The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up the issue of domestic spying. Lawmakers are expected to vote today on an amendment that would reign in the National Security Agency program that collects the phone records of millions of Americans. This would be the first vote on the matter since the scope of the NSA program was made public in a series of leaks. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, at issue is an amendment to the defense appropriations bill.
Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?
That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.
Okay. Political stories often come from the White House and they often take our political correspondents, say, to Iowa. That's where three of them are right now. But not for an election cycle, but actually to cycle. NPR's Don Gonyea, Scott Horsley and Brian Naylor are all on vacation together, pedaling across the state of Iowa, hundreds of miles with thousands of other cyclists. It's an annual summertime ritual known as RAGBRAI.
In Washington, D.C. the next election always seems just around the corner, even in the middle of summer when it seems a long way away to everyone else. Republicans are in the Senate minority today, but about now they're feeling confident about their prospects to pick up seats and maybe even regain the majority in 2014. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.
It appears that it's just a matter of days before it becomes official that Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate's top Republican, will be forced into a primary by a Louisville businessman with Tea Party backing.
The news that Matthew Bevin, owner of a bell-manufacturing company and an investment company executive, intends to soon announce his effort to oust McConnell is interesting because it appears to place McConnell in something of a bind.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later this hour, we will take a moment to remember a pioneering journalist and mentor, the irreplaceable Helen Thomas, who died over the weekend at the age of 92. Helen had a lifelong passion for politics and policy and for asking the political leaders the tough questions. But these days, many people have tough questions for our leaders in Washington, or one in particular, and that is, why can't the two political parties in Washington work together? Why can't they get anything done?