Politics

CIA
10:33 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Counterterrorism Adviser Brennan To Be Tapped for CIA

John Brennan, who President Obama wants to lead the CIA.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:46 am

President Obama will announce today that he plans to nominate John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an administration official with knowledge of the decision tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

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Politics
11:25 am
Sat January 5, 2013

As The Capitol Turns: Little Has Changed In Congress' New Season

House Speaker John Boehner swears in the newly elected members of the 113th Congress on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

This week saw both a frantic finale to the much-unloved 112th Congress and, hours later, the swearing in of the new 113th. The cast of lawmakers and their leaders is mostly unchanged. The same can be said for Capitol Hill's never-ending drama over taxes, deficits and spending.

What was arguably this week's most sensational congressional moment did not even take place in Washington. On Wednesday in Trenton, N.J., Republican Gov. Chris Christie blasted the GOP-led House for closing down the last Congress without even considering a Superstorm Sandy disaster relief bill.

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Politics
1:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:35 pm

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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Superstorm Sandy
10:33 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Update: Senate Joins House In Passing Sandy Aid Bill

Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:27 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Passage In The Senate:

The Senate just passed, by unanimous agreement, a bill that injects more than $9 billion into the insurance program that will assist those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last October.

President Obama had urged passage and is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Our original post:

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Politics
4:37 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Ethics Commission Fines Simmons' PAC Over Donations

Todd Wiseman via Texas Tribune

The political action committee for Waste Control Specialists, which is owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, was fined Wednesday by the Texas Ethics Commission over illegal political contributions. 

The PAC illegally donated nearly $65,000 to 18 state lawmakers — 15 Republicans and 3 Democrats — in 2011, shortly after the organization was formed. At the time, Simmons was the only contributor to the PAC. Texas elections code requires a PAC to have at least 10 donors before it makes a political contribution.

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Texas
10:59 am
Wed January 2, 2013

They Weren't in the Running, but They Still Won Votes

Todd Wiseman / Gage Skidmore / Bob Jagendorf for Texas Tribune

When 11 Travis County voters scribbled in "Mickey Mouse" for president on their ballots in November, the cartoon character didn't get any closer to becoming the first animated leader of the most powerful nation in the world. After all, counties don't count write-in votes for uncertified candidates.

In every presidential election, hundreds of names are written in by voters who choose not to vote for a major candidate. Among those names is a trove of living and deceased politicians, fictional characters and popular personalities. That trend continued in Texas in 2012.

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Politics
10:00 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Bipartisan Outrage as Superstorm Sandy Aid Vote Is Postponed

Nov. 6: Some of the damage from Superstorm Sandy on New York's Staten Island.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 3:01 pm

(We put a new top on this post at 3:45 p.m. ET.)

The House of Representatives will vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy before Jan. 15, according to promises Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made to legislators from the affected areas this afternoon. The speaker met with angry representatives at 3 p.m., seeking to quell their outrage over the postponement of a vote on federal help.

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Politics
8:06 am
Wed January 2, 2013

It's Not Over: Big Battles Ahead Even After 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

President Obama was in the Oval Office late Tuesday night as the House finished voting on the "fiscal cliff" deal. After praising the passage, he left for Hawaii to resume a vacation with his family.
Aude Guerrucci/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:59 pm

We're sorry to start the first work day of 2013 on a negative note, but here goes:

Though the House voted 257-167 late Tuesday to OK legislation that kept the federal government from going over the so-called fiscal cliff — and stopped income taxes from rising for about 99 percent of Americans — lawmakers didn't reach agreement on other very divisive issues.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Tea Party Texan Cruz Gives GOP Hope In Hunt For Hispanic Votes

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas answers a question from a television reporter on Nov. 6 in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:19 pm

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas is a bright young Hispanic star who will be sworn in this week in Washington. The Republican Party nationally hopes Cruz will be part of the solution to its growing problem luring Hispanic voters.

Almost nobody had heard of Cruz when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But when he stepped in front of a microphone, he could light up a room in a way that made the other Republican candidates seem lifeless.

