Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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Health Care
4:45 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

President Asks Moms For Help Promoting Obamacare

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
2:32 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Hope For A Bright Future In The Lone Star State

Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse in Blanco, Texas, after casting their ballots in November 2012. Democrats hope demographics and a new organizational push give them a brighter future in Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:51 am

President Obama travels to Texas on Thursday for the second time in as many weeks. He will talk about job training and economic opportunity, but he may have a political opportunity on his mind as well.

Obama lost Texas by more than 1 million votes last year. But Democrats believe their fortunes in the Lone Star State may soon change, thanks to demographics and a new organizational push.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:33 pm

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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Business
4:09 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 7:04 pm

More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.

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Politics
4:10 am
Sat April 13, 2013

What Obama's Tax Proposal Could Cost Him, And Us

Copies of President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 are distributed to Senate staff on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 11:50 am

President Obama's newly released tax return shows his effective income tax rate was 18.4 percent last year. He'll likely pay a somewhat higher rate in 2013, and that tax bill would be even bigger if Congress were to adopt the recommendations in the president's own budget, unveiled this week.

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Around the Nation
6:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Highlights Colorado's Action On Gun Control Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:50 pm

President Obama was in Denver on Wednesday to rally support for gun control laws. Colorado has stepped up on both background checks and ammunition magazines, and Democrats there fear backlash next year.

Politics
3:34 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Outrage Alone Won't Advance Gun Control Measures

President Obama urged Congress to take action on measures to protect children from gun violence while speaking in the East Room of the White House last week. Standing with Obama are Vice President Joe Biden and, according to the White House, law enforcement officials, victims of gun violence and others, whom the White House did not want to name.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 7:42 am

President Obama is trying to regain some traction for federal gun control measures by visiting states that are moving forward on their own.

On Wednesday, the president speaks in Colorado, where lawmakers recently passed a series of bills requiring background checks for all gun purchases and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

Obama would like to see similar measures adopted nationwide. But if Colorado serves as an inspiration for the president, it also provides a cautionary tale.

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Middle East
7:13 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Obama Leaves Middle East With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:26 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama heads home from the Middle East today after a mixed reception to his four-day visit. Mr. Obama spent much of that time in Israel trying to lay the groundwork to revive the long-stalled peace process with Palestinians. He also traveled to the West Bank and met with Jordan's King Abdullah. NPR's Scott Horsley has a recap.

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Middle East
3:40 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Obama Asks Young Israelis To Push For Peace

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:24 am

President Obama is urging both Israelis and Palestinians not to abandon long-stalled peace talks. The president has been practicing some low-key shuttle diplomacy this week.

It's All Politics
2:05 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Obama Looks For A Spring Thaw With Congress To Start Melting Deficit

President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday following a meeting with congressional leaders.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:44 am

President Obama is hoping for a spring thaw in White House-congressional relations.

The president had dinner Wednesday night with a small group of Republican lawmakers. He's also planning rare visits to Capitol Hill next week to discuss his agenda with both Democrats and Republicans.

Aides say Obama is trying to locate what he calls a "caucus of common sense" in Congress to tackle the country's long-term budget challenges.

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Politics
12:02 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Obama Announces His Picks For EPA, Other Cabinet Posts

President Obama rounds out his Cabinet for his second term, nominating three new leaders Monday: Walmart Foundation's Sylvia Mathews Burwell for budget chief, MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and veteran regulator Gina McCarthy to run the EPA — a post that's likely be a lightning rod during Senate confirmations.

It's All Politics
5:02 am
Mon March 4, 2013

President Obama To Nominate New EPA, Budget And Energy Heads

President Obama is expected to nominate Gina McCarthy, currently assistant administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, to head the agency on Monday. The nomination requires a Senate confirmation.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 12:02 pm

President Obama plans to announce three Cabinet-level nominations Monday, including a new administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, who could be on the hot seat in the looming battle over global warming.

Gina McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator in the wing of the EPA that regulates air pollution, is the president's pick to head the EPA.

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

What's The Sequester? And How Did We Get Here?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) answers questions during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:26 pm

They've been everywhere this week: dire warnings about threats posed by across-the-board federal spending cuts.

Unless Congress acts, the cuts are due to take effect a week from Friday. The administration is trying to drive home the ways that could affect you.

For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday that air traffic controllers will have to take unpaid days off beginning in April. Fewer controllers on the job could mean airport delays, and some airlines may decide to cancel flights.

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It's All Politics
2:06 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Defense Cuts May No Longer Be Political Sacred Cow

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:17 am

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security.

In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a "hollow force." But the warnings don't appear to be moving the needle with lawmakers or the American public.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat February 16, 2013

In Hometown Visit, Obama Advocates 'Common Sense' Approach To Guns

President Obama speaks about strengthening the middle class and the nation's struggle with gun violence at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago on Friday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 9:05 am

"It's good to be home," President Obama said to a crowd, including uniformed high school students, at Chicago's Hyde Park Academy on Friday.

