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
4:52 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Obama's Latest Challenges Go Beyond The GOP

President Obama gestures as he speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:54 pm

President Obama took his fiscal fight with congressional Republicans to America's heartland Friday. Speaking at a Ford assembly plant near Kansas City, Mo., Obama warned that the federal government could turn into a "deadbeat" unless Congress passes a stopgap spending bill and agrees to raise the debt limit within the next few weeks.

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Politics
3:59 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Senators, Economists Lobby For Yellen To Be Fed Chairman

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the Federal Reserve explained its decision to keep pumping money into the financial system, it pointed to stubbornly high unemployment.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That has long been a concern for the number two official at the Fed, Janet Yellen. She is now considered the leading candidate to replace Ben Bernanke, when he steps down as Fed chairman. His term expires in January.

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Politics
5:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Financial Crisis Recovery Has Been Bumpy For Some

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama says the nation does not want to watch another game of chicken in Washington, D.C. this fall, and he's warning congressional Republicans not to force his hand. Congress must, once again, raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government won't be able to pay all of its bills. Mr. Obama told GOP lawmakers yesterday they should lift that limit on borrowing, without trying to extract concessions from him.

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Middle East
4:54 am
Sat September 14, 2013

In Syria Debate, Obama's Internal Dialogue Becomes Audible

President Obama's speeches about Syria have at times seemed to reveal his own internal struggle on the topic.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 6:21 pm

A surprise agreement between the U.S. and Russia, announced Saturday, calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal follows a chaotic week of seat-of-the-pants foreign policy.

Performing on the international stage, Obama and his Cabinet secretaries have offered up one plot twist after another, though it often seems as if the actors are working without a script.

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Governing
5:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Obama Asks Congress To Approve Action On Syria

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 10:06 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

It was a stunner today for pundits on the Potomac. President Obama announced in the Rose Garden that while he has the authority to unilaterally attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons, he won't use it. Only 24 hours after Secretary of State John Kerry made the case for military action, the president made the case for congressional approval.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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The March On Washington At 50
3:35 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Obama To Outline Unfinished Work, Decades After King's Dream

A spectator on the National Mall holds an image of President Obama and Martin Luther King during the 2013 presidential inauguration in January.
Gabriel B. Tait MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:33 pm

President Obama will stand in the symbolic shadows of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Wednesday, as he marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Aides say Obama will use the opportunity to celebrate the progress that's been made, thanks to the civil rights movement. He'll also discuss the work that he says still has to be done to realize King's dream of racial justice in America.

That includes fighting to protect voting rights and building what the president calls "ladders of opportunity" for poor people of all races.

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Education
5:28 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Obama Campaigns For College Affordability Plan

President Obama makes an unannounced stop to talk with the Tully Central High School soccer team about their plans for college in Tully, N.Y., on Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

President Obama toured Pennsylvania and New York by bus on Thursday and Friday to promote his college affordability plan.

He's proposing a affordability-rating system that would steer federal aid, but a budget battle with Congressional Republicans is looming.

'A Major Debate'

The tour had a back-to-school theme, but at his stop on Thursday, the fall semester hasn't even begun. Obama spoke to a packed high school gym in Syracuse.

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Politics
4:21 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Obama Takes To The Road To Push College Affordability Plan

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 7:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on a two-day back-to-school bus tour. He's holding a town hall meeting today at the State University in Binghamton, New York. Later he'll visit a community college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The president is pushing his plan to make college education more affordable. NPR's Scott Horsley is along for the ride. He reports that the bus tour has the president in one of his comfort zones.

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It's All Politics
5:50 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Obama Heads Back To School To Talk College Affordability

President Obama steps off his bus, nicknamed "Ground Force One," as he arrives for breakfast at the Ossorio Bakery and Cafe in Cocoa, Fla., during a two-day bus tour last year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 6:51 pm

It's back-to-school season for college students — and President Obama plans to be right there with them.

The president will spend the next two days on a bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania that includes stops at three colleges and a high school. At each stop, he'll be talking about ways to make college more affordable.

