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Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

Montanaro joined NPR in 2015 and oversaw coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, including for broadcast and digital.

Before joining NPR, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and taught high school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Montanaro is a life-long Mets fan and college basketball junkie.

Americans say President Biden is faring well when it comes to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and, to a lesser extent, the economy, a new NPR/Marist poll finds. But immigration looks like it will continue to be a thorn in the president's side.

Relevance is important in politics — and it can be fleeting.

That presents a challenge to a former president who might be seeking a return to the office but is banned from some of the largest social media platforms in the world, including Twitter and Facebook.

So it's perhaps no surprise then that Donald Trump is teasing the possibility of launching his own social media platform.

Many Democrats hope President Biden's endorsement of changing the Senate filibuster, to one in which a senator actually has to talk for potentially hours on end, could mean greasing the wheels for major progressive priorities.

"You have to do it," Biden, a former longtime senator, said during an ABC interview that aired Tuesday night.

Republicans and supporters of Donald Trump are the least likely to say they will seek a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available to them.

That has led to calls for the former president to speak out more forcefully to encourage his supporters to get vaccinated.

"I think it's very important for former President Trump, as well as the [former] vice president [Mike Pence], to actively encourage all of their followers to get the vaccine," Adm. Brett Giroir, who was the coronavirus testing czar in the Trump administration, said Monday afternoon on CNN.

Now that Democrats have passed President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, all eyes turn to what's next.

But what that is isn't exactly clear.

"I would expect the president's agenda, moving forward, will reflect the Build Back Better agenda that he talked about on the campaign trail," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. "But the order, the size, the timeline has not yet been determined."

Updated March 11, 2021 at 9:34 PM ET

President Biden is aiming for the country to begin to find a degree of normalcy and begin to move on from the coronavirus pandemic by the July Fourth holiday, Biden announced in his first prime-time address Thursday night from the White House on the one-year anniversary of the pandemic.

Updated March 11, 2021 at 12:28 PM ET

There is no more pressing issue for the U.S. — or the world — right now than the COVID-19 pandemic.

And politically, how President Biden is perceived to be handling it over the next year or so could define his presidency and his chances for reelection, if he runs.

Updated March 9, 2021 at 4:10 PM ET

The latest Trump-versus-The-Establishment skirmish is over one of the things couples fight about most.

Money.

When the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC for short — kicks off Thursday in Orlando, Fla., it might as well be called TPAC.

That's because this year, it is all about Trump.

The former president will headline the event with a Sunday afternoon keynote address, his first speech since leaving office last month.

Joe Biden has now been president for one month.

The rift within the Republican Party spilled out into full view this week.

After voting to acquit Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said unequivocally that the former president is to blame.

The U.S. Senate on Saturday acquitted former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection.

The acquittal comes more than a month after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were counting the electoral results that certified Trump's loss. Five people died in the riot, including a police officer. Two other officers later killed themselves.

The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is all over but the closing arguments. They are taking place Saturday, and the Senate could render a verdict as early as Saturday afternoon.

Despite a compelling and extensive case made by the Democratic impeachment managers, the outcome still seems predetermined. Trump is likely to be acquitted because not enough Republicans will side with Democrats for the two-thirds majority needed to convict — though a majority, including a handful of Republicans, are poised to do so.

The first three days of the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump went about as well as they could have for Democratic House impeachment managers.

The managers were methodical and organized in showing, as they called it, Trump's "provocation," which they argued led to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, as well as the "harm" it caused.

When it comes to President Biden and his COVID-19 relief package, it's go big or go home.

"I'm going to act," Biden said Friday. "I'm going to act fast."

Biden says he would prefer the legislation be bipartisan, but Republicans are nowhere near being on board with the president's $1.9 trillion proposal that includes money to speed vaccine distribution, aid small businesses, reopen schools, shore up state and local budgets, and get $1,400 direct payments out to individuals.

