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.

Since the diplomatic thaw with Cuba was first announced last December, the Obama administration has moved aggressively to ease restrictions on travel and trade. Looser rules were announced in January, and restrictions were eased further in September. But the Commerce and Treasury Departments can only go so far, unless Congress votes to lift the legal embargo.

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(This post was last updated at 12:34 p.m. ET.)

The United States and China unveiled an ambitious plan to curb greenhouse gases today, including a nationwide cap-and-trade system beginning in 2017.

The announcement came after a White House summit meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, as the two leaders begin to fill in the details of the far-reaching climate goals they agreed to last November.

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At the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., would-be heirs to Reagan tried to land some punches last night on Republican front-runner Donald Trump. It was the second prime-time debate for the GOP field.

We want to cut through the spin with a new feature we're calling "Break It Down."

When President Obama spoke to the Democratic National Convention in Colorado seven years ago, he tried to call a truce in one of the nation's long-running social debates.

"We may not agree on abortion. But surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country," he said to applause.

Not long after that, Colorado launched an experiment aimed at doing just that. The results have been dramatic — but efforts to expand the program using taxpayer money have hit a political roadblock.

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This post was updated at 2:04 p.m. ET

Republican presidential hopefuls tossed around a lot of statistics during their debate last night. Some of those numbers are revealing. Others may be concealing or at least don't tell the whole story.

Here's a closer look now at some of the claims made by the candidates.

Claim 1 — Jeb Bush: "Our economy grew at double the rate of the nation. We created 1.3 million jobs. We led the nation seven out of those eight years."

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This post was updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton released eight years worth of tax returns Friday, showing that she and her husband Bill Clinton earned $139 million since 2007. They paid nearly $44 million in federal taxes during that period. The couple's effective federal tax rate ranged from 25 percent in 2007 to 36 percent last year.

President Obama toured a federal prison in Oklahoma on Thursday and said the nation needs to reconsider policies that contribute to a huge spike in the number of people behind bars.

In an unprecedented visit by a sitting president, Obama met with half a dozen inmates at the El Reno prison, outside Oklahoma City. The trip was part of a weeklong push by the White House to focus attention on the president's call for criminal justice reform.

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This post was updated at 1:25 p.m. ET to include comment from the White House press secretary.

The Obama administration is preparing to announce changes in the way it deals with families whose loved ones have been taken hostage by terrorist groups such as the self-declared Islamic State militant group. Families were invited to a private meeting with administration officials Tuesday in advance of a public announcement at the White House on Wednesday.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

Sen. Rand Paul made headlines recently with his one-man effort to roll back government surveillance. And that's the just beginning of Paul's plan to dismantle big chunks of the federal government.

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Our next president is likely to have some big plans for the future of the country. But he or she will also have to wrestle with some leftover bills from the past. The federal government has issued trillions of dollars in IOUs. Just the interest on that massive debt could be a serious constraint for the next president.

That's why Danette Kenne has some questions for the presidential candidates about what kind of budget they plan to present to Congress.

"Being in Iowa, one of the things we can do is ask questions," Kenne said.

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

For seven years, Michael Hall has been guiding tourists to the top of Seattle's Space Needle and back. It's a unique vantage point from which to watch the ups and downs of Americans' paychecks.

The Senate looks ready to move ahead with trade legislation, after a daylong delay that the Obama administration repeatedly described as a "snafu."

"These kinds of procedural snafus are not uncommon," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest after Democrats held up the bill, which would give President Obama authority to expedite passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.