NPR Political Coverage

Just How Big Is The Asia Trade Deal Obama Wants? It's A Beast

29 minutes ago

One of the most basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership is also the most important: it's huge.

Before leaving for the Memorial Day holiday, the trade deal got over a big hurdle Friday when the Senate voted in favor of giving the Obama administration "fast-track" authority to negotiate the massive trade deal with Canada and 10 Asian nations.

That leaves the U.S. House, and it's not clear it has the votes yet. If it passes, though, TPP, which has angered many in the president's party, would be by far the largest free trade agreement the US has in effect.

The Rick Perry that Iowans were promised in 2012 may have finally shown up — four years too late.

The former Texas governor's much-heralded first presidential run quickly cratered four years ago, beset by stumbles from a candidate who was still recovering from back surgery and never seemed to find his footing on a national stage.

But last week in campaign stops in Northwest Iowa, the likely GOP presidential hopeful was back to his gregarious, confident self on the first of three days he spent barnstorming a state that could make or break his 2016 comeback hopes.

The perils of running behind in such a crowded field became painfully apparent to lagging GOP presidential hopefuls this week. Fox News announced that the first 2016 GOP debate on Aug. 6 in Cleveland would be limited to the top 10 candidates, based on an average of the last five national polls. As of now, it's very possible former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (the only woman in the field), 2012 runner-up Rick Santorum and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., could be among those excluded from the event, while someone with more name ID like reality TV star Donald Trump could make the cut.

The Clinton Foundation on Thursday night disclosed that it earned $12 million to $26 million for speeches given by Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton. The speeches given by Hillary herself were largely at two types of organizations — universities and financial institutions — and have already created headaches for the candidate in the lead-up to the 2016 race.

People Say They Want Compromise But Not Really

May 21, 2015

The new Congress is 100 days old, and already Americans disapprove. According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, nearly 40 percent of Americans think the newest Congress has accomplished less than expected — that's around twice the share who thought the same of the new Democratic Congress in 2007 and three times what people thought of the GOP Congress in 1995.

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

Doug Hughes, the Florida postman who gyrocoptered through Washington's anti-terrorism warning system to land on the Capitol lawn, now faces two felonies, four misdemeanors and up to 9 1/2 years in prison for his efforts.

Six months ago, when President Obama announced sweeping and polarizing executive actions on immigration, immigrant families all over the country were watching his rare prime-time address.

But those actions have now fallen out of the headlines and the highest-profile changes are on hold.

Once upon a time, minimum-wage debates were mostly the province of Congress and statehouses. These days, you're more likely than ever to hear these debates in your city hall. The trend continued this week, when the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The second-largest city in America could soon join Seattle and San Francisco in the club of cities that have agreed to gradually raise their wages above $15 per hour. And these cities are part of a larger, recent wave of cities and counties setting their own minimum wages.