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.

One of the last vestiges of the Cold War was buried Sunday, when President Obama set foot in Cuba. He's the first American president to visit the island since Calvin Coolidge, 88 years ago.

"Que bola', Cuba?" Obama tweeted in an informal greeting, moments after Air Force One touched down at Havana's Jose Marti Airport. "Looking forward to meeting and hearing directly from the Cuban people."

When Obama walks off Air Force One onto the red carpet at Jose Marti airport in Havana Sunday, he'll be taking another big step towards normal relations with the island, and kicking another hole in the wall of isolation that the U.S. spent decades trying to build around Cuba.

"The Cold War has been over for a long time," Obama said, before his historic handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama last year. "I'm not interested in having battles that, frankly, started before I was born."

President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court is already making telephone calls to senators, hoping to win a confirmation hearing. Merrick Garland will start making in-person visits to the Capitol on Thursday.

This story is part of NPR's fact-checking series, Break it Down.

Florida, which holds its presidential primary on Tuesday, is home to more than 3 million seniors who rely on Social Security. At the GOP debate in Miami Thursday night, candidates were asked about their plans for the program.

The U.S. labor market has recovered faster than expected, though that strength is tempered by economic challenges both at home and abroad, according to an annual assessment from the president's Council of Economic Advisers.

The 430-page "Economic Report of the President" released today summarizes recent developments in the economy and highlights areas where the administration sees room for policy improvements.

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President Obama unveils his 2017 budget proposal today. It's an aspirational blueprint that details how he would set priorities if he controlled the government's checkbook ... which he doesn't.

"This budget is not about looking back at the road we have traveled," Obama said. "It is about looking forward."

But congressional Republicans are looking past the president. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the budget as "a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans."

Every day in America more than 50 people die from an overdose of prescription pain medication. Some people who start out abusing pain pills later turn to heroin, which claims another 29 lives each day.

President Obama plans to ask lawmakers for hundreds of millions of dollars to combat this epidemic of opioid abuse when he releases his budget next week.

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President Obama says one of his biggest regrets is the growing polarization in American politics.

"I have, as president obviously, done soul-searching about what are things I could do differently to help bridge some of those divides," Obama told supporters at a town hall meeting in Baton Rouge last week. And he's not the only one worried by the deepening fault lines.

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There were high-fives this week from Detroit to Washington, D.C., as carmakers celebrated record auto sales.

Americans bought 17.5 million cars and trucks in 2015. That's a huge turnaround from 2009, and the Obama administration cheered the rebound as vindication of the president's decision to rescue General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy.

"Because of the policy decisions that were made by this administration to place a bet on those workers, America has won, and our economy has been better for it," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

President Obama announced executive actions Tuesday, intended to curtail gun violence. But if history is any guide, the president's effort may have the unintended effect of boosting gun sales — 2015 was a banner year.

President Obama is announcing a series of executive actions intended to combat gun violence, including a regulatory change designed to make it harder for gun buyers to avoid background checks. Obama plans to detail the moves on Tuesday with a statement in the White House East Room.

President Obama is preparing to take executive action on guns soon, after being rebuffed by Congress in his effort to crack down on gun violence.

Gun control advocates say the move could come as early as next week.

"The president has made clear he's not satisfied with where we are and expects that work to be completed soon," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

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President Obama swiftly condemned Friday's terror attacks. He promised the United States would stand alongside France to pursue whatever terrorist network is responsible. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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Let's go now to NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. Hi, Scott.

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

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After spending years as a political football in the U.S., the Keystone XL pipeline's would-be builder is now asking for a timeout in the review process. Why now? Changing politics in the U.S. and Canada, falling oil prices and mounting pressure from environmentalists have marked a turnaround for the company, which had pushed for approval of the project, and its supporters.

Here are five things to know about where the pipeline stands now:

1. Geography gives the U.S. government a say

Republican presidential hopefuls squared off over economic policies last night. The candidates defended their plans to simplify the tax code. It turns out, that's kind of complicated.

Claims:

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is near the top of the polls. So it's not surprising that his tax plan came under the scalpel in the CNBC debate Wednesday night. Carson denied that his plan for a flat tax of 10 percent, based on the biblical principle of tithing, would cost the government more than $1 trillion:

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