Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. Her reporting is wide-ranging, with particular focuses on gender politics, demographics, and economic policy.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Kurtzleben spent a year as a correspondent for Vox.com. As part of the site's original reporting team, she covered economics and business news.

Prior to Vox.com, Kurtzleben was with U.S. News & World Report for nearly four years, where she covered the economy, campaign finance and demographic issues. As associate editor, she launched Data Mine, a data visualization blog on usnews.com.

A native of Titonka, Iowa, Kurtzleben has a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College. She also holds a master's degree in Global Communication from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

Democrat Amy McGrath is running heavily on her military record in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District. In her announcement video, she tells the story of how, as a girl, she was told that women couldn't fly in combat — and how that fired her up to eventually do just that.

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A day of drama and history on Capitol Hill today. To talk it through, we want to bring in NPR political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben. Hey, Danielle.

DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, BYLINE: Hello.

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Lauren Underwood, Democratic House candidate in Illinois' 14th district, is part of a record boom of women running for office in 2018 – from Congress to governorships to state legislatures across the country.

But she didn't just wake up one day and decide this was the year.

Editor's note: NPR is examining the role of women in the 2018 midterm elections all week. To follow upcoming coverage and look back at how the role of women in the 2014 midterms was covered, click here.

Women represent 20 percent of Congress members right now, and Republicans and Democrats differ sharply on why that's the case, not to mention how big of a problem that is.

That in and of itself is perhaps unsurprising, especially at a time when the parties are heavily divided on a wide variety of topics. But a new poll shows that men and women within each party — and especially among Republicans — differ heavily on several of these questions.

With Tuesday's primaries, women have hit another milestone in this record-breaking political year, setting a new record for the number of women who have secured a major party nomination for the U.S. House.

Democrats and Republicans have nominated 185 women to run for the House in November, as of Wednesday morning, according to the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

The figure breaks the prior record of 167 nominees set in 2016.

Thirteen socialists walk into a West Virginia bar.

It's a Saturday evening in early July, and the North Central West Virginia chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is getting together at a brewery outside of Rivesville.

Everyone here has their own stories for how they came to socialism. For chapter co-founder Kelley Rose, a 36-year-old who works for a nonprofit helping young adults stay in school and find jobs, religion played a big part.

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A record number of women are running for Congress this year, and women candidates fared great in yesterday's primaries. NPR political reporter Daniel Kurtzleben has been tracking those results. She is here to put them in context. Hey, Danielle.

Liuba Grechen Shirley has a son who's almost two and a daughter who's almost four. And until recently, the stay-at-home mom and freelance consultant had her childcare routine down.

"The bulk of the child care during the day was up to me," she said. And when she had work to do, she'd get help with watching the kids — but it was free.

"My mother is a teacher. She comes home at 3:30 every afternoon, and she would watch my children from 3:30 on, and that's when I'd start consulting," Grechen Shirley said.

A record number of women — 309 — had filed to run for the U.S. House as of April 6. That's a nearly 90-percent increase over 2016's numbers.

That wave of women candidates has sent the share of candidates who are women skyrocketing...to 22 percent.

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It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?

"Evidently."

After the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas last year, lawmakers discussed imposing restrictions on "bump stocks." The Las Vegas shooter used that type of gun modification, which makes a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon, and killed 58 people.

After a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November, lawmakers discussed how they could improve the background check system.

No new laws came of those discussions.

Updated at 10:45 a.m., Feb. 12

This week, the Senate plans to debate a variety of immigration overhaul plans, in an attempt to see which ones can get 60 votes. Right now, there are 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats (plus two independents who caucus with the Democrats).

Most American women dislike the job that President Trump is doing. Many demonstrated it by marching in the streets by the tens of thousands on the first anniversary of his inauguration, and they continue to register it in public opinion polls, giving the president a starkly lower approval rating than men do.

Over President Trump's first year in office, the U.S. underwent some changes that he would probably cheer. The economy continued strengthening (including, yes, the stock market, as the president likes to emphasize) and the number of people apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally fell sharply. However, some changes are less promising: The nation's carbon dioxide emissions rose, and the amount of student debt grew by $47 billion.

We have put together a wide variety of statistics to show how the U.S. has changed in the past year.

It's been quite a news week, even by recent standards.

The U.S. is potentially hours away from a partial government shutdown. The debate rages on over the president's reported comments about not wanting to accept immigrants from "s**thole countries." "Girtherism" has erupted over the president's latest height and weight measurements. Officials are scrambling to figure out how to avoid another false ballistic missile alarm, like the one residents of Hawaii suffered last weekend.

The hubbub over the Republican tax plan has died down some since it passed, but the bill isn't forgotten — not by a long shot.

On a Saturday morning in December, Kate Coyne-McCoy stood before 26 women in a small conference room in Manchester, N.H., explaining what fires her up in the morning.

"I wake up every day, the first thing I do is look at this list of members of Congress that I have, and I figure out who's sick and who's going to die," Coyne-McCoy told the women. "Because I want to replace them with you."

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Updated at 1:26 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans in Congress approved a sweeping and controversial $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, with the Senate voting early Wednesday along straight party lines to move the measure forward.

Updated on Dec. 20 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The Republican tax bill, which Congress sent to President Trump on Wednesday, would give most Americans a tax cut next year, according to a new analysis. However, it would by far benefit the richest Americans the most. Meanwhile, many lower- and middle-class Americans would have higher taxes a decade from now ... unless a future Congress extends the cuts.

Updated on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans handed their party and the president a major legislative victory when they passed their tax cut plan.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe that "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is essential to bringing about change in our society."

At a time when partisan opinions are so polarized on a range of issues, Republicans and Democrats are relatively similar in believing that society should crack down hard on sexual harassment, a new poll from Ipsos and NPR suggests.

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