The president's big black bus will make its first stop at the University at Buffalo on Thursday — the same day incoming freshmen will be moving in, hauling suitcases and mini-refrigerators.

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News
4:56 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Obama Breaks His Silence On Trayvon Martin Verdict

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," President Obama told the press Friday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 4:48 pm

President Obama broke his silence on the Trayvon Martin shooting case Friday, speaking publicly for the first time since a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman.

Obama didn't question the jury's not-guilty verdict, but he spoke in unusually personal terms about the history and experiences that shape the way African-Americans in particular see the case.

He spoke frankly about the pain the Trayvon Martin case has left, especially in the African-American community. He said that's a product of a common history that doesn't go away.

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Business
3:20 am
Fri July 19, 2013

With Filibuster Deal, NLRB Could Soon Return To Full Force

The National Labor Relations Board building in downtown Washington.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 6:00 am

For decades after the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Board served as the arbiter for squabbles between management and unions, or workers who wanted to join a union. In more recent years, though, the board itself has become a battleground.

Democratic appointees to the NLRB have grown increasingly sympathetic to organized labor, while Republican appointees have grown increasingly hostile, says Harley Shaiken, who studies labor relations as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Politics
5:22 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Congress Debates Taking A Step Back From The Mortgage Market

The government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae (seen in 2010) and Freddie Mac in 2008, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 7:11 pm

The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.

The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.

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Middle East
7:25 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

With Turmoil In Egypt, Obama Urges All To 'Avoid Violence'

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:38 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 said tonight that he is deeply concerned by the situation in Egypt where the military has suspended the constitution and removed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi from office. Mr. Obama said the U.S. is monitoring what he called a very fluid situation, and he urged the military to return authority to a democratic government as quickly as possible.

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U.S.
6:02 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

After DOMA Ruling, Government Scrambles To Adjust

Naomi Hendrix (right) and Rio Waller exchange their wedding vows in a small garden across from the Fresno County Clerk's office in California on Monday.
Gosia Wozniacka AP

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:12 pm

At gay pride events throughout the country last weekend, marchers celebrated the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Now, the rainbow flags are giving way to calculators and sharp pencils, as gay and lesbian couples start to grapple with the practical impact of what the ruling means for them.

President Obama has directed Cabinet members to implement the ruling "swiftly and smoothly" by extending federal recognition to same-sex marriages for the first time. But that will be easier for some federal agencies than others.

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It's All Politics
6:58 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Big Growth Could Shake Up Texas' Old Political Equation

A bilingual sign stands outside a polling center at a public library ahead of local elections on April 28 in Austin, Texas.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:36 am

It's no secret: Texas is big. And it's getting bigger.

The Lone Star State has added about 5 million people since the turn of the century, and its population is expected to swell by another 5 million by 2020.

This week, NPR examines the dramatic demographic shifts underway in the Lone Star State in our series Texas 2020. We'll look ahead to how the second-biggest state could change in the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of America.

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Europe
3:26 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Obama Begins European Trip With G-8 Summit In Ireland

Oxfam charity volunteers wear masks depicting G-8 leaders President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel around a large caldron to draw attention to the issue of world hunger in Northern Ireland on Sunday. G-8 leaders are gathering there for an annual summit.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 1:23 pm

President Obama is in Northern Ireland Monday — the first stop on a three-day European visit that includes a G-8 summit meeting and a side trip to Berlin.

The president begins his tour with a speech in Belfast, celebrating Northern Ireland's peace process and urging young people in the country to keep it moving forward.

Later, Obama joins leaders of other industrial countries at a remote golf resort in County Fermanagh for talks on Syria, trade and the global economy.

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It's All Politics
5:24 am
Sat June 15, 2013

How Rock 'N' Roll Can Explain The U.S. Economy

Bruce Springsteen performs during halftime of the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., in 2009. In music, and increasingly in other industries, a relative handful of top performers take more and more of the spoils, says White House chief economist Alan Krueger.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 8:10 pm

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger took some ribbing from his boss this week. President Obama noted that Krueger will soon be leaving Washington to go back to his old job, teaching economics at Princeton.

"And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his: 'Rockanomics,' the economics of rock and roll," the president said. "This is something that Alan actually cares about."

