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.

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The Salt
1:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

First Lady Fights To Keep Healthful School Lunch Law Intact

First lady Michelle Obama has been doing a lot of high-fiving with schoolchildren like these in Dallas to promote healthful lifestyles. Now she's diving more deeply into the politics of school lunch.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:58 pm

First lady Michelle Obama is by far one of the most popular political figures in America, because she's largely avoided appearing too political — instead devoting much of her attention to encouraging good nutrition and healthful lifestyles for America's children.

But that cause has run head-on into a congressional fight over stalling some of the nutritional gains of the school lunch program, which she helped put in place.

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Politics
7:41 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Conservatives Brainstorm To Win Voters In The Middle

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., says that Great Society social programs aren't helping working people.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 11:09 am

Election watchers say Republicans could take control of the Senate this fall. At the same time, many of these same analysts see problems for the Grand Old Party in the longer term.

Republican voters tend to be white, older and more affluent, and their share of the overall population is shrinking. That's why at least some conservatives think it's time for the party to broaden its appeal to the middle class.

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She Votes
12:32 am
Fri May 9, 2014

For Moms In Congress, Votes Mix With Diapers And School Pickup

Rep. Linda Sanchez, seen with her son, Joaquin, says balancing her duties as a mother and a member of Congress can be a struggle, but she's lucky to have the flexibility of being a boss.
Courtesy of Linda Sanchez

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 12:26 pm

Just nine women have given birth while serving in the U.S. Congress.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., has the distinction of having done it three times.

Her son Cole was born in 2007 with a condition called trisomy 21. Grace came in 2010, followed by Brynn this past November.

"Thankfully, she's a good sleeper and she's a good eater," says McMorris Rodgers. "That makes a big difference for a mom."

Even though she has a high-profile job as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, McMorris Rodgers insists she's just like the rest of us.

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It's All Politics
12:04 am
Thu May 8, 2014

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:53 am

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

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She Votes
12:24 am
Tue May 6, 2014

GOP Softens Its Edge In An Attempt To Appeal To Women

"We have allowed ourselves to be branded [in] a way I do not feel is representative of who we are as Republicans," says Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., of her party's negative reputation on women's issues.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:34 am

Republicans have a problem with women.

Since the 1980s, women have been much more likely than men to vote Democratic.

Increasingly, however, Republican operatives see getting more women to vote for their candidates as key to the party's future.

Take Equal Pay Day, for instance, a political holiday that Democrats have used to push a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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She Votes
2:58 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Best Way To Get Women To Run For Office? Ask Repeatedly

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., plays in the annual Congressional Women's Softball game in 2011. She says it's hard to get more women to run for office.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 2:34 pm

Women make up less than 20 percent of those serving in Congress, but more than half the population. There are many reasons for this, but one simple answer comes back again and again. It's about recruiting.

When Monica Youngblood got the call, she thought it was a joke. The call came from a man she had worked to help get elected.

"It's your time," she says he told her. "We need people like you in Santa Fe. We need a voice like yours who's lived here, who's been through what you've been through. I think you need to really consider it."

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News
1:03 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

White House Report Lays Out Plans For Combating Campus Sexual Assault

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 4:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. The White House is taking on the issue of campus sexual assault. Today, it released a series of recommendations aimed at prevention and enforcement. As part of the campaign, the administration cited a stark statistic. They say one-in-five women is sexually assaulted in college. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.

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Environment
1:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pipeline Put Off, As Keystone Review Is Indefinitely Extended

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 4:13 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.

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Politics
3:02 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 10:11 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."

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Politics
1:47 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Budget Bomb-Throwing Resumes With Party Line Vote

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:12 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.

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Economy
1:17 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 4:11 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."

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Health Exchange
12:35 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 7:34 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.

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It's All Politics
1:50 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 2:12 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.

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It's All Politics
1:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Selfies In Red Square? Not For These American Politicians

GOP Sen. John McCain greets well-wishers as he arrives to visit a pro-European Union rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on Dec. 15. Strong criticism and trips like this landed the Arizona senator on Russia's travel blacklist.
Sergei Chuzavkov ASSOCIATED PRESS

For a select group of American politicians and advisers to the president there will be no selfies in Red Square, no tours of Saint Basil's Cathedral, no borscht, no Baltika beer and certainly no return to the Sochi arena where the U.S. hockey team won an epic victory over Russia in the Winter Olympics.

And they couldn't be happier.

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Politics
1:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Obama's Surgeon General Nominee Stuck In Limbo

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:37 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.

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