Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk.

In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies, including transportation and homeland security.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many of the major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

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Politics
4:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

If The Government Closes, 'Essential' Employees Would Work

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Congress has until Tuesday to agree on funding for federal agencies in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. So let's look this morning at exactly what that shutdown would mean.

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It's All Politics
5:35 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Not-So-Fond Memories From The Last Government Shutdowns

A sign hangs in the window of an information booth at the Lincoln Memorial in December 1995, announcing the temporary closure of the attraction due to the government shutdown.
Mark Wilson AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:38 pm

For those old enough to remember, the government shutdown skirmishing now underway in Washington brings back some not-so-fond memories of late 1995 and early 1996.

That's the last time a divided government, unable to settle its differences before the money from previous years' spending bills ran out, forced dozens of agencies to close. Some 800,000 federal workers were told to stay home and millions of Americans were shut out of everything from their national parks to small-business loans.

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National Security
4:05 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Secretary Napolitano Finishes Up At Homeland Security

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 11:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today is Janet Napolitano's last day as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Napolitano is leaving Washington D.C., heading for California, to become at the end of this month, president of the University of California System. NPR's Brian Naylor sat down with Napolitano yesterday for a look back at her tenure as head of one of the government's largest and most complex departments.

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U.S.
2:23 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Cincinnati's Airport: Best In The U.S.?

A passenger rides an escalator to Terminal A at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Erlanger, Ky.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 3:45 am

In the grand days of railroad travel, passengers arrived in monumental terminals. There was grandeur, style and comfort — qualities that today's equivalent for long-distance travel, the airport, mostly lack. Especially in the United States.

In a survey of international travelers by the British firm Skytrax, not a single U.S. airport ranked anywhere near the top of the list. Singapore got top honors, while the best the United States could do was Cincinnati's airport — which came in at No. 30.

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The March On Washington At 50
4:48 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Sleepy, Southern And Segregated: What D.C. Was Like In '63

Charter bus passengers look for their transportation home after the March on Washington of Aug. 28, 1963.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 4:30 pm

Fifty years ago this week, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators came from across the country to take part in the 1963 March on Washington, the city was not yet the cosmopolitan capital that it arguably is today.

But it was a mecca for African-Americans, says historian Marya McQuirter.

"Washington was definitely a different city 50 years ago," she says, "for a number of reasons. By 1957, it had become the largest majority black city in the country."

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All Tech Considered
2:28 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Hitting The Road Without A Driver

Carnegie Mellon's autonomous car, developed with General Motors, is by all appearances a normal Cadillac SRX crossover — except for the big red button in the middle of the dashboard. In an emergency, the button allows the car to be switched immediately back to standard driving mode.
GM-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 1:19 pm

The cars we drive have gotten ever more sophisticated. They can just about park themselves; they tell us if we're drifting out of our lane; they can prevent skids. Some even automatically apply the brakes if they sense that a collision is imminent.

Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh are developing a car that can do all of those things and more — it can actually drive itself. Imagine that commute to work.

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Politics
4:59 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Can Congress Figure Out How To Rescue The Post Office?

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Jamesa Euler delivers mail in the rain in Atlanta in February.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 5:56 pm

The U.S. Postal Service lost some $16 billion last year and continues to bleed red ink. Congress has been unable to agree on a rescue plan.

The latest proposal would allow the post office to end Saturday delivery in a year and enable it to ship wine and beer.

The Postal Service's woes are familiar: People don't really send letters anymore, so first-class mail is down, and Congress makes the post office prepay future retiree benefits to the tune of $5.5 billion a year.

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Obama Nominee For IRS Chief Has History With Tough Tasks

President Obama has nominated John Koskinen to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:26 pm

The Internal Revenue Service, under attack by congressional Republicans, has been operating without a permanent commissioner. President Obama nominated John Koskinen on Thursday for what might be seen as a thankless job.

The president called his nominee "an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform." But Koskinen will have his work cut out for him, starting with his Senate confirmation hearing.

History With Struggling Agencies

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National Security
5:19 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Lack Of Leaders Puts Strain On Homeland Security Department

Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, seen here testifying on Capitol Hill in February, announced her retirement earlier this month. As many as 15 other posts at DHS are now vacant or soon will be.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 8:02 pm

Janet Napolitano's announcement that she'll be stepping down as Department of Homeland Security secretary after four years on the job leaves an opening at the top of the key Cabinet agency. But it's not the only job opening at Homeland Security.

