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.


Demand Evidence
11:41 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Business Groups, Blunt Oppose Obama Administration Ozone Rule

An Ameren power plant
Credit Veronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Missouri business leaders, oppose what some have labeled as the Obama administration’s “most expensive regulation ever.” The proposed rule would reduce ground-level ozone, or smog, from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion. The current standards of the Clean Air Act were set in 2008.

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Holder comments
3:20 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Nixon Faces New Barrage Of Complaints After Monday Night Of Fire; Officials Pledge Stronger Response

Police cars burning in Ferguson Monday after the grand jury announcement.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11:30 p.m. Nov. 25)

After a night of rioting and flaming businesses Monday, elected officials and business leaders were reassessing what happened and how to prevent more of it.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon found himself under fire, as critics blasted the low-profile use of National Guardsmen late Monday.

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Holder Investigates
2:26 am
Tue November 25, 2014

President Calls For Peace, Protests Spread To Other Cities

President Obama delivers remarks after the grand jury decision was announced.
Credit From White House Feed

President Barack Obama appealed for peaceful protest from those who disagreed with the decision of the grand jury, saying that no matter what decision had been, it would have generated intense disagreement in Ferguson and across the country. “I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully,” Obama said, in remarks delivered before White House reporters a few minutes after the grand jury decision had been announced.

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11:41 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Reaction To Obama's Immigration Orders Mostly Follows Partisan Split

Claire McCaskill
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

With a notable exception, congressional reaction to President Barack Obama's decision to issue an executive order on immigration divided predictably along partisan lines.

Republicans universally panned Obama’s action as “lawless” and unconstitutional while Democrats, for the most part, praised and defended his decision to act where Congress has failed.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., issued a statement that managed to criticize both congressional inaction and the reliance on executive orders to address such an important and contentious issue.

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Missouri's Senators
10:36 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Ferguson, Immigration Top Concerns of McCaskill, Blunt

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill talked to the president on Tuesday about Ferguson.
Credit Sen. McCaskill's Flickr page

The president and his administration are maintaining regular contact with Missouri officials ahead of an announcement by the grand jury investigating the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., told reporters this week that she spoke with President Barack Obama on Tuesday for what she described as a “full and complete discussion about a lot of issues surrounding Ferguson.”  She added that “I’m in contact with the Department of Justice every few days, encouraging them to continue their independent and complete investigation.”

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Pipeline Push
7:10 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

Credit (WhiteHouse.gov video screen capture)

(Updated at 7:10 p.m., Tues., Nov. 18)

The Senate fell one vote short of sending the Keystone XL pipeline legislation to the president.  

Senate Democrats had long blocked the bill from getting a vote but relented in part to help Sen.  Mary Landrieu, D-La. keep her seat.  Landrieu is a long-time supporter of the pipeline and is facing a December runoff.

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11:30 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

McCaskill Votes 'No' On Reid; Blunt, Wagner, Durbin Re-Elected To Leadership

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

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., joined a handful of other centrists-Democrats in voting against Nevada Sen. Harry Reid to be the caucus’ minority leader for the 114th Congress beginning in January. McCaskill said she made her decision in the wake of last week's election, which she said showed that Missouri voters want change.

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De-escalate Tension
10:16 am
Thu November 13, 2014

AG Holder Calls Missouri Officials About Ferguson

Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson Aug. 20.
Credit Office of U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay

In a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with federal, state and local elected officials from Missouri, Attorney General Eric Holder pledged the Justice Department’s continued assistance. He stressed that law enforcement must always seek to de-escalate tensions and respect the rights of protesters in any demonstrations in and around Ferguson in the weeks ahead.

The phone call comes as officials and the public await an announcement by a grand jury on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will be indicted in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

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U.S. Congress
7:43 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Legislators Still Have To-Do List For Lame-Duck Session

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Senate Democrats return to Washington Wednesday morning knowing that their time in the majority will expire in just a few weeks. 

The lame duck session starts Wednesday and ends before Christmas, with a Thanksgiving holiday in between. The new Congress, with its Senate Republican majority of 52 seats, starts shortly after the New Year. The House remains firmly in Republican hands.

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Community Oriented Policing
10:45 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Justice Department Training Coaches St. Louis Area Police On Countering Implicit Bias

Seal of the U.S. Department of Justice
Credit Wikipedia

Top commanders from four area law enforcement agencies along with a handful of community members are wrapping up two days of training in fair and impartial policing today. 

The training comes as part of the Justice Department’s collaborative review initiative and technical assistance in St. Louis County. Departments participating in the training include St. Louis County, St. Louis Metropolitan, Ferguson and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

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