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Susan Davis

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says Democrats will push to include a new hazard pay program for frontline workers in the coronavirus pandemic in the next legislative vehicle that passes Congress in response to the crisis.

"We are asking these workers to take great risks and we should reward them for it," Schumer told reporters Tuesday on a conference call.

The Democratic proposal has two main components: up to a $25,000 pay increase for essential workers, and a one-time $15,000 incentive to help recruit new health care workers during the pandemic.

Multiple U.S. senators are sounding the alarm about the solvency of a recently enacted $350 billion emergency lending program for small businesses, calling for Congress to pass another wave of funding as soon as this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he will work with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to get the Senate to approve, without objection, another influx of cash on Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aggressively advocating for a second wave of legislation on top of the recently enacted $2 trillion rescue package to confront the coronavirus pandemic, but her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is advocating for a more cautious wait-and-see approach.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

Updated at 1:27 p.m. ET

A Senate agreement on a third wave of emergency funding to address the coronavirus could be "hours" away, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday, as Republicans and Democrats seemed close to bridging disagreements that have stalled a deal on the approximately $2 trillion package.

Updated at 7:20 a.m. ET

After a tense day on the Senate floor that included leaders trading barbs over who is to blame for failing to advance a new coronavirus response bill, the top Senate Democrat said late Monday night that he was "very, very close" to an agreement with the White House on a deal for a third wave of emergency funding that could go well past $1 trillion.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced legislation on Thursday to address the economic impact of the coronavirus. This is the third legislative package to deal with the outbreak.

The proposal was drafted by Senate Republicans and the Trump administration. The bill still needs to be negotiated with Senate Democrats, which McConnell said would happen Friday. Already some Democrats were criticizing the plan as too focused on help for corporations and were calling for major changes.

Updated at 8:34 p.m. ET

President Trump signed the latest coronavirus aid package into law Wednesday evening.

The Senate approved the new round of emergency funding earlier Wednesday.

Updated at 3:46 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is asking Congress for roughly $1 trillion in new economic relief as lawmakers begin work on the next phase of coronavirus relief efforts.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he worked with the president on the economic package. Their discussions included payments to small businesses, loan guarantees for industries like airlines and hotels, and a stimulus package for workers.

Updated 8:20 p.m. ET

The Senate reconvened Monday afternoon with a growing sense of urgency to act on pending legislation, and a growing realization that Congress will have to take dramatic, ongoing action to blunt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to the nation.

"The Senate is committed to meeting these uncertain times with bold and bipartisan solutions," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the floor Monday. "It's what we're going to keep doing in the days and weeks ahead."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Today is Super Tuesday. People in 14 states will vote. That makes it the biggest day in the Democratic presidential nominating contest. Last night in Dallas, former Vice President Joe Biden got endorsements from some of his former rivals.

No matter what happens on Super Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has already made history.

Democratic presidential hopefuls have stepped up their criticism of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus, accusing his administration of "incompetence."

The president has noticed. Speaking to supporters Friday night in South Carolina, he accused his Democratic rivals of using the virus for political ends.

Updated at 12:30 p.m.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn offered an emotional presidential endorsement of Joe Biden on Wednesday, just three days ahead of South Carolina's Democratic primary — a contest that could be make-or-break for the former vice president's campaign.

"I've known for a long time who I was going to vote for. I'm voting for Joe Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden," Clyburn said at an event in North Charleston.

President Trump took full advantage of the large television audience for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to make his case for reelection in November, touting the strong economy and delighting Republicans in the room with a series of made-for-TV moments.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

The House will vote to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate Wednesday, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a trial to determine whether to remove the president from office will probably begin next Tuesday.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will also name impeachment managers to lead the prosecution against the president Wednesday but did not say who they would be. "The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial," Pelosi said.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Jeff Sessions wants back in.

President Trump's former attorney general and long-time Alabama Republican senator is expected to announce he is once again running for the seat he held for 20 years, according to two GOP sources. Sessions is facing a Friday filing deadline to declare his candidacy.

One source said Sessions was running without the coordination or support of the GOP establishment, including the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or the Senate GOP campaign operation. "He is definitely acting alone," the source said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is considering changing the lineup of the House Intelligence Committee to include some of President Trump's most vocal defenders in Congress.

"If Democrats are going to turn Intel into the impeachment committee, I am going to make adjustments to that committee accordingly, for a short period of time," McCarthy told Politico on Tuesday. A spokesman for McCarthy confirmed his comments to NPR.

Updated 6:40 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved two measures pushing back at Turkey, a sign of significant bipartisan ire at a longstanding NATO ally following the country's offensive into northeastern Syria.

The first measure was a symbolic resolution labeling the deaths of roughly 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923 in the Ottoman Empire, which is now modern-day Turkey, as a "genocide." It passed 405-11, with 3 members voting present.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in a letter to Democrats on Monday that the House will vote to formalize the procedures in the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

The resolution will outline the terms for public hearings, the disclosure of deposition transcripts, procedures to transfer evidence to the House Judiciary Committee and due process rights for Trump.

Senior Democratic aides said the resolution will be released on Wednesday, with a House vote on Thursday.

Over a six-month period in 2017 and 2018, nine lawmakers — eight men and one woman — were forced out of office, either by resignation or by early retirement, over varying degrees of allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior or tolerance of such behavior.

At the height of the #MeToo era, then-Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., directed lawmakers to come up with a new set of rules intended to change the culture of Capitol Hill.

Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET

Republican members of Congress disrupted the closed-door proceedings of the House impeachment inquiry, preventing a Pentagon official from giving her testimony.

Arguing that the inquiry's interviews should not be held behind closed doors, GOP lawmakers entered the secure area in the Capitol Wednesday where witnesses are typically questioned.

Updated on Oct 17. at 1 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that there's no timeline for the House to wrap up its ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Trump, pushing back on predictions it could happen by the Thanksgiving holiday.

Republicans who support President Trump say the next three weeks are crucial to determine whether Trump can keep Republicans united behind him or if emerging cracks break open even wider.

Their growing concern is that the White House is not acting with enough urgency to combat the whistleblower fight.

They're calling for a more coordinated but also direct and aggressive strategy, similar to the one used when Republicans defended Brett Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him for the Supreme Court.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, now the lead lawmaker in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, says his panel will be working through the scheduled upcoming two-week congressional recess.

"I can tell you it's going to be a very busy couple of weeks ahead," Schiff told reporters. The chairman said the committee is scheduling hearings and witness interviews, as well as working on document requests and possible subpoenas.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled legislation this week that would give the federal government sweeping new authority to regulate and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared the bill dead on arrival and told Politico it amounts to "socialist price controls."

In an exclusive interview with NPR, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has not changed her mind on pursuing impeachment but is ready to change the law to restrain presidential power and make it clear that a sitting president can, in fact, be indicted.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., unveiled her long-anticipated plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs on Thursday. It is a priority shared by President Trump, fueling a glimmer of hope that there is a deal to be had on the issue ahead of the 2020 elections.

"It is transformative," Pelosi said of her plan."We do hope to have White House buy-in."

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