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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News
4:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

Ireland (shown here in this Dingle Peninsula photo) has been among the greenest pastures for countries seeking to reduce their tax liabilities through a process called "corporate inversion."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:40 pm

When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?

That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.

The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."

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Politics
3:21 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Congress Pulls A Smooth Maneuver To Make Highway Payments

Traffic passes a construction zone at the interchange of U.S. Highway 65 and Interstate 80 on May 30 in Altoona, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 10:39 pm

Chances are you've never heard of the budget gimmick known as "pension smoothing." We'll try to explain.

1. What is pension smoothing?

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Politics
4:35 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

House GOP Plows Forward With Plans To Sue Obama

House Speaker John Boehner at a Capitol Hill news conference last month. He said Wednesday that the Republican-controlled House will file a lawsuit accusing President Obama of failing to carry out laws passed by Congress.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 7:21 pm

House Republicans are pushing ahead with a plan to sue President Obama, accusing him of trying to sidestep Congress and make his own laws.

But the president is also using the suit, which is considered a long shot in legal terms, to score political points.

House Speaker John Boehner says the lawsuit will focus on the administration's decision to postpone the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that large employers provide health insurance for their workers.

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Politics
4:19 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Obama Stumps In Colorado, With Women's Vote As Backdrop

President Obama greets a woman at Wazee Supper Club in Denver on Tuesday. He was in Colorado this week speaking about the economy and raising money for congressional candidates.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:39 pm

In Colorado, where President Obama's approval rating is low and the Senate race is tight, Democratic incumbent Mark Udall largely bowed out of the spotlight of the president's visit Wednesday.

But as Obama made the rounds speaking about the economy and raising money for Democratic congressional candidates, he also spoke about the women's issues that could be key to Udall's electoral success.

At a morning outdoor rally in Denver's Cheesman Park, Obama emphasized just how much is on the line in the midterms.

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Around the Nation
2:37 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama To Ask Congress For $2B To Ease Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed at a U.S. Customs facility in Nogales, Texas.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:51 am

The Obama administration will ask Congress for more than $2 billion Tuesday to address the urgent humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.

In the past nine months, more than 50,000 children and teenagers have crossed that border illegally on their own, most from Central America. By law, the administration can't deport those young people until they have an immigration hearing — a process that can take years.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Lawmakers Pitch A Gas Tax Hike To Replenish Dwindling Highway Funds

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 6:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Let's take a closer look now at what's happening to the Highway Trust Fund. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned state officials in a letter today that unless the fund is patched quickly, the federal government will start limiting payouts to states on August 1. The average state will lose nearly 30 percent of its federal road money and that could mean a lot less asphalt. NPR's Scott Horsley reports on one idea for fixing the trust fund and the roadblocks in front of it.

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Politics
3:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Cantor's Defeat Brings An End To Prickly Relationship With Obama

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 5:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. There is no love lost at the White House for Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House, who lost his primary this week. The Virginia congressman has long been a roadblock for the president's legislative agenda. House Republicans will vote next week on who should replace Cantor as majority leader. NPR's Scott Horsley reports that while the players are changing, the partisan dynamic is likely to say the same.

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Politics
6:54 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Obama Reassures Allies As He Honors D-Day Sacrifices

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 11:41 am

President Obama has had an eventful visit to Europe, which included attending the 70th D-Day commemoration in Normandy.

News
3:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

On Eve Of D-Day Anniversary, World Leaders Cope With Fresher Scars

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 6:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Europe
3:08 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

In Keynote Speech, Obama Marks A Quarter-Century Of Polish Democracy

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:18 pm

President Obama is delivering the keynote address of his current trip to Europe in Poland. Earlier in the day, Obama is meeting with the president-elect of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.

Europe
3:08 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

In Warsaw, Obama Vows To Keep Rattled Allies Out Of Russian Orbit

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 7:03 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama is asking Congress for an extra billion dollars. It's for defense, to reassure nervous allies and let Eastern Europe that United States is committed to their security. The president spoke to an audience in Poland today. He said the U.S. commitment is especially important in the face of Russia's actions in neighboring Ukraine.

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Politics
3:39 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Obama Auditions Foreign Policy Speech Before Graduating Cadets

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama says he wants to ramp up support for opposition forces in Syria. That could include weapons and training provided by the U.S. military. We'll hear more about his reasoning ahead. Obama made the call today in a commencement speech at West Point. NPR's Scott Horsley reports the president also used the speech to defend his broader approach to foreign-policy.

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It's All Politics
1:54 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Brad Paisley Leaves 'Southern Comfort Zone' For Troops In Afghanistan

Country music singer Brad Paisley performs during a troop rally with President Obama during an unannounced visit at Bagram Air Field on Sunday.
Evan Vucci AP

Brad Paisley is well-known as a top-selling country music star. Turns out, he's a pretty good juggler, too.

Paisley joined President Obama in a surprise trip to Afghanistan this Memorial Day weekend, playing for some 3,000 troops at the Bagram Airfield. Just 24 hours earlier, Paisley was the headliner at the Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, Iowa.

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Politics
3:19 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Obama Taps San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro For HUD Secretary

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is a rising star in the Democratic Party. He spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:04 pm

President Obama has been playing musical chairs with his Cabinet.

