Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He was a fixture on the campaign trail throughout 2008, traveling extensively with Senator John McCain to cover the Arizona senator's bid for the presidency.

Horsley comes to the White House beat from the west coast, where he covered the economy and energy as NPR's San Diego-based business correspondent. He also helped cover the 2004 presidential campaign, and 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. He also 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. He began his professional career in 1987 as a production assistant for NPR in Washington.

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Horsley received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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9:10am

Wed December 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Enrollment Jumps At HealthCare.gov, Though Totals Still Lag

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:56 pm

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

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.

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3:54pm

Wed December 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

Administration Says You Can Now Escape HealthCare.Gov 'Prison'

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:32 am

The HealthCare.gov jailbreak is on.
iStockphoto

The Obama administration says it has patched hundreds of software bugs infecting the government's health insurance website. That includes the notorious "prison glitch."

Martha Freeman of Pennsylvania encountered the bug when she tried to sign up for coverage for herself and her adult children. The website wanted documentation of the children's incarceration status.

Never mind they'd never been in prison. The website was soon locked up.

Freeman figured she was stuck in solitary, until she called the toll-free help line and discovered she wasn't alone.

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4:44am

Wed November 20, 2013
Politics

Obama Concedes Botched Insurance Website Rollout Cost Time

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:34 am

The Obama administration is asking for people who've been turned off by the government's problem-plagued insurance website to come back. Officials say the website is working better now, though it's still far from fixed.

4:50am

Fri November 15, 2013
Politics

Obama Apologizes, Offers Fix To Insurance Cancellations

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:49 am

President Obama has acknowledged the fumbled rollout of his signature health care law has hurt his credibility and that of fellow Democrats. He offered a minor change to the law in hopes of calming Democratic nerves, and beating back bigger changes proposed by House Republicans.

3:03am

Thu November 14, 2013
It's All Politics

6 Ideas Being Floated To 'Fix' Obamacare Sign-Up Woes

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:53 am

On Sept. 28, just days before enrollment opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, this outreach event was hosted by Planned Parenthood for the Latino community in Los Angeles. But in the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website saw just a fraction of those expected to sign up had managed to do so.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

As technical problems with the government's new health insurance marketplace slow the pace of sign-up, a variety of "fixes" have been proposed. But some of these would create their own challenges. In rough order from least to most disruptive, here are some of the ideas:

1) Fix the website on schedule
This is everyone's favorite idea. The Obama administration says it hopes to have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for most users by the end of November, though it's not clear that target will be met.

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5:26am

Tue November 12, 2013
Politics

Affordable Care Act's Website Reflects Law's Complexity

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 8:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Its MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. We'll get a look this week at how many people have signed up for health insurance on the new government exchanges. According to the Wall Street Journal, fewer than 50,000 people have obtained coverage so far through the federal website. That's well below the government's original forecasts.

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7:24pm

Tue October 8, 2013
NPR Story

White House: Obama To Tap Janet Yellen For Fed Chair

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday. She would replace Ben Bernanke, who's stepping down from the post. Yellen has been the presumptive nominee for weeks, after Lawrence Summers announced his intention to remove himself from the running in September. She'd be the first woman to head the Fed.

5:15am

Fri October 4, 2013
It's All Politics

Shutdown Showdown: Assessing Obama's Negotiating Tactics

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:14 am

President Obama speaks about the government shutdown, the budget and the debt ceiling debate during a visit to M. Luis Construction in Rockville, Md., on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.

President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.

"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.

Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.

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5:21pm

Tue October 1, 2013
The Government Shutdown

Beyond The Shutdown, There's A Bigger Battle Brewing

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake AP

This week's government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won't be able to keep paying its bills.

"It'd be far more dangerous than a government shutdown, as bad as a shutdown is," Obama said Tuesday. "It would be an economic shutdown."

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6:35am

Tue October 1, 2013
Politics

Partial Government Shutdown Will Compromise Some Services

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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3:32am

Mon September 30, 2013
Governing

A Short History Of Government Shutdowns

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:54 am

With President Jimmy Carter watching, Benjamin Civiletti is sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger as U.S. attorney general on Aug. 16, 1979. The following year, Civiletti issued a legal opinion saying that federal work cannot go on until Congress agrees to pay for it.
AP

Drawn-out fights over spending bills are nothing new for Congress. But that's where the fights used to stay: in Congress. The rest of the country didn't have to pay much attention to countdown clocks and all this drama.