The forming narrative among those who don't want a Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump is along the lines of, "He's out of office. What's the point?"

Others are going so far as to claim that conducting an impeachment trial for Trump now that he's out of office is unconstitutional.

Updated 5:01 p.m. ET

If you haven't heard, Joe Biden would like to unite America.

It was a focus of the Democrat's campaign. It's even the theme of Biden's inauguration — "America United."

He made lots of appeals to unity in his inaugural address.

As President Trump is set to leave the White House after a tumultuous and chaotic four years, having been the first president to ever be impeached twice and having his last year dominated by a worldwide pandemic, most Americans say he will go down as either below average or one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

Almost 6 in 10 Americans said they blame President Trump for the violent insurrection that took place Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

But they are split on whether Congress should continue to take action against him after he leaves office next week, and half believe social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter — which have banned him from their platforms — should not continue to restrict Trump after Wednesday.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy added his name to a shortlist of Republicans in Congress who unequivocally blamed President Trump for the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

But with seven days to go in the Trump presidency, he said he will not be voting for impeachment and said he might instead be in favor of a fact-finding commission and possibly censure, items with even less teeth than impeaching but not removing a president.

Eight days from the end of his presidency, President Trump expressed no regret for his comments last week ahead of a riot and mob violence at the U.S. Capitol that resulted in the deaths of at least five people and multiple injuries.

"People thought that what I said was totally appropriate," Trump said Tuesday when asked about his role in the siege, despite many at the highest levels of government — Republicans and Democrats — saying otherwise, three of his Cabinet members having resigned and a second impeachment effort now underway.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

In an apparent attempt to quell a political storm building around him, including calls for his resignation or removal, President Trump finally acknowledged he had lost the presidential election.

Wednesday will go down as one of the darkest days in American history.

It was all egged on by a sitting president, who has been unable to accept losing his bid for reelection and who persuaded millions of his followers to buy into baseless, debunked and disproved conspiracy theories.

The result: A mob violently storming and occupying the U.S. Capitol for hours, while staffers and lawmakers were evacuated or hid in fear. The vice president was also rushed from the floor of the Senate and taken to a secure location after criticisms were tweeted from his boss.

Updated at 3:26 p.m. ET

President Trump's done it again.

The man who threatened to cause a ruckus in Washington — and has done so over his four years in office — introduced a new round of disarray Tuesday night.

Trump's pre-Christmas chaos includes:

Updated at 9:21 p.m. ET

President Trump is threatening to derail a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress on Monday after months of bitter negotiations.

Updated at 9:52 a.m. ET Wednesday

President-elect Joe Biden warned Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic will get worse before it gets better.

"Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us," Biden told reporters during a year-end news conference in Wilmington, Del.

He said that Americans, when united, could overcome the crisis, and he called the first vaccines being administered a good thing. But he noted that distribution of the vaccines is one of the biggest operational challenges the country has ever faced.

Updated 7:00 p.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate.

Padilla, 47, the son of Mexican immigrants, will be the first Latino from the state to hold the position. California is almost 40% Hispanic, according to the U.S. census.

Updated 10:41 a.m. ET

What a day Monday was.

The Electoral College affirmed what was already known — that Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Biden officially got the votes of 306 electors, exactly what he was supposed to get based on the popular vote from each state. It was 36 electoral votes more than the 270 needed to become president.

So, it's yet another step showing that Biden is president-elect and that he will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2021.

More Americans voted in 2020 than in any other presidential election in 120 years. About 67% of eligible voters cast ballots this year, but that still means a third did not.

That amounts to about 80 million people who stayed home.

Another official move in America's sometimes-convoluted presidential election process takes place Monday as the electors of the Electoral College cast their votes.

It's one of the final steps in picking a president, but who are these electors and how do they get selected?

It begins and ends with loyalty — loyalty to state and national parties. That in part is how the candidates are all but guaranteed to have the electors' votes match the ballots cast by regular people in general election voting in each state.

Who are they and who picks them?

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