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Barbara Sprunt

Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.

Updated May 14, 2021 at 10:17 AM ET

GOP lawmakers have chosen Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York as the No. 3 Republican in the House, anointing a Trump loyalist to a leadership position charged with delivering party messaging.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced her election in a tweet.

Updated May 12, 2021 at 3:38 PM ET

House Republicans on Wednesday removed Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as conference chair in retaliation for her unyielding criticism of former President Donald Trump, his continued false claims of a stolen election, his role in the Jan. 6 riot and his future in the Republican Party.

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office," Cheney told reporters after her ouster, which was done by a voice vote.

Updated May 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM ET

In 2018, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan sat next to his friend and ally Rep. Elise Stefanik and predicted a bright future for the New York Republican.

"This is the future of the Republican Party, the future of our country — people like Elise," Ryan told CBS.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 5:52 PM ET

Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, is doubling down on her condemnation of former President Donald Trump over his efforts to undermine the 2020 election and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot as pressure mounts among top Republicans to remove her from her leadership role.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that Republican lawmakers have shared concerns with him over Rep. Liz Cheney's ability "to carry out the message," fueling speculation that the No. 3 House Republican may once again face an effort to oust her from party leadership.

The U.S. House of Representatives has once again voted on a bill to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and enfranchise more than 712,000 Americans, a cause that enjoys unprecedented support but still faces an uphill battle in the U.S. Senate.

Updated April 20, 2021 at 5:26 PM ET

By a vote of 216-210, House Democrats defeated a resolution Tuesday brought by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to censure Rep. Maxine Waters over comments that protesters should "get more confrontational" if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin were to be acquitted in his trial over the killing of George Floyd.

The judge in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin criticized comments made by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., over the weekend, calling them "disrespectful to the rule of law," but rejected a motion from the defense to use her rhetoric as grounds for a mistrial.

Updated April 16, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

The White House has walked back its announcement that it will keep this year's historically low refugee ceiling of 15,000 set by the Trump administration, saying its earlier statement Friday, which was panned by fellow Democrats, was meant only to ease restrictions from countries from which refugees are currently banned.

The White House said President Biden would raise the cap by May 15.

Updated April 13, 2021 at 3:07 PM ET

Top congressional Democrats are calling on their Republican colleagues to support legislation introduced by Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Grace Meng that addresses the rising number of hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans.

Updated April 9, 2021 at 9:20 PM ET

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it has launched an investigation into alleged misconduct by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz following a recent flurry of accusations against the Florida congressman, including illegal drug use and sexual misconduct.

Updated April 6, 2021 at 1:35 PM ET

House and Senate Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that late U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" F. Evans, who was killed in the line of duty on April 2, will lie in honor in the United States Capitol rotunda.

Rita Hart, the Iowa Democrat who lost a House race by just six votes, is withdrawing her challenge to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the former state senator said she made the decision "after many conversations with people I trust about the future of this contest."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commander of the D.C. National Guard, as the next sergeant-at-arms for the House of Representatives.

Walker will be the 38th person and first Black American to serve in that position, which Pelosi described in a statement as "foundational to the functioning of Congress [s]ince the earliest days of our Founding."

In the first news conference of his presidency, President Biden confirmed he plans to run for reelection in 2024.

"That is my expectation," he told reporters, noting the endeavor is several years away.

"I'm a great respecter of fate. I've never been able to plan 4 1/2, 3 1/2 years ahead for certain," he said.

"I set a goal that's in front of me to get things done for the people I care most about, which are hardworking decent American people."

Updated March 24, 2021 at 8:36 AM ET

Sen. Tammy Duckworth and the White House broke an impasse over the Illinois Democrat's pledge to block President Biden's nominees who aren't diverse candidates as a protest over a lack of Asian American representation in the new administration.

Under their deal announced late Tuesday, the White House will add a senior liaison to the community and, in exchange, Duckworth will support Biden's nominees.

The House has overwhelmingly passed a pair of immigration bills that offer a targeted approach to amending the immigration system but have an uncertain future when it comes to passage in the Senate.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services by a narrow vote of 50-49.

Only one Republican — Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — joined her Democratic colleagues in supporting the California attorney general's confirmation. Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii did not vote.

Updated March 15, 2021 at 5:11 PM ET

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy dubbed the surge in migrants showing up at the U.S. southern border, especially unaccompanied children, the "Biden border crisis" during a trip to Texas with a delegation of Republican lawmakers.

"It's more than a crisis. This is a human heartbreak," McCarthy said at a press conference on Monday after a tour of the El Paso Processing Center. "This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration."

The Biden administration is mobilizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is known for responding to natural disasters and other crises, to support an effort over the next 90 days to process the growing number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S. southern border.

Updated March 11, 2021 at 2:39 PM ET

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Thursday. The colossal bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that will mean new monthly payments to many parents.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has announced he will not seek another term next year, making him the latest in a string of long-serving Senate Republicans to decline a reelection bid.

"There's still a lot to do and I look forward to every day this year and next year as I continue to work for you in the Senate," Blunt said in a video he shared on Twitter on Monday.

House Democrats are expected to pass the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, thus delivering on Democrats' campaign promises and cementing a major legislative victory for the Biden administration.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's draft proposal for a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling it "partisan by design."

The House Budget Committee has approved legislation advancing President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, setting a path for intense debate in the Senate.

The legislation is set for a vote on the House floor at the end of the week. The Senate is then expected to take up the legislation and attempt to modify it to ensure it can pass procedural hurdles while still satisfying all 50 Senate Democrats.

President Biden's national security adviser said Sunday that the administration has concerns over the data China has provided to the World Health Organization regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We need a credible, open, transparent international investigation led by the World Health Organization," Jake Sullivan said in an interview with CBS' Face the Nation.

Congressional Democrats unveiled a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that includes setting up a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

In a highly personal attack, former President Donald Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him an unfit leader of the Republican Party.

"The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm," Trump said in a lengthy statement Tuesday.

"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again," he added.

Updated 5:43 p.m. ET

David Perdue has taken the first step on the road back to the U.S. Senate, filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Monday to set up a potential political comeback in the Peach State in 2022.

"This was simply a necessary legal step that will allow me to continue to keep all options open," Perdue said of his paperwork in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans for Congress to establish an outside and independent commission to investigate "the facts and causes" related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a letter sent to her Democratic colleagues on Monday, the California Democrat said the commission will be modeled on the commission established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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