"In the '60s and '70s down until 1980, it was not taken that seriously at all," says Charles Tiefer, a former legal adviser to the House of Representatives, who now teaches at the University of Baltimore Law School. In the old days, he says, when lawmakers reached a budget stalemate, the federal workforce just went about its business.

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3:36am

Wed September 25, 2013
Health Care

Commander In Chief, Explainer In Chief Tout Health Care Law

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:18 am

President Obama joins former President Clinton to talk about the health care law, during the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting Tuesday in New York.
Getty Images

President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?

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4:38pm

Fri September 20, 2013
Politics

Obama's Latest Challenges Go Beyond The GOP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:54 pm

President Obama gestures as he speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama took his fiscal fight with congressional Republicans to America's heartland Friday. Speaking at a Ford assembly plant near Kansas City, Mo., Obama warned that the federal government could turn into a "deadbeat" unless Congress passes a stopgap spending bill and agrees to raise the debt limit within the next few weeks.

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4:54am

Sat September 14, 2013
Middle East

In Syria Debate, Obama's Internal Dialogue Becomes Audible

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 6:21 pm

President Obama's speeches about Syria have at times seemed to reveal his own internal struggle on the topic.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

A surprise agreement between the U.S. and Russia, announced Saturday, calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal follows a chaotic week of seat-of-the-pants foreign policy.

Performing on the international stage, Obama and his Cabinet secretaries have offered up one plot twist after another, though it often seems as if the actors are working without a script.

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5:21pm

Sat August 31, 2013
Governing

Obama Asks Congress To Approve Action On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 10:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

It was a stunner today for pundits on the Potomac. President Obama announced in the Rose Garden that while he has the authority to unilaterally attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons, he won't use it. Only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for military action, the president made the case for congressional approval.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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4:51pm

Thu August 29, 2013
U.S.

Treasury, IRS Debut New Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:01 pm

Officials of the Treasury Department and the IRS announced new rules allowing same sex couples who marry in states with gay marriage to file jointly if they move to other states.

3:35am

Wed August 28, 2013
The March On Washington At 50

Obama To Outline Unfinished Work, Decades After King's Dream

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:33 pm

A spectator on the National Mall holds an image of President Obama and Martin Luther King during the 2013 presidential inauguration in January.
Gabriel B. Tait MCT/Landov

President Obama will stand in the symbolic shadows of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, as he marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Aides say Obama will use the opportunity to celebrate the progress that's been made, thanks to the civil rights movement. He'll also discuss the work that he says still has to be done to realize King's dream of racial justice in America.

That includes fighting to protect voting rights and building what the president calls "ladders of opportunity" for poor people of all races.

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5:28am

Sat August 24, 2013
Education

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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4:21am

Fri August 23, 2013
Politics

Obama Takes To The Road To Push College Affordability Plan

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on a two-day back-to-school bus tour. He's holding a town hall meeting today at the State University in Binghamton, New York. Later he'll visit a community college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The president is pushing his plan to make college education more affordable. NPR's Scott Horsley is along for the ride. He reports that the bus tour has the president in one of his comfort zones.

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5:50pm

Wed August 21, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Heads Back To School To Talk College Affordability

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:51 pm

President Obama steps off his bus, nicknamed "Ground Force One," as he arrives for breakfast at the Ossorio Bakery and Cafe in Cocoa, Fla., during a two-day bus tour last year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

It's back-to-school season for college students — and President Obama plans to be right there with them.

The president will spend the next two days on a bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania that includes stops at three colleges and a high school. At each stop, he'll be talking about ways to make college more affordable.

The president's big black bus will make its first stop at the University at Buffalo on Thursday — the same day incoming freshmen will be moving in, hauling suitcases and mini-refrigerators.

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4:56am

Sat July 20, 2013
News

Obama Breaks His Silence On Trayvon Martin Verdict

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," President Obama told the press Friday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

President Obama broke his silence on the Trayvon Martin shooting case Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman.

Obama didn't question the jury's not-guilty verdict, but he spoke in unusually personal terms about the history and experiences that shape the way African-Americans in particular see the case.

He spoke frankly about the pain the Trayvon Martin case has left, especially in the African-American community. He said that's a product of a common history that doesn't go away.

