Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Thu December 5, 2013

GOP Family Feud: 'Showboat' DeMint Takes on 'Tyrant' McConnell

Former GOP Sen. Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, at a news conference earlier this year.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:26 am

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell is more than a little aggravated with the Senate Conservatives Fund, and who can blame him.

The youngish but well-financed Tea Party organization has targeted McConnell, a five-termer from Kentucky and highest-ranking Senate Republican, by helping to bankroll a primary challenger and using the race as an intraparty, us vs. them proxy.

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

You Can Vote, You Can Enlist — But Can You Buy A Cigarette?

Cigarette packs are displayed at a convenience store in New York City, which has raised the age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Mark Lennihan AP

So, a uniformed Marine walks into a convenience store, and says to the clerk, "Pack of Marlboro Reds, in a box — and some matches."

The clerk gives the Marine the once over and says, "Sorry, son, but you look a bit young to be buying smokes. You 21?"

That potential scenario, in a nutshell, is the most common argument against a small but nascent movement to increase the minimum age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21.

You can fight in a war at age 18, and vote in elections, but you can't buy cigarettes until your 21st birthday?

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It's All Politics
5:07 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Wal-Mart Food Drive Unwittingly Fuels Talk Of Minimum Wage Hike

Dozens of people protest for better wages outside a Los Angeles Wal-Mart store on Nov. 7.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 8:51 am

Wal-Mart's pay practices have long been targeted by advocates of America's working poor.

So it was no surprise that it became national news when the discount retailer, the nation's biggest employer, asked workers at an Ohio store to contribute to a holiday food drive — for fellow workers.

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It's All Politics
1:51 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

GOP Enraged After Filibuster Vote, But Does It Change Much?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) speaks to the media on Thursday after passing the so-called nuclear option, which changes the Senate rules to eliminate the use of the filibuster on presidential nominees except those to the Supreme Court.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 2:48 pm

The political class was aflame Thursday with outrage (Republicans) and triumph (Democrats) as Senate Democrats voted to hem in the minority party's ability to filibuster most presidential nominees.

By a 52-48 vote, the Democratic-controlled Senate carried out the so-called nuclear option. The leadership will now allow a simple majority of senators to override filibusters on nominations, with the exception of those to the Supreme Court.

Previous precedent, in place since the 1970s, required a 60-vote "supermajority" to end a filibuster.

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It's All Politics
9:36 am
Tue November 19, 2013

States Renew Battle To Require That Voters Prove Citizenship

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:38 pm

The conservative-driven movement to expand voter restrictions in the name of reducing polling booth fraud has often been described as a solution in search of a problem.

Despite evidence suggesting voter fraud is rare, it's a crusade that has proved so durable in GOP-dominated states like Arizona and Kansas that its leading proponents are undeterred — even by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Get a high court decision that bars you from requiring residents to produce documentary proof of citizenship like a passport or birth certificate when registering to vote?

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It's All Politics
7:37 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Friday Political Mix: Obama's Health Care Fallout Writ Large

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:07 am

Good morning.

Or, bad morning, if you're President Obama and absorbing the profound political reality of the botched health care law rollout, and your attempt at a fix.

We'll let the headlines tell the story:

Wall Street Journal: "Obama Retreats on Health Care Rules"

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It's All Politics
7:51 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obamacare Fallout Hits Senate Democrats, But Not Equally

Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:18 pm

The Republicans have dubbed them the "Obamacare Dozen," the 12 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, all of whom voted for the president's health care and insurance overhaul law.

In GOP world, each one of those senators managed to provide the "deciding vote" for the Affordable Care Act.

And each one, in the wake of the law's online rollout debacle, is in a "panic" — the GOP buzzword of the week — over its political implications.

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It's All Politics
7:23 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Tuesday Political Mix: Treasury, Tribes, and Christie 2016

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 8:15 am

Good morning.

Before we get to the president's Treasury appointment, continuing Obamacare problems, and a presidential poll du jour, let's turn our thoughts to the people of the typhoon-devastated Philippines.

My colleague, Mark Memmott, provides an update here, which includes a description of the hard-hit city of Tacloban as looking as if a "50-mile tornado" flattened everything.

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It's All Politics
3:16 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Don't Read Virginia Result As Pro-Choice: It's Anti-Extreme

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli gestures during an Oct. 24 debate in Blacksburg, Va.
Steve Helber AP

The outcome in Virginia's governor's race this week seemed to illustrate anew the Democratic Party's grip on the women's vote, and the power of the abortion issue.

Even some Republicans argued that social conservative Ken Cuccinelli's defeat at the hands of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won women by a 9-point margin, was another sign that the GOP's anti-abortion stance would continue to doom the party at the polls.

