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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5:35pm

Wed March 13, 2013
Politics

As Democrats Unveil Budget, Obama Continues Charm Offensive With GOP

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The lines are now starkly drawn between Republican and Democratic approaches to the nation's finances. President Obama met with House Republicans today about the budget - they released their budget plan yesterday - and in the other chamber today, Senate Democrats unveiled their proposals.

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4:24pm

Wed March 13, 2013
It's All Politics

On Message: The Battle To Define 'Balanced' Budget

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 6:12 pm

A member of the House Budget Committee holds a copy of the Republican budget proposal on Tuesday in Washington.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

In the ongoing Washington budget battles, one word gets more of a workout than most: balanced.

This single word illustrates the vast distance between the parties. Democrats and Republicans are working from very different definitions of the term in discussing their budget proposals being unveiled this week.

What Democrats are saying: A balanced budget is deficit reduction through a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. As in: We want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit.

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4:55pm

Tue March 12, 2013
Politics

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

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:42 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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4:39am

Fri March 8, 2013
Politics

Senate Finally Confirms John Brennan As CIA Director

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

John Brennan is the new director of Central Intelligence Agency. He was sworn in this morning. The Senate confirmed him yesterday with a 63 to 34 vote, but as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, it did not come easy.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: John O. Brennan comes to the job as the nation's top spy with 25 years of experience at the CIA. Most recently he served as the president's top counter-terrorism advisor. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, leads the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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4:30pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Politics

Houses Passes Resolution To Keep Government Funded Through September

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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3:45am

Wed March 6, 2013
It's All Politics

The Boehner Rule? Speaker Bucks House GOP For Some Legislation

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

House Speaker John Boehner answers reporters' questions after the weekly House Republican caucus meeting with (from left) Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. Steve Daines on Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner held a news conference the day after the November election.

"The American people have spoken," he said. "They've re-elected President Obama. And they've again re-elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives."

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6:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP On The Sequester: Many Messages But Mostly The Same Point

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to the media after a meeting with President Obama on Friday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In the days leading up to the sequester taking effect Friday, Democrats on Capitol Hill had a very unified message.

"We're seeking to provide the American people with a balanced approach. Again, that's what the American people want," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said at a press conference.

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4:55pm

Fri March 1, 2013
Politics

Despite Sequester, Government Shutdown Remains Unlikely

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 8:01 pm

The long-feared automatic spending cuts are set to start late Friday, and now Congress must deal with another deadline at the end of this month. Tamara Keith talks to Melissa Block about what happens next.

6:31am

Thu February 28, 2013
Politics

Sequester Countdown Clock Keeps Ticking

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

The sequester countdown calendar now has the number one on it. Tomorrow is the big day. Over time, the automatic across the board spending cuts could slow economic growth and lead to the furlough of hundreds of thousands of government employees. And we're going hear more about that in a moment.

NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage with the efforts to stop that from happening.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Spoiler alert.

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3:13pm

Wed February 27, 2013
It's All Politics

On Message: What Boehner's Saying (And What He's Not) About Sequester

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:33 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, discusses the sequester Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

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