Politics & Government

Political news

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

Republican Scott Walker dismissed any controversy over a law he signed in Wisconsin requiring women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound, referring to ultrasounds in an interview on a conservative radio show as "just a cool thing out there."

Updated to reflect that Santorum is now officially in the race.

After taking the silver medal in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is making a second bid for the White House. But Santorum faces a very different — and much larger — field than four years ago.

Updated to reflect that Santorum is now officially in the race.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is praying for political lightning to strike twice.

Even after pulling an upset win in the Iowa caucuses four years ago and going on to survive the longest against eventual nominee Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential hopeful is again the underdog in a much more crowded 2016 field.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the Supreme Court returns for its next term in October, among the cases it has agreed to hear is a challenge to a fundamental practice that has governed American elections for generations.

When public-policy makers talk about a state's population, they generally mean the number of human beings living in that state — as counted or estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That applies to a host of political actions, including the apportionment of seats in Congress and the Electoral College votes that choose the president.

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

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Presidential candidates are doing what they have to do at this point in the campaign season — they're raising money and strutting their biographies and electoral viability to voters. We haven't heard much yet about policy papers or what they would actually do if they win. But those policy issues will matter — as the campaign picks up steam and especially once the next president steps into the Oval Office on Day 1.

As candidates hit the campaign trail, NPR looks at four major issues the next president will face from Day 1 in office.

For seven years, Michael Hall has been guiding tourists to the top of Seattle's Space Needle and back. It's a unique vantage point from which to watch the ups and downs of Americans' paychecks.

Just How Big Is The Asia Trade Deal Obama Wants? It's A Beast

May 26, 2015

One of the most basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership is also the most important: It's huge.

The trade deal got over a big hurdle Friday when the Senate voted in favor of giving the Obama administration "fast-track" authority to negotiate the deal with Canada and 10 Asian nations.

That leaves the U.S. House, and it's unclear it has the votes yet. If it passes, though, TPP, which has angered many in the president's party, would be by far the largest free trade agreement the U.S. has in effect.

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

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we turn now to politics. When Rick Perry ran for the White House four years ago, he talked a lot about cutting down the size of the federal government, including in this televised debate among Republican candidates.

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