Politics

6:30pm

Wed December 18, 2013
Politics

Push For Release Of CIA Interrogation Report Continues

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:31 pm

Mark Udall of Colorado is one of the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee pressing for the so-called torture report to be declassified.
Susan Walsh AP

For more than a year, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA have been engaged in a tug of war over the release of the so-called torture report.

Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, says the $40 million, 6,000-page report demonstrates that CIA treatment of detainees was all but useless in terms of gathering actionable intelligence.

For its part, the CIA says the classified committee report contains significant errors and that no one at the agency was interviewed by Senate investigators.

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5:15pm

Wed December 18, 2013
World

Obama, Biden Won't Go To 2014 Olympics, But Gay Athletes Will

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:34 pm

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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5:10pm

Wed December 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Senate Approves Budget Deal, Reducing Chances Of A Shutdown

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 6:24 pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), walks to the chamber for the final votes on the bipartisan budget deal on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The Senate passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal aimed at easing automatic spending cuts and avoiding a government shutdown, following a House vote on the measure last week.

The vote by a simple majority was absent the partisan brinksmanship that has become a hallmark of budget deals in recent memory.

The appropriations committees in both chambers must now set in stone a $1.012 trillion fiscal 2014 spending bill before current spending authority expires. Congress also faces a spring 2014 to raise the debt ceiling — another potential partisan standoff.

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4:50pm

Wed December 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Intelligence Panel Recommends Limits On NSA Surveillance

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:31 pm

The National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.
Patrick Semansky AP

(This post was updated at 6:30 p.m. ET)

A panel looking into U.S. electronic surveillance activities in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations has recommended removing the NSA's authority to collect and store Americans' telephone data.

The key recommendation was one of dozens that the panel put forward; however, it did not propose a wholesale scaling back of domestic spying by the National Security Agency and other intelligence branches.

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4:43pm

Wed December 18, 2013
It's All Politics

What Santa Gave Your Senator This Year

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:12 pm

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
Carolyn Kaster AP

In a year that featured divisive fights over the budget, health care and presidential nominations, the United States Senate took a break from partisan bickering Tuesday night to get in the Christmas spirit.

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4:03pm

Wed December 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

People Buying Health Insurance Get A Bit More Time To Pay

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:34 pm

Oregon is still using paper applications to enroll people through the Affordable Care Act.
iStockphoto

There are seven shopping days left until Christmas. But there are just five days until another important deadline — the last day to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if you want coverage to start January 1.

After a slow start, activity on the federal website HealthCare.gov has been heavy all month. And with the deadline approaching, some people are getting worried that they won't get signed up in time.

And this being the health care law, it's complicated. There is more than one deadline.

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11:32am

Wed December 18, 2013
It's All Politics

5 Things We Learned From The Budget Debate

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:08 pm

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., takes a break from the Senate floor Tuesday after a bipartisan budget compromise cleared a procedural hurdle.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Now that the bipartisan budget agreement has passed the Senate and is headed for the president's desk, it's a good time to consider some of the takeaways from the past two weeks of congressional Sturm und Drang.

Here are five:

Congress still works, sort of.

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7:16am

Wed December 18, 2013
The Affordable Care Act, Explained

Your Questions About The American Health Care Act

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:37 am

There are many questions about the new health care law. Here are some answers.
iStockphoto.com

In recent months, NPR staff has published a series of questions-and-answer stories related to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Now we've compiled them into an interactive so you can explore answers that are most relevant to you.

There are nearly 80 questions, ranging from who's eligible to how much insurance might cost, among two dozen topics. Filter the list by selecting categories or asking questions.

Did we miss an important question? Let us know.

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6:03am

Wed December 18, 2013
Politics

Senators Laugh And Joke During Secret Santa Exchange

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:02 am

In the Senate, partisan bickering was put on hold for a brief time as senators held a holiday gift exchange Tuesday night. The idea for the Senate Secret Santa gift exchange, which is in its third year, came from Minnesota Democrat Al Franken.

5:28am

Wed December 18, 2013
Research News

Is The Primary System To Blame For Partisanship?

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:02 am

Many observers say increasing partisanship in America is the result of gerrymandered districts, which allow partisan voters to determine candidates for Congress. A new analysis tests this theory.

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