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Deirdre Walsh

Deirdre Walsh is the congress editor for NPR's Washington Desk.

Based in Washington, DC, Walsh manages a team of reporters covering Capitol Hill and political campaigns.

Before joining NPR in 2018, Walsh worked as a senior congressional producer at CNN. In her nearly 18-year career there, she was an off-air reporter and a key contributor to the network's newsgathering efforts, filing stories for CNN.com and producing pieces that aired on domestic and international networks. Prior to covering Capitol Hill, Walsh served as a producer for Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics.

Walsh was elected in August 2018 as the president of the Board of Directors for the Washington Press Club Foundation, a non-profit focused on promoting diversity in print and broadcast media. Walsh has won several awards for enterprise and election reporting, including the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress by the National Press Association, which she won in February 2013 along with CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. Walsh was also awarded the Joan Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based Congressional or Political Reporting in June 2013.

Walsh received a B.A. in political science and communications from Boston College.

Hours before President-elect Biden will take the oath of office, 17 House Republican freshmen sent a letter congratulating him and saying they are hopeful they can work across the aisle.

"After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American," the letter states.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

The day before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, five of his Cabinet nominees will answer questions from Senate panels handling their confirmations. The busy committee calendar is ramping up at the same time an impeachment trial is expected to start, posing a split-screen challenge for the Senate, which is still reeling from an attack less than two weeks ago.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

As thousands of National Guard troops now buttress security in Washington, D.C., and the nation, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund is standing by his actions, and those of his agency, on Jan. 6 — the day pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol under his watch.

In an interview with NPR, Sund says he had already planned to have 1,400 to 1,500 officers on duty, "all hands on deck." He said Capitol Police expected a large crowd but said nothing prepared them for what actually happened.

One week after a violent mob breached the U.S. Capitol, threatened lawmakers and forced evacuations, members returned to the House floor. What followed was an emotional, and often angry, debate about recrimination for the president who many argued incited the riot that resulted in five dead.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET Saturday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning that the House could vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump next week as Democrats fume about the stunning attack by a mob of pro-Trump extremists on the Capitol on Wednesday. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol police officer, and offices were ransacked, including top leaders' suites, as lawmakers and the vice president were evacuated from the House and Senate chambers.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed House lawmakers that Congress will reconvene Wednesday night to continue its constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral votes after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and forced Capitol Police to evacuate both the House and Senate.

Updated at 4:36 p.m. ET

Democrats took exceedingly narrow control of the Senate on Wednesday after winning both runoff elections in Georgia, granting them control of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2011.

Updated at 2:06 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats are hopeful about possibly taking total control of Washington after the Associated Press projected that the party had picked up one of two Georgia Senate seats early Wednesday morning.

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday were set to decide which party will hold the majority in the upper chamber, with Democrats already winning the presidency and holding a slim House majority.

Updated Tuesday at 11:40 a.m. ET

The Senate acted swiftly Monday night, in a 92-6 vote, to approve more than $900 billion for coronavirus assistance, shortly after the House of Representatives passed the package. The aid comes after months of partisan sniping over what elements should be in a relief measure that virtually all lawmakers on Capitol Hill argued was long overdue.

Updated at 10:27 p.m. ET

Agreement on a bipartisan coronavirus relief package remains elusive as top congressional leaders continue to negotiate and their efforts spilled into the weekend. While they've had a framework for days, they are struggling to close out several details, and a new issue emerged as a key sticking point.

Lawmakers from both parties insist they will not leave Washington for the holidays until they get a deal that wraps together an aid package and a broader spending deal.

The House of Representatives approved decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level on Friday in the first time Congress has acted on the issue.

The vote was largely along party lines – 228-164. Five Republicans and the lone independent member joined Democrats to pass the bill, and six Democrats voted no.

Branded as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, the bill removes cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and facilitates canceling low-level federal convictions and arrests related to marijuana.

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

After months of partisan standoff on Capitol Hill over the size and composition of another round of coronavirus relief, key signs of progress emerged as the House and Senate moved closer to a possible deal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke by telephone Thursday afternoon — notable because the two top leaders hadn't spoken about legislation addressing the pandemic since the election.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 11

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has won reelection in North Carolina as Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham conceded on Tuesday. Democrats were hoping to oust Tillis and several other GOP incumbents and take control of the Senate next year, but this latest loss is part of what has become a Republican firewall in Southern and Western states that positions the party to retain its majority.

