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Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down

The state's controversial law threatens the rights of hundreds of thousands of potential voters, a judge has ruled. His decision is almost sure to be appealed. Republicans champion the law, saying it's common sense to require such identification. Democrats say it targets minorities.

Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

The omnibus spending bill approved by the Senate on Thursday night contains language banning funding for USDA inspections of slaughterhouses for horses. That effectively stops plans to restart the slaughter of horses in the U.S. to export meat abroad.

Obama Expected To Say NSA Should Not Hold 'Metadata'

One change that privacy advocates have been pushing for is that the NSA no longer store the records from millions of phone calls — including those of Americans. Officials are telling Reuters and NPR that the president will endorse the idea of having a third party, not the NSA, hold that data.

Busy Week For Lawmakers Announcing Their Retirement

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is the latest to announce he's leaving. Renee Montagne talks to NPR political editor Charlie Mahtesian about what implications the retirements may have for the midterm elections.

Obama To Announce Changes To NSA Surveillance

The debate over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs and other secret NSA activities revealed by Edward Snowden has set the stage for an important speech by President Obama. What are the most pressing issues and most important questions the president needs to address on Friday when he speaks at the Department of Justice?

NSA Oversight: Obama Wants Safeguards Against Potential Abuse

Even before Edward Snowden and his leaks made the NSA surveillance programs famous, President Obama had said he wanted a debate about the right balance between security and civil liberties. The Snowden revelations made sure he got one.
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Marijuana Legalization Bill Faces Long Odds In Maryland Legislature

Advocates for marijuana legalization cheered the introduction of a bill that would establish a system to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, but some state leaders thing is a long-shot.


With Senate's OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads To Obama

The wide-ranging federal spending bill will prevent any gaps in government funding as well as take some of the sting out of automatic spending cuts. The House approved it Wednesday.

GOP's Gillespie Injects Intrigue Into Virginia Senate Race

Republican hopes of picking up the six seats needed to capture the U.S. Senate include a suddenly interesting race. Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a top White House aide to President George W. Bush, announced that he'll challenge popular Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

For Obama And Senate Democrats, The Goal Is Mutual Protection

For President Obama and Senate Democrats, it's all about mutual aid. The president needs their support to achieve whatever of his remaining agenda he can get through Congress. They need him to help raise money for their re-election campaigns.