If terrorists were to attack a U.S. city again, who would pay for catastrophic damage? In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York, Congress provided the answer: the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
It's rare to find Sally Jewell in her Washington, D.C., office.
A little more than a year into her job as Interior Department secretary, she spends much of her time out in the field. It's unavoidable for someone who heads the federal agency that oversees some 400 national parks and nearly 300 million acres of federal lands.
"It's in the job description," she says. "It's also a fun part of the job."
Of late, Jewell has been in the forefront of the administration's efforts to raise awareness of the threat of climate change.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected the right of corporations and unions to spend money on political speech. That decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, didn't affect how much money organizations could donate to political campaigns — but it removed limits on how much they could spend themselves.
Let's take a closer look now at what's happening to the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned state officials in a letter today that unless the fund is patched quickly, the federal government will start limiting payouts to states on August 1. The average state will lose nearly 30 percent of its federal road money and that could mean a lot less asphalt. NPR's Scott Horsley reports on one idea for fixing the trust fund and the roadblocks in front of it.
People are worried about being able to pay for health insurance. So the insurance industry and a group of Democratic senators have proposed offering cheaper, skimpier "copper plans" on the health law's marketplaces that could draw in people who were unhappy with the cost of available plans.
But consumer advocates and others who study the insurance market suggest that there may not be a big demand for these plans and that they could expose people to unacceptably high out-of-pocket costs if they got sick.