Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith is a NPR White House Correspondent. She is especially focused on matters related to the economy and the Federal budget.

Prior to moving into her current role in January 2014, she was a Congressional Correspondent covering Congress with an emphasis on the budget, taxes and the ongoing fiscal fights. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, and traveled with Mitt Romney leading into the primaries in Colorado and Ohio, among other states. She began covering congress in August 2011.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived and reported the 2011 NPR series The Road Back To Work, a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member Station KQED's California Report, covering topics including agriculture and the environment. In 2004, Keith began working at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign.

Keith went back to California to open the state capital bureau for NPR Member Station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. In 2006, Keith returned to KQED, serving as the Sacramento-region reporter for two years.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Over the course of her career Keith has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including an award for best news writing from the APTRA California/Nevada and a first place trophy from the Society of Environmental Journalists for "Outstanding Story Radio." Keith was a 2010-2011 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Tamara is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

Pages

Environment
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 5:13 pm

The Keystone XL pipeline remains a major point of contention within the Democratic Party, as green voters pull President Obama one direction and pro-energy senators and labor unions pull the other. It looks as though the "comment period" for the project will be extended, delaying a decision past the November elections.

Read more
Politics
4:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Obama's Favorite County — At Least When It Comes To Giving Speeches

President Obama speaks during an April 7 visit to Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Md. It was his fourth visit to Prince George's County in as many months.
Aude Guerrucci-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 11:11 pm

Residents of Prince George's County, Md., might just get sick of hearing "Hail to the Chief." President Obama has visited this county to deliver policy addresses more than any other in his second term.

"Hello Maryland. It's good to see you," the president said enthusiastically in January at a Costco in Lanham, Md. "I love to get outside of the Beltway, even if it is just a few hundred feet away."

Read more
Politics
2:40 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Budget Bomb-Throwing Resumes With Party Line Vote

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 6:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. For years, budget battles have ruled Washington politics: fiscal cliffs, debt ceiling fights and, of course, last fall's government shutdown. But then, in December, the House and Senate agreed on a two-year spending plan and the budget bomb-throwing stopped. Today, it resumed just long enough for the Republican-controlled House to pass a budget.

Read more
Economy
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Life Without Jobless Benefits: Watching, Searching And Praying

Josie Maisano poses with her congressman, Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan. Levin says if Congress can't respond to people like Maisano, "we've failed."
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:11 pm

There's a small frame hanging on the wall near the computer Josie Maisano uses to search for work. Inside there's a picture of her at this year's State of the Union address and a blue ribbon that Democrats wore that night to highlight the plight of people like Maisano, whose unemployment benefits stopped at the end of December.

"Oh, my God. It was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Maisano. "Listening to President Obama, it was just very, very heartwarming."

Read more
Politics
1:35 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Obamacare Rolls Into N.H. Like A Political Campaign — And Wins

In New Hampshire, where the Affordable Care Act remains unpopular, the state has exceeded expectations for insurance enrollments. Credit goes, in part, to a grass-roots campaign to sign people up.
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 8:34 am

Monday is the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or at least to begin the process. We already know that nationwide more than 6 million people have enrolled.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Biden Visits N.H. To Talk About Jobs ... But Not His Own

Vice President Biden and N.H. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan meet with employees March 25 at the New Hampshire Works center in Manchester.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:12 pm

If you didn't know any better (or you got confused about what year it was), you might think Vice President Biden was back on the campaign trail, kissing grandmothers, slapping guys on the back and borrowing a woman's phone to razz her son about a basketball game.

Biden returned Tuesday to the familiar campaign grounds of New Hampshire for the first time since October 2012. And he swears he made the trip not to stake out ground for a presidential run, but rather to check out how the statewith the nation's first presidential primary helps match the unemployed with jobs.

Read more
Politics
2:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama's Surgeon General Nominee Stuck In Limbo

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:37 am

President Obama's nominee for surgeon general has a medical degree and an MBA, but his confirmation is being held up in the Senate because of special-interest politics and Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns.

