almost An Exact Repeat Of Last Year's Proposal

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Ailsa mentioned the House budget, and today, it was presented by a cohort of House Republicans led by Budget Committee Chairman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The budget gives an indication of just how hard reaching a grand bargain will be. There's not a lot of overlap with the president's priorities, and it's almost an exact repeat of Ryan's budget from last year, right down to the title, "The Path to Prosperity." NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith tells us more.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Sharpton 2.0: From Outsider To Insider

The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network, prepares for his MSNBC show PoliticsNation in January.
Shiho Fukada for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 9:34 am

Although he's been a public figure for three decades, the Rev. Al Sharpton is more visible these days than ever, often in ways even he wouldn't have dreamed when he was leading protests on the streets of New York in the 1980s.

If you watched the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama, you probably saw the dais behind him filled with the usual lot of past presidents, members of Congress and so on. You also may have caught sight of a new, and improbable, addition: Sharpton.

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It's All Politics
2:10 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan's Budget: The First Of The DOA Proposals

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (second from right), arrives with other GOP members of the House Budget Committee he chairs, for a news conference, March 12, 2013.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Like the famous cherry blossoms forecast to bloom in a few weeks, this time of year is also marked by the arrival of competing, partisan federal budget proposals that political foes immediately declare dead-on-arrival, though not so dead that they can't be used as campaign fodder.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) got the process underway Tuesday by introducing the House Republican budget for the coming fiscal year, DOA because it has no chance of getting through the Democratic Senate or to be signed by President Obama.

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Politics & Government
1:52 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

In Secular Syria, Top Muslim Cleric Picks Sides In Civil War

Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun (right) prays with President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Feb. 5, 2012. The grand mufti has called on Syrians to join the army and fight for the government, his most partisan statement since the country's uprising began two years ago.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:28 pm

This story was written by a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.

In a surprising religious decree, Syria's government-appointed grand mufti has issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to fight on the side of President Bashar Assad's regime against the rebels who have been waging an uprising for two years.

In a televised statement Sunday, Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun said: "I urge the sons of Syria to join the army and fight for the unity of this great country."

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It's All Politics
11:54 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Why Obama (And Any President) Fails To Meet Expectations

As with other recent presidents, Barack Obama is disliked and distrusted by roughly half the public. But some of his perceived failings may be the result of an inflated expectations game that all modern presidents must play.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:06 pm

Whether President Obama attacks members of Congress, takes them out to dinner or pays them visits on Capitol Hill, he needs their support in order to achieve major parts of his agenda.

That presidents are at the mercy of Congress when it comes to budgets and legislation is an obvious point, and one deeply embedded in the U.S. constitutional system.

But it's a truism that often gets overlooked in the rush to assume that what a president wants, a president can get.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Tue March 12, 2013

General's Dismissal Of Sex Assault Conviction Sparks Anger, Review Of System

The Pentagon. New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants a review of how sexual assault cases are adjudicated by the military.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

An Air Force general's decision to dismiss the charges against a lieutenant colonel who was convicted of sexual assault has outraged many members of Congress and led new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to say he's ordered a review of the case.

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