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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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama meets with faith leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday — also known as Tax Day 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:00 pm

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return 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.

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News
3:06 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

As Sebelius Steps Down, Obama Taps Budget Director To Replace Her

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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. NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

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Politics
4:12 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius To Step Down

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 6:37 am

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.

News
6:09 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Sebelius, Leader Of Rocky Health Care Rollout, Resigns From HHS

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from her position as secretary of health and human services. President Obama accepted her resignation, and he plans to nominate Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace her.

Politics
5:02 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

White House Learns Complications Of Pay Equity Debate

Lilly Ledbetter speaks at the White House on Tuesday, during an event marking Equal Pay Day. President Obama announced new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:24 am

Money and politics don't always make for polite conversation, but President Obama tried to tackle both at the White House on Tuesday.

Obama signed a pair of executive orders aimed at encouraging conversation about men's and women's pay scales. It's a talk that Democrats hope will yield political gains this year.

It also raised questions, though, about how the administration pays its own people.

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Health Care
11:32 am
Sat April 5, 2014

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 12:03 pm

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

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Politics
2:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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News
3:04 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Cause For Hope And Frustration In the Shadow Of ACA Deadline

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 5:52 pm

As the Affordable Care Act's midnight deadline draws near, there has been a surge in last-minute signups. The heavy traffic has caused both glitches in the website and optimism from some forecasters.

Politics
3:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Obama Meets Internet CEOs To Discuss Privacy Issues

Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his Feb. 24 keynote address at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.

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News
3:13 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama Ratchets Up Sanctions Against Putin's Personal Allies

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Ukrainian government ordered its border guards to withdraw from Crimea today. Pro-Russian forces there seized more Ukrainian property, including at least two warships. We have more details on those events elsewhere in the program.

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Health Care
3:14 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

In ACA March Madness, Obama's Bracket Is Just A Role Player

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

In what's become an annual ritual, President Obama turned sports analyst today. He filled out his bracket for March Madness, the NCAA's college basketball tournament. Obama told ESPN he's picking Florida, Arizona, and Louisville to make the final four and Michigan State to win the national championship.

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The Salt
5:58 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

Among Bill Yosses' many confectionary creations for the first family: this nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House, on display in the State Dining Room in November 2012. The house featured not just Bo, the family dog, but also a vegetable garden.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:58 pm

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

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News
3:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

With Sanctions, Obama Aims For Those Close To Putin

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:33 pm

The Obama administration is ordering new sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The move is designed to penalize Russia for efforts to split Crimea away from Ukraine.

News
3:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

After Record Deportations, Obama May Turn To More 'Humane' Options

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:33 pm

The White House announced the president is willing to review his stance on deportations, a policy that's drawn objection from Hispanics and other groups the president depends on politically.

News
3:01 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Obama Lays Groundwork For Sanctions Against Russia

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:50 pm

With an executive order Thursday, President Obama authorized sanctions on Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. Speaker Boehner praised the sanctions and offered congressional support going forward.

Politics
5:01 am
Sun March 2, 2014

In Drafting A Presidential Budget, Cost May Outweigh Benefit

Presidents have been submitting budgets since the 1920s, but now that lawmakers have the Congressional Budget Office, is the exercise worth it?
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:30 am

On Tuesday, President Obama will unveil his budget proposal for the coming year. But for all the sound and fury surrounding the president's spending plan, it's likely to have very little significance. Congress routinely ignores the president's budget. And lawmakers have already settled on overall spending levels for the coming year.

That's led some to ask whether it's time to bring the curtain down on this annual exercise in political theater.

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Politics
3:35 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

After More Than A Year, Obama And Boehner Sit Down Just To Talk

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

It's a sign of deeply partisan times when a Democratic president and a Republican House speaker make headlines just by sitting down and talking to each other. That's what happened today in a rare hour-long meeting that aides call constructive. How constructive is not exactly clear. And while the president and House speaker agreed to work together in areas where there's common ground, that appears to be very small territory.

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Politics
3:30 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Obama And Democratic Governors Agree: Raise Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:53 pm

President Obama met Friday with more than a dozen Democratic governors at the White House. They emerged from the meeting declaring their united support for a higher national minimum wage.

