For Alexander, a former Tennessee governor and two-time presidential candidate whose checkered shirts and pickup truck on the campaign trail failed to gain him the White House, his exit from the Senate GOP's leadership was more about gaining freedom, he said.
Melissa Block interviews Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee about his decision to leave his post as Republican conference chair this coming January. He has said that after four years in the third top spot in the Republican leadership, he's looking forward to having more independence.
What was once considered routine business on Capitol Hill seems to be getting tied up in partisan knots. House Speaker John Boehner is in a difficult position after a combination of Democrats and Tea Party Republicans voted down a measure to provide disaster relief and keep the government running.
To make the point that America's infrastructure is in need of repair and the federal government should do it, President Obama traveled to the Brent Spence Bridge. It runs over the Ohio River, and it connects House Speaker John Boehner's Ohio to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. Melissa Block talks to NPR's Ari Shapiro for more.
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