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.

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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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.

Every year about this time, after a Washington winter of inactivity, I notice my pants have grown a little tighter. Years ago, I resolved to address this by cutting back on burritos and beer.

But the (ever more abundant) flesh is weak. And burritos are soooo tasty. So instead, every spring I simply let out my waistband a bit, while promising to redouble my dieting efforts next year. I call this, "The belt fix."

Sound familiar?

Updated at 4:50 p.m. E.T.

For millions of cash-strapped consumers, short-term loans offer the means to cover purchases or pressing needs. But these deals, typically called payday loans, also pack triple-digit interest rates — and critics say that borrowers often end up trapped in a cycle of high-cost debt as a result.

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Barack Obama let down his graying presidential hair a little bit on Wednesday. He also joked about coloring it.

Speaking to the City Club of Cleveland, Obama seemed to be in a reflective mood. During the question-and-answer period, he was asked by a seventh-grader what advice he would give to himself now, if he could go back to his first day in office.

House Republicans unveiled a draft budget Tuesday designed to bring government spending in line with revenues over the next decade, while making significant cuts to safety net programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

The plan is non-binding, but sets the stage for a political showdown between the new, all-Republican Congress and President Obama.

President Obama said he's "embarrassed" for the 47 Republican senators who tried to undercut nuclear talks with Iran by writing a letter directly to the Iranian leadership.

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

The State Department says it will work as quickly as possible to review the emails former Secretary Hillary Clinton turned over in 2014, but combing through all 55,000 pages could take months.

Israel's Prime Minister is expected to deliver a stern warning when he speaks to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday morning. Benjamin Netanyahu says the nuclear deal that the U.S. and other countries are pursuing with Iran could threaten Israel's survival.

That's not a new message from Netanyahu, but it's drawing extra attention because of the way the speech came about: Republican congressional leaders invited the prime minister with no involvement from the White House.

The Obama administration says it will take more than air strikes in Syria or friendly troops in Iraq to defeat the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS or ISIL. The White House says it will also take community outreach in places like Boston and Minneapolis.

Preventing homegrown terrorism is the focus of meetings at the White House this week. President Obama will address the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Wednesday afternoon.

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Updated at 12:03 p.m. ET

President Obama says he wants to work with Congress to "replace mindless austerity with smart investments that strengthen America," in remarks that came hours after the release of his $3.99 trillion budget proposal, which is already drawing criticism from Republicans.

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