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3:20am

Fri July 19, 2013
Business

With Filibuster Deal, NLRB Could Soon Return To Full Force

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:00 am

The National Labor Relations Board building in downtown Washington.
Jon Elswick AP

For decades after the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Board served as the arbiter for squabbles between management and unions, or workers who wanted to join a union. In more recent years, though, the board itself has become a battleground.

Democratic appointees to the NLRB have grown increasingly sympathetic to organized labor, while Republican appointees have grown increasingly hostile, says Harley Shaiken, who studies labor relations as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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5:22pm

Wed July 17, 2013
Politics

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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7:25pm

Wed July 3, 2013
Middle East

With Turmoil In Egypt, Obama Urges All To 'Avoid Violence'

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:38 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.

President Obama said tonight that he is deeply concerned by the situation in Egypt where the military has suspended the constitution and removed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi from office. Mr. Obama said the U.S. is monitoring what he called a very fluid situation, and he urged the military to return authority to a democratic government as quickly as possible.

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5:26pm

Tue July 2, 2013
U.S.

After DOMA Ruling, Government Scrambles To Adjust

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:12 pm

Naomi Hendrix (right) and Rio Waller exchange their wedding vows in a small garden across from the Fresno County Clerk's office in California on Monday.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

At gay pride events throughout the country last weekend, marchers celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Now, the rainbow flags are giving way to calculators and sharp pencils, as gay and lesbian couples start to grapple with the practical impact of what the ruling means for them.

President Obama has directed Cabinet members to implement the ruling "swiftly and smoothly" by extending federal recognition to same-sex marriages for the first time. But that will be easier for some federal agencies than others.

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6:58pm

Sun June 30, 2013
It's All Politics

Big Growth Could Shake Up Texas' Old Political Equation

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:36 am

A bilingual sign stands outside a polling center at a public library ahead of local elections on April 28 in Austin, Texas.
John Moore Getty Images

It's no secret: Texas is big. And it's getting bigger.

The Lone Star State has added about 5 million people since the turn of the century, and its population is expected to swell by another 5 million by 2020.

This week, NPR examines the dramatic demographic shifts underway in the Lone Star State in our series Texas 2020. We'll look ahead to how the second-biggest state could change in the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of America.

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3:26am

Mon June 17, 2013
Europe

Obama Begins European Trip With G-8 Summit In Ireland

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:23 pm

Oxfam charity volunteers wear masks depicting G-8 leaders President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel around a large caldron to draw attention to the issue of world hunger in Northern Ireland on Sunday. G-8 leaders are gathering there for an annual summit.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

President Obama is in Northern Ireland Monday — the first stop on a three-day European visit that includes a G-8 summit meeting and a side trip to Berlin.

The president begins his tour with a speech in Belfast, celebrating Northern Ireland's peace process and urging young people in the country to keep it moving forward.

Later, Obama joins leaders of other industrial countries at a remote golf resort in County Fermanagh for talks on Syria, trade and the global economy.

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5:24am

Sat June 15, 2013
It's All Politics

How Rock 'N' Roll Can Explain The U.S. Economy

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 8:10 pm

Bruce Springsteen performs during halftime of the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. In music, and increasingly in other industries, a relative handful of top performers take more and more of the spoils, says White House chief economist Alan Krueger.
Mark J. Terrill AP

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

"And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: 'Rockanomics,' the economics of rock and roll," the president said. "This is something that Alan actually cares about."

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4:41am

Wed June 12, 2013
Politics

Obama Urges Congress Not To 'Block' Immigration Bill

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The U.S. Senate has opened debate on a sweeping immigration bill. And President Obama says it's the best chance in years to fix what he calls a broken immigration system. The measure took a step forward yesterday when a big, bipartisan majority of senators voted to take up the bill. But it still faces serious obstacles, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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5:12pm

Tue June 4, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama's D.C. Court Nominations Heat Up Battle With Senate

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 11:25 am

President Obama announces in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday his nominations of (from left) Robert Wilkins, Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millett to fill vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

President Obama fired a warning shot Tuesday in the battle over Senate confirmations: He nominated three new judges to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, and he challenged Senate Republicans not to stand in their way.

Obama complained about procedural roadblocks that have tied up many of his previous nominees — sometimes for years.

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