Politics

5:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the tone of the discussion to head off across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts as "candid." An aide to House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement that noted that the group agreed the next step should be the Senate's — a tacit acknowledgement that Boehner is no longer the lead negotiator with President Obama.

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5:21am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday.
Evan Vucci AP

We have reached the last weekend of the year, and Washington still has not reached a deal to avert the big tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

President Obama met with top congressional leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House, and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate.

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6:50pm

Fri December 28, 2012
It's All Politics

New Immigration Battle: Driver's Licenses

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 7:19 pm

In a sign of growing opposition to President Obama's immigration policy, Iowa has become the latest state to deny driver's licenses to young illegal immigrants who receive deferments from deportation.

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5:45pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

President And Congress Extend FISA Wiretapping Act To 2017 [Updated]

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:16 pm

National Intelligence Director James Clapper leaves the Capitol after briefing members of Congress earlier this month. The Senate voted Friday to extend the FISA Amendments Act to 2017, granting federal agencies wide surveillance powers.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The FISA Amendments Act has been approved for another five years, as the Senate voted to renew the law that grants the government wide surveillance authority. President Obama has said he intends to sign the measure, which senators approved by a 73-23 margin Friday morning. It had already won approval in the House.

Update at 6:10 p.m. Dec. 31: Obama signs FISA extension.

The president signed the FISA extension Sunday. Our original post continues:

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4:18pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Analysis

Week In Politics: Fiscal Cliff, Immigration Reform

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Audie Cornish talks to regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks of The New York Times.

4:18pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Politics

Obama Meets With Congressional Leaders On Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about efforts to prevent the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes due to take effect at the beginning of the year.

2:00pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama, Congressional Leaders To Discuss Deal To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:50 pm

"The hour for immediate action is here. It is now," President Barack Obama said of a potential budget deal, after meeting with congressional leaders Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Days before a budget crisis deadline will hit the U.S. economy, President Obama says, "I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time."

The details of that agreement, which could avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect on Jan. 1, would likely come from discussions between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

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12:08pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Technology

The Year In Tweets

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:02 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, are you invited to any parties for Kwanzaa, which is going on now? If the answer is yes, you're not alone. If the answer is no, you're not alone, either. We'll ask just how widely observed is this inspired-by-Africa, made-in-America celebration.

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9:34am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Little Hope, Low Expectations, Lots Of Gloom: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talk Is Dreary

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:10 pm

Leaders will meet at the White House this afternoon.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV
  • David Welna on 'Morning Edition'

Yes, President Obama and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. ET to discuss how to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

But, no, that isn't inspiring much talk this morning of a breakthrough before the midnight New Year's Eve deadline:

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7:56am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Secretary Clinton Due Back At Work Next Week, 'Foreign Policy' Reports

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:38 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 6 in Dublin.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to the State Department next week after three weeks of recovery from a stomach virus and a related concussion," Foreign Policy's The Cable blog reports.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines tells The Cable that:

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