David Welna http://nhpr.org en An Angry Hearing On The Hill For 'Cockamamie' Twitter-like Network http://nhpr.org/post/angry-hearing-hill-cockamamie-twitter-network Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy was incensed that he only learned about the creation of a Twitter-like network in Cuba through press accounts. He had the chance Tuesday to vent his frustration when USAID administrator Rajiv Shah appeared before Leahy's committee. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:33:00 +0000 David Welna 46415 at http://nhpr.org After 58 Years Of Service, John Dingell To Vacate House Seat http://nhpr.org/post/after-58-years-service-john-dingell-vacate-house-seat Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene.<p>I n 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus. "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and his Comets was a top hit on the music charts, and John Dingell became a member of Congress. Nearly six decades later, the Michigan Democrat, the longest-serving member of Congress is leaving. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:34:00 +0000 David Welna 44095 at http://nhpr.org House Passes 'Clean' Debt Limit Bill http://nhpr.org/post/house-vote-clean-debt-limit-bill Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.<p>The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.<p>In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.<p>But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:56:00 +0000 David Welna 43404 at http://nhpr.org House Passes 'Clean' Debt Limit Bill House Sets Vote On Raising Debt Limit http://nhpr.org/post/house-sets-vote-raising-debt-limit House leaders have had weeks to come up with a plan to deal with the nation's debt limit. Now, the day before they want to leave town for a break, it appears they've essentially decided to throw in the towel. They plan to put a bill on the House floor raising the debt ceiling for a year without any conditions attached. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:28:00 +0000 David Welna 43377 at http://nhpr.org House Has 6 Working Days Left To Raise Debt Ceiling http://nhpr.org/post/house-has-6-working-days-left-raise-debt-ceiling Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The U.S. Treasury is now in its fourth day of resorting to what it calls extraordinary measures to ensure all the nation's bills get paid. Officials estimate they can keep doing that for only 16 more days without risking a default on the debt. But the House of Representatives has only six working days left to raise the debt ceiling, and this morning, House Republicans were back behind closed doors, gauging support for a plan to do that. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:58:00 +0000 David Welna 43348 at http://nhpr.org GOP Still Looking At Pieces Of Debt Limit 'Puzzle' http://nhpr.org/post/gop-still-looking-pieces-debt-limit-puzzle Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. Today at the stroke of noon in Washington D. C. the U.S. Treasury statutory authority to borrow money will expire.<p>GREENE: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there are ways to move some funds around to prevent a debt default, but only for the next three weeks. It's now up to Congress once again to raise the debt limit. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:05:00 +0000 David Welna 43165 at http://nhpr.org Obamacare Opponents Open New Front For Debate In 'Risk Corridors' http://nhpr.org/post/obamacare-opponents-open-new-front-debate-risk-corridors Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Here's another way congressional Democrats are using the Budget Office report in support of the Affordable Care Act. They're defending an obscure provision in the law that serves to backstop insurance companies participating in the health plan exchanges. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:39:00 +0000 David Welna 43063 at http://nhpr.org After 3-Day Retreat, GOP Battle Plan Still Only An Outline http://nhpr.org/post/after-3-day-retreat-gop-battle-plan-still-only-outline House Republicans headed back to Washington on Friday from a resort along the frozen waters of the Chesapeake Bay. They were there for a three-day retreat aimed at mapping out a legislative strategy for this midterm election year.<p>One of the most pressing issues they face is the need next month for Congress to raise the nation's debt limit. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:22:00 +0000 David Welna 42818 at http://nhpr.org After 3-Day Retreat, GOP Battle Plan Still Only An Outline 8 Republicans And A Nunn Battle For Georgia's Open Senate Seat http://nhpr.org/post/eight-republicans-and-nunn-battle-georgias-open-senate-seat Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss won't be seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate this year, and his decision to bow out has eight other Republicans, including three congressmen, scrambling for his seat.