Cunningham said in a statement that he had called Tillis to congratulate him.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

Republicans appear poised to retain a narrow Senate majority after winning a number of tough races and with others remaining too close to call.

The GOP currently holds a 53-47 seat majority (with two independents — Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — caucusing with Democrats).

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met for their second and final debate as tens of millions of Americans have already voted. A deeply divided country begins its final sprint to Election Day amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it's unclear how many voters have yet to make up their minds.

Here are five takeaways from the debate in Nashville, Tenn., a much different — and far more civil — night than the last encounter.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, sat for nearly 20 hours of questioning by 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee over two days. At the outset of the process, Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham acknowledged that her confirmation by the panel was all but guaranteed.

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst zeroed in on the issue of gender at Monday's confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett. She used her opening statement to link herself to Barrett "as a fellow mom, a fellow Midwesterner" and accused Democrats of launching attacks on the judge's religious beliefs — even though Republicans were the only ones bringing up the issue at the hearing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings Monday for Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left after the death last month of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Updated at 12:57 p.m. ET

After a raucous debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden last week that was marked by constant interruptions, name-calling and a moderator unable to control the discussion, Wednesday night's vice presidential debate marked a return to a more traditional affair.

President Trump attempted to clarify his position on white supremacists after a litany of members of his own party urged him to more clearly condemn the right wing group known as The Proud Boys, whom he told to "stand back and stand by" in Tuesday night's first presidential debate.

The president told reporters at the White House that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, but said they should "stand down" and let law enforcement do their work.

"I don't know who the Proud Boys are, you'll have to give me a definition," he said.

Supporters and opponents of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court wasted no time launching a high-pitched battle over her confirmation, with just 37 days until the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has the support of Republicans to move forward with the confirmation process and confirm Barrett on the Senate floor before Nov. 3, barring any development in her vetting.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on Oct. 12, according to a Senate Republican aide who is not authorized to speak on the record ahead of the official announcement.

The aide says the hearings will follow the same format as the recent ones – which means they are expected to last four days between opening statements, questions and testimony from outside witnesses.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his plans to move forward on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"The Senate will vote on this nomination this year," McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday on the Senate floor. He didn't say whether the vote would come before the election, or in a lame duck-session of Congress that occurs after the November election and before the start of a new session in 2021.

The 2020 presidential campaign heads into the fall stretch with a dizzying pace of news developments threatening to upend the contest. But NPR interviews with voters across the country around Labor Day weekend found that most are locked into their support for either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The small contingent of undecided voters said they are unenthusiastic about their choices.

Follow live coverage of the RNC all week at NPR.org/conventions.

President Trump's campaign was forced to deal with sudden focus on two major news stories — mounting national unrest about racial injustice after another shooting of a Black man by police in Wisconsin, and Hurricane Laura, which is threatening "unsurvivable"storm surge — on the third night of the Republican National Convention.

The second night of the Republican National Convention presented a more positive message about a second Trump term after opening night's bleak picture of rising crime, unrest and extremist policies the GOP said the Democratic ticket had in store for the country.

Kamala Harris made history with her formal nomination as the first Black woman and person of Asian descent on a major party's national ticket.

The 55-year-old California senator used much of her first prime-time address as Joe Biden's running mate to tell her own story before turning her fire on President Trump.

Former President Barack Obama, who has mostly stayed on the sidelines as Democrats blasted President Trump's policies over the past 3 1/2 years, took off the gloves and questioned Trump's fitness for the job.

After former first lady Michelle Obama's foreboding address Monday about the consequences of a second term for President Trump, and her urgent appeal that people "vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it," the second night of the Democratic National Convention focused on building the case for how Biden would restore a country struggling in an economic and public health crisis.

Updated at 7:22 a.m. ET

Michelle Obama didn't mince words Monday night. After mostly staying out of the political fray during President Trump's tenure in the White House, she used her prime-time Democratic National Convention slot to deliver a blistering indictment on his policies and ability to lead.

"Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

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