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.

Pages

3:32am

Thu May 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Democrats Hope For A Bright Future In The Lone Star State

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:51 am

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

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.

Read more

4:37pm

Wed May 1, 2013
It's All Politics

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 1:33 pm

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

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.

Read more

4:31pm

Tue April 23, 2013
Business

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

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

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.

Read more

5:10am

Sat April 13, 2013
Politics

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

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 12:50 pm

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

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.

Read more

7:23pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Around the Nation

Obama Highlights Colorado's Action On Gun Control Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 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.

4:34am

Wed April 3, 2013
Politics

Outrage Alone Won't Advance Gun Control Measures

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:42 am

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

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.

Read more

4:40am

Fri March 22, 2013
Middle East

Obama Asks Young Israelis To Push For Peace

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:24 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.

3:05am

Thu March 7, 2013
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:44 pm

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

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.

Read more

1:02pm

Mon March 4, 2013
Politics

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.

6:02am

Mon March 4, 2013
It's All Politics

President Obama To Nominate New EPA, Budget And Energy Heads

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

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

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.

Read more

6:06pm

Fri February 22, 2013
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:26 pm

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

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.

Read more

3:06am

Thu February 21, 2013
It's All Politics

Defense Cuts May No Longer Be Political Sacred Cow

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:17 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.

Read more

7:05am

Sat February 16, 2013
Politics

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

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 10:05 am

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

"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.

Read more

3:41pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

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

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."

Read more

6:01am

Thu February 14, 2013
NPR Story

Obama Tries To Move Spotlight Off Deficit Reduction

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Pre-school is one example of how President Obama says the government can play a constructive role in the U.S. economy. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama tried to refocus a debate that, for two years, has been all about cutting. The president is highlighting government programs that even many Republicans support.

Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the Great Recession, but President Obama says the government could be doing more to help.

Read more

2:40pm

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:38 am

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

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.

Read more

5:17am

Fri December 14, 2012
Economy

Inflation Index Fix Could Cut Federal Deficit

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 10:13 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.

Read more

5:44pm

Tue December 11, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 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.

Read more

5:03pm

Mon December 3, 2012
It's All Politics

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:08 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.

Read more

3:26am

Mon December 3, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:35 am

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

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.

Read more

5:49am

Sat December 1, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 4:07 pm

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

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.

Read more

5:23am

Tue November 20, 2012
Asia

Obama In Cambodia For East Asia Summit

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:04 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.

Read more

3:45am

Tue November 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Hopes For Another Victory: Avoiding Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:55 pm

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

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.

Read more

5:41am

Tue November 6, 2012
Election 2012

Obama Spends Election Day In Chicago

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: And I'm Scott Horsley, traveling with the Obama campaign. Actually, the president's campaign travel is finished. Mr. Obama spent the night at his own home in Chicago. Today's plans call for some TV and radio interviews and maybe a game of basketball with some friends. Mr. Obama's last reelection rally came last night in Iowa, where 20,000 people gathered just outside the caucus headquarters where he launched his first presidential campaign more than five years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

Read more

7:41am

Sat November 3, 2012
NPR Story

Obama Tries To Bank Early Votes In Ohio

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 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)

Read more

4:25am

Wed October 31, 2012
Election 2012

Sandy Underscores Debate Over Government's Role

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:09 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.

Read more

6:30am

Tue October 30, 2012
Election 2012

Days Before Election, Sandy Brings A Twist

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama canceled his campaign events that were scheduled for today in Colorado and Wisconsin. He's staying in Washington to oversee the federal response to what is now described as a post-tropical storm, Sandy. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has also scaled back his events.

Now, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports, this gigantic storm has introduced a new and unpredictable element into the presidential race just one week before Election Day.

Read more

5:14am

Mon October 29, 2012
Election 2012

What Type Of Economy Will Next President Inherit?

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:29 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama debate on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Later this week we'll get another snapshot of the U.S. job market: the last unemployment report before next week's presidential election.

Forecasters expect another sign of slow but steady job growth. Whoever is in the Oval Office next year will have to cope with a sluggish U.S. economy and confront some urgent policy decisions.

Read more

5:21pm

Tue October 23, 2012
NPR Story

Obama Hits Battleground States In Final Blitz

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:18 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with a sprint. The 2012 presidential debates are now history and today, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney begin the two-week race to Election Day. Mr. Obama is widely considered the winner of last night's foreign policy debate, but he didn't spend much time crowing today.

Read more

8:05am

Sat October 6, 2012
Presidential Race

Economic News Brightens Obama Rally

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

Pages