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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 September 13, 2021 at 2:55 PM ET

Authorities arrested a California man early Monday who had a bayonet and machete inside his pickup truck parked near the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

According to a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police, a special operation division officer noticed a Dodge Dakota truck emblazoned with a swastika and other white supremacist symbols around midnight. In place of a license plate, the truck had a picture of the American flag.

Updated September 9, 2021 at 6:25 PM ET

The Department of Justice has sued the state of Texas over a new law that bans abortions after about six weeks, before most people realize they are pregnant, all but halting the procedure in the country's second-largest state.

The lawsuit says the state enacted the law "in open defiance of the Constitution."

President Biden reiterated Friday that the U.S. will continue its mission to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies despite the attack Thursday that killed 13 U.S. troops.

"The mission there being performed is dangerous and now has come with a significant loss of American personnel, but it's a worthy mission because they continue to evacuate folks out of that region," he told reporters during a meeting in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was among the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has revealed his identity for the first time, speaking about the threats he's received since the riot.

Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd told NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt that there have been racist and "very vicious and cruel things" said about him.

"It's all disheartening because I know I was doing my job," he said in the interview released Thursday evening.

Updated August 26, 2021 at 7:19 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday delivered a stark message to those who carried out the deadly attack outside the airport in Kabul that left 13 U.S. service members dead, while also pledging that the evacuation of Afghanistan will continue.

"Know this," Biden said to the attackers. "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay."

Fifty-five U.S. senators are urging President Biden to expeditiously evacuate Afghan special immigrant visa applicants whose lives are in jeopardy in the aftermath of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.

The group of senators, led by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, noted the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan was aided "every step of the way" by Afghans who risked their safety and that of their families to assist the United States.

Updated August 16, 2021 at 6:28 PM ET

Congressional outcry over the Biden's administration's handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover of the country has been swift.

Criticism of the administration was bipartisan: Republicans were scathing about the White House's actions, and Democrats, while acknowledging that President Biden was carrying out the policies of his predecessor, criticized the haphazard manner of the U.S. withdrawal.

Nine moderate House Democrats warned Speaker Nancy Pelosi they won't vote for a budget resolution critical to passing Democrats' $3.5 trillion social policy package unless the House first passes a Senate-approved infrastructure bill, a move that threatens to derail the party's economic agenda.

Updated August 3, 2021 at 7:07 PM ET

Days after a national eviction moratorium expired, the Biden administration on Tuesday issued a new, more limited freeze that remains in effect through Oct. 3.

To retake control of the House of Representatives, Republicans need to pick up just five seats in the 2022 midterm elections. It's Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney's job to make sure that doesn't happen.

The New York Democrat and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told NPR that the party is hopeful that an ambitious, multitrillion-dollar economic agenda trumpeted by the Biden administration will resonate with voters when it's time to head to the polls next fall.

A bipartisan deal has been struck on a $2.1 billion bill that would boost support for the Capitol complex in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, direct much-needed funds to the U.S. Capitol Police and provide humanitarian support for Afghan refugees.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who serve as chair and vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, respectively, announced the deal Tuesday.

Updated July 27, 2021 at 12:51 PM ET

In gripping emotional testimony Tuesday, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell recounted the "horrific and devastating" violence of Jan. 6 during the first hearing of the select committee investigating the insurrection.

The House select committee investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 is holding its first hearing Tuesday. Police officers from the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department will testify before a panel of nine lawmakers: seven Democrats and two Republicans all appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Updated July 21, 2021 at 10:44 PM ET

Senate Democrats fell short in their efforts to begin debate Wednesday on a bill that would act as the vehicle for President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure package, but a broad group of senators said they "are close to a final agreement."

Updated July 21, 2021 at 10:40 AM ET

While partisan gridlock has become a staple in Washington, D.C., there is an issue uniting lawmakers on both sides of the aisle: pop star Britney Spears' legal battle against her conservatorship.

From progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, lawmakers with vastly different political philosophies have shared their support for Spears.

Just over six months after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, the protective fencing erected in the wake of the siege is coming down.

The process began Friday and is expected to last about three days.

On the six-month anniversary of the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman shared the changes the force is implementing to bolster security in the Capitol complex and support its officers.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to remove all Confederate statues from public display in the U.S. Capitol, along with replacing the bust of former Chief Justice of the United States Roger Taney, author of the 1857 Dred Scott decision that declared that people of African descent were not U.S. citizens.

The House passed the measure 285-120. All Democratic members supported the legislation; all 'no' votes came from Republican members.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 12:54 PM ET

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that the U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of Georgia over its new voting law, saying that the controversial measure is intended to restrict ballot access to Black voters.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 2:21 PM ET

As search and rescue operations continue, questions abound as to why the Champlain Towers South complex near Miami, only 40 years old, partially collapsed on Thursday.

Charles Burkett, the mayor of Surfside, Fla., told reporters the building had undergone various minor construction, including recent roof work.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 11:33 AM ET

Senators announced the long-awaited text of a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Sunday night over a month after President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators first announced such a deal.

Updated June 22, 2021 at 8:22 PM ET

Democrats' massive election overhaul bill aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws has stalled in the Senate.

Tuesday evening's procedural vote to bring up the legislation, called the For the People Act, needed 60 votes to open floor debate but received 50. In the evenly divided chamber, all Senate Democrats backed it, but all Senate Republicans voted no.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation Wednesday to establish Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States.

Updated June 15, 2021 at 2:43 PM ET

A batch of emails released by the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee appears to paint a clearer picture of how former President Donald Trump and his allies attempted to pressure the U.S. Justice Department to investigate unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Updated June 11, 2021 at 2:34 PM ET

For the first time since the pandemic halted face-to-face events, leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States have gathered for three days of talks in a British seaside town to try to address some of the world's most pressing issues.

Rep. Ilhan Omar issued a statement clarifying comments she made this week that appeared to compare the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, prompting criticism from both sides of the aisle and from Democratic leadership.

Updated June 8, 2021 at 2:47 PM ET

Sen. Joe Manchin praised a Tuesday morning meeting with civil rights leaders, calling it "constructive" and "informative," but maintained his opposition to a sweeping set of election overhaul measures known as the For the People Act.

Updated June 29, 2021 at 5:45 PM ET

Last month, Republican lawmakers decried critical race theory, an academic approach that examines how race and racism function in American institutions.

Updated May 25, 2021 at 5:53 PM ET

Nearly four months after condemning Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's comments on antisemitic conspiracy theories, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is once again rejecting the Georgia Republican's rhetoric — this time over her equating of COVID-19 safety measures with the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

Updated May 20, 2021 at 4:32 PM ET

Following overwhelming support from both chambers of Congress, President Biden signed legislation Thursday that addresses hate crimes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular emphasis on the increase in violence against Asian Americans.

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