Congress

3:23pm

Fri April 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Democrats Invoke Boston, West To Defend Government's Role

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

President Obama has spoken at two memorial services in just over a week — one for victims of the Boston Marathon attack and one for those who died in the chemical plant explosions in West, Texas. In both speeches, he focused on victims and survivors.

But other Democrats are using these events to talk about another subject: the role of government.

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2:11pm

Fri April 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Budget Politics Forcing Congress To Pick Favorites

Call it the Whac-a-Mole approach to budgeting.

Congress restored budget flexibility so the FAA can keep air traffic controllers working, just days after their furloughs had started and flight delays began stacking up.

With spending cuts caused by sequestration rolling throughout the government, the question becomes which programs Congress might address next — and why.

"That's the parlor game in Washington," says Scott Lilly, a former staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. "There are dozens and dozens of candidates."

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10:16am

Fri April 26, 2013
The Two-Way

House OKs Bill To End Air Traffic Controllers' Furloughs

The furloughs of air traffic controllers that have slowed air travel in the past week and frustrated thousands of fliers should soon come to an end.

By a vote of 361-41, the House of Representatives just passed legislation that would allow the secretary of transportation to shift up to $253 million in funds so that controllers no longer have to be furloughed to meet the requirements of sequestration (the mandated, across-the-board spending cuts that began taking hold March 1).

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3:17am

Fri April 26, 2013
NPR Story

FAA Expected To Gain Flexibility On Budget Cuts

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Now that automatic spending cuts are causing wider pain, Congress has begun finding ways to adjust some of them.

MONTAGNE: Today the House is expected to take up a bill the Senate has already approved. It's called the Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013, and it comes after a week of flight delays and outrage from members of Congress, linked to the furloughs the FAA air traffic controllers.

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4:05pm

Thu April 25, 2013
It's All Politics

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

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