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.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

President Obama says overcoming poverty requires both strong families and a strong economy.

Speaking at Georgetown University Tuesday, Obama said that political debates over poverty often get hung up over the role of government, families and religious institutions.

"I think it's important when it comes to dealing with issues of poverty for us to guard against cynicism and not buy the idea that the poor will always be with us, and there's nothing we can do," Obama said. "Because there's a lot we can do."

The Nike Corp. says the lower tariffs promised by a proposed Asia-Pacific trade deal would allow it to speed up development of advanced manufacturing, supporting up to 10,000 domestic jobs over the next decade.

The announcement comes as President Obama visits Nike headquarters to promote the trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Critics have questioned the Beaverton, Ore., backdrop, noting that Nike currently manufactures virtually all of its shoes and apparel in low-wage countries such as Vietnam.

President Obama says he wants consumers around the world buying more products stamped, "Made in the U.S.A."

That's one reason he's pushing a controversial Asian trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Obama has chosen a curious setting to make his pitch for the trade agreement this week. He'll be speaking Friday at the Beaverton, Ore., headquarters of the Nike Corporation.

President Obama met Thursday with moderate Democrats in hopes of rallying support for a controversial Asia-Pacific trade deal.

The president will need approval from at least some members of his own party to win passage of a "fast-track" bill, authorizing him to complete trade negotiations and present the agreement for an up-or-down vote in Congress.

So far, most Democratic lawmakers have been skeptical.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, President Obama said he was confident he would get a green light from Congress to move forward with a big Asia Pacific trade deal.

"The politics around trade can be hard in both our countries," Obama said. "But I know that Prime Minister Abe, like me, is deeply committed to getting this done. And I'm confident we will."

President Obama used the backdrop of the Florida Everglades this Earth Day to highlight the dangers posed by a changing climate. He also took a swipe at Florida's Republican governor, who's been accused of discouraging state workers from discussing global warming.

"Climate change can no longer be denied," Obama said. "It can't be edited out. It can't be omitted from the conversation. And action can no longer be delayed."

The hemispheric summit meeting that just wrapped up in Panama was the first to include the president of Cuba.

But even if Raul Castro and his brother Fidel were kept out of sight at past Summits of the Americas, they were never out of mind.

Six years ago, President Obama stood on a rooftop in Trinidad, talking with reporters about his first summit. Scott Wilson, a Washington Post correspondent with lots of Latin-America experience, asked the president what he'd learned from listening to his fellow leaders.

President Obama says when it comes to Cuba, "the United States will not be imprisoned by the past."

Obama met for about an hour on Saturday with Cuban President Raul Castro. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two countries' leaders in more than half a century.

When the sit-down finally happened — after months of behind-the-scenes negotiation — even the leaders seemed surprised.

It's the handshake some have waited more than 50 years for. And the handshake some hoped would never happen.

President Obama greeted Cuban President Raul Castro at a summit meeting in Panama Friday night. Their handshake helped crystalize the diplomatic thaw that began in December, when Obama declared an end to decades of official hostility.

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama is in Jamaica on Thursday, meeting with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and more than a dozen other leaders from throughout the Caribbean. It's the first stop on a three-day tour that also includes a hemispheric summit meeting in Panama. Topping Thursday's agenda is a looming energy crunch in the Caribbean, and a chance for the U.S. to seize the initiative there from leftist leaders in Venezuela.

Even before he became president, Barack Obama was imagining the possibilities of a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran. His willingness to reverse decades of official U.S. hostility was one of the things that set Obama apart on the campaign trail.

"We have to have a clear break with the Bush-Cheney style of diplomacy that has caused so many problems," Obama told NBC's Meet the Press in November 2007.

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