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It's All Politics
7:09 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Friday Political Mix: Obama, CBS Apologize; Rand Paul Copied

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 11:01 am

Good morning.

This was a week that gave Virginia a new governor, New Jersey the same one for another term, and ended with some big apologies.

Let's go to the "I'm sorry" roll first, starting with the biggie.

Obama's Sorry About All That

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Virginia Result Driven by Obamacare? Shutdown? Not So Much

Democrat Terry McAuliffe speaks to supporters Tuesday in Tysons Corner, Va. McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Virginia Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a closer-than-expected contest for governor Tuesday to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a weak but well-financed and well-connected candidate.

By Wednesday morning, the political world was busy debating the meaning of the outcome in Virginia, where exit polls showed that voters expressed increasing antipathy to the Tea Party, and that it was women — particularly unmarried women — who propelled McAuliffe over the finish line.

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It's All Politics
7:54 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Wednesday Political Mix: Post-Vote Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 10:19 am

Don't you love Election Day morning-afters?

The musings. The what-it-means. The grasping what-ifs.

The exit polls.

The blame.

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What If A Congressman Comes Out And Nobody Cares?

Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay.
Clarke Canfield AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:43 pm

The final chapter in the history of bombshells of the closeted gay politician variety may have been written Monday by Rep. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat running for governor.

Michaud, 58, announced in a column published in two state newspapers and by The Associated Press that he is a gay man, and followed it with the question: "But why should it matter?"

Judging from immediate reaction in Maine, where Michaud next year will be competing to become the first governor in U.S. history elected as an openly gay man, the answer seemed to be that it probably won't.

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It's All Politics
9:01 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Va. Governor's Race: Nationally Significant Or Just Nasty?

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe (left) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:30 am

Virginians go to the polls Tuesday to pick the man they dislike the least to be their new governor: long-time Clinton moneyman Terry McAuliffe or hardline Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Booker Brings Dash Of Diversity To Still Old, White Senate

Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) as his mother, Carolyn, holds a Bible on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 8:05 am

Cory Booker is a Yale-educated lawyer and erstwhile tweeter who, as mayor of Newark, N.J., displayed a knack for grabbing headlines while building a mixed legacy as the troubled city's leader.

He's also black, and Thursday at noon the 44-year-old Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, making Congress's upper chamber just a tiny bit more diverse in more ways than one.

Booker, who on Oct. 16 was elected as New Jersey's first black senator, will join Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as the chamber's only black senators.

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It's All Politics
1:39 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

PR Experts: Obamacare Message (Not Just The Site) Needs Fix

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site on Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

There's little doubt that the Obama administration would like a health care website do-over.

Since its rollout Oct. 1, Obamacare's online insurance exchange sign-up, critical to success of the health care overhaul, has been a well-documented disaster.

The White House, in addition to managing considerable political fallout, also is dealing with a big, fat public relations problem. Just how does the administration go about winning the trust of the American people after the October Obamacare debacle?

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It's All Politics
7:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix: Monkeys, Donkeys and the NSA

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 8:48 am

Good morning.

Your erstwhile members of Congress are high-tailing it out of Washington for the weekend (no votes in the House, and the Senate took the day off but promises to return Monday).

But there's plenty to digest.

Fallout from Thursday's House hearing on computer problems marring the health care overhaul rollout. Across-the-pond anger over America's spying on allies. And, yes, donkeys. We'll get to that.

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It's All Politics
6:51 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Thursday Morning Political Mix: Healthcare Techs In Hot Seat

Good morning.

This is Washington, so there will be hearings.

Today's centerpiece of congressional inquiry bears the title, "Affordable Care Act Implementation Failures: Didn't Know or Didn't Disclose?" See where this is going?

The morning gathering will be the first in a promised series of GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings into the implementation of Obamacare and its well-documented challenges.

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It's All Politics
4:03 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Red-State Senators Face Activist Challengers From Within

Timothy D. Easley AP

Re-election trouble is brewing for longtime Republican senators in deep-red states, from South Carolina to Wyoming. And the trouble is from within.

The GOP's restive Tea Party and libertarian wings, energized by their titular leader, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and funded in part by starve-government groups like the Club for Growth, are waging 2014 Senate primary challenges in six states — and counting.

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It's All Politics
7:13 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix: Troll, Trial, Tribulation

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:53 am

Good morning.

Let's get right to the tribulation.

Fallout from the government shutdown and budget crisis continues to rain down on Republicans.

Fallout from the monumentally flawed online rollout of Obamacare continues to rain down on President Obama and his team.

