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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Politics
1:35 am
Wed March 12, 2014

White House Meeting To Examine Women's Pay

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 2:32 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
11:01 am
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 2:50 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.

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Politics
11:29 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Budget: A Blueprint With Little Chance Of Passage

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 1:31 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.

Middle East
11:07 am
Mon March 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 2:19 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.

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The Edge
3:51 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 5:08 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]

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Sports
11:04 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Ted Ligety Tames The Giant Slalom In Sochi

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 3:02 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.

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Sports
11:13 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Longtime Pair Take Home First American Ice Dancing Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:59 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
12:17 am
Mon February 17, 2014

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

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 2:57 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
4:42 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.

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Sports
12:54 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Olympic First, Women Ski Jumpers Shatter Glass Ceiling

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:00 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?

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The Edge
5:25 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 11:53 am

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.

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The Edge
10:45 pm
Mon February 10, 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 8:28 am

Wednesday, the American women's hockey team meets its arch rival Canada on the ice in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. It's an early round game, but when it comes to these two teams, which are expected to meet in the gold medal game, there's no such thing as a low-stakes match.

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The Edge
9:03 am
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 11:26 am

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.

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The Edge
3:53 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 8:59 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."

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The Edge
12:27 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 3:28 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.

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The Edge
10:30 pm
Tue February 4, 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 3:29 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.

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Politics
10:41 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:12 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.

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The Edge
12:17 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

After Decade-Long Fight, Ski Jumper Lindsey Van Is 'Ready To Fly'

Lindsey Van at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships last year, in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Mike Hewitt Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 8, 2014 1:34 pm

For more than a decade, ski jumper Lindsey Van dreamed of making the U.S. Olympic team, but one thing held her back: Female ski jumpers weren't allowed to compete. Until this year.

This month, the 29-year-old from Park City, Utah, will be one of the athletes competing at the Olympics on the U.S. women's ski jumping team. For Van, that competition marks the end of a very long road.

"Honestly, I don't really have words for it," she said at a press conference announcing the team. "I'm just completely overwhelmed and happy to be representing my sport."

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Politics
12:09 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

The State Of The Union Goes On Tour

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama is on the road today. He's busy making the case for some of the ideas he rolled out last night in his State of the Union address. First stop, a warehouse store in Maryland. There, the president made a multipronged pitch around raising the minimum wage. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith begins our coverage.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Expect to hear this a lot in the coming weeks and months.

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Sports
10:40 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

7 Facts And 3 GIFs: Hellooo Curling

Potomac Curling Club members (from left) Miriam Terninko, Christopher Richard, Joe Rockenbach and Henrique Kempenich await the arrival of stones to the house during a match Jan. 18 at National Capital Curling Center in Laurel, Md.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:39 am

Most of the sports in the Winter Olympics involve great physical strength or agility. The goals are easy to understand: to go faster, to jump farther or more spectacularly. But one Olympic sport — curling — is as much about strategy and physics as physicality.

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Law
11:34 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Obama Launches Task Force To Combat Sexual Assault

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 3:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One in five women: that's the number of women who have been sexually assaulted in college, according to a new White House report. As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us, today, President Obama formally set up a task force that's charged with protecting students.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Obama made it clear that preventing sexual assault is personal for him.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is a priority for me not only as president and commander in chief but as a husband and a father of two extraordinary girls.

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Politics
10:36 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Wielding A Pen And A Phone, Obama Goes It Alone

President Obama has alluded to his pen and his phone as two tools that help him act without waiting for congressional approval.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:04 am

President Obama has a new phrase he's been using a lot lately: "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone."

He's talking about the tools a president can use if Congress isn't giving him what he wants: executive actions and calling people together. It's another avenue the president is using to pursue his economic agenda.

'If Congress Is Deadlocked'

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National Security
8:39 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Outlines 'New Approach' For Phone-Data Program

Coverage of President Obama's speech Friday wraps up with analysis of his proposed steps to "transition" rather than end the NSA program.

It's All Politics
12:43 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Senate Unexpectedly Moves Forward On Unemployment Benefits

Katherine Hackett of Connecticut introduces President Barack Obama during a White House event on unemployment insurance Jan. 7. Hackett spoke about her financial struggles during unemployment before Obama put pressure on the House to extend benefits.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:05 pm

The Senate surprised quite a few people in Washington today when it voted to proceed on a bill to temporarily extend emergency unemployment benefits. Six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to get the measure over a key procedural hurdle.

But it was only the first step, and the president is applying pressure to keep it moving.

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Sports
11:38 am
Mon December 30, 2013

At Long Last, Female Ski Jumpers Can Go For Olympic Gold

First-place finisher Jessica Jerome competes in the women's ski jumping event at the U.S. Olympic trials in Park City, Utah, on Sunday.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 1:50 pm

In Park City, Utah, on Sunday, ski jumper Jessica Jerome, 27, became the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

But to get to this point has been a fight.

Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since the advent of the Winter Olympics — that is, men's ski jumping. But for the women — who often soar just as far if not farther than the men — it has been a fight that took them to a Canadian courtroom and was marked with years of setbacks. They were told again and again that women's ski jumping wasn't at a high enough caliber to be in the games.

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Politics
10:17 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

How House Speaker Boehner Survived A Roller-Coaster Year

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, after talking to reporters on Capitol Hill this month. House Republicans openly revolted against the speaker several times in 2013.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 2:04 pm

House Speaker John Boehner ends 2013 after quite a roller-coaster ride. The Ohio Republican's year was defined by a rocky relationship with the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

The year started for Boehner with an attempt to strip him of his speakership — and ended with some of the same people who had tried to oust him singing his praises.

In January, a vote that should have been routine turned suspenseful as a number of Tea Party-allied Republicans voted against Boehner or didn't vote at all.

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Politics
11:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

How The Government Spent $2 Billion Paying Workers To Not Work

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:42 pm

Two billion — that's the number of dollars the federal government lost during the partial government shutdown, paying furloughed employees not to work.

World
12:17 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Obama, Biden Won't Go To 2014 Olympics, But Gay Athletes Will

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 1:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Politics
1:55 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

House, Senate Negotiators Announce Deal To Avert Another Shutdown

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 7:30 am

House and Senate negotiators said late Thursday that they reached a budget deal. The agreement would restore some of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, and includes some relatively small deficit reduction over the next two years. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hammered out the deal, which they characterized as a step in the right direction that would avoid another government shutdown in mid-January if both the House and Senate approve the budget.

The Salt
1:14 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Congressional Work On Farm Bill Likely To Spill Into 2014

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., during a Dec. 4 break in negotiations on the farm bill. On Tuesday, Stabenow said the bill likely won't pass Congress until January.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:14 pm

House and Senate negotiators working to finish a farm bill say it is unlikely their work will be completed before the end of the year. The House is only in session for the rest of the week, and according to one of the negotiators, this week's snowy weather has delayed some numbers-crunching needed to figure out how much elements of a possible deal will cost.

"We're going to pass it in January," said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., as she left a closed-door meeting to negotiate details of the five-year farm bill.

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