Fifteen top posts at DHS, including secretary, are now vacant or soon will be. Many are being filled on a temporary basis, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want the Obama administration to get busy filling those jobs, too.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Federal Budget Cuts Hamper Summer Firefighting Efforts

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 6:13 pm

The wildfire season is expected to intensify and firefighters are facing it with decreasing resources. Federal budget cuts, including the sequester, mean fewer firefighters, less equipment and less spending on prevention.

Politics
2:19 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How A Merger Could Affect Congress' Favorite Airport

A jet takes off from Reagan National Airport, near the Capitol.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 8:40 am

If the US Airways-American Airlines merger announced earlier this year is approved, the combined airline would control two-thirds of the takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

The government could force the airline to give up some of those slots as a condition of the merger. But lawmakers warn that could have consequences for some small- and medium-sized cities. And, not coincidentally, it could affect flight plans for lawmakers themselves.

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Around the Nation
5:39 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Many Agree Bridges Are Unsafe, But Few Agree On Fixes

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed last week.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 1:04 pm

As you head out for summer vacation, ponder this: There's a 1 in 9 chance that the bridge you're crossing has been deemed structurally deficient or basically in bad shape by the federal government.

The collapse of the I-5 bridge in Washington last week has once again raised questions about the state of the nation's infrastructure. But there is no consensus on how to tackle the problem or how to pay for proposed solutions.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Public Employee Unions Take Issue With Immigration Overhaul

Chris Crane, president of the union that represents deportation agents, officers and employees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in April. Crane has been a vocal opponent of the proposed immigration overhaul.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

A bill that would overhaul the nation's immigration laws is headed to the Senate floor early next month, where it will need all the friends it can get to pass. The measure would give the estimated 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally a path to citizenship, as well as tighten border protections.

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Politics
4:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Nonconservative Groups Say IRS Scrutinized Them, Too

Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller (right) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are sworn before a full House Ways and Means Committee hearing Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 5:46 pm

The IRS was in the hot seat Friday, with its outgoing acting commissioner testifying before a House committee. A Senate panel is scheduled for Tuesday. Congress is prodding to find out why the agency singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny.

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Politics
4:11 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

One Reason To Apply For Tax-Exempt Status: Anonymity

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 8:07 pm

Revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted some conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny have put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups: section 501(c)(4).

But what's the benefit for organizations to get approved for 501(c)(4) status?

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Politics
4:28 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Push To End Teens' Distracted Driving Targets Parents, Peers

A screengrab from Brittany Anne Devasure's winning Project Yellow Light video, aimed at discouraging distracted driving.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 4:55 pm

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It's All Politics
3:29 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Democrats Back Same-Sex Amendment To Immigration Bill

Some Democrats want to amend the immigration bill before the Senate to allow foreign-born same-sex spouses of Americans to qualify for green cards.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:00 pm

The immigration overhaul bill before the Senate would provide, among other things, more visas for migrant farm workers and high-tech workers, and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

One thing it would not provide is help for same-sex couples in which one partner is an American and one foreign-born. For heterosexual couples, a foreign-born spouse automatically qualifies for a green card and many of the benefits of citizenship. Not so with gay and lesbian couples.

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Politics
4:25 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Advocates Honor LaHood's Time At Transportation Department

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 2:27 pm

As outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood prepares to hand off the baton to President Obama's nominee, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Morning Edition reflects on Lahood's legacy. What have he and the president accomplished? What's still to be done?

Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:07 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Boston Response Praised, But Intelligence-Sharing Questioned

First responders aid injured people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon after the bombing on April 15.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:57 pm

In the days since the Boston Marathon bombings, local law enforcement officials have been given high marks for their response to the attack and the coordination among numerous federal, state and local agencies involved.

But at the same time, questions are being raised about the coordination among federal agencies handling intelligence they had about the suspects in the months before the attack.

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
4:37 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Boston Lockdown 'Extraordinary' But Prudent, Experts Say

A sign on I-93 alerts motorists that Boston is under a "shelter in place" order Friday.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:52 pm

Local officials have defended the decision to essentially lock down the city of Boston on Friday while law enforcement searched for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Residents were told to remain indoors during the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who survived an early morning shootout with police in the suburb of Watertown during which his brother, Tamerlan, was killed.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced the decision to lock down Watertown and the surrounding areas, including Boston, at a dawn news conference Friday.

