As federal tech launches go, it's not just HealthCare.gov that didn't take off. A report from IT research firm the Standish Group finds that 94 percent of federal IT projects come in late, over budget or get scrapped completely.
President Obama focused on the issue of procuring technology for the federal government in a recent interview.
For the third time this year, the Democrats who run the Senate are threatening to change that chamber's rules on the Republican minority's most potent weapon: the filibuster. They say the GOP's obstruction of President Obama's nominations leaves them no other choice.
Democrats say that this time, they're ready to pull the trigger on what's known as "the nuclear option." Doing so would amount to altering the rules not with the traditional two-thirds majority but a simple majority of 51.
NPR's Richard Harris has covered the U.N. climate talks since the first treaty was negotiated in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He's monitoring these new talks, and he joins us now to talk about this long-running argument over climate-related funding for the developing world. Richard, thanks for being here.
RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: My pleasure.
BLOCK: And we just heard Mr. Khan mention this goal of $100 billion in aid per year, starting in 2020. He thinks that's realistic. What does it look like from where you sit?
The call for filibuster reform continues on Capitol Hill. Several Democratic Senators are thinking of going for mandatory change after more judicial and executive branch nominations were blocked by Republicans. Robert Siegel speaks with Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, about the need for filibuster change and reform, including the so-called nuclear option.
The Senate is debating rival plans on how to prosecute cases of sexual assault in the military. The problem is vast: 26,000 military sexual assaults last year, with only 3,000 reported and 300 going to trial. Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have competing proposals for dealing with the issue.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
China is sending a state-of-the art hospital ship to help typhoon victims in the Philippines. This comes after widespread criticism that an earlier offer of aid was stingy. China, the world's second-largest economy, initially pledged a total of just $200,000. By way of comparison, IKEA has pledged more than 10 times that amount.
Aside from technological problems that have plagued the roll out of the federal health exchange, some smaller technical problems with the Affordable Care Act have also emerged — things like unclear definitions and legislative language that have unintended consequences and remain unfixed. Once upon a time, after Congress passed a mega-bill, it followed with "technical corrections" to fix definitions, numbers, funds, minor policy fixes. But that's not so easy in these dysfunctional days, when Republicans want to repeal the health law and Democrats fear re-opening a can of worms.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
We're going to spend the next few minutes talking about climate change and a campaign being waged by some of the world's poorest countries. U.N. climate talks are underway in Warsaw right now. And there, a group of developing nations is demanding that wealthy countries accept responsibility for global warming, provide financial support and pay for losses due to climate change.
Bitcoin, the virtual currency that exists as alphanumeric strings online, is on the verge of getting into politics.
The Federal Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a proposal to allow bitcoin contributions to political action committees — even as skeptics say that bitcoins could undermine the disclosure standards of federal law.
Groups representing teachers, firefighters and prison workers have formed a coalition to fight a plan by the Legislature to make changes to Oklahoma's public retirement systems.
Members of "Keep Oklahoma's Promises" met Wednesday at the Capitol following a joint meeting of a House and Senate committee that is looking to shift newly hired state workers from a traditional defined benefit pension plan to more of a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.