Politics & Government

It's All Politics
1:49 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Sponsors Of Assault Weapons Ban Hope Newtown Shooting Changes Minds

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference Thursday announcing her plan to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:14 am

Congressional Democrats appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to push for a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The bill's author, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, started her remarks with a roster of tragedy: "Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Tucson. Oak Creek. The common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine."

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It's All Politics
4:26 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Senate Filibuster Changes: More Evolution Than Revolution

Actor Jimmy Stewart in a scene from the 1939 movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which popularized the notion of a "talking filibuster." Even under changes negotiated in the Senate, the talking filibuster remains a thing of the past.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:28 pm

Update at 9:25 ET Senate OKs Filibuster Deal

The Senate voted Thursday to limit filibusters in a rare bipartisan vote that would reduce but not end the number of times opponents can use the procedure.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

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Politics
4:12 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Congress Could Limit Senators' Ability To Filibuster

Senate leaders have reached an agreement to limit filibusters in the new Congress, especially as they relate to presidential nominations. But they stopped short of requiring senators to hold the floor in person and in real time, as the classic filibuster required.

Politics
4:11 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

John Kerry Lauded At Senate Confirmation Hearing

Sen. John Kerry appeared before fellow members of his Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing as the next secretary of state on Thursday.

Politics & Government
4:06 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Will Obama Administration Clear Keystone XL Pipeline?

TransCanada already has begun construction on a southern section of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since it doesn't cross the U.S.-Canadian border, it doesn't require approval from the State Department and President Obama.
Sarah A. Miller AP

The future of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline is in the hands of the State Department. President Obama rejected a similar pipeline proposal last year, but now that Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved an alternative route through his state, the approval process is back on track.

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It's All Politics
3:32 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

At Winter Gathering, GOP Asks: Where Do We Go From Here?

Reince Priebus, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, says Republicans need to "grow our party without compromising our principles."
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:22 pm

Some soul-searching is on the agenda as the Republican National Committee holds its winter meetings in Charlotte, N.C.

November's elections were a big disappointment for the GOP. The party has now lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.

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It's All Politics
2:05 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Will Big Government Make A Comeback?

For his second inaugural address, President Obama defended government as central to harnessing the energy of American individuals.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 5:16 pm

For years, Democratic politicians have been shy about talking up the virtues of government. It was all the way back in 1996 that President Bill Clinton declared "the era of big government is over."

That may have changed with President Obama's second inaugural address. Obama declared that only through government and "collective action" can the nation achieve its full promise.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Women In Combat: Why Now?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, first lady Michelle Obama has taken on issues like childhood obesity and support for military families in the first term, but some feminists argue she should be doing more. We'll look at the politics of being first lady in just a few minutes.

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Middle East
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Politics And Kim Kardashian's Business In Bahrain

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Obama is just beginning his second term in office and we've been looking at some of the unresolved issues and unfinished business from his first four years. This week, we're turning our attention to foreign policy. Yesterday, we talked about the conflict in Syria. Today, we want to focus on another country where the Arab Spring uprising was not successful. It's a small island that often does not get a lot of attention, but plays an important geopolitical role in the Middle East. We're talking about Bahrain.

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Does The First Lady Have Political 'Gravitas?'

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now I want to turn to another conversation about the role women are or should be playing in our national life - or in this case, one woman in particular: The first lady, Michelle Obama. Just as commentators are now talking about the president's second term agenda, we wonder what projects the first lady will take on in these next four years.

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It's All Politics
10:38 am
Thu January 24, 2013

5 Things To Know About The Congressional Budget Fight

Sen. Dean Heller (left), R-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol about legislation to delay a potential clash over the debt ceiling until May — and to freeze the paychecks of lawmakers if they don't pass a budget resolution.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:11 am

As if the federal budget process isn't confusing enough, now we get the fog of partisan war created by the charges and countercharges flying between congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans accuse the Democrats who control the Senate of shirking their duty by not producing "a budget" in recent years; Democrats accuse Republicans of not telling the whole truth.

What's going on? Here are five points to consider.

1) The Budget Control Act

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Thu January 24, 2013

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:22 am

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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Politics
3:45 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

House Pushes Off Debt Ceiling Deadline For Three Months

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Politics
3:45 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Durbin: 'We're Buying What We Can Get' With Debt Ceiling Extension

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Joining us now is the Senate Majority Whip, the number two Democrat in the leadership, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Welcome to the program once again.

SENATOR DICK DURBIN: Good to be with you.

SIEGEL: You and other Senate Democratic leaders seem to regard the House deferring action on the debt ceiling as an olive branch. Meanwhile, House Democrats like George Miller say they're tied to a three-month leash. What's the good part of this deal that House Democrats don't get?

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