A day after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to the nation's oldest civil right organization, Vice President Joe Biden appeared at the NAACP's annual convention. He quickly tackled one issue that drew Romney sustained boos — the 2010 health care overhaul.
Biden appeared in place of President Obama, who made a brief videotaped address thanking the group for its work. He walked out to warm applause, and several of his remarks were interrupted by shouts of agreement.
I'm Maria Hinojosa and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, California's governor has signed a landmark bill meant to protect homeowners from unfair bank and mortgage practices. We'll speak with state attorney general Kamala Harris about that in just a few minutes.
This week, a federal panel is hearing arguments for and against a voter ID law in Texas. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the Texas voter ID law is like a modern poll tax. Guest host Maria Hinojosa talks more about the issue with Rep. Jose Aliseda, who testified at the hearing. He's a Republican State Representative for Texas who was born in Mexico.
Both Republicans and Democrats will tell you, the Jewish vote is vital in the upcoming presidential election. And this year, one party is going very far in its efforts to woo Jewish voters, all the way to Israel. Israel is home to a large American community, and for the first time, the Republican Party has crossed the Atlantic to actively campaign.
NPR's Middle East correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that Republican Party envoys find themselves on fertile ground.
The state education department has received more than 10,000 applications for Louisiana's statewide voucher program set to start in August that will use taxpayer money to send students to private and parochial schools.
Superintendent of Education John White announced the applicant numbers Wednesday.
As many as 2,000 of the applicants are in an existing New Orleans voucher program. The others will be vying for slots available to new students under the statewide program pushed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
In what is becoming an annual ritual, Gov. Bobby Jindal has again issued a partial hiring freeze on executive branch agencies in state government.
The hiring freeze covers the 2012-13 fiscal year that began July 1.
For most agencies, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater will set a number of vacant positions that the offices can't fill. If they want to add new workers who will shrink the number of vacancies below that benchmark, the agencies will need Rainwater's permission.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's decision against expanding the state's Medicaid program under the federal health law, combined with a provision that shrinks uninsured care dollars, could leave Louisiana hospitals with far less money to care for those not on private insurance.
Hospital leaders say the situation could leave some LSU-run public hospitals and small rural hospitals teetering on the edge of closure and give them little way to recoup money they spend to care for uninsured patients.
Maxima Guerrero and Daniel Rodriguez canvass for votes in Phoenix. Rodriguez moved to the U.S. with his mother when he was a child, and is undocumented. "The best thing I can do now," he says, "is organize those that can [vote], and make them vote for me."
For years, Maricopa County, Ariz., has been ground zero in the debate over immigration.
On one hand, the massive county, which includes the state capital of Phoenix, has a growing Latino population. On the other, it's home to publicity savvy Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made his name by strictly enforcing, some say overstepping, immigration laws.
With a vote of 244 to 185, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature domestic legislation known colloquially as "Obamacare."
Of course, the vote doesn't matter, because the measure has a very slim chance of being adopted by the Senate.
The AP reports that this is the "33rd time in 18 months that the tea party-infused GOP majority has tried to scrap, defund or scale back the law since grabbing the majority."
Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein says he expects to announce by Friday how he'll divvy up $859 million in cuts to Louisiana's Medicaid program.
The cut is tied to a congressional reduction in Louisiana's federal Medicaid financing rate.
Greenstein didn't offer details Tuesday about what will be slashed. But hospitals, doctors and other health providers are bracing for cuts that could shrink the money they receive for taking care of Medicaid patients and the uninsured.