The school is in the same neighborhood where the Obamas raised their children, but the topic of the president's visit was raising Chicago's children — and the nation's. The president returned to his hometown to address the scourge of gun violence that's plaguing the city and many other parts of the country.

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It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama's Road Trip To Conclude With Florida Break

President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:41 pm

President Obama will cap off a busy week of politicking with some R&R in Florida.

Obama plans to travel to the West Palm Beach area for what his spokesman called "some well-deserved downtime."

"He's going to spend Presidents Day weekend relaxing with some friends," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "There's no work on the schedule."

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Can An Ex-Prosecutor Make The SEC Tougher On Wall Street?

Mary Jo White, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a May 2001 press conference following guilty verdicts in the trial of four followers of Osama bin Laden that bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. President Obama intends to nominate White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Doug Kanter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:38 am

President Obama's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission has prosecuted terrorists and mobsters. If she's confirmed, Mary Jo White's next challenge will be tackling reckless behavior on Wall Street.

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Politics
3:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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Economy
4:19 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Inflation Index Fix Could Cut Federal Deficit

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:13 am

The Consumer Price Index is one of the most familiar measures in economics and politics. But some in Washington want to change the way the index is calculated to better reflect people's shopping habits.

While the proposed change is described as a technical fix, it could also cut the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

'Paris Hilton Tax' Vs. 'Death Tax': A Lesser-Known Fiscal Debate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:34 pm

Ben Franklin famously observed that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

So far, Congress hasn't repealed the former, but the future of estate taxes — a largely overlooked piece of the "fiscal cliff" — remains uncertain as this year draws to a close.

Until now, most of the year-end tax debate has focused on the income tax, but another battle could be brewing over estate taxes.

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It's All Politics
4:18 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:08 pm

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

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It's All Politics
2:25 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Pick A Number: Let's Play 'Cap Those Deductions'

In the presidential debate on Oct. 16, Mitt Romney presented a hypothetical way to cap deductions and raise revenue.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 7:35 am

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it's up to congressional Republicans to take the next step in budget talks to avoid the pending automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year.

Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, Geithner said there's "no path to an agreement" until Republicans are willing to accept higher tax rates on the rich.

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It's All Politics
4:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 3:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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Asia
4:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Obama In Cambodia For East Asia Summit

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer in for Steve Inskeep.

After attending the annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders, President Obama is winging his way home this morning. And tomorrow, he'll issue the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon. Then after the holiday it's back to budget talks with congressional leaders deciding what else might be spared, and what government programs or tax breaks might feel the knife.

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Asia
5:00 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Obama Pays Historic Visit To Myanmar Monday

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 9:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

President Obama paid a historic visit to Myanmar today. The southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, is tiptoeing towards democracy after almost 50 years in military rule. Mr. Obama met with the former leader who is now the president of Burma and with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is not a member of parliament after years of house arrest. The visit is the centerpiece of the president's three-day Asian tour, which is meant to underscore the United States' growing involvement in the region.

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It's All Politics
2:45 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Obama Hopes For Another Victory: Avoiding Fiscal Cliff

President Obama speaks during a Veterans Day ceremony in Arlington, Va., on Sunday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 12:55 pm

President Obama meets with labor leaders at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to steer clear of the so-called fiscal cliff. It's the first of many meetings aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of the new year.

A week ago, the president proved again that he and his team are good at winning elections. The question now is whether he can translate victory at the ballot box to success in shaping policy.

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Economy
3:54 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Obama Must Hit Ground Running As Fiscal Cliff Nears

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 4:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And Robert Siegel. The confetti has fallen in Chicago, where President Obama celebrated a decisive reelection win early this morning. Now comes the hard work of preparing for a second term. Before flying back to Washington this evening, Mr. Obama acknowledged some of the big issues ahead.

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Election 2012
4:50 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Obama Gets 4 More Years In The White House

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 9:31 am

President Obama will spend another four years in the White House after winning more than 300 electoral votes. In his victory speech from Chicago, the president promised that the "best is yet to come."

NPR Story
6:37 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Obama Tries To Bank Early Votes In Ohio

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 9:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And the multi-billion dollar presidential campaign has come down to its final weekend. All that money, all these months are campaigning come down to just a few more frantic days for the candidates. The polls now show a close contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as they campaign in a handful of swing states. Mr. Obama begins campaigning today where he left off yesterday in - have we said this before? - Ohio. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Election 2012
3:25 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy Underscores Debate Over Government's Role

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 12:09 pm

President Obama offered thoughts and prayers Tuesday for all those who have been affected by Sandy. He also offered something more tangible: the full resources of the federal government.

"The most important message I have for them is that America's with you," he said. "We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet."

For Obama, the federal government is a critical vehicle for that kind of help. Republicans put more faith in local government, and even voluntary efforts.

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