Politics & Government

Political news

In Congress, just like at any storied American institution — McDonald's, New York Fashion Week, the Bush and Clinton families — trends come and go.

The 114th Congress is now 100 days old. And it can be difficult to keep up with the goings and comings of the body and its 535 members — the negotiations, visits from world leaders, the scandals and, oh yeah, the legislation.

So here's our look at what's in and what's out on Capitol Hill:

Have something to add to the list? Tweet @nprpolitics.

robbyb, flickr

The Legislature’s budget committee, on Wednesday, began digging into Gov. Walker’s proposed budget for Wisconsin. Before the meeting, Republican leaders removed 14 policy items the governor had tucked into his plan. 14 of 49.

Among those removed was Walker’s proposal to make the Natural Resources Board an advisory one.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

As many had predicted for some time, Hillary Clinton finally, officially, threw her hat in the ring as a candidate for president in 2016.

That long-anticipated candidacy is, for some, more evidence of the rising stature of women in political life.  But Dorothy Thomas would contend there is a lot more to the prominence of women in society than any one candidate, or potential candidate.

Times in politics have changed.

Since it's the season for presidential campaign announcements, for evidence of just how much they've changed, look back 35 years to Ronald Reagan's announcement that he was running for president.

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns.

The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down.

President Obama intends to take Cuba off of the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and now Congress has a month and a half to decide if it wants to stop the process. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, who led the negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Robyn Gritz spent 16 years at the FBI, where she investigated a series of major national security threats. But she says she got crosswise with her supervisors, who pushed her out and yanked her security clearance.

For the first time, she's speaking out about her situation, warning about how the bureau treats women and the effects of a decade of fighting terrorism.

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and fellow committee members released a statement expressing "no confidence" in DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart.

Here's a question for you last-minute tax filers. See that little checkoff box at the top of the 1040 tax form, the one labeled "Presidential Election Campaign"? You didn't check it, did you?

If not, then you're just like pretty much everybody else.

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