Politics

Fiscal Cliff
2:03 am
Wed January 2, 2013

House votes to approve 'Fiscal Cliff' legislation

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House late Tuesday evening.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 1:23 am

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

NPR's S.V. Date is reporting on the deal for our Newscast unit. Here's what he says:

"The eventual deal was hammered out by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden. It passed the Senate with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

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The Fiscal Cliff
12:58 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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Politics
3:24 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Assessing Hillary Clinton's legacy: What will she do next?

Hillary Clinton, shown here boarding a plane in Prague earlier this month, is preparing to step aside soon as secretary of state. She hasn't said what she plans to do next.
Kevin Lamarque AP

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 9:04 am

Hillary Clinton is preparing to leave the Obama administration after four years as secretary of state, earning generally high marks and fueling all kinds of speculation about what she wants to do next.

Her boss, President Obama, has paid tribute to her, calling her "tireless and extraordinary," though illness and a concussion have kept her out of public view for the past two weeks.

"More than 400 travel days, nearly 1 million miles," President Obama proclaimed at a diplomatic reception recently. "These are not frequent flier miles. She doesn't get discounts."

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Politics
10:58 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Governor Gregoire's parting budget emphasizes taxes

Gov. Chris Gregoire unveils her final budget before leaving office

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Taxes are a key part of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s final budget before leaving office . The outgoing Democrat released her proposed two-year spending plan Tuesday as required by law. Gregoire says she wrote her budget with incoming Governor Jay Inslee in mind. But he hasn’t exactly embraced it.

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Politics
10:48 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Oregon At Odds With Federal Government Over Japanese Tsunami Gift

Staff Sgt. Jason van Mourik Oregon Military Department Public Affairs

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:20 pm

SALEM, Ore. – The state of Oregon is at odds with the federal government over how to use money from Japan meant for cleaning up tsunami debris. It can’t be used to reimburse the state for money it’s already spent.

The Japanese government donated $5 million to the US this fall to help pay for the cost of cleaning up debris from last year’s deadly tsunami. But Oregon hasn't seen a penny of that money so far.

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Politics
7:08 am
Wed December 19, 2012

President Obama is 'Time' Magazine's 'Person Of The Year'

Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:02 am

Writing that "after four of the most challenging years in the nation's history, his chance to leave office as a great president who was able to face crises and build a new majority coalition remains within reach," Time magazine has named President Obama its "person of the year."

The others on Time's "short list" were:

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Marijuana
3:02 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Obama's pot comments leave more questions than answers

AP

OLYMPIA, Wash. – President Obama’s first comments about marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado leave more questions than answers. The President tells ABC news that federal agents have – quote – “bigger fish to fry” than recreational pot users.

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Gubernatorial Transition
11:22 am
Fri December 14, 2012

After 8 years of being chauffeured, Gregoire to get driving lesson

Gregoire campaign photo Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:53 pm

"I want to get in a car and just drive."

That's one of the freedoms Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is most excited to reclaim when she leaves office in January. For the past eight years, Gregoire has been relegated to the backseat of a Chevy Suburban chauffeured by the State Patrol. "I like driving and there's something that's freeing about [it]," says the governor.

But before Gregoire gets behind the wheel, she'll get a refresher course on how to drive - from the State Patrol.  

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Business
2:04 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Oregon Governor calls special session, eyes Nike expansion

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon lawmakers will convene in Special Session this Friday.  Governor John Kitzhaber announced Monday that the session is urgently needed to facilitate a major expansion of Oregon-based Nike.  Nike says it is on the verge of an expansion of its Oregon operations that could affect the Northwest economy.

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Politics
7:21 am
Mon December 10, 2012

One party control of Wash. senate could change this week

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington is currently a Democratic one party rule state. But that could change this week. A possible challenge to the Democrats' tenuous control of the Washington state senate could emerge. Senate Republicans have called a news conference Monday morning at the Capitol.

A bipartisan group of senators is expected make an announcement regarding the leadership of the state’s upper chamber. All it would take is two Democratic senators to join with Republicans to create a philosophical majority.

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Politics
11:04 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Wedding bells ring for same sex couples in Washington State

Newlyweds Kath Kirsch and Shane Hope
Jennifer Wing KPLU
  • Jennifer Wing's story

After waiting for hours in line last week to obtain marriage licenses, hundreds of same sex couples finally got to tie the knot this weekend.  The ceremonies were made possible by the new voter approved same sex marriage law. 

Inside the sanctuary at Seattle First Baptist Church  twenty five couples, dressed in everything from matching, dapper suits and white dresses to coordinated western cowboy shirts, became a part of Washington State history when Pastor Tim Phillips said these familiar words.

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2012 Elections
2:01 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

PHOTOS: A historic day; gay marriage, marijuana are legal

Jeri and Amy Andrews laugh as they wait in line outside of the King County Recorder's Office on Wednesday in Seattle, Washington.
David Ryder Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 3:26 pm

History was made at midnight in Washington on two fronts last night: Bans on both gay marriage and recreational marijuana use were lifted.

As you might expect, as the sun set and the clock struck 12, there were scenes of celebration across the state's biggest city. The pictures tell the story, so with that here are five photographs from Seattle.

Marijuana Legalization
3:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

On eve of legalization, clouds still hang over pot law

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says replacing an illegal market with a legal one will take time.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

At the stroke of midnight, adult marijuana users will no longer be lawbreakers in Washington. But lots of legal questions remain about how marijuana commerce will work, where it’s legal to use and how the federal government will respond.

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Politics
10:56 am
Wed December 5, 2012

State Sen. Murray intends to run for Seattle mayor

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The new Democratic leader in the Washington state Senate now intends to run for Seattle mayor.

Sen. Ed Murray said Wednesday that he is establishing an exploratory committee and will work in the coming months to build the foundation for a campaign. Because of rules for state lawmakers, Murray can't raise money until the Legislature completes next year's session.

Politics
7:20 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Seattle city council president says state may have to raise taxes to fund schools

The president of the Seattle City Council says the state needs to make sure it adequately funds schools – and that may mean the state has to raise taxes. 

The state of Washington faces a grim budget deficit – more than $2.5 billion over the next two years, by one estimate. At the same time, the state also has to boost money for schools, according to a state supreme court decision.

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