Politics

9:50am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Michigan Lawmakers Poised To Pass Right-to-Work Bill, Outraging Union Protesters

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Union members from around the country rallied outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing as lawmakers voted on the right-to-work legislation.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Update at 6:00 p.m. ET:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law two controversial "right-to-work" bills passed earlier Tuesday by the state's House. This officially makes Michigan the 24th right-to-work state in the nation.

The two bills give both public and private employees so-called right-to-work protections — controversial pieces of legislation that have sparked protests in and around the state capitol in Lansing.

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9:09am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 12:18 pm

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House on Nov. 16.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

As we've said now several times, "the White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect."

As NPR and others cover the story, we're pointing to interesting reports and analyses. Here are some of the latest.

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6:52am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

Right-To-Work Measure Expected To Pass In Michigan

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:29 pm

A right-to-work protester walks past Michigan state police at the capitol in Lansing on Tuesday. The Michigan Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
Paul Sancya AP

Michigan's Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that would bar contracts requiring employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The proposed right-to-work law has infuriated union leaders in a state considered the heart of the union movement.

Republican leaders pushing the bill closely watched the fights over labor rights going on across the Midwest, but it wasn't Ohio or Wisconsin that prompted them into action. Many leaders in the public and private sector looked to their neighbor to the immediate south.

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6:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Economy

The 'Fiscal Cliff' For English Majors

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's take that idea of playing out a little further now. The budget standoff has been described in all sorts of dramatic terms. So we decided to look into what the great works of the stage can tell us about this debate over tax hikes and spending cuts, and how it will play out. Think of it as "The Fiscal Cliff for English Majors."

NPR White House correspondent - and English major - Ari Shapiro has this take.

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6:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Business

SEC Head Schapiro To Step Down This Week

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

David Greene talks to Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, about her tenure. After almost four years on the job she is stepping down this week.

6:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Politics

The Lost Art Of Budget Negotiations

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama and House speaker John Boehner have been holding private conversations about how to avoid the fiscal cliff, but still no deal. That has many in Washington talking about how it wasn't always so difficult to get things done. For some insight, we called John Danforth. He's a former Republican senator from Missouri and spent decades forging deals across the aisle, including the 1986 tax reform law under President Reagan. As he sees it, lawmakers aren't approaching the current problem from the right angle.

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5:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Economy

What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff'?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

iStockphoto.com

Lines of communication remain open in an effort to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," according to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.

If no deal is reached between now and the end of the year, would the consequences be that drastic?

To answer that question, let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the "fiscal cliff." You don't really feel any different and things don't look different, either. That's because, according to former congressional budget staffer Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff.

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5:55pm

Mon December 10, 2012
It's All Politics

DeMint And Heritage: Playing Off Each Other's Strengths

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., talks on the phone in his Capitol Hill office on Dec. 6, the day he announced he will resign from the Senate and lead the Heritage Foundation.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., shocked Washington last week when he announced that he will quit the Senate to become president of a think tank. But as the barriers crumble between policy research and partisan advocacy, the building blocks are there for DeMint and the conservative Heritage Foundation to build a powerful operation with political clout.

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4:25pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Politics

Raising Taxes A Key Sticking Point In Fiscal Cliff Talks

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 8:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And if past negotiations are any indication, that silence could mean the talks are going well. We're joined now by NPR's congressional reporter Tamara Keith, who has been following developments on the Hill and beyond. And as Ari just said, neither side is talking about the details, but Tamara, what are they saying?

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4:25pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Middle East

U.S.-Israeli Relations Remain Complicated

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 8:50 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

After the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinian Authority to an observer state the week before last, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with an expansion of housing plans on the West Bank, near Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The U.S. called that counterproductive. And it came after Washington had backed Israel in the U.N., helped Egypt mediate a cease-fire in Gaza and funded production of Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system.

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