Politics

4:32pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Law

House Passes Expansion Of Violence Against Women Act

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

It has been a long, strange journey on Capitol Hill for the Violence Against Women Act. Today, after months of debate, the House finally passed an extension of the law, known as VAWA, and sent it to the president. It helps combat sexual assault and domestic violence. But the law had gotten tangled up over other hot-button political issues.

NPR's Ailsa Chang explains what happened.

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2:17pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Around the Nation

On Heels Of Sequestration, The Business Of Spending Cuts

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The metaphors become unbearably trite: the debt ceiling; the fiscal cliff and now the meat cleaver of the sequestration. Details are important, we'll get to those in a moment, but underlying the repeated rounds of budgetary crisis, lies a deeper political paralysis.

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1:57pm

Thu February 28, 2013
It's All Politics

Federal Gay Marriage Ban Hurts The Bottom Line, Businesses Argue

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 3:13 pm

Starbucks is among the companies urging the Supreme Court to strike down the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

After years of legal wrangling, the Defense of Marriage Act — the law that prevents the federal government from recognizing marriage as anything but a "legal union between one man and one woman" — comes before the Supreme Court next month.

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1:45pm

Thu February 28, 2013
It's All Politics

$85 Billion Versus $42 Billion: The New Sequester Argument

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:01 pm

Just how much will the sequester cut? It depends on whom you ask.

The White House has been saying spending will be reduced by $85 billion this year, unless the automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday are averted.

The Congressional Budget Office, however, just released a new report saying the cuts will only amount to $42 billion.

Why do they differ so much?

They don't, really. It's a technical difference, more than anything.

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12:11pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Africa

Kenya's Candidates Spar In First TV Debates

For the first time, Kenya recently aired presidential debates, ahead of its election. But despite the wide audience, many people doubt the country can get through the election without violence. Host Michel Martin catches up with journalist and debate moderator Uduak Amimo.

11:58am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

House Reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:02 pm

After much handwringing from GOP House members, the Democratic minority and some Republicans joined forces to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

The vote was 286 to 138. Eighty-seven Republicans voted in favor of the bill; no Democrats voted against it.

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11:52am

Thu February 28, 2013
NPR Story

Black Reverend: Guns Are Important To My Church

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:11 pm

Gun violence devastates many predominantly African-American neighborhoods in places across the country. But some faith leaders feel that legal access to guns is part of the solution, not the problem. Host Michel Martin speaks with Reverend Kenn Blanchard about why he wants his congregation to have wider access to guns.

11:35am

Thu February 28, 2013
It's All Politics

How Washington Chose Not To Be Careful With Spending Cuts

Under sequestration, federal agencies don't have the flexibility to choose to spare popular programs or services by making administrative cuts elsewhere.
Tatiana Popova iStockphoto.com

Inconveniencing the public is part of the plan.

It may never have been intended to play out in quite this way, but the automatic spending cuts set to take effect for most federal programs Friday leave little room for preserving the most visible and popular programs.

"The law basically says the cuts have to be across-the-board by 'project, program and activity,' " says Stan Collender, a federal budget expert with the communications firm Qorvis. "That was specifically written to take away flexibility from the administration."

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9:34am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

The Meaning Of 'Regret': Journalist Bob Woodward, White House Disagree

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:39 am

Bob Woodward speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate in Washington in June.
Alex Brandon AP

It all depends on how you interpret the phrase "you will regret doing this." That piece of advice coming from a parent might be taken far differently than it would as a line from a Joe Pesci movie.

Where it falls on a spectrum from friendly advice to outright threat is apparently a matter of opinion. Bob Woodward, The Washington Post reporter of Watergate fame, and the Obama White House disagree on more than just the sequester story.

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8:29am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Countdown To The Sequester: 3 More 'Should-Read' Stories

Will the clouds part, the sun shine and a sequester solution be found?
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov
  • NPR's Tamara Keith on where things stand
  • NPR's Brian Naylor on the sequester and aviation safety
  • KCUR's Frank Morris on meat inspections

Friday's deadline looms, and as we heard earlier today on Morning Edition: "Oh, it's gonna happen."

The "it" is sequestration — $85 billion worth of across-the-board federal spending cuts that are due to start kicking in at the end of Friday unless Republican and Democratic leaders somehow bridge their differences.

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