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Politics
4:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Obama Urges Congress Not To 'Block' Immigration Bill

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. The U.S. Senate has opened debate on a sweeping immigration bill. And President Obama says it's the best chance in years to fix what he calls a broken immigration system. The measure took a step forward yesterday when a big, bipartisan majority of senators voted to take up the bill. But it still faces serious obstacles, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Obama's D.C. Court Nominations Heat Up Battle With Senate

President Obama announces in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday his nominations of (from left) Robert Wilkins, Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millett to fill vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 11:25 am

President Obama fired a warning shot Tuesday in the battle over Senate confirmations: He nominated three new judges to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, and he challenged Senate Republicans not to stand in their way.

Obama complained about procedural roadblocks that have tied up many of his previous nominees — sometimes for years.

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It's All Politics
3:23 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Obama Presses Congress On Student Loan Rates

President Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, calls on Congress on June 21, 2012, to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. He is going to make that appeal again Friday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 11:25 am

President Obama surrounded himself with college students at the White House on Friday and warned that the cost of student loans is about to go up.

Interest rates on government-backed college loans are set to double July 1 — unless Congress agrees on a fix before then. Obama has threatened to veto a House-passed bill that would let the cost of student loans go up and down with the market.

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Business
5:29 am
Wed May 29, 2013

White House Economic Advisers To Leave

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One of President Obama's top economic advisers is leaving the White House later this year, to return to his teaching job at Princeton. Since 2011, Alan Krueger has chaired the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

NPR's Scott Horsley takes this look back at his time in the White House.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: One of Alan Krueger's tasks at the White House is deciphering the many different signals the economy sends, including the closely watched jobs report that typically comes out on the first Friday of the month.

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Politics
6:28 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Unclear Laws May Have Contributed to Tax-Exempt Controversy

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn to another story for now: The acting head of the IRS has resigned, but is still facing questions about the agency. Lawmakers continue their probe into the federal tax agency targeting Tea Party groups seeking tax exemption.

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Politics
5:57 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

White House Addresses Benghazi Emails, IRS Audits

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: And I'm Audie Cornish.

The Obama administration is doing some intensive damage control this evening. Tonight, the president announced that the acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller, is being pushed out over heightened scrutiny given to Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.

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U.S.
8:02 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

IRS Inspector General Faults 'Ineffective Management'

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We have more details today on missteps by the Internal Revenue Service, specifically in the way the IRS processed applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations. An Inspector General's report says the problems were not limited to low-level agency employees.

Last week the IRS apologized for targeting such groups for special scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. Scott, what more have you learned from the Inspector General's report?

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Health Care
5:23 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

President Asks Moms For Help Promoting Obamacare

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 7:23 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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It's All Politics
3:32 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Hope For A Bright Future In The Lone Star State

Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse in Blanco, Texas, after casting their ballots in November 2012. Democrats hope demographics and a new organizational push give them a brighter future in Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:51 am

President Obama travels to Texas on Thursday for the second time in as many weeks. He will talk about job training and economic opportunity, but he may have a political opportunity on his mind as well.

Obama lost Texas by more than 1 million votes last year. But Democrats believe their fortunes in the Lone Star State may soon change, thanks to demographics and a new organizational push.

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It's All Politics
4:37 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 1:33 pm

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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Business
4:52 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Online Retailers Take Opposite Sides On Sales Tax Bill

Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:04 pm

More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.

The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.

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Politics
5:10 am
Sat April 13, 2013

What Obama's Tax Proposal Could Cost Him, And Us

Copies of President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 are distributed to Senate staff on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 12:50 pm

President Obama's newly released tax return shows his effective income tax rate was 18.4 percent last year. He'll likely pay a somewhat higher rate in 2013, and that tax bill would be even bigger if Congress were to adopt the recommendations in the president's own budget, unveiled this week.

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Around the Nation
7:23 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Obama Highlights Colorado's Action On Gun Control Legislation

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:50 pm

President Obama was in Denver on Wednesday to rally support for gun control laws. Colorado has stepped up on both background checks and ammunition magazines, and Democrats there fear backlash next year.

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