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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Middle East
4:38 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Obama Asks Young Israelis To Push For Mideast Peace

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:24 am

President Obama is urging both Israelis and Palestinians not to abandon long-stalled peace talks. The president has been practicing some low-key shuttle diplomacy this week.

Economy
4:43 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Improved U.S. Jobs Numbers Could Take A Hit From New Budget Cuts

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 6:03 pm

The White House is cheering a better than expected jobs report. But economists caution that automatic government spending cuts could lead to slower job growth in the months to come.

It's All Politics
3:05 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Obama Looks For A Spring Thaw With Congress To Start Melting Deficit

President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday following a meeting with congressional leaders.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:44 pm

President Obama is hoping for a spring thaw in White House-congressional relations.

The president had dinner Wednesday night with a small group of Republican lawmakers. He's also planning rare visits to Capitol Hill next week to discuss his agenda with both Democrats and Republicans.

Aides say Obama is trying to locate what he calls a "caucus of common sense" in Congress to tackle the country's long-term budget challenges.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Obama's Pick For EPA Head The Most Likely To Cause Controversy

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:34 pm

Gina McCarthy could find herself on the hot seat in the battle over global warming.

Politics
1:02 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Obama Announces His Picks For EPA, Other Cabinet Posts

President Obama rounds out his Cabinet for his second term, nominating three new leaders Monday: Walmart Foundation's Sylvia Mathews Burwell for budget chief, MIT scientist Ernest Moniz to head the Energy Department and veteran regulator Gina McCarthy to run the EPA — a post that's likely be a lightning rod during Senate confirmations.

It's All Politics
6:02 am
Mon March 4, 2013

President Obama To Nominate New EPA, Budget And Energy Heads

President Obama is expected to nominate Gina McCarthy, currently assistant administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, to head the agency on Monday. The nomination requires a Senate confirmation.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 1:02 pm

President Obama plans to announce three Cabinet-level nominations Monday, including a new administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, who could be on the hot seat in the looming battle over global warming.

Gina McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator in the wing of the EPA that regulates air pollution, is the president's pick to head the EPA.

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It's All Politics
6:06 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

What's The Sequester? And How Did We Get Here?

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (left) answers questions during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:26 pm

They've been everywhere this week: dire warnings about threats posed by across-the-board federal spending cuts.

Unless Congress acts, the cuts are due to take effect a week from Friday. The administration is trying to drive home the ways that could affect you.

For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Friday that air traffic controllers will have to take unpaid days off beginning in April. Fewer controllers on the job could mean airport delays, and some airlines may decide to cancel flights.

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It's All Politics
3:06 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Defense Cuts May No Longer Be Political Sacred Cow

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 9:17 am

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security.

In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a "hollow force." But the warnings don't appear to be moving the needle with lawmakers or the American public.

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Politics
6:57 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Automatic Spending Cut Would Cause 'Hardship' For People

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:39 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Politics
7:05 am
Sat February 16, 2013

In Hometown Visit, Obama Advocates 'Common Sense' Approach To Guns

President Obama speaks about strengthening the middle class and the nation's struggle with gun violence at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago on Friday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 10:05 am

"It's good to be home," President Obama said to a crowd, including uniformed high school students, at Chicago's Hyde Park Academy on Friday.

The school is in the same neighborhood where the Obamas raised their children, but the topic of the president's visit was raising Chicago's children — and the nation's. The president returned to his hometown to address the scourge of gun violence that's plaguing the city and many other parts of the country.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama's Road Trip To Conclude With Florida Break

President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

President Obama will cap off a busy week of politicking with some R&R in Florida.

Obama plans to travel to the West Palm Beach area for what his spokesman called "some well-deserved downtime."

"He's going to spend Presidents Day weekend relaxing with some friends," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "There's no work on the schedule."

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NPR Story
6:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama Tries To Move Spotlight Off Deficit Reduction

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Pre-school is one example of how President Obama says the government can play a constructive role in the U.S. economy. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama tried to refocus a debate that, for two years, has been all about cutting. The president is highlighting government programs that even many Republicans support.

Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the Great Recession, but President Obama says the government could be doing more to help.

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Politics
6:31 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Obama Calls For Strengthening The Middle Class

The White House seemed surprised last month when President Obama's inaugural address was characterized in some quarters as a liberal manifesto. So Tuesday night's State of the Union speech was firmly grounded in the bread-and-butter pocketbook issues facing the middle class.

The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Can An Ex-Prosecutor Make The SEC Tougher On Wall Street?

