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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5:40pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

As Spending Cuts Loom, Alarm Bells Begin To Sound

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:27 pm

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey (from left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert Hale wait for a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Military leaders are warning Congress about the effects of the sequester.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Senate Democrats offered an alternative Thursday to the sequester, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to hit March 1.

Despite dire warnings in congressional hearings this week, many on Capitol Hill seem resigned to the sequester.

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6:40am

Wed February 13, 2013
Politics

Lawmakers React To State Of The Union Address

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And also watching the president's address last night was NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith. She was in the chamber and spoke to members of Congress afterwards.

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4:51pm

Mon February 11, 2013
Politics

Though A Republican Invention, Obama Could Get Blamed For Sequester

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:41 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

On March 1st, a big across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, are set to hit almost every corner of federal spending. Many are warning the consequences would be dire.

PETER MCPHERSON: Sequestration is a reckless and a blunt tool that would force deep spending reductions across critical investments in R&D and education.

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5:08pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Politics

Obama Tries To Rally House Democrats At Annual Retreat

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:28 pm

President Obama addressed the House Democrats' retreat in Leesburg, Va., on Thursday to rally his troops ahead of a number of contentious issues. Audie Cornish talks to Tamara Keith.

5:37am

Wed February 6, 2013
Economy

Obama Suggests Short-Term Fix To Sequester

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:51 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

If Congress and the president do not act in the next three weeks, deep across-the-board spending cuts will hit everything from the Defense Department to education programs.

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4:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Politics

Obama Calls On Congress For Short-Term Sequestration Solution

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

It seems like the keyword in Washington these days is deadline: debt ceiling deadlines, tax deadlines, spending cut deadlines. Well, today, President Obama called for a delay on a looming deadline: the automatic spending cuts that are set to kick in on March 1.

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5:27am

Sat January 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Administration Takes Gun Control Fight Outside Washington

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 5:36 pm

Vice President Joe Biden participates in a round-table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Friday. The panelists included people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.
Steve Helber AP

The Obama administration is taking its push for gun legislation outside of the Beltway — possibly in a nod to the obstacles any gun control bills will face in Washington.

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion in Richmond, Va., speaking with people who worked on gun safety after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

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5:12pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Politics

House Pushes Off Debt Ceiling Deadline For Three Months

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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5:14am

Wed January 23, 2013
Politics

House To Vote On Short-Term Debt Ceiling Extension

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:13 am

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a Republican leadership plan to put off the debt ceiling fight for three months. This marks a new strategy for House Republicans who until recently had pledged not to raise the debt ceiling unless it was matched with an equal amount of spending cuts.

5:56pm

Thu January 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Some House Republicans Deny Risk Of Default In Debt Ceiling Debate

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:10 pm

Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, shown in June 2012, says the U.S. won't default unless the president chooses to let it happen.
John Hanna AP

The federal government hit its debt limit at the end of last year. Since then, the Treasury Department has been taking what it calls "extraordinary measures" to keep the government funded and avoid defaulting on U.S. obligations.

But those measures will run out sometime between the middle of February and early March. Then it's up to Congress to raise the debt limit.

House Republicans are wrestling with the best strategy at a retreat Thursday and Friday in Virginia. And some have been denying that there is a risk of default if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

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