Politics

6:33am

Fri September 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Congress Searches For A Shutdown-Free Future

House Speaker John Boehner tried to sound optimistic Thursday that his Republican conference would find a way to avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.

Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.

Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.

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6:33am

Fri September 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Feds Seek To Corral Medical Marijuana 'Wild West'

A man pulls out a bag of marijuana to fill a pipe at Hempfest in Seattle on Aug. 16. Thousands packed a waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival, an event that is part party, part protest and part victory celebration after the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado in 2012.
Elaine Thompson AP

When the Obama administration recently announced it wouldn't challenge the decision by Colorado and Washington voters to fully legalize marijuana, criticism rained down.

The administration's position, complained one Colorado congressman, was tantamount to allowing states to opt out of the federal law banning pot possession, cultivation and sale.

Other anti-legalization activists predicted that the administration was waving the white flag in the war on drugs.

The first claim is essentially true: The states will be creating their own regulatory regimes.

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4:39am

Fri September 13, 2013
Politics

Without Action, Government Will Shut Down At Month's End

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, the future shape of the economy will be influenced, in part, by negotiations in Congress this month. What could possibly go wrong? If Congress doesn't act by the end of this month, there will be a partial government shutdown and then in October a fight over the debt ceiling looms. Some Republicans want to rerun a tactic they used in 2011, refusing to borrow to pay for commitments Congress previously made unless the White House agrees to Republican budget demands. NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith has the latest.

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6:30pm

Thu September 12, 2013
The U.S. Response To Syria

Frenemies Forever: Why Putin And Obama Can't Get Along

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:09 pm

Russia's President Vladimir Putin welcomes President Obama at the start of the G-20 summit on Sept. 5 in St. Petersburg. Russia.
Eric Feferburg AFP/Getty Images

Leaders who respect each other and have a good relationship don't mock each other.

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin do not have a good relationship.

Just as Russia and the U.S. are attempting to work out a delicate deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, the Russian president published an op-ed in The New York Times thumbing his nose at President Obama.

Reactions to the affront have been strong.

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1:58pm

Thu September 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Pro-Israel Lobby Finds Longtime Supporters Defect On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 10:40 am

Vice President Joe Biden, projected on screens, gestures as he addresses the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2013 Policy Conference in March.
Susan Walsh AP

The Obama administration is getting assistance from outside allies also trying to sell Congress on authorizing a military strike against Syria. Among the most prominent: strong backers of Israel.

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5:12am

Thu September 12, 2013
Around the Nation

Two Years On, Protesters Still Fighting Wisconsin Governor

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:34 pm

Members of a loosely organized, anti-Walker group known as the Solidarity Singers sing outside the Wisconsin Capitol in July.
Michelle Johnson AP

It's been more than two years since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill stripping collective bargaining rights from most public employees. The new law sparked massive protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol because many saw it as an attack on unions.

While most demonstrators eventually went away, a small group did not. They arrive at the building most weekdays to sing anti-Walker and pro-union songs.

On a recent day, more than 100 people were gathered in a circle on the Capitol lawn, tapping cowbells and singing a localized version of "This Land Is Your Land."

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2:58am

Thu September 12, 2013
Code Switch

For Native Americans, Mental Health Budget Cuts Hit Hard

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 9:49 am

Native American tribes gave up millions of acres to the federal government in the 19th century in exchange for promises of funded health care, education and housing. But time and again, those funds have been cut.

The recent across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, are no exception. They came with a 5 percent reduction in funding for mental health services, including suicide prevention. That's especially troubling for Native Americans, whose suicide rate are four times the national average.

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6:18pm

Wed September 11, 2013
Politics

Conservatives Use Budget Deadline To Revive Obamacare Debate

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:03 pm

Linda Norman (right) and Joanna Galt, both from Florida, hold their banners during a rally against the health care law Tuesday outside the U.S. Capitol.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

With the pause button pushed on the congressional debate over Syria, the House is turning its attention back to the issue that is expected to dominate the fall: the budget.

The long-running fight over spending and the debt is back. The House was supposed to act this week to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, and leaders had hoped to avoid drama. But the vote has been delayed, and drama is brewing.

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5:46pm

Wed September 11, 2013
It's All Politics

Congress Looks Beyond Syria To Its Next Fight

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 6:18 pm

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (right) leads members of Congress as they step outside the Capitol on Wednesday to attend a ceremony in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With him are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Now that Congress' extraordinary Syria debate is on hold, at least for now, the next upcoming drama is really a return to much more familiar territory: how will congressional leaders get enough votes to pass legislation to keep the government from going off yet another metaphorical cliff.

Until Wednesday, it looked like Congress was moving toward a vote this week to fund the government past September, when the fiscal year ends, and into December — thus avoiding a shutdown. But that vote was postponed until next week at the earliest.

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12:37pm

Wed September 11, 2013
Business

Maybe 'Muddling Through' Isn't That Bad For The Economy

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:15 pm

When the global financial system started to collapse five years ago, leaders from the Treasury Department, Congress and the Federal Reserve jumped up and started running.

Like men on a burning wooden bridge, they raced along, making crazy-fast decisions. They seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out big banks, saved automakers, slashed interest rates and funded a massive infrastructure-building project to stimulate growth.

But that was then.

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