The secretary of state set big goals this year, from restarting the Mideast peace process to ending the civil war in Syria and curbing Iran's nuclear program. NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks with David Ignatius of The Washington Post about how much progress Kerry has made this year.
The last few days of 2013 have been some of the best of the year for the Republican Party, which came out on top in congressional races in a poll this week. NPR's political editor Ron Elving joins Linda Wertheimer for a look back at the GOP's rollercoaster political year, from the partial government shutdown to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama stopped short of admitting he's had a pretty tough year in his final press conference of 2013. Historian Robert Dallek joins NPR's Linda Wertheimer for a look back at the year, and to put Obama's trying times in context with other presidents who had difficult second terms.
Washington, D.C., clears out in the last weeks of December, as members of Congress and their staffs head back to their home districts for the holidays. NPR's Linda Wertheimer enjoys walking the quiet streets, and uses that time to reflect on the past year in politics.
Iowa initially chose not to expand Medicaid to thousands of beneficiaries under the Affordable Care Act. But it's come up with a plan that uses federal money to pay for expansion, while writing its own rules. Beneficiaries will have to pay a small premium, for instance.
Our series on the future continues with a discussion about education. Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Linda Darling-Hammond, a former adviser to President Obama, who is dismayed to see his administration build on the high-stakes testing requirements introduced by the Bush administration.
Momentum to pass tighter gun laws surged after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., a year ago. But a provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate. In that loss, gun control activists say they learned some important lessons from those who lobbied against them.
Speaker of the House John Boehner's year began with members of his own party trying to oust him from the speakership. Thus began a year of rocky relations with the Tea Party wing of the House Republican caucus. But by year's end, Boehner was firmly in control of his gavel.