Mary Jo White, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a May 2001 press conference following guilty verdicts in the trial of four followers of Osama bin Laden that bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998. President Obama intends to nominate White to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Doug Kanter AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:38 am

President Obama's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission has prosecuted terrorists and mobsters. If she's confirmed, Mary Jo White's next challenge will be tackling reckless behavior on Wall Street.

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Politics
5:23 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Obama Wants To Build On Climate Accomplishments

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:13 am

President Obama vowed in this week's inaugural speech to address climate change. The comments recevied a chilly reception in Congress. There are, however, steps the administration can take on its own.

Politics
6:39 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama Urges Crowd To Seize The Moment 'Together'

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Many inaugural addresses play on themes that President Obama touched on yesterday.

GREENE: He cited the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, our tradition of self-government and earlier inaugural addresses.

INSKEEP: That's all pretty normal. What is different about each inauguration address is how the president molds those themes into the moment.

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Politics
4:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Obama Urges Congress To Raise Debt Ceiling

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

In a looming battle over the federal debt ceiling, Republicans in Congress insist they hold the cards. They do have the power to stop federal borrowing, withhold payment of federal debts and cause unknown damage to the world economy. Some want to use that power to force President Obama to reduce federal spending in the way they want.

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Politics
5:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Expected To Pick Lew As Head Of Treasury

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

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 will nominate his chief of staff as the next treasury secretary later today. Jack Lew is a budget expert who could hit the ground running, as the Treasury tries to cope with a looming debt ceiling, automatic spending cuts and the ongoing push for long-term deficit reduction. Lew would be the latest nominee for a high-profile Cabinet post, as the president prepares for a second term.

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Economy
5:14 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Obama's New Treasury Secretary Pick Should Be Able To Hit Ground Running

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:31 pm

The Obama administration has long hinted that White House chief of staff Jack Lew was the president's choice for the next Treasury Secretary. An announcement is expected as soon as Thursday. Scott Horsley talks with Melissa Block about the likely pick.

Politics
4:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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Politics
4:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Senate Ushers In New Year With 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the first morning of 2013, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The party went until the morning hours here in Washington. We're talking about the gathering on Capitol Hill. Senators were voting around 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

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Politics
5:32 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Obama Urges Swift Action On Gun Issues

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Last week's elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut was not the first massacre of recent years. It wasn't even the first massacre of this year, nor was it the first in which children were among the victims.

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Economy
4:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Inflation Index Fix Could Cut Federal Deficit

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 10:13 am

The Consumer Price Index is one of the most familiar measures in economics and politics. But some in Washington want to change the way the index is calculated to better reflect people's shopping habits.

While the proposed change is described as a technical fix, it could also cut the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Cuts Could Hit Health Care Providers

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, even if Americans largely agree on addressing the deficit with a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts, the consensus falls apart when you get specific about those spending cuts. And that may be why politicians have been wary of discussing cuts in too much detail. We're going to try to remedy that now with NPR's Scott Horsley. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Robert.

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It's All Politics
5:44 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

'Paris Hilton Tax' Vs. 'Death Tax': A Lesser-Known Fiscal Debate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:34 pm

Ben Franklin famously observed that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

So far, Congress hasn't repealed the former, but the future of estate taxes — a largely overlooked piece of the "fiscal cliff" — remains uncertain as this year draws to a close.

Until now, most of the year-end tax debate has focused on the income tax, but another battle could be brewing over estate taxes.

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:08 pm

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

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It's All Politics
3:26 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Pick A Number: Let's Play 'Cap Those Deductions'

In the presidential debate on Oct. 16, Mitt Romney presented a hypothetical way to cap deductions and raise revenue.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:35 am

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says it's up to congressional Republicans to take the next step in budget talks to avoid the pending automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year.

Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, Geithner said there's "no path to an agreement" until Republicans are willing to accept higher tax rates on the rich.

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It's All Politics
5:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 4:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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Asia
5:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Obama In Cambodia For East Asia Summit

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:04 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer in for Steve Inskeep.

After attending the annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders, President Obama is winging his way home this morning. And tomorrow, he'll issue the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon. Then after the holiday it's back to budget talks with congressional leaders deciding what else might be spared, and what government programs or tax breaks might feel the knife.

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Asia
4:49 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Obama Pays Historic Visit To Myanmar Monday

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

President Obama paid a historic visit to Myanmar today. The southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, is tiptoeing towards democracy after almost 50 years in military rule. Mr. Obama met with the former leader who is now the president of Burma and with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is not a member of parliament after years of house arrest. The visit is the centerpiece of the president's three-day Asian tour, which is meant to underscore the United States' growing involvement in the region.

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