Health Care
7:52 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Under 30? The President Would Like You To Know Health Care Is Hip

The president joined host Zach Galifianakis on the Funny or Die mock talk show, Between Two Ferns this week. Obama was there to promote the Affordable Care Act.
Funny or Die

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 9:32 am

Read more
Politics
3:05 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Obama To Push Expanded Overtime Pay

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Today, President Obama will tell the Department of Labor to rethink the rules for how employers pay overtime. The president wants millions more people to get paid overtime, particularly those who are exempt. And by signing a presidential memo to the department, he doesn't have to ask Congress to make that happen.

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

Read more
News
2:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

President Obama Moves To Expand Overtime Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 6:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama is taking another step to raise the wages of workers and he plans to do it without getting Congress involved. The White House says tomorrow Obama will direct the Labor Department to change the rules for businesses on overtime pay. The change could mean that millions of private sector workers currently classified as management could eventually qualify for overtime.

Read more
Politics
4:35 am
Wed March 12, 2014

White House Meeting To Examine Women's Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:32 am

President Obama is expected to meet on Wednesday with female members of Congress. There are reasons for the president's focus on women that involve both policy and politics.

Health Care
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Obama Pitches Health Care Law To Latinos In Bid To Boost Enrollment

President Obama talks with television hosts Jose Diaz-Balart, center, and Enrique Acevedo, left, about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Latinos.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

Getting Latinos to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is seen as critical to the law's success. The Latino population is disproportionately uninsured and relatively young, but enrollment hasn't been going well. This, in part, explains President Obama's appearance Thursday at a town-hall-style event hosted by the nation's two largest Spanish-language television networks, Univision and Telemundo. The tough questions he got only scratch the surface.

Read more
Politics
3:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

New England Governors Back Obama's Minimum Wage Hike Plan

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

President Obama is hoping lawmakers will raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Many Republicans call that a potential job killer, and they're blocking the president's efforts in Congress. So as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, the president took his pitch to a place with a more receptive audience.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It is good to be back in Connecticut.

Read more
Politics
2:37 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Budget: A Blueprint With Little Chance Of Passage

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 4:31 pm

President Obama is announcing his 2015 budget Tuesday. It calls for increased tax credits for the poor and boosted infrastructure spending, but it's unlikely to be enacted by Congress.

Politics
3:02 am
Tue March 4, 2014

At The White House, It's Budget Day

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:04 am

President Obama unveils his nearly $4 trillion budget at an elementary school. But before the bound copy of the budget is even delivered to Congress, the fate of this spending plan is already sealed.

Middle East
2:23 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Two Talks On The Docket For Netanyahu's White House Visit

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama met today in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the top of the president's agenda: Getting Israel to accept a framework for peace talks with the Palestinians.

NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

Read more
The Edge
6:51 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Russia, With Home-Field Advantage, Wins Sochi Medal Race

Russia RUS-1 bobsled team, with Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov, and Alexey Voevoda, jump onto the medal stand after winning gold on Sunday. On the last day of the Sochi Games, Russia had already secured the top spot in the overall medal count.
Dita Alangkara AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 8:08 am

Just two medals remain to be awarded at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as Canada and Sweden face off on the hockey ice. If the Canadian men take gold, Canada will have swept all four traditional team sports. Canadian teams have already won gold in men's and women's curling and women's ice hockey.

[Add at 10:00 a.m. ET: Canada's men's hockey team has won the gold]

Read more
Sports
2:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Ted Ligety Tames The Giant Slalom In Sochi

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The U.S. has added another gold medal to its Olympic tally. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, this latest win comes courtesy of Ted Ligety and with it, he has cemented his place as one of the great giant slalom skiers.

Read more
The Edge
2:02 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Canadian Athletes Pumped To Show The Fitter Side Of Curling

Canada's E.J. Harnden delivers the rock during a curling training session in Sochi. "We like to think of ourselves as athletes now and not just curlers," he says.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:28 pm

Read more
Sports
2:13 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Longtime Pair Take Home First American Ice Dancing Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:59 pm

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal Monday night in ice dancing. They earned a silver medal in the last Winter Games in Vancouver, and they entered competition favored to win in Sochi.