Obamacare

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It's All Politics
7:03 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Tuesday Morning Political Mix: The GOP's Very Bad Poll Day

Good morning.

President Obama just had a very bad, no good, awful day trying to explain what went so terribly wrong with his administration's health care sign-up website, and Republicans had a field day.

Today, it's Republicans who will be having just such a day.

Three major national polls show, unequivocally, that Republicans are taking the brunt of the public's anger after this month's government shut down and default crisis.

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Christie's Gay Marriage Decision Has Primary Consequences

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debates Democratic challenger Barbara Buono at Montclair University in Montclair, N.J., on Tuesday. Christie's decision not to fight gay marriage in the state takes away an issue Buono had been campaigning hard on.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:35 am

Republican Chris Christie's decision Monday to drop his administration's legal challenge to same-sex marriage made perfect sense for the governor of New Jersey,

But for the potential 2016 presidential candidate, whose path would presumably start in Iowa — where the Republican Party is dominated by social conservatives — the calculation is a bit more complicated.

Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa's powerful evangelical conservative, put it bluntly Monday.

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It's All Politics
6:40 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Monday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 9:55 am

Good morning.

Happy Tech-Surge-To-Fix-Healthcare.gov Day in your nation's capital.

In the wake of a disastrous rollout of his legacy legislation, President Obama will speak in the White House Rose Garden later this morning to declare the problems unacceptable.

And to outline how the White House has dispatched an A-Team to fix glitches that have frustrated many of the 19 million Americans that have gone online to research or sign up for insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov.

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It's All Politics
7:03 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Friday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:23 am

Good morning.

As post-shutdown Washington struggles to squeeze itself into its ill-fitting "new normal" suit, this amazing, dispiriting, baffling week finally comes to a close with some same-old, same-old.

Republicans are refocusing on undermining Obamacare (which is doing a pretty good job of that on its own).

Democrats are taking gleeful potshots at Republican opponents who carried the banner for the failed shutdown/debt crisis strategy.

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It's All Politics
8:26 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Fiscal Fight's Winners And Losers

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the Capitol on Wednesday. The Kentucky Republican helped forge a late-hour deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to sidestep financial chaos.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 7:14 pm

The White House is insisting, publicly at least, that nobody emerged victorious from the government shutdown/debt crisis debacle.

"There are no winners here," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday after Senate leaders announced they had a deal to end the budget impasse.

"And nobody's who's sent here to Washington by the American people can call themselves a winner," Carney said, "if the American people have paid a price for what's happened."

Well, yes and no.

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It's All Politics
6:52 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Thursday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 7:48 am

Good morning.

The newspapers hit the front porch this morning with a familiar thud. (Yes, some of us still like the feel of paper in the morning.)

"SHUTDOWN ENDS" shouted The Washington Post.

"REPUBLICANS BACK DOWN, ENDING BUDGET CRISIS" The New York Times intoned.

And online (yes, some of us also like the morning glow of our devices), the post-shutdown/debt crisis postmortems were piling up like so many pages of regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

But first, the details, quickly:

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It's All Politics
7:06 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Wednesday Morning Political Mix

Good morning.

Can you say lost day?

Can you say 24 hours closer to joining the pantheon of deadbeat nations?

Can you say turning on the default spigot of poison gas? (Warren Buffet can.)

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It's All Politics
8:33 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 9:52 am

Good morning from Washington, D.C., your nation's capital, where we are now into Day 15 of your government's shutdown and counting down to your government's looming default on its debt.

Yes, we all wish we were still in bed with the pillow over our head. (Even, we imagine, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told The Wall Street Journal that military readiness is being damaged by the budget standoff.)

Dire? There is little argument, except from the most ardent default-is-no-big-deal fringe.

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It's All Politics
7:01 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Trickle-Down Stories: How The Shutdown Feels Across America

A sport fishing guide in the Florida Keys protests the closure of Everglades National Park waters for fishing as part of the U.S. government shutdown.
Joe Skipper Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 12:25 pm

Most Americans say they aren't directly affected by the shutdown. But some pockets of society, beyond furloughed federal workers and their families, are being severely hit.

We used NPR's social media network to ask about the impact and were deluged by messages from people who are worried and scared, especially veterans and the disabled, and many others who are angry and frustrated.

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It's All Politics
2:51 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Like The GOP, Boehner's Ohio Buddies Split On His Leadership

House Speaker John Boehner, accompanied by GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Eric Cantor, spoke to the press Tuesday, as the partial government shutdown entered its second week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Spirits were high when a posse of John Boehner's friends traveled from Ohio to the nation's capital to celebrate the longtime Republican congressman's elevation to House speaker in January 2011.

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