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Immigration
10:15 am
Tue January 1, 2013

After 2012 Election, GOP Rethinking Stance on Immigration

Protesters opposed to Arizona's controversial citizenship legislation rally at the Texas Capitol in 2011.
flickr.com/joebehr

In 2012’s presidential election, 27 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Until that number increases, Republicans will have a hard time winning a Presidential race – so party insiders say it’s time to soften the GOP’s position on immigration.

For Texas Senator John Cornyn, it’s about who’s the best fit to tackle the topic. He says if Republicans are going to seriously tackle immigration policy, Texas lawmakers are uniquely qualified to take the lead.

“I happen to believe that we in Texas understand a little bit more about some of these issues than people from other parts of the country – given our proximity to the border and given the nature of our population,” Cornyn says.

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Politics
3:50 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:01 am

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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Politics
9:38 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Year Ends As It Began, With Lawmakers Headed Toward The 'Fiscal Cliff'

The U.S. Capitol. Will lawmakers avoid the "fiscal cliff" or go over?
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:05 pm

(Scroll down for updates.)

Well, here we are. It's New Year's Eve and with just hours to go before the end of the year and the arrival of the so-called fiscal cliff, Democrats and Republicans in Washington are still trying to strike a deal that heads off automatic increases in taxes, automatic deep spending cuts in a variety of programs and the automatic expiration of some jobless benefits.

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Politics
4:05 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hillary Clinton Hospitalized With Blood Clot After Concussion

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after doctors found a blood clot stemming from an earlier concussion.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:25 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to a hospital for a blood clot "stemming from" a concussion earlier this month, Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines says. In a statement, Reines says doctors found the clot during a follow-up exam on Sunday.

"She is being treated with anti-coagulants and is at New York-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours," he says.

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Politics
9:56 am
Sat December 29, 2012

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

"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

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

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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Politics
1:11 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Election Study: Black Turnout May Have Surpassed That of Whites

People wait in line to vote at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus on Nov. 6 in Washington, D.C.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 6:36 pm

African-Americans voted this year at a higher rate than other minorities and may have topped the rate for whites for the first time, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

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Politics
8:06 am
Fri December 28, 2012

White House Hosts Congressional Leaders For 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks toward his office after speaking on the Senate floor on Capitol Hill. McConnell and other congressional leaders will meet with President Obama Friday.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:44 am

President Barack Obama will meet with the four leaders of Congress Friday to discuss a possible deal that would avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases in the new year.

The session, to be held at the White House, would come just days before the "fiscal cliff" deadline that arrives on Jan. 1.

News of the meeting came after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke on the Senate floor Thursday, when he mentioned that he had spoken with the president about a new proposal.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Sen. Reid: Looks Like We're Headed Over the 'Fiscal Cliff'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., addresses reporters about ongoing discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff on Dec. 18.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Even as Air Force One was about to land in suburban Maryland this morning — bringing President Obama back from his vacation in Hawaii to resume negotiations aimed at avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on the floor of the Senate warning that a dive off that cliff seems inevitable.

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Politics
9:05 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Is A 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Near?

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

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:50 am

(Scroll down for updates on the GOP's "plan B" and White House rejecting it.)

Talks are "heating up."

Differences are "narrowing."

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CPRIT
11:29 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Amid Investigations, CPRIT's Future Uncertain

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

In 2008, when the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas embarked on its mission to cure cancer, the $3 billion program was welcomed with fanfare by voters who had passed a constitutional amendment to establish it.

Four years later, CPRIT’s future is far from certain, as the quasi-governmental agency and its fast-shrinking cast of advisers face accusations of impropriety and criminal and civil investigations.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:30 am
Mon December 17, 2012

A Month After the Election, Texas Casts Its Electoral Votes

Texas members of the electoral college will cast their presidential ballots at the Capitol this afteroon
Liang Shi

Though the election was called for President Barack Obama over a month ago, members of the Electoral College will officially cast their votes today.

Texas electors will meet to cast the state’s electoral votes this afternoon at the Capitol.Texas has 38 electoral votes – the second highest of any state, behind California – which were won by Mitt Romney. 

Each party selects 38 potential electors who promise to vote for that party’s candidate, should they win the state’s popular vote.  Because Mitt Romney won Texas, the 38 Republican electors will cast their votes for him today.

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