After five marathon sessions debating 150 proposed amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a landmark rewriting of the nation's immigration laws this week — and the bill emerged largely intact.
Three Republicans voted with the panel's 10 Democrats on Tuesday night to forward the bill to the full Senate. That strong showing followed a wrenching choice for Democrats on the committee: whether to risk shattering support for the bill by amending it to recognize equal rights for same-sex couples.
During a tornado, the safest place to protect yourself is usually underground, but that's not an option for the large majority of people in southern Oklahoma. If you look just at new construction, fewer than 1 percent of homes in the area hit by the tornado have basements. Here to help explain why is NPR's Scott Neuman, who's written about this for our Two-Way blog.
And Scott, where I come from, a basement is a really common thing to have under the house. Not so in Oklahoma. Why not?
Another day, another heated hearing on Capitol Hill about the IRS. The agency's leadership has faced angry questions over its flagging of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status. At today's hearing, the most anticipated witness answered no questions. Instead, she took the Fifth, as we hear from NPR congressional correspondent Tamara Keith.
On this day, two years ago, just after 5:30 p.m., a tornado roared into Joplin, Missouri. It cut a nearly straight line through town, splintering everything in its path. About 160 people were killed. Some 7,500 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Mike Woolston was the mayor at the time. He's now a city councilor in Joplin, and he joins us from Joplin to talk about his experience two years ago and how it might inform the task ahead for Moore, Oklahoma. Mike Woolston, welcome to the program.
Public opinion about the scandals plaguing the Obama administration is decidedly mixed.
Republicans believe that the trio of controversies — concerning Benghazi, the IRS, and the Justice Department snooping on media phone records — are evidence enough that President Obama is either running a government motivated by partisan politics, or is badly out of touch.
Democrats, however, are proving to be much more forgiving.
What is the case against Wisconsin farmer Vernon Hershberger really about? It depends on whom you ask.
To hear the prosecution, it's about licensing, not raw milk: Hershberger, a dairy farmer hailing from the town of Loganville, is on trial this week for operating without three licenses. He's also accused of continuing to sell raw milk to members of his private club after he was ordered not to.
If convicted, the father of 10 faces more than a year in jail and more than $10,000 in fines.
Add this to the list of Democratic worries surrounding the wave of Obama administration scandals: the downstream effect.
It's prime candidate-recruiting season right now — the period in the two-year election cycle when officials in both parties fan out across the map in hopes of persuading prospective candidates to run for Congress. Issues and money always get plenty of attention, but the ability of party leaders to attract strong, capable candidates is vital to success on Election Day.
Two Oregon counties have reportedly rejected property tax increases that would have funded law enforcement and public safety services. The counties once received federal timber subsidies, but those days are over — and now they're scrambling to pay for essential services.
Chuck used to sell marijuana in California. But the legalization of medical marijuana in the state meant he was suddenly competing against hundreds of marijuana dispensaries. So he moved to New York, where marijuana is still 100 percent illegal. Since making the move, he says, he's quadrupled his income. (For the record: His name isn't really Chuck.)