Scott Horsley http://wesa.fm en White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge http://wesa.fm/post/white-house-urges-lawmakers-address-popular-tax-dodge When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?<p>That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.<p>The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."<p>"The naked inversion is, you're a U.S. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:24:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 32808 at http://wesa.fm White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge Congress Pulls A Smooth Maneuver To Make Highway Payments http://wesa.fm/post/how-congress-turning-finesse-wording-highway-payments Chances are you've never heard of the budget gimmick known as "pension smoothing." We'll try to explain.<p><strong>1. What is pension smoothing?</strong><p>It's one of the tactics lawmakers are using as a temporary patch for the Highway Trust Fund. It allows employers that offer traditional pensions to set aside less money for future retirees. That makes the companies appear more profitable in the short run so they — or their employees — pay more money to the government in taxes. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:58:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 32674 at http://wesa.fm Congress Pulls A Smooth Maneuver To Make Highway Payments House GOP Plows Forward With Plans To Sue Obama http://wesa.fm/post/house-gop-plows-forward-plans-sue-obama House Republicans are pushing ahead with a plan to sue President Obama, accusing him of trying to sidestep Congress and make his own laws.<p>But the president is also using the suit, which is considered a long shot in legal terms, to score political points.<p>House Speaker John Boehner says the lawsuit will focus on the administration's decision to postpone the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that large employers provide health insurance for their workers.<p>But the White House describes the suit as a "taxpayer-funded political stunt," and the president used it as a convenient punch lin Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21:45:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 32490 at http://wesa.fm House GOP Plows Forward With Plans To Sue Obama Obama Stumps In Colorado, With Women's Vote As Backdrop http://wesa.fm/post/obama-stumps-colorado-womens-vote-backdrop In Colorado, where President Obama's approval rating is low and the Senate race is tight, Democratic incumbent Mark Udall largely bowed out of the spotlight of the president's visit Wednesday.<p>But as Obama made the rounds speaking about the economy and raising money for Democratic congressional candidates, he also spoke about the women's issues that could be key to Udall's electoral success.<p>At a morning outdoor rally in Denver's Cheesman Park, Obama emphasized just how much is on the line in the midterms.<p>"So far this year, Republicans have blocked or voted down every serious idea to st Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:18:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 32343 at http://wesa.fm Obama Stumps In Colorado, With Women's Vote As Backdrop Obama To Ask Congress For $2B To Ease Immigration Crisis http://wesa.fm/post/obama-ask-congress-2b-ease-immigration-crisis The Obama administration will ask Congress for more than $2 billion Tuesday to address the urgent humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.<p>In the past nine months, more than 50,000 children and teenagers have crossed that border illegally on their own, most from Central America. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 07:37:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 32216 at http://wesa.fm Obama To Ask Congress For $2B To Ease Immigration Crisis Lawmakers Pitch A Gas Tax Hike To Replenish Dwindling Highway Funds http://wesa.fm/post/lawmakers-pitch-gas-tax-hike-replenish-dwindling-highway-funds Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Let's take a closer look now at what's happening to the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned state officials in a letter today that unless the fund is patched quickly, the federal government will start limiting payouts to states on August 1. The average state will lose nearly 30 percent of its federal road money and that could mean a lot less asphalt. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 20:10:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 31907 at http://wesa.fm Cantor's Defeat Brings An End To Prickly Relationship With Obama http://wesa.fm/post/cantors-defeat-brings-end-prickly-relationship-obama Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. There is no love lost at the White House for Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House, who lost his primary this week. The Virginia congressman has long been a roadblock for the president's legislative agenda. House Republicans will vote next week on who should replace Cantor as majority leader. Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:11:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 30884 at http://wesa.fm Obama Reassures Allies As He Honors D-Day Sacrifices http://wesa.fm/post/obama-reassures-allies-he-honors-d-day-sacrifices President Obama has had an eventful visit to Europe, which included attending the 70th D-Day commemoration in Normandy. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:54:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 30553 at http://wesa.fm On Eve Of D-Day Anniversary, World Leaders Cope With Fresher Scars http://wesa.fm/post/eve-d-day-anniversary-world-leaders-cope-fresher-scars Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. World leaders are gathering in France for a ceremony tomorrow marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. It could be an awkward get together, not because of old battle scars from World War II, but because of the current fighting over Ukraine. Vladimir Putin was deliberately excluded from this week's G-7 meeting in Brussels as punishment for Russia's interference in Ukraine. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 20:32:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 30463 at http://wesa.fm In Keynote Speech, Obama Marks A Quarter-Century Of Polish Democracy http://wesa.fm/post/keynote-speech-obama-marks-quarter-century-polish-democracy President Obama is delivering the keynote address of his current trip to Europe in Poland. Earlier in the day, Obama is meeting with the president-elect of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 30384 at http://wesa.fm In Warsaw, Obama Vows To Keep Rattled Allies Out Of Russian Orbit http://wesa.fm/post/warsaw-obama-vows-keep-rattled-allies-out-russian-orbit Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama is asking Congress for an extra billion dollars. It's for defense, to reassure nervous allies and let Eastern Europe that United States is committed to their security. The president spoke to an audience in Poland today. He said the U.S. commitment is especially important in the face of Russia's actions in neighboring Ukraine.<p>CORNISH: Poland is the starting point in the president's four-day visit to Europe. Tue, 03 Jun 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 30323 at http://wesa.fm Obama Auditions Foreign Policy Speech Before Graduating Cadets http://wesa.fm/post/obama-auditions-foreign-policy-speech-graduating-cadets Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama says he wants to ramp up support for opposition forces in Syria. That could include weapons and training provided by the U.S. military. We'll hear more about his reasoning ahead. Obama made the call today in a commencement speech at West Point. Wed, 28 May 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 30005 at http://wesa.fm Brad Paisley Leaves 'Southern Comfort Zone' For Troops In Afghanistan http://wesa.fm/post/brad-paisley-leaves-southern-comfort-zone-troops-afghanistan Brad Paisley is well-known as a top-selling country music star. Turns out, he's a pretty good juggler, too.<p>Paisley <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/25/315794236/on-memorial-day-eve-president-obama-lands-in-afghanistan">joined President Obama</a> in a surprise trip to Afghanistan this Memorial Day weekend, playing for some 3,000 troops at the Bagram Airfield. Mon, 26 May 2014 18:54:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 29863 at http://wesa.fm Brad Paisley Leaves 'Southern Comfort Zone' For Troops In Afghanistan Obama Taps San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For HUD Secretary http://wesa.fm/post/obama-taps-san-antonio-mayor-julian-castro-hud-secretary President Obama has been playing musical chairs with his Cabinet.<p>At the White House on Friday, Obama announced that he's chosen Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to be his new budget director. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:19:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 29764 at http://wesa.fm Obama Taps San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For HUD Secretary Forecast Predicts A Shift Away From Employer-Sponsored Insurance http://wesa.fm/post/forecast-predicts-shift-away-employer-sponsored-insurance Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services is winning some Republican support. The president chose Sylvia Matthews Burwell to take over from the embattled outgoing secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. And today, Burwell appeared before the Senate Health Committee. Thu, 08 May 2014 20:54:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28917 at http://wesa.fm Obama Sounds Alarm Bell On Climate Change. Is Anyone Listening? http://wesa.fm/post/obama-sounds-alarm-bell-climate-change-anyone-listening Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. Everybody makes conversation about the weather. And today that includes President Obama. He's appearing on three network TV shows to discuss a new government report on climate change. It's on a day when the president also visits Arkansas to survey the damage from last week's tornadoes.