Politics & Government

It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

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Campaign Finance
4:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Court Will Hear Campaign Donation Limits Appeal

The nation's highest court will hear a challenge from an Alabama man that looks to change campaign finance law.
Credit www.usda.gov / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to campaign finance laws limiting how much an individual can give to political campaigns.


The justices on Tuesday decided to hear an appeal from Shaun McCutcheon of Alabama and the Republican National Committee. They are arguing that it's unconstitutional to stop a donor from giving more than $46,200 to political candidates and $70,800 to political committees and PACs.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Paints Bleak Picture Of Life After Automatic Government Spending Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:42 pm

On Tuesday, President Obama continued his campaign against the automatic across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect on March 1.

Political Junkie
2:52 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

One category that, regrettably, won't be discussed during next Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony: best on-line button puzzle.

I don't know about you, but in my book that would be ScuttleButton.

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It's All Politics
2:41 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

McConnell Ad Spoofs 'Obama's Kentucky Candidate'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:01 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is out with his first ad of the 2014 election cycle. It's a three-minute, Web-only spoof that pokes fun at President Obama and an array of Democrats who might challenge McConnell, the five-term Kentucky senator.

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Politics
11:33 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Again Calls For Balanced Plan For Cuts

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.

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Politics
10:58 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Sequestration: Are the Negations Just 'Theater?'

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 10:29 am

The Defense Department and other government agencies are preparing for the possible government budget cuts known as sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks with Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins of the Defense Department and Washington Post 'Federal Diary' columnist Joe Davidson about who'll be affected.

The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama Pushes Congress To Avoid Automatic Cuts; GOP Says It's Not The Problem

As he pressed Congress for action Tuesday, President Obama stood before a group of first responders. He made the case that their departments will be hurt if automatic budget cuts go into effect March 1.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:54 am

Standing in front of first responders who he says could lose their jobs, President Obama pushed Tuesday for Congress to act now to avoid $85 billion in "automatic, severe budget cuts" set to kick in starting on March 1.

The cuts due because of the so-called sequestration "are not smart, they are not fair [and] they will hurt our economy," the president said.

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Political Junkie
5:33 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Nebraska Sen. Johanns Won't Run Again; Was Support For Hagel Nomination A Factor?

Nebraska governors have often moved on to the Senate. Will Heineman be next?
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:25 am

Nobody saw this one coming.

Sen. Mike Johanns, a reliably conservative Republican from Nebraska, announced yesterday (Feb. 18) he would retire rather than seek a second term in 2014 ... one where he was considered the overwhelming favorite. A former two-term governor and agriculture secretary under President George W. Bush, Johanns wrote his constituents an open letter that was also signed by his wife Stephanie:

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Economy
4:51 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Obama To Challenge GOP To Compromise On Budget Cuts

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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Politics
1:59 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Get A Social Security Check? Treasury Says It's Time To Go Electronic

U.S. Treasury checks are run through a printer.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:33 am

Every month, the government sends out about 5 million checks to Americans who receive federal benefits. On March 1, the Treasury Department is making those paper checks a thing of the past.

Since May 2011, all new Social Security recipients are required to get direct deposit of their benefits. Some 93 percent of all recipients now do.

But there are still holdouts, so the Treasury Department started a campaign and a website, Go Direct, in an effort to convince the remaining 7 percent.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

How New Jersey's High-Flying Sen. Menendez Ran Into Turbulence

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, shown in June, has come under scrutiny before, but has never been charged.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:12 pm

These should be good times for Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez.

New Jersey voters re-elected him last fall in a landslide, and he became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a few weeks ago. But along the way, Menendez has come under scrutiny by the Senate Ethics Committee and perhaps other government investigators — and certainly the media — for his connections to a longtime friend and generous campaign donor.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Sen. Mike Johanns Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 6:39 pm

Mike Johanns, the Republican senator from Nebraska, announced Monday that he won't seek another term in the Senate.

Here's more from the Omaha World-Herald:

"Johanns said it was time to 'close this chapter' in his life. He noted that he and his wife, Stephanie, have spent 32 years in public life and that they want to spend more time with family.

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Health Care for Female Veterans
6:32 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Female Vet Health Care Focus of Tuscaloosa Meeting

Military officials say women now make up about 15% of the country's 1.4 million service members.
alaska.va.gov

The quality of health care for female veterans will be the highlight at a town hall meeting in Tuscaloosa tonight. The American Legion is hosting the event. It’s the country’s largest organization of war-time veterans. Officials say women now make up about 15 percent of the country’s service members. About 340,000 women veterans are currently enrolled in the VA health-care system, and officials say they expect that number to keep growing. Roscoe Butler is a field representative with the American Legion.

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Politics & Government
6:24 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Ala. Chief Justice: Budget Plan Wiping Out Courts

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

Alabama's new chief justice, Roy Moore, says the judicial system is being cut out of existence.


Moore says the state General Fund appropriation for the court system is less now that when he began his first term in 2001. He said legislation passed last year to increase court fees isn't producing the revenue that state officials forecast for the courts. He predicts that Gov. Robert Bentley's proposed budget for the courts in the new fiscal year will leave a $19 million shortfall and cause more layoffs.

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