National Press Club

NPC President Ballou touts Club camaraderie, press protections in inaugural speech

January 16, 2017 | By Yasmine El-Sabawi |

The 110th National Press Club President has pledged to bring his hometown “Pittsburgh values” and their “winning tradition” to Washington, focusing on strengthening the Club for the future, enhancing the membership experience, and going the extra mile when the craft of journalism is threatened.

Al-Jazeera Media Network news editor Jeff Ballou took his oath of office on his late mother’s bible at his sold-out inauguration the night of Saturday, Jan. 14. Congratulatory video messages came in from Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and Ballou’s beloved Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Ranking Democrat Neal urges Republicans to reform Obamacare, tax code

January 15, 2017 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

The ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, at a National Press Club Newsmaker, urged Republicans to abandon their years-long quest to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- and instead work with Democrats to fix it.

"It is short-sighted to start anew," Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts said Thursday, Jan. 12, at the NPC. "They need to work with us to improve upon what we already have."

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HHS Secretary Burwell praises Affordable Care Act, discusses its future

January 9, 2017 | By Julia Haskins |

Coming up on her last few days as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Sylvia Burwell spoke at a National Press Club luncheon Jan. 9, extolling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and warning against its repeal without a comprehensive, timely replacement.

The health care law resulted in numerous successes, the outgoing HHS Secretary said, pointing to expanded coverage that led to historically low uninsured rates. According to her, that momentum represents a stark difference to the period before the ACA was implemented.

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Panel: Activists will look to civil disobedience to challenge Trump

January 8, 2017 | By Julia Haskins |

Civil disobedience will be a key tactic for protestors challenging the incoming Trump administration, according to a panel of activists speaking at a National Press Club Newsmaker event Friday.

The speakers, all of whom have supported or engaged in civil disobedience, spoke to the importance of strategic resistance.

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Sanctuary cities debates at Club Newsmaker

December 15, 2016 | By Shelby Ostergaard |

Sanctuary cities -- municipalities that have refused to identify unauthorized immigrants to federal authorities -- were the subject of a debate at a Dec. 12 Club Newsmaker.

Jessica Vaughn of the Center of Immigration Studies said sanctuary cities "are illegal, and they don’t build trust.” She said the federal government relied on local officials to identify those in the U.S, illegally because it "cannot be in every city and every jurisdiction.”

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Ballou makes history as he is elected Club president

December 11, 2016 | By Yasmine El-Sabawi |

Al-Jazeera Media Network news editor Jeff Ballou was elected National Press Club president, the first African-American male to lead the organization and the first to represent a non-U.S. news outlet. He will take office in January.

Ballou said he was “deeply humbled and honored” to step into the role. Sheila Cherry, who served in 2004, was the first African-American to lead the Club.

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Kalb Report: What to do about the whoppers?

December 6, 2016 | By Gil Klein |

In a presidential debate, what is the moderator’s responsibility to point out obvious lies spoken by the candidates?

That was the central question in Monday night’s The Kalb Report as moderators and organizers of the 2016 debates autopsied the last effort.

Joining host Marvin Kalb were two debate moderators – ABC’s Martha Raddatz and Fox News’ Chris Wallace – as well as Republican Frank Fahrenkopf and Democrat Mike McCurry, the co-chairmen of the U.S. Presidential Debate Commission.

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Panelists credit Trump win to status quo rejection, media savvy, in-depth data

December 5, 2016 | By Lorna Aldrich and Bill McCloskey |,

Widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo, President-elect Donald Trump’s ability to generate old and new media coverage, limited enthusiasm for the candidates and the Republican Party’s in-depth use of data were the factors that led to Trump’s surprise victory, a panel of journalists and party loyalists said at a Dec. 1 National Press Club event.

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MGM chief touts National Harbor casino as boon to regional economy

December 5, 2016 | By Julia Haskins |

MGM Resorts International chairman and chief executive James Murren said Friday that the company's new hotel and casino opening Dec. 8 at National Harbor in Maryland is about more than gambling and promised it would be a boon to the regional economy.

The $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor resort will offer a range of retail, dining and entertainment experiences, which Murren said reflects MGM’s growth from a holding company associated with the gaming industry.

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Metro GM Wiedefeld says system will emphasize 'getting trains running on time again'

November 30, 2016 | By Wesley G. Pippert |

On his first anniversary as general manager of Washington Metro, Paul Wiedefeld said the troubled system has moved from dealing with safety issues to a focus in the coming year "on getting the trains running on time again."

Wiedefeld was more upbeat in his talk at a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday than he was in a similar talk last March when he said he had found things "much worse than I expected."

"It's unbelievable," said Wiedefeld, previously manager of Baltimore's BWI airport, "what's been accomplished."

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