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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4:34pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Politics

Congress Tries To Craft Budget Deal Before Holiday Break

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:45 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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7:47pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Politics

Add This To The Fiscal Cliff: Congress Faces A 'Milk Cliff' Too

Congress still has a long to-do list and not much time left. The House hopes to wrap it up next week — just as the Senate returns from a Thanksgiving break. On many lawmakers' lists are efforts to complete a farm bill before milk prices go off the "dairy cliff." That on top of tough budget negotiations.

3:05am

Wed December 4, 2013
The Salt

Why $7-Per-Gallon Milk Looms Once Again

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 1:29 pm

Sticker shock in the dairy aisle? If the government fails to pass the farm bill, milk prices could spike sometime after the first of the year.
George Frey Landov

The leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are meeting Wednesday as they continue to try to work out the differences between their respective farm bills. If they fail, the country faces what's being called the "dairy cliff" — with milk prices potentially shooting up to about $7 a gallon sometime after the first of the year.

Here's why: The nation's farm policy would be legally required to revert back to what's called permanent law. In the case of dairy, that would be the 1949 farm bill.

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5:23pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Politics

Unemployment Benefit Program Set To Expire At Year's End

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 7:12 pm

Job seekers attend a March health care job fair in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

More than 1 million people will see their extended unemployment benefits immediately cut off at the end of the month if Congress doesn't act.

An emergency federal benefit program was put in place during the recession to help those who are unemployed longer than six months. That allowed them to get as much as a year and a half of help while they searched for work, even after state benefits ran out.

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5:15am

Wed November 27, 2013
Politics

IRS Suggests Guidelines On Politicking By Tax-Exempt Groups

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:42 am

The Obama administration is pushing a new set of regulations that would make it much harder for so-called "social welfare" organizations to engage in political campaigns. This comes after a summer of controversy over the way the IRS treated Tea Party groups applying for tax exempt status.

4:51pm

Tue November 26, 2013
Politics

New IRS Rules Would Lessen Influence Of Social Welfare Groups

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:56 pm

The Obama administration is pushing new regulations that will make it harder for so-called "social welfare" tax-exempt groups to influence elections.

5:04am

Thu November 21, 2013
Politics

'Alpha House' Latest Show To Be Based In Nation's Capital

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 6:55 am

The fourth episode of the web-only series Alpha House goes live on Amazon Prime on Friday. The political comedy stars John Goodman and was created and written by Garry Trudeau of "Doonesbury" fame. It's about four Republican senators living in a house and is loosely based on a real Capitol Hill living arrangement.

5:53pm

Wed November 20, 2013
Politics

Congressional Dysfunction Makes Corrections To Health Law A No-Go

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 6:57 pm

Aside from technological problems that have plagued the roll out of the federal health exchange, some smaller technical problems with the Affordable Care Act have also emerged — things like unclear definitions and legislative language that have unintended consequences and remain unfixed. Once upon a time, after Congress passed a mega-bill, it followed with "technical corrections" to fix definitions, numbers, funds, minor policy fixes. But that's not so easy in these dysfunctional days, when Republicans want to repeal the health law and Democrats fear re-opening a can of worms.

1:27pm

Tue November 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Senate Finance Chairman Floats International Tax Code Overhaul

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:20 pm

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., arrives for a hearing with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Capitol Hill last month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The U.S. tax code is messy, complicated and full of loopholes. And if you're searching for the most incomprehensible, technically dense part of that code, international tax law would be a good place to start.

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4:47am

Fri November 8, 2013
Business

Budget Office Examines Cost Of Partial Government Shutdown

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Twitter may be worth billions of dollars. Let's talk about another number $2 billion. That is how much federal employees were paid not to work during the government shutdown. This is just one of many eye-popping numbers in a new report on the shutdown from the White House Budget Office.

Here's NPR's Tamara Keith.

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