Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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4:03am

Fri October 18, 2013
Politics

Obamacare Fight Leads Sen. Roberts To Turn Against Old Friend Sebelius

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:28 pm

Kathleen Sebelius stands with Sen. Pat Roberts (right), R-Kan., and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in 2009.
Susan Walsh AP

This month's government shutdown grew out of Republicans' insistence on a budget that defunded the Affordable Care Act.

That didn't happen, but Republicans still detest the law — and now there's a movement underway to oust Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

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4:52pm

Fri October 11, 2013
Politics

Message To Congress In One Georgia District: Don't Back Down

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 6:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Both sides have gone to great lengths to make one thing clear, while they're talking, they're not yet compromising. That's because many lawmakers don't want to. For House members backed by the Tea Party who come from strongly Republican districts support is high for taking a hard line.

NPR's Don Gonyea visited one district this week. It's in the northwest corner of Georgia, and it's home to Congressman Tom Graves. He was elected in 2010 and has helped lead the movement to defund the health care law.

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6:05pm

Thu October 3, 2013
Politics

How The Shutdown Is Playing In Conservative Media

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As Democrats and Republicans continue to blame each other for being unwilling to negotiate, a small group of House conservatives have driven the debate in Washington. Even though polls show the public is not happy about the government shutdown, conservative media outlets have provided plenty of support for Republicans on Capitol Hill. And they've rallied their community through TV, the radio and social media. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports.

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6:05pm

Wed October 2, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Establishment Grapples With A Tea Party That Won't Budge

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is among the Republicans who want to pass a spending bill not tied to defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The old line in Washington is that the "establishment" controls everything.

But the fights that have resulted in the government shutdown have turned that cliche upside down.

This time, it's the Tea Party and its allies in Congress calling the shots. The "establishment" — on Capitol Hill and in the business community — has so far been on the outs.

You can hear the frustration in the voice of 11-term Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., as he runs a gantlet of reporters at the Capitol.

"I'm just more concerned about there not being a clean CR," he says amid the hubbub.

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5:04pm

Thu September 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Tea Party Strains GOP's Ties To Big Business

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 6:10 pm

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks at a Sept. 10 Capitol Hill rally against Obamacare.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Is the GOP still the "party of business"?

With the party's long-standing and ongoing push for lower taxes and fewer regulations — both in Washington and in state legislatures — Republicans can reasonably make that claim.

Yet some of the congressional Republican rhetoric in the battle over a continuing resolution, the debt ceiling and defunding Obamacare makes it clear that there's a significant amount of tension between the party and the business community.

Much of the strong language comes from the Tea Party and its friends on Capitol Hill.

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5:12am

Thu September 26, 2013
Politics

Not All Republicans Embrace Big Business All The Time

The Republican Party in the past has had a close relationship with Wall Street and big business. But lately there's growing tension and disagreement as some Republicans in Congress consider a possible government shutdown. The Tea Party seems to have the strongest criticism of big business.

4:25pm

Thu September 19, 2013
Politics

Conservative Group To Young People: 'Opt Out' Of Obamacare

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:51 pm

Linda Norman (right) and Joanna Galt, both from Florida, hold their banners during a "Exempt America from Obamacare" rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Sept. 10.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Not all of the action to defund and otherwise undermine the Affordable Care Act is taking place in Congress.

Outside conservative groups keep looking for new angles to attack Obamacare. The latest comes in the form of ads sponsored by Generation Opportunity — an organization for young conservatives that's backed by the billionaire political activists David and Charles Koch.

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4:27am

Wed September 18, 2013
Around the Nation

Gun Control Advocates Say Little After Navy Yard Shooting

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:19 am

In the aftermath of this week's shooting rampage at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., there has been no revival of the debate over gun control. In fact, the response from both sides in the debate has been muted. That's very different from what happened after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December.

5:32am

Tue September 10, 2013
Politics

Tea Party Won't Let Congress Forget Obamacare Issues

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Congress did not expect to spend September debating Syria. Many Republicans, instead, were planning battles over the budget and over the healthcare law that's about to take affect. Tea Party activists are going ahead with meetings on their issues. One event comes in Washington D.C. today. NPR's Don Gonyea has been talking with activists.

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5:37am

Wed July 31, 2013
Politics

2016 May Seem Just Around The Corner For Political Rivals

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:59 am

With a public battle between two likely Republican presidential contenders, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and a private meeting between possible Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, it feels like 2016 is just around the corner. The two parties are already aligning themselves for a presidential race that's still three years away.

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