<p>The president says he wants to do more than talk. Wed, 07 May 2014 09:06:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28815 at http://wesa.fm Poised And Persistent, Reporter Broke White House Color Barrier http://wesa.fm/post/poised-and-persistent-reporter-broke-white-house-color-barrier Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. Sat, 03 May 2014 14:52:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28638 at http://wesa.fm Poised And Persistent, Reporter Broke White House Color Barrier Out Of White House Meeting, Obama And Merkel Emerge United On Russia http://wesa.fm/post/out-white-house-meeting-obama-and-merkel-emerge-united-russia Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. As fighting escalated in Ukraine today, President Obama welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House. They talked about how to put greater economic pressure on Russia in hopes of forcing Vladimir Putin to change course in Ukraine. Obama and Merkel also discussed surveillance tactics. It's been a source of friction since it was reported that American spies eavesdropped on Merkel's own telephone. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28609 at http://wesa.fm Minimum Wage Raise: Blocked For Now, May Live Again In Campaigns http://wesa.fm/post/minimum-wage-raise-blocked-now-may-live-again-campaigns Senate Republicans blocked a vote Wednesday on a bill to raise the nation's minimum wage. But don't expect that to be the end of the story.<p>For more than a year now, Democrats, including President Obama, have been pushing to boost the minimum wage. Their latest target is $10.10 an hour.<p>GOP critics argue that would depress hiring in an already weak job market.<p>But raising the wage is popular with voters, and Democrats plan to make the issue a rallying cry between now and the November elections. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 21:15:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28487 at http://wesa.fm In Diplomacy, Obama Aims To 'Hit Singles,' Not Swing For Fences http://wesa.fm/post/diplomacy-obama-aims-hit-singles-not-swing-fences President Obama returned to Washington on Tuesday after a weeklong visit to Asia.<p>The four-nation tour was designed to showcase U.S. involvement in the region, but it produced only modest diplomatic developments. And toward the end of the trip, the president offered a modest assessment of his overall foreign policy.<p>The Asia trip didn't produce a blockbuster trade deal, or bring an end to North Korea's nuclear threat. The U.S. won a smaller-scale agreement to station military forces in the Philippines. And it polished its newfound ties with Malaysia. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28416 at http://wesa.fm In Diplomacy, Obama Aims To 'Hit Singles,' Not Swing For Fences Washington Levels New Sanctions At Russia, Pulls Some Punches http://wesa.fm/post/washington-levels-new-sanctions-russia-pulls-some-punches Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The new economic sanctions ordered by the Treasury Department today targets 17 Russian companies, along with seven government officials, some with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The individuals include the chairman and a board member of Russia's largest state-owned oil company. European governments are expected to add their own financial penalties, but so far, there's little sign the Russian leader is yielding to the pressure. Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 28352 at http://wesa.fm Following Enrollment Deadline, Health Care Focus Turns To States http://wesa.fm/post/following-enrollment-deadline-health-care-focus-turns-states President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:23:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 27747 at http://wesa.fm Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself http://wesa.fm/post/obamas-tax-rate-rose-and-he-cant-blame-anyone-himself President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.<p>The White House <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/04/11/president-obama-and-vice-president-biden-s-2013-tax-returns">released the president's tax return</a> last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.<p>In 2012, the Obamas paid just 18.4 percent of their income in taxes. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 27620 at http://wesa.fm Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself As Sebelius Steps Down, Obama Taps Budget Director To Replace Her http://wesa.fm/post/sebelius-steps-down-obama-taps-budget-director-replace-her Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius got a fond farewell today from President Obama. She's resigning after a rocky tenure marred by the botched rollout of the government's health insurance exchange last fall. The president's tapping his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to replace Sebelius. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 27443 at http://wesa.fm Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius To Step Down http://wesa.fm/post/health-secretary-kathleen-sebelius-step-down The move comes about 6 months after the disastrous roll out of the health insurance website. It was eventually fixed, but not before delivering a severe blow to the president's approval ratings. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:20:00 +0000 Scott Horsley 27398 at http://wesa.fm