Politics and Government

Politics
4:12 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

VA Nominee Steps Before Senate Committee

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:17 pm

Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to run the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, is appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing. He faces the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, which will vote on whether to send his nomination to the Senate floor.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
3:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Deal In Detroit Could Signal Cuts To Pensions Elsewhere

Retirees Mike Shane (left) and William Davis protest near the federal courthouse in Detroit on July 3. Workers and retirees approved pension cuts in Detroit's bankruptcy by a landslide, the city reported Monday.
Paul Sancya AP

It used to be that if you were a public employee, you knew your pension benefits could not be touched.

That's no longer the case.

Pensions have been under political attack in recent years, with some politicians arguing they can't afford to fund generous retirements at the same time they're cutting services. Numerous states and cities have trimmed the type of pension plans they're offering employees — mostly new employees.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Tue July 22, 2014

U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:03 pm

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dealt a significant blow to the Affordable Care Act, when it threw out an IRS regulation that governs subsidies. But before the ink dried on that decision, another three-judge panel hearing a similar case issued a decision that was completely opposite.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Rubio: U.S. Cannot Admit All Children Seeking Asylum

Rubio, seen here addressing the National Press Club in May, told NPR he'll decide on a presidential run in the next few months
Alex Wong Getty

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 12:24 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio argued that the nation's immigration laws need to be overhauled and said that Hillary Clinton would be a flawed candidate for president.

"I just think she's a 20th century candidate," he said. "I think she does not offer an agenda for moving America forward in the 21st century, at least not up till now."

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Politics and Government
12:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Co-Chairman Of RNC To Visit Oklahoma Republicans For Training And Fundraiser

Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee.
Credit Facebook

The co-chairman of the Republican National Committee is visiting Oklahoma to help train GOP candidates and to headline a fundraiser for the state party.

RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day will be in Oklahoma on Thursday to train state and local Republican candidates on target messaging in an event coordinated with the OklahomaRepublican Party.

Thursday evening, Day will headline a "Denim and Diamonds" fundraiser for the OklahomaRepublican Party at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.

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Politics and Government
7:21 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs Director: "Need A Substantial Budget Increase For 2016"

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
Credit Office of Juvenile Affairs

The Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs heard about the dire state of its budget during its monthly meeting Friday. Executive Director Keith Wilson told the board that "this next budget year will be nip and tuck" and that a "substantial increase in the budget for 2016" will be necessary.

"At this point in time we are operating 15.5 percent below where we were operating with the initial budget in 2010," said Wilson. "We have to cut approximately $3 million, just shy of it, out of the budget this year. That's something over $5 million that it left us to fund."

Some consolation was found in the fact that the revolving funds of "somewhere between $2.25 and $2.5 million" remained intact for the agency. That money will be solely used to operate Southern Plains Treatment Services, but there will be "very little left in those funds by the end of the fiscal year." Though the money will save the treatment center from closing, it must now be staffed less due to the cut.

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Fallin Campaign Starts Online Petition
6:23 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Oklahoma's Republicans Want Temporary Shelters Closed At Fort Sill

Fort Sill Welcome Center
Credit USAG Fort Sill

Members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation are urging President Barack Obama to reconsider using Fort Sill to house unaccompanied minors from Central America who have been caught trying to entering the country illegally.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and all five of Oklahoma's U.S. House members released a joint statement on Monday opposing a decision by the Department of Defense to extend the use of temporary shelters at several military installations, including Fort Sill, through January 2015.

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Same-sex Marriage
4:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Gay Florida Couple In Limbo After Winning Right To Marry

William Jones, left, and his partner, Aaron Huntsman, speak with the media Thursday, July 17. The couple is challenging the state of Florida's ban on gay marriage. (Rob O'Neal/AP/Key West Citizen)

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:44 pm

3:30 p.m. ET update: Monroe Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia has denied the motion by Aaron Huntsman and William “Lee” Jones to lift the stay on the ruling that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. This means, for now, that Monroe County will not issue marriage licenses to gay couples. The case now heads to an appellate court.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Sen. Alexander Outpaces Tea Party, But Remains In Its Cross Hairs

State Rep. Joe Carr holds a news conference in Murfreesboro, Tenn. on Jan. 16, 2013. He is challenging incumbent Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:35 pm

Tennessee's Lamar Alexander is one of a number of incumbent Republican senators caught in the cross hairs of Tea Party groups, taking on several challengers in next month's GOP primary.

But while Tea Party groups may be optimistic about the race, challengers like Joe Carr face an uphill battle to unseat the two-term senator.

Carr's campaign office is just across the street from Murfreesboro's antebellum courthouse. An American flag hangs out front, and in the window a big campaign sign calls on Tennessee Republicans to vote for "Carr, not Lamar."

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News
3:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Obama Signs Order To Protect Against Anti-LGBT Bias

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama signed an executive order today giving new employment protections to gay and transgender people. And this is for people who work for the government. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports that the move comes after years of pressure from LGBT activists.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: At the White House today, President Obama signed the order saying we're on the right side of history. He said it was time to address this injustice for every American.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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