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It's All Politics
3:34 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Some States Hike Gas Tax; Va. Tries New Route To Fund Roads

Drivers travel on Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, near Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va., in November, just days before the opening of four new express lanes. Virginia is among 19 states that have approved or are considering legislation to increase transportation funding, according to Transportation for America.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

It's no secret that many of the nation's roads are in pretty bad shape. In the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the condition of America's highways rated a grade of D.

Congestion is a big problem, and so is upkeep. Most states rely on gas taxes to raise the money for repairs and new construction, but that funding source is not the stream it used to be, says James Corless of Transportation for America.

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U.S.
3:26 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

FBI Building May Soon Be 'Put Out Of Its Misery'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Washington, just blocks from the White House, has long been the government building everyone loves to hate.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 5:04 pm

The nation's capital has been undergoing something of a building boom. Dozens of construction cranes dot the Washington, D.C., skyline.

So it comes as no surprise that the federal government is hoping to take advantage of the real estate values and unload what's seen by many as an eyesore on Pennsylvania Avenue: the J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

'Unprecedented': Budget Cuts Could Hit Some Airport Towers

A statue of golf legend Arnold Palmer stands outside Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:45 pm

Control towers at many small and medium-sized airports around the country are set to shut down next month because of the across-the-board federal budget cuts. The towers have been operated under contract to the Federal Aviation Administration.

One of the airports affected is in Latrobe, Pa., southeast of Pittsburgh — the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, named after the golf great who grew up a well-placed drive from the runway. A statue of Palmer watches over the small terminal.

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It's All Politics
2:34 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Senate Mostly Blamed For Agency And Court Vacancies, But Obama Isn't Helping

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has not had a permanent administrator since Congress required that the director be confirmed by the Senate in 2006.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:50 am

Hear Brian Nayor, Julie Rovner, Yuki Noguchi and Carrie Johnson talk with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about the many federal entities operating without permanent leadership by clicking the audio link.

Some workers may dream about how productive they'd be without a boss. But for thousands of federal employees, being without a boss is a reality. And productivity isn't necessarily the result.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

TSA Will Lift Ban Of Small Knives, Wiffle Ball Bats Aboard Planes

A TSA illustration of knives that will be allowed on planes.
TSA

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 3:47 pm

The TSA is whittling down the list of objects air travelers are forbidden to carry on board and says small pocket knives will soon be allowed on commercial flights.

But thats not all! According to the TSA, travelers will also be able to take on board golf clubs (a maximum of two), hockey sticks, and wiffle ball bats. Yes, wiffle ball bats. Finally!

TSA Administrator John Pistole outlined the changes today at an appearance in New York.

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It's All Politics
2:02 am
Thu February 21, 2013

One Place You May Notice The Sequester: At The Airport

A passenger jet flies past the FAA control tower at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport in 2011.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:52 am

Unless Congress acts, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1 will be felt throughout the government. Some of the most visible effects will be noticed by air travelers.

Officials predict that cutbacks at the Federal Aviation Administration could lead to takeoff delays and fewer flights overall.

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Politics
1:59 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Get A Social Security Check? Treasury Says It's Time To Go Electronic

U.S. Treasury checks are run through a printer.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:33 am

Every month, the government sends out about 5 million checks to Americans who receive federal benefits. On March 1, the Treasury Department is making those paper checks a thing of the past.

Since May 2011, all new Social Security recipients are required to get direct deposit of their benefits. Some 93 percent of all recipients now do.

But there are still holdouts, so the Treasury Department started a campaign and a website, Go Direct, in an effort to convince the remaining 7 percent.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Rubio's Job: Play Second Fiddle To The President, And Don't Mess Up

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 4:28 pm

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It's All Politics
9:25 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Key Player In '94 Assault Weapons Ban: 'It's Going To Be Much More Difficult' Now

President Clinton speaks to a member of the House on Aug. 11, 1994, lobbying for votes for the crime bill.
Marcy Nighswander AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

President Obama's proposed renewal of a ban on assault-style weapons is expected to be based on the legislation approved by Congress in 1994 that expired 10 years later.

But when the first assault weapons ban was approved — outlawing 19 specific weapons — it was a very different time, and Congress was a very different place.

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U.S.
11:26 am
Mon January 14, 2013

In News Conference, Obama Calls For Raising Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:27 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene. We'll begin NPR's business news with a warning from President Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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