Latin America
3:04 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

'Three Amigos' Talk Trade In Mexico

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama is in Mexico today, for a one-day summit meeting with his fellow North American leaders. Trade tops the agenda. And President Obama signed an executive order today designed to speed up cross-border commerce. But the president's broader trade agenda appears to be slowing in the face of stiff congressional opposition.

Read more
Economy
3:54 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

CBO Predicts Job Losses From Minimum Wage Hike

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

A new report out this afternoon poured some gasoline on the already raging debate over whether to raise the minimum wage. The report from the Congressional Budget Office says boosting the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama has proposed, would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But it would also cost about half-a-million jobs.

Read more
Sports
8:01 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Seahawks, Broncos Fans Mingle In D.C. Watering Hole

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In living rooms and sports bars across the country later today, football fans -and yes, just those of us who want to watch the budget commercial and dig into nachos - will sit down to watch the Super Bowl. In Denver and Seattle living rooms, there will be less casual viewing, of course, and that goes for anywhere else that fans of the Broncos and Seahawks gather.

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Business
9:03 am
Sat February 1, 2014

Obama Pushes Employers To Consider The Long-Term Jobless

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:00 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Labor Department says there are nearly four million people in America who've been unemployed for six months or more. That number has remained stubbornly high, even as the overall unemployment rate has fallen. Yesterday, President Obama met with U.S. business leaders and urged them not to overlook qualified job applicants just because they've been out of work for a while.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Obama Seeks Minimum Wage Hike With Mic And Pen

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Finding Common Interests, Obama And The Pope Set A Date

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday. President Obama will meet with the pope for the first time in March.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:32 pm

President Obama plans to meet this spring with Pope Francis.

On Tuesday, a White House spokesman announced the president will visit the Vatican as part of European trip in March. The president is said to be looking forward to talking with the pope about their "shared commitment to fighting poverty" and income inequality.

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Economy
3:56 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Fed Vice Chairman Nominee Taught Bernanke And Many Others

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In other personnel news, the president has nominated Stanley Fischer to serve as the next vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. He would replace Janet Yellen, who's been promoted to chairman of the central bank. Yellen reportedly recruited Fischer personally to serve as her deputy. He spent much of the last decade running Israel's central bank.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, Stanley Fischer is credited with helping that country weather the financial crisis better than most and with training many of the world's top economists.

Read more
Law
1:30 am
Fri January 3, 2014

DOJ Expected To Defend Health Law's Contraceptive Mandate

The health care law's requirement that workplace insurance policies include free birth control has been controversial from the get-go.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:08 am

The Justice Department will answer a challenge Friday morning to a controversial provision in the new health care law. It requires most employers that offer health insurance to include birth control at no cost.

A group of Catholic nuns has objected to that, and this week they won a temporary reprieve from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It's an unusual test case, but it won't be the last one.

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Politics
4:09 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Obama's Position On Free Trade Marks Subtle Evolution

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:06 am

Two decades after NAFTA created a giant North American free trade zone, the U.S. is negotiating more big trade deals that would span the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Obama has embraced the potential agreements as a way to improve the U.S. economy.

Politics
3:14 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

As Congress Leaves Town, Some Jobless Benefits Set To Expire

Job seekers attend at a career fair in Miami Lakes, Fla., in August. At the end of the year, 1.3 million Americans will lose their extended unemployment benefits.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 5:56 pm

The House adjourned for the holidays Thursday night after passing a two-year budget agreement. But despite pressure from Democrats, the deal did not include an extension of the long-term unemployment benefit program.

While the issue may be reconsidered in January, more than a million Americans will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Year's.

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Health Care
9:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Exchange Enrollment Growing But Still Short Of Forecasts

The Obama administration just released the latest sign-up numbers for its troubled health insurance exchange website. Enrollment picked up last month, after a disastrous start in October. Still, the number of people signing up for coverage is below the administration's original forecasts.

Shots - Health News
8:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Enrollment Jumps At HealthCare.gov, Though Totals Still Lag

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' shadow appeared behind the lectern as she spoke about the implementation of the federal health law in Detroit in November.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 11:56 am

Enrollment in the federal government's new health insurance exchange picked up sharply in November, but the number of people signing up for coverage still trails original forecasts. Officials from the Obama administration say they expect the pace of enrollments will continue to increase now that the insurance website is working more smoothly.

Users have until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage that begins in January.

Read more

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