Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

President Obama challenged the nation to do more to prevent gun violence, during an interfaith memorial service for victims of Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. He says the country as a whole is left with hard questions after last week's massacre.

The Consumer Price Index is one of the most familiar measures in economics and politics. But some in Washington want to change the way the index is calculated to better reflect people's shopping habits.

While the proposed change is described as a technical fix, it could also cut the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

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Well, even if Americans largely agree on addressing the deficit with a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, the consensus falls apart when you get specific about those spending cuts. And that may be why politicians have been wary of discussing cuts in too much detail. We're going to try to remedy that now with NPR's Scott Horsley. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Robert.

Ben Franklin famously observed that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

So far, Congress hasn't repealed the former, but the future of estate taxes — a largely overlooked piece of the "fiscal cliff" — remains uncertain as this year draws to a close.

Until now, most of the year-end tax debate has focused on the income tax, but another battle could be brewing over estate taxes.

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it's up to congressional Republicans to take the next step in budget talks to avoid the pending automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year.

Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, Geithner said there's "no path to an agreement" until Republicans are willing to accept higher tax rates on the rich.

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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After attending the annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders, President Obama is winging his way home this morning. And tomorrow, he'll issue the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon. Then after the holiday it's back to budget talks with congressional leaders deciding what else might be spared, and what government programs or tax breaks might feel the knife.

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President Obama paid a historic visit to Myanmar today. The southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, is tiptoeing towards democracy after almost 50 years in military rule. Mr. Obama met with the former leader who is now the president of Burma and with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is not a member of parliament after years of house arrest. The visit is the centerpiece of the president's three-day Asian tour, which is meant to underscore the United States' growing involvement in the region.

President Obama continues to insist that any agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff next year must include higher taxes on the wealthy. But Obama left the door open to structuring that tax increase in various ways. He's hoping to strike a bargain with congressional Republicans that would prevent a broader tax hike on the middle class that could send the country back into recession.

President Obama meets with labor leaders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff. It's the first of many meetings aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of the new year.

A week ago, the president proved again that he and his team are good at winning elections. The question now is whether he can translate victory at the ballot box to success in shaping policy.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And Robert Siegel. The confetti has fallen in Chicago, where President Obama celebrated a decisive reelection win early this morning. Now comes the hard work of preparing for a second term. Before flying back to Washington this evening, Mr. Obama acknowledged some of the big issues ahead.

President Obama will spend another four years in the White House after winning more than 300 electoral votes. In his victory speech from Chicago, the president promised that the "best is yet to come."

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SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley, traveling with the Obama campaign. Actually, the president's campaign travel is finished. Mr. Obama spent the night at his own home in Chicago. Today's plans call for some TV and radio interviews and maybe a game of basketball with some friends. Mr. Obama's last reelection rally came last night in Iowa, where 20,000 people gathered just outside the caucus headquarters where he launched his first presidential campaign more than five years ago.

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The two presidential candidates made their final campaign stops ahead of Tuesday's election. Melissa Block talks with Ari Shapiro, who traveled with Mitt Romney, and Scott Horsley, who traveled with President Obama, about their final pitch to voters.

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SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley, traveling with the president, who's also milking every last hour from these final days. Mr. Obama was up long past midnight, and he's planning another 14-hour, voice-taxing marathon today, ending with a final rally in Iowa, where his national campaign began five years ago.

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PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm here today because I'm not ready to give up on the fight. I know I look a little older, but I got a lot of fight left in me.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And the multi-billion dollar presidential campaign has come down to its final weekend. All that money, all these months are campaigning come down to just a few more frantic days for the candidates. The polls now show a close contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as they campaign in a handful of swing states. Mr. Obama begins campaigning today where he left off yesterday in - have we said this before? - Ohio. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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

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And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today's jobs numbers gave the presidential candidates something new to talk about, or at least new details for an old story. President Obama says the better-than-expected number of new jobs is evidence that his policies are working, slowly but surely. And Mitt Romney argued that the uptick in the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent shows it's time to change course.

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President Obama is on the road, too, after spending time to focus on helping the Northeast recover from the massive storm called Sandy. A politician at the center of that storm is now backing the president. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has endorsed the president for reelection, saying he has the values and the vision to guide the country into the future, even though Bloomberg added he was disappointed with the past four years under President Obama.

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With his city picking up the pieces left by Sandy, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the spotlight today to make a high-profile endorsement. President Obama gets his vote for a second term. Bloomberg singled out the president's leadership on climate change.

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Mr. Obama, meanwhile, resumed campaigning. He's holding rallies today in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado while his opponent, Mitt Romney, spends the day in Virginia.

On Wednesday, President Obama toured some of the hardest-hit parts of New Jersey, along with Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The two have become a political odd couple since the storm — each offering praise for the other's leadership.

President Obama offered thoughts and prayers Tuesday for all those who have been affected by Sandy. He also offered something more tangible: the full resources of the federal government.

"The most important message I have for them is that America's with you," he said. "We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet."

For Obama, the federal government is a critical vehicle for that kind of help. Republicans put more faith in local government, and even voluntary efforts.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama canceled his campaign events that were scheduled for today in Colorado and Wisconsin. He's staying in Washington to oversee the federal response to what is now described as a post-tropical storm, Sandy. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has also scaled back his events.

Now, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, this gigantic storm has introduced a new and unpredictable element into the presidential race just one week before Election Day.

Hurricane Sandy has disrupted the presidential campaigns of President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney. Both campaigns cancelled scheduled events for Monday and Tuesday.

Later this week we'll get another snapshot of the U.S. job market: the last unemployment report before next week's presidential election.

Forecasters expect another sign of slow but steady job growth. Whoever is in the Oval Office next year will have to cope with a sluggish U.S. economy and confront some urgent policy decisions.

After barnstorming through half a dozen battleground states this week, President Obama stopped in Chicago to vote. He became the first sitting president to vote early in person.

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

If you enjoy travel, you might consider running for the White House. Just today, President Obama is visiting not one, not two, not three, but four states and then flying home in time for bed. On his schedule, rallies in Florida, Virginia and Ohio and a trip to Chicago to cast his vote for himself, of course. Early voting is one message the president has been pushing on two-day whirlwind trip across the country.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

Here's a quick summary of President Obama's latest campaign trip: Six battleground states, 39 hours, quite a few cups of coffee and it's not over yet.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama is matching his opponent mile for mile, campaigning today across the country and late into the night. He set off this morning on tour that will take him to half a dozen battleground states before he returns to the White House late tomorrow. NPR's Scott Horsley is tagging along with the president.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is where it got started, Iowa. I believe in you and I'm asking you to keep believing in me.

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