Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith is a NPR White House Correspondent. She is especially focused on matters related to the economy and the Federal budget.

Prior to moving into her current role in January 2014, she was a Congressional Correspondent covering Congress with an emphasis on the budget, taxes and the ongoing fiscal fights. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, and traveled with Mitt Romney leading into the primaries in Colorado and Ohio, among other states. She began covering congress in August 2011.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived and reported the 2011 NPR series The Road Back To Work, a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member Station KQED's California Report, covering topics including agriculture and the environment. In 2004, Keith began working at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign.

Keith went back to California to open the state capital bureau for NPR Member Station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. In 2006, Keith returned to KQED, serving as the Sacramento-region reporter for two years.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Over the course of her career Keith has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including an award for best news writing from the APTRA California/Nevada and a first place trophy from the Society of Environmental Journalists for "Outstanding Story Radio." Keith was a 2010-2011 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Tamara is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

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4:54pm

Thu August 1, 2013
Politics

Appropriations Bills Continue To Collapse In The House

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:48 pm

House Republicans' plans to hold the line on federal spending and maintaining the cuts demanded by sequestration were thrown into doubt this week. Leaders abruptly pulled a transportation spending bill off the floor, prompting a rare public statement from the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee to lash out at the decision.

4:52pm

Wed July 31, 2013
Politics

House Republicans Work To Keep IRS Scandal In The Spotlight

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

Congressional Republicans are accusing the IRS of dodging their questions and requests for documents in the inquiry into the flagging of Tea Party groups seeking tax exempt status. One House committee warns the agency it could use its investigative powers to enforce compliance. And a second committee says it now has proof that conservative groups were treated worse than progressive groups.

4:26pm

Tue July 30, 2013
Politics

Some GOP Senators Want To Use Shutdown To 'Defund' Obamacare

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:41 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

Now, to one storm brewing in Congress right now. It's about the funding of government operations and the health care law. It's less a feud between parties as one within the Republican Party.

NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith explains.

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5:08am

Mon July 29, 2013
Politics

Food Stamps At The Heart Of Farm Bill Political Drama

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 7:07 am

When the House passed its version of the farm bill earlier this month, one major section was missing: the nutrition title. That includes the food stamp program, now called SNAP.

5:48am

Wed July 24, 2013
Politics

House To Vote On Defunding NSA Phone Surveillance

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 11:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up the issue of domestic spying. Lawmakers are expected to vote today on an amendment that would reign in the National Security Agency program that collects the phone records of millions of Americans. This would be the first vote on the matter since the scope of the NSA program was made public in a series of leaks. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, at issue is an amendment to the defense appropriations bill.

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2:59am

Tue July 23, 2013
Politics

How Floor Charts Became Stars Of Congress

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:26 am

http://senatecharts.tumblr.com/

Watch C-SPAN long enough, and you'll see members of Congress using visual aids: big, brightly colored poster boards, known on Capitol Hill as floor charts.

They've become an essential part of congressional messaging.

Almost every day the House of Representatives is in session, lawmakers line up to give what are known as one-minute speeches. Florida Democrat Frederica Wilson is always there.

And she always has her floor chart with her. It displays the number of days since Wilson came to Congress and the number of Americans unemployed.

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5:26am

Fri July 19, 2013
Politics

IRS Now Under Fire From Democrats, Too

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In Washington, the man responsible for putting the IRS in the hot seat the last couple months found himself in the same harsh glare yesterday. The Treasury Department inspector general was grilled about which groups were flagged for extra scrutiny as they applied for tax exempt status. J. Russell George's reports focused on the targeting of Tea Party groups, but Democrats have released IRS documents showing liberal groups were also on watch lists. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, they want to know why his report didn't mention this.

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4:24pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Politics

IRS Hearing Turns Tables With Auditor In The Hot Seat

Congress held yet another hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday. But unlike previous hearings, where the IRS took the brunt of the tough questions for flagging conservative groups, Thursday's hearing saw the auditor whose report sparked the whole proceedings get equally tough questions from Democrats. They accuse him of neglecting to point out that liberal groups received similar scrutiny. Audie Cornish gets the latest from NPR's Tamara Keith.

7:02pm

Tue July 16, 2013
The Two-Way

READ: The Theft Complaint Filed Against Bachmann Aide

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:11 pm

Two envelopes filled with cash. A hidden camera. The office of a high-profile politician.

Sounds like a John Grisham novel.

The end result? Maybe not so dramatic.

As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us:

A now-former staffer for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has been arrested for allegedly stealing cash from the desk drawer of a co-worker.

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2:30am

Sun July 14, 2013
News

A Bipartisan Duo Takes Tax Pitch On The Road

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. left, and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., speak about overhauling tax policy to an audience at the 3M tech company on Monday.
Hannah Foslien AP

Congress is setting up for a showdown this fall on the budget, the debt ceiling and possibly immigration.

But another item on the agenda hasn't been getting as much attention: changing tax policy. The chairmen of the two tax-writing committees have been working for years, holding hearings, releasing white papers, even hosting bipartisan tax chat lunches at a pub — often with little notice.

Dave Camp is a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Max Baucus is a Montana Democrat and leads the Senate Finance Committee.

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