Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:21 am
It's Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, which puts us five days away from a possible federal-government shutdown that would begin Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a stop-gap spending bill.
So the drama in the Senate over the spending bill leads the day's interesting political items and features Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. At this writing, Cruz was in the last gasps of an anti-Obamacare talkathon. That's where we start:
Audrey Crabtree of Cedar Falls began her education in the 1920s in a one-room school house. But then she got injured in a swimming accident, and her grandma fell ill, so she didn't finish high school — 1 credit shy. This week, during a board meeting, she received her diploma from the current principal of East High.
And Senator Cruz spoke against Obamacare all night in the Senate, but can't actually prevent a Senate vote. The Senate is considered likely to approve a bill that funds the government - including the Affordable Care Act.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
But that does not end the story, because the House passed a bill that defunds Obamacare. It would be up to Democrats to find some agreement with House Speaker John Boehner that avoids a government shutdown.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Let's catch up on the Senate's fight over Obamacare. A handful of Republican senators say they support a plan to deny funding to the Affordable Care Act. They want to attach that to a larger measure designed to keep the rest of the government running and avoid a partial shutdown at the end of the month.
In Montana and Idaho, wolf hunting season is underway, and an environmental organization known for acts of civil disobedience is trying to disrupt the hunts. Earth First is circulating a manual that details among other things how to dismantle traps. Authorities say some of the tactics are illegal.
Imagine running power lines through a cathedral. That's how archaeologists describe what the Bonneville Power Administration proposes doing in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. The federal electricity provider is trying to string a new transmission line near a cave that contains ancient paintings, a site considered sacred by Native Americans.
President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?
Premiums in the health insurance exchanges set to open next week will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, "premiums nationwide will ... be around 16 percent lower than originally expected," and 95 percent of uninsured people live in a state with average premiums that are lower than expected.
One of the strongest new sitcoms on TV this season has the worst name, but its title, Trophy Wife, was intended to be ironic. The show's creators, Sarah Haskins and Emily Halpern, are self-professed feminists who wanted to take on a type generally scorned in popular culture.
The show's eponymous character, Kate, is a reformed party girl trying to find her place in a family that includes a much older husband, Pete, his two ex-wives and three kids. When Kate inadvertently breaks Pete's nose, the situation is expertly handled by ex No. 1, an intimidating surgeon.
Chicago police have charged four men — including two suspected gunmen — in the shooting injuries of 13 people. Police said the two suspects opened fire in retaliation for an earlier shooting, in which one of them was slightly wounded.
Attention, potential Army recruits: If you have tattoos on your feet, calves, hands, forearms or around your neck, Uncle Sam apparently does not want you. The secretary of the Army is expected to sign strict, new rules about body art. And for current soldiers, there's a kind of grandfather clause. Ink below the elbows and knees and above the neckline won't get them kicked out, but they will have to review their tattoos with unit leaders and they'll have to pay to have tattoos removed that are deemed to be racist, sexist or extremist.