Politics and Government

NPR Story
4:02 am
Wed July 16, 2014

House Approves $11 Billion To Keep Highway Fund Solvent

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We have another update now on a basic piece of federal business that's not getting done. Congress has been fighting over the Highway Trust Fund. It pays the federal share of road and bridge construction projects. That trust fund is running on fumes. In the absence of a long-term agreement, the House has passed a temporary extension. It would provide $11 billion to keep the fund paying out until spring. President Obama had been pressing for a long-term fix but says he will settle for this. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

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It's All Politics
6:48 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Highway Bill As Establishment Vs. Tea Party, Chapter 943

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:47 am

The Tea Party-aligned groups that pushed the strategy that led to last fall's government shutdown are back, this time urging a "no" vote on the short-term extension to the federal highway funding program.

FreedomWorks, Heritage Action and the Club for Growth have all announced they intend to use the vote when grading lawmakers.

Call it the latest round in the Republican's Party's battle between its establishment and Tea Party wings. And as has often been the case in recent months, on Tuesday afternoon, the establishment prevailed.

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Goes Into Effect Nov. 1
6:11 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

New State Gun Law Could Affect Licensing This Year

Credit Scott Beale / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says a new state law could affect people who are applying for gun licenses this year.

The agency said Tuesday that the law going into effect Nov. 1 modifies the state's Self-Defense Act, making certificates expire after three years. Previously, the certificates did not expire.

OSBI says residents who have completed a gun safety training course should begin the application process for a license as soon as possible.

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It's All Politics
5:54 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Temporary Fix For Highway Money Is Well-Traveled Road

The I-75 highway modernization project in Dayton, Ohio, in April 2014.
Skip Peterson AP

If kicking the can down the road were a competitive sport, the championship trophy would never leave Washington.

When the need to make a difficult choice collides with an unyielding deadline, the tendency in a city where partisan gridlock is the norm is to put the tough decisions off for another day.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

A Year Into IRS Probe, Partisan Motives Still Prove Elusive

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now a fact check in the ongoing story about IRS treatment of conservative groups. For more than a year, two house committees have been investigating the IRS for stalling conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. House Republicans have alleged the Obama administration orchestrated the delays. But as NPR's Peter Overby reports, the evidence collected over the past year fails to support that allegation.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Congress Pulls A Smooth Maneuver To Make Highway Payments

Traffic passes a construction zone at the interchange of U.S. Highway 65 and Interstate 80 on May 30 in Altoona, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 10:39 pm

Chances are you've never heard of the budget gimmick known as "pension smoothing." We'll try to explain.

1. What is pension smoothing?

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

House GOP Counters Obama's Request By Promising Own Proposal

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. It's a familiar dance in Washington - President Obama makes a request to Congress and the House says no. This time, the no is in response to the $3.7 billion dollars the president requested to respond to an influx of unaccompanied immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Why Some Politicians Turn Down Free Money

The salary for Duluth, Minn., mayors hadn't been raised for a decade, but last year Don Ness decided 25 percent was too much at once.
Julia Cheng AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:56 pm

All politicians are crooks, right?

Not really. Sometimes, elected officials will surprise you by being genuinely self-sacrificing when it comes to compensation.

Steve Novick, a city commissioner in Portland, Ore., just refused a $7,280 cost-of-living increase. He told The Oregonian accepting the raise "doesn't feel right."

He'll continue to earn $103,522, while his colleagues will pull in $110,802.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Two Former State Attorneys General Arrested In Utah

Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff (left) and John Swallow were taken into custody Tuesday as part of a bribery investigation.
Salt Lake County Sheriff AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 4:03 pm

Two former Utah state attorneys general were arrested Tuesday. Both face numerous charges, including receiving and soliciting bribes.

Mark Shurtleff served as attorney general for a dozen years before completing his third term at the beginning of 2013. John Swallow was elected to succeed him but resigned in November, less than a year into the job. Both are Republicans.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Plan To Make 6 States Out Of California May Head To Ballot

An image from the Six Californias website shows the proposed borders of its plan to slice the state into areas that the plan's backers say would be more manageable.
Six Californias

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:01 pm

Backers of a plan to cut California into six states say they now have enough signatures from supporters to get their proposal on a general-election ballot in the state. The plan would create new states with names like Jefferson, Silicon Valley and South California.

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