At the White House on Friday, Obama announced that he's chosen Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to be his new budget director. Donovan would replace Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who's taking over the Department of Health and Human Services.

That leaves a vacancy atop the housing department, which the president plans to fill with an outsider: Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio and a rising star in the Democratic Party.

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Health Care
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Forecast Predicts A Shift Away From Employer-Sponsored Insurance

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services is winning some Republican support. The president chose Sylvia Matthews Burwell to take over from the embattled outgoing secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. And today, Burwell appeared before the Senate Health Committee. That's where Arizona Senator John McCain said she is well qualified to serve as health secretary.

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Politics
4:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Obama Sounds Alarm Bell On Climate Change. Is Anyone Listening?

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Everybody makes conversation about the weather. And today that includes President Obama. He's appearing on three network TV shows to discuss a new government report on climate change. It's on a day when the president also visits Arkansas to survey the damage from last week's tornadoes.

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Media
10:08 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Poised And Persistent, Reporter Broke White House Color Barrier

Reporter Harry McAlpin leaves the White House in 1944. McAlpin was the first black reporter to cover a presidential press conference. He'll be honored Saturday at the Correspondents' Dinner.
George Skadding Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

Hollywood starlets will mingle with politicians and even humble reporters in Washington on Saturday night. That can only mean one thing: the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The black-tie event has evolved into a glitzy celebrity roast, but it began as a simple chance for journalists to break bread with the presidents they cover.

This year, the White House Correspondents' Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and it plans to posthumously honor the first African-American reporter to cover a presidential news conference.

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News
3:08 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Out Of White House Meeting, Obama And Merkel Emerge United On Russia

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:17 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:53 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Minimum Wage Raise: Blocked For Now, May Live Again In Campaigns

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:20 pm

Senate Republicans blocked a vote Wednesday on a bill to raise the nation's minimum wage. But don't expect that to be the end of the story.

For more than a year now, Democrats, including President Obama, have been pushing to boost the minimum wage. Their latest target is $10.10 an hour.

GOP critics argue that would depress hiring in an already weak job market.

But raising the wage is popular with voters, and Democrats plan to make the issue a rallying cry between now and the November elections.

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Health Care
3:07 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Following Enrollment Deadline, Health Care Focus Turns To States

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:06 pm

President Obama met Thursday with insurance company executives and a separate group of insurance regulators from the states, discussing their mutual interest in administering the new health care law.

It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Obama's Tax Rate Rose — And He Can't Blame Anyone But Himself

President Obama meets with faith leaders in the Oval Office on Tuesday — also known as Tax Day 2014.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:00 pm

President Obama, like many wealthy Americans, is paying more of his income to the IRS.

The White House released the president's tax return last week. It shows he and the first lady paid $98,169 in taxes for 2013 on income of $481,098. That's an effective tax rate of 20.4 percent.

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News
3:06 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

As Sebelius Steps Down, Obama Taps Budget Director To Replace Her

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius got a fond farewell today from President Obama. She's resigning after a rocky tenure marred by the botched rollout of the government's health insurance exchange last fall. The president's tapping his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, to replace Sebelius. NPR's Scott Horsley has more.

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Politics
4:12 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius To Step Down

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 6:37 am

The move comes about 6 months after the disastrous roll out of the health insurance website. It was eventually fixed, but not before delivering a severe blow to the president's approval ratings.

News
6:09 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Sebelius, Leader Of Rocky Health Care Rollout, Resigns From HHS

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from her position as secretary of health and human services. President Obama accepted her resignation, and he plans to nominate Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace her.

Health Care
11:32 am
Sat April 5, 2014

With Enrollee Goal Met, Obamacare Still Faces Political Trial

President Obama arrives in the Rose Garden on Tuesday to trumpet 7.1 million signups under the Affordable Care Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 12:03 pm

President Obama and his supporters had a rare opportunity to celebrate this week.

A last-minute surge in people signing up for health insurance sent the total government enrollment figures over the seven-million mark.

That number seemed out of reach just a few months ago, when a crash-prone website threatened to undermine the president's signature health care law.

Republicans are still bent on repealing the law, but now millions more Americans have a stake in Obamacare's survival.

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Politics
2:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

In Arkansas, Voters May Get Chance To Raise Minimum Wage

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor speaks to reporters at his Little Rock campaign headquarters on Feb. 28. A minimum wage increase on the ballot alongside Pryor could give Democrats more of a reason to show up on Election Day.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 12:04 pm

President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.

Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.

One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

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News
3:04 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Cause For Hope And Frustration In the Shadow Of ACA Deadline

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block this week at our member station KBRA in Dallas.

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News
3:13 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama Ratchets Up Sanctions Against Putin's Personal Allies

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Ukrainian government ordered its border guards to withdraw from Crimea today. Pro-Russian forces there seized more Ukrainian property, including at least two warships. We have more details on those events elsewhere in the program.

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The Salt
5:58 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

Among Bill Yosses' many confectionary creations for the first family: this nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House, on display in the State Dining Room in November 2012. The house featured not just Bo, the family dog, but also a vegetable garden.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:58 pm

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

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News
3:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

With Sanctions, Obama Aims For Those Close To Putin

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:33 pm

The Obama administration is ordering new sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The move is designed to penalize Russia for efforts to split Crimea away from Ukraine.

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