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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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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Politics
4:36 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Latino Voters Help Push Immigration Changes Forward

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

It's that rare week in politics when Republicans and Democrats have been advocating roughly the same thing.

INSKEEP: Some - though by no means all - GOP leaders insist it's time to back changes in immigration laws. Republican Senator Jeff Flake argued on this program yesterday, for example, that reform was morally right and also politically necessary for his party.

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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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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
2:26 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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Election 2012
9:41 am
Mon October 29, 2012

After Election, Winner Will Face Economic Hurdles

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

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 12:29 pm

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.

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Presidential Race
6:17 am
Thu October 25, 2012

'Fired Up' Obama Makes Appeal To Early Voters

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Here's a quick summary of President Obama's latest campaign trip: Six battleground states, 39 hours, quite a few cups of coffee and it's not over yet.

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Presidential Race
4:30 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Obama Hits Battleground States In Final Blitz

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:18 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.

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Presidential Race
6:56 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Economic News Brightens Obama Rally

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Solve This
3:47 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Obama, Romney On Taxes: Similar Plans, Few Details

Both President Obama and rival Mitt Romney say the tax code is too complicated. But they haven't been specific about which tax breaks they want to eliminate.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:20 pm

Here's something President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on: America's tax system is too complicated. Both men have outlined changes that are broadly similar, but with some important differences.

The Problem:

Today's tax code is like a department store, where the price tags are high, but there are lots of coupons, sales and weekend specials. That creates some inequities. Just as shoppers can pay different prices depending on which day they buy, taxpayers with the same income can pay very different rates depending on which deductions they qualify for.

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