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Updated: 20 min 59 sec ago

Obama Prepared To Bypass Congress If Needed

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

When President Obama gives his State of the Union Address, he's likely to hit on familiar themes: expanding opportunity for all Americans, pushing for immigration overhaul and investment in infrastructure. And he's expected to say that if Congress doesn't act, he'll move forward with his own initiatives through executive action. This comes as Congress gave him very little of what he asked for last year.

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Obama Expected To Propose Expanding Preschool Programs

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

President Obama is expected to propose an expansion of preschool programs in his State of the Union Address. Most states have bought into the idea and restored funding for the programs. What's less clear is where the long-term funding is going to come from, and whether the quality of these programs are worth the investment.

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Brothers Levin Near The End Of A 32-Year Congressional Partnership

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 2:43am

Michigan's Levin brothers have served on opposite sides of the Capitol for decades. But with Carl retiring from the Senate as his older brother Sander seeks another term in the House, Congress' longest ever bicameral pairing of siblings is nearing an end.

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Key Senate Republicans Offer Their Plan To Replace Obamacare

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 4:25pm

"Obamacare just isn't working," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said on the Senate floor Monday afternoon. So he and two of his more influential Republican colleagues have proposed yet another plan to rewrite the Affordable Care Act.

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State Of The Union Invite List: Who Makes The Cut

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:29pm

Guests who get an invite to the annual State of the Union address tend to reflect the personal and political aims of the president. Some have won notice during important news events that define the times — like the Boston Marathon bombing.

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President Hopes His Pen May Be Mightier Than Gridlock

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:00pm

President Obama's aides have hinted that the president plans to make greater use of executive orders going forward, primarily in order to bypass a gridlocked Congress. To learn more about how past presidents have used these unchecked executive orders, Robert Siegel talks with Ken Mayer, an expert on presidential powers from the University of Wisconsin.

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The President Hopes For State Of The Union To Be A Big Reset Button

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:00pm

The political world is gearing up for President Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday night, an address in which the president gets to outline his priorities for the coming year. With tens of millions of people watching on TV and — the administration hopes — on their cell phones and tablets, the speech offers the chance to reframe the terms of many of the difficult issues that have so far dogged the president's second term.

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Gay Politicians: Washington's In Crowd Is Out

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:25am

Eight openly gay members of Congress are on the cover of the National Journal. Host Michel Martin speaks with Representative Mark Takano of California and Adam Kushman, executive editor of the National Journal, about gay power brokers in D.C.

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Rep. Radel To Resign; Pleaded Guilty To Cocaine Possession

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 8:24am

The freshman member of Congress, a Republican from Florida, was found guilty of buying about $260 worth of cocaine from an undercover agent. He has been under pressure from others in his party to step down.

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IRS Wants To Tighten Its Rule On Social Welfare Groups

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 4:00am

The IRS is asking Americans to comment on how it should regulate social welfare groups. Under the tax code, they are known as 501(c)(4) groups. They are the new players in politics — heavily financed but done so anonymously.

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Michigan Governor: Immigrant Influx Could 'Jump-Start' Detroit

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 2:11pm

"They're job generators for Americans," Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says of skilled legal immigrants. "So this could be a huge economic boom to help accelerate ... the comeback of Detroit."

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Study Complicates The Debate Over Income Inequality

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 11:49am

What does the growing income gap between the richest and poorest Americans mean for social mobility? An academic study published last week found that, contrary to popular perception, it has not gotten harder to climb the income ladder in the U.S. in the last two decades.

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McCain's 'Liberal' Record Earns Him Censure From Arizona GOP

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 10:05am

The five-term senator and former presidential candidate, has gone soft on conservative principles, his state's GOP leadership says.

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Economic Opportunity A Big Topic For State Of The Union Speech

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 7:00am

The president will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about what to expect.

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The Income Gap: How Much Is Too Much?

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 3:43am

What does the growing income gap between the richest and poorest Americans mean for social mobility? An academic study published last week found that, contrary to popular perception, it has not gotten harder to climb the income ladder in the U.S. in the last two decades.

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Eyes On 2016, GOP Revisits The Rebranding

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 8:08am

The Republican National Committee's annual meetings this week provided an opportunity to see how far Republicans have come in an effort, begun a year ago, to reach out to new voters — especially young people, minorities and women.

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An Unconventional Contender Emerges As GOP Ponders 2016 Convention

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 5:01pm

Las Vegas may seem to be an unlikely place for Republicans to gather to nominate their next presidential candidate. That's exactly why city leaders are getting such a head start on their pitch to do just that.

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RNC Approves New Rules To Shorten 2016 Primary Season

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 4:38pm

The GOP hopes to compress the time frame for intra-party battles between presidential candidates, and is seeking to crack down on states that violate party rules by scheduling outside the GOP-sanctioned window of time.

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Week In Politics: Bob McDonnell & The State Of The Union

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 3:00pm

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, EJ Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the charges faced by former Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell and the upcoming State of the Union address.

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Why Washington Drives Mayors Crazy

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 11:03am

Close to 300 of the nation's mayors have been meeting in Washington this week. They've found networking with their peers to be a lot more productive than trying to lobby Congress.

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