Sports
3:17 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Anticipation Grows That U.S. Ice Dancing Duo Will Win Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 5:57 am

Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are favored to win gold in ice dancing. The pair took silver in the last Olympic Games in Vancouver, and expectations are high that they'll do even better in Sochi.

The Edge
7:42 am
Sun February 16, 2014

U.S. Men's Alpine Skiers Grab Bronze And Silver

Bode Miller of the United States makes a jump during men's super-combined downhill training at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games on Tuesday.
Luca Bruno AP

Athletes prepare for years to compete in the Olympics, and then, in a flash, it's all over. For American speed skaters it's been a terrible Olympics, but U.S. men's Alpine skiers are managing to turn around a medals drought.

In the men's super-G competition Bode Miller won the bronze. At 36 years old, he is the oldest person ever to win a medal in Alpine skiing at the Olympics. It makes him one of the most decorated American winter Olympians, winning a total of six medals in three different Olympics.

Read more
Sports
2:52 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Olympic First, Women Ski Jumpers Shatter Glass Ceiling

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Sports history was made today at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. For the first time, women were allowed to compete in ski jumping. And some of the women who jumped today had been fighting for equality for their sport for more than a decade.

NPR's Tamara Keith was there at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center and joins us now. And Tamara, let's start first with the medalists, who came out on top today?

Read more
The Edge
8:25 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:53 pm

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

Read more
The Edge
1:45 am
Tue February 11, 2014

U.S. And Canadian Women's Hockey Brings Plenty Of Heat To The Ice

The rival teams have already clashed during a Sochi Olympics preparation game last December. They will face each other in an early round game Wednesday.
Abelimages Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:28 am

Read more
The Edge
12:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

So Far At The Games, A Low-Key Response To Russia's Anti-Gay Law

Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands, after her second run in the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal in Sochi on Sunday.
Sergey Ilnitsky EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:26 pm

Leading up to the Olympics in Sochi, a dominant storyline was Russia's anti-gay propaganda law and what it might mean for athletes and other visitors. Would athletes protest in any way? Would Russian LGBT activists try to demonstrate against the propaganda law at the Olympics?

The answers (so far, at least) are: barely, and not really.

Read more
The Edge
6:53 am
Sat February 8, 2014

First Gold Medal Goes To An American

United States' Sage Kotsenburg takes a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Saturday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 11:59 am

Slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg has won the first gold medal in the Sochi Olympics. Kotsenburg, 20, is from Park City, Utah, and seemed surprised by the whole thing.

He wasn't expected to medal and then he brought out a move he calls the "Holy Crail."

Read more
The Edge
3:53 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Sochi's Stray Dogs Melt Hearts, And Put Officials On Defensive

Olympic volunteers pet a stray dog in downtown Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday. The city's long-standing contract with a pest control company has animal right groups concerned about the fate of the many strays roaming the area.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:28 pm

It's after dark in Sochi, and a pack of stray dogs is hogging the sidewalk like they own the place. There are a dachshund mix, several random mutts and one dog that looks like it may be part chow. They're cute and look like pets; seemingly well-fed and with decent pedigrees.

That is, until a fight breaks out. It's loud but ultimately more dog park than street fight, and the dogs quickly get back to prancing around and eating abandoned leftovers.

Read more
The Edge
1:30 am
Wed February 5, 2014

One Prediction Of Sochi Doom That Hasn't Happened

More than 400 snow-making machines are keeping the ski slopes of Sochi covered in snow.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:29 am

Heading into the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there were many predictions of trouble — possible terrorism, incomplete construction, unsold tickets and not enough snow. Well, you can take that last item off the list.

Skiers zip by on a practice run at the Rosa Khutor alpine ski course in Russia with not a cloud in the sky above them. You can't hear the skis, though, because there's a snow-making machine blasting water into the cool, dry air. It mists down onto the ground below in fine ice particles: man-made snow.

Read more
Politics
1:41 am
Tue February 4, 2014

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Read more

Pages