Jim Howard

Washington correspondent

Howard covers news from Washington DC, of importance to the St. Louis Region.  His beat includes following the legislative activities of area lawmakers on Capitol Hill as well as developments from The White House, Supreme Court and numerous federal agencies and departments.  Prior to joining St. Louis Public Radio, he was a long-time newscaster and producer at NPR in Washington.  Howard also has deep roots in the Midwest.  Earlier in his career, he was statehouse bureau chief for Illinois Public Radio where he directed news coverage of state government and politics for a 13-station network.


Beyond Ferguson
11:03 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Wellspring Church Trio Takes Ferguson Concerns To White House

From left to right: The Rev. F. Willis Johnson, Akyiah Phillips and Brandon Hart in Washington, D.C.
Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

Chances are that your first visit to Washington, D.C. came during a family vacation or as part of a school field trip and you did all those things first-time visitors do: toured the Capitol Building, checked out the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and maybe visited a few of the museums along the National Mall. 

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Strictly Politics
4:10 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Michael Brown’s Parents To Attend Invitation-Only Gala In Washington

Lacy Clay is hosting the parents of Michael Brown at a gala hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

It is the black-tie event for prominent African Americans, and this year the parents of Michael Brown Jr., the unarmed black teenager killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, are scheduled to attend the closing gala of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. 

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Beyond Ferguson
4:52 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Justice Department Launches Effort To Establish Trust Between Police, Communities

Eric Holder, when his appointment was announced
Credit Wikipedia

Almost a year before Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, laying bare a raw nerve of distrust and hostility between the city’s black residents and its almost exclusively white police force, Attorney General Eric Holder stood before an international gathering of police chiefs in Philadelphia and said it was time to bridge the divide between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

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Politics & Issues
8:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Senate Approves St. Louis Native As Ambassador To Ireland

Kevin O'Malley
Credit Wikipedia

The Senate unanimously approved St. Louis attorney Kevin O’Malley Thursday to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland.  President Barack Obama nominated O’Malley in June and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced O’Malley to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July. 

Shortly after the Senate confirmed O’Malley’s nomination, McCaskill issued a statement praising his selection. 

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Middle East
5:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

U.S. Senate Approves $1 Trillion spending plan and Aid To Syrian Rebels

President Barack Obama
Credit via White House video stream

(Updated 5:37 P.M. Thr., Sept. 18)

The Senate voted Thursday to approve a $1 trillion stop-gap spending plan to keep the federal government operating until December 11.  The measure also contains the authorization for the Pentagon to train and equip Syrian Rebels in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS.  The measure was approved on a 78-22 vote and now goes to the President.  

Read our earlier story below:

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Middle East
11:42 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Obama's Plan To Confront Islamic State Wins Cautious Support

President Barack Obama
Credit (WhiteHouse.gov video screen capture)

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, and after the gruesome beheadings of two American journalists, President Barack Obama told the American people in a televised address that the United States would "degrade, and ultimately destroy" the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, "through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy."

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Police Shooting
11:44 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Feds Give Away New And Unused Military Equipment To Local Police As Surplus

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

More than one-third of the military equipment deemed surplus and made available in the Defense Department’s so-called 1033 program was either new or unused according to information provided Tuesday to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Representatives from the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice faced sometimes pointed questions about waste, weak oversight and almost nonexistent coordination among the programs their departments administer to help local police departments gain access to military equipment.

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Beyond Ferguson
8:32 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Clay: Michael Brown's Death Sparks Long Overdue National Conversation On Race

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay
Credit Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus used an hour of so-called special orders on the House floor Monday night to draw attention to troubles confronting minorities across the U.S. with special attention paid to the recent unrest in Ferguson., Missouri. 

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, opened his comments by saying the pain felt in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown “has stirred the conscience of the nation and has forced us to confront some very difficult truths.” 

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Beyond Ferguson
8:16 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Militarization of Local Police Departments Goes Before Senate Homeland Security Committee

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Credit Claire McCaskill's Flickr Page

Armed with a "laundry list of questions," U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will lead the Senate Homeland Security Committee Tuesday in a hearing to examine the militarization of local police departments. The hearing follows public outrage over what some saw as an excessive police response to protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white Ferguson police officer.

Three different federal departments have programs to help local police departments acquire military-type hardware, including armored vehicles, and tactical gear and weapons.

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7:48 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Holder: Visit To Ferguson Influenced Decision To Launch Probe Of Ferguson Police

Attorney General Eric Holder in Ferguson.
Credit Office of U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that his conversations with residents of Ferguson during his visit two weeks ago influenced his decision to investigate the city’s police department.

Holder says he heard directly from residents and listening sessions “about the deep mistrust that has taken hold between law enforcement officials and members of the community. ... People consistently expressed concerns stemming from specific alleged incidents, from general policing practices, and from the lack of diversity on Ferguson’s police force.”

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