<p>Democrats, meanwhile, have their hopes pinned on the daughter of a well-known and widely admired former senator. It's turned a Senate race Republicans hoped would be a cakewalk into something far less predictable.<p>Georgia has gone from a bastion of conservative Democrats to a place where, for the first time since Reconstruction, all statewide offices are now held by Republicans. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 08:33:00 +0000 David Welna 42355 at http://nhpr.org 8 Republicans And A Nunn Battle For Georgia's Open Senate Seat 'Pretty Good' Budget Deal Looks Good Enough To Avoid Shutdown http://nhpr.org/post/pretty-good-budget-deal-looks-good-enough-avoid-shutdown For the first time in years, the House of Representatives is expected to approve a massive new spending bill Wednesday that keeps federal agencies operating until a new fiscal year starts in October.<p>The so-called "omnibus" package of all 12 annual spending bills is a compromise; it has more money in it than what Congressional Republicans wanted, but less than what President Obama had asked for. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 08:05:00 +0000 David Welna 41858 at http://nhpr.org 'Pretty Good' Budget Deal Looks Good Enough To Avoid Shutdown The War Over Poverty: A Deep Divide On How To Help http://nhpr.org/post/war-over-poverty-deep-divide-how-help All this week, Majority Leader Harry Reid declared over and over on the Senate floor that there's a downside to the recovering economy.<p>"It's true," he said. "The rich are getting a lot richer, and the poor are getting poorer."<p>That observation may not be surprising, coming from a Democrat. Less expected, perhaps, is a similar lament made the same day by the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell.<p>"We all know the stock market's been doing great, so the richest among us are doing just fine," McConnell said. "But what about the poor? Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:22:00 +0000 David Welna 41671 at http://nhpr.org The War Over Poverty: A Deep Divide On How To Help McCain Lays Al-Qaida Surge In Iraq At Obama's Feet http://nhpr.org/post/mccain-lays-al-qaida-surge-iraq-obamas-feet Forces allied with al-Qaida are battling to retake two major cities in Iraq's Sunni-dominated Anbar province: Ramadi, the capital of the province, and Fallujah, the city where U.S. troops prevailed after fighting two major battles.<p>There have been no American forces in Iraq since 2011, when President Obama ordered the last troops to leave. Now the man who lost the presidential race to Obama five years ago is pointing a finger at the president for al-Qaida's resurgence.<p>Some 1,300 U.S. troops died in the area during the Iraq War, and Sen. Wed, 08 Jan 2014 23:42:00 +0000 David Welna 41508 at http://nhpr.org McCain Lays Al-Qaida Surge In Iraq At Obama's Feet Senate OKs Yellen, To Take Up Jobless Benefits Tuesday http://nhpr.org/post/senate-oks-yellen-take-jobless-benefits-tuesday Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>Neither arctic conditions nor cancelled flights kept most of the Senate from returning to Washington after the holidays for last night's vote on the new chair of the Federal Reserve.<p>GREENE: All but 17 senators showed up, and most voted to confirm Janet Yellen. Tue, 07 Jan 2014 09:59:00 +0000 David Welna 41372 at http://nhpr.org If The NAFTA Vote Were Held Today, How Would It Fare? http://nhpr.org/post/if-nafta-vote-was-held-today-how-would-it-fare Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. It's been 20 years since President Bill Clinton signed into law a trade pact that wiped out many of the commercial barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement was controversial. Although Congress in the end approved NAFTA, it divided lawmakers, and on both sides of the aisle.<p>Two decades later, many who voted for or against the deal are still in office. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 09:52:00 +0000 David Welna 40921 at http://nhpr.org Congress Is On Pace To Be The Least Productive Ever http://nhpr.org/post/congress-pace-be-least-productive-ever We're only at halftime for the 113th Congress, but if current trends hold, it's well on track to being the least productive lawmaking effort in the nation's history.<p>During this Congress' first yearlong session, just 58 bills became law — and many that did were about naming post offices or transferring federal lands. In fact, the most memorable act of Congress this year may well have been its failure to act in time to avoid a government shutdown.<p>President Obama began the year, and his second term in the White House, with high hopes for moving his agenda through Congress. Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:29:00 +0000 David Welna 40690 at http://nhpr.org Congress Is On Pace To Be The Least Productive Ever