Barbara Sprunt | New Hampshire Public Radio

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 April 9, 2021 at 9:20 PM ET

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday it has launched an investigation into alleged misconduct by U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz following a recent flurry of accusations against the Florida congressman, including illegal drug use and sexual misconduct.

Updated April 9, 2021 at 2:28 PM ET

The Biden administration on Friday unveiled a $1.5 trillion partial budget request for the next fiscal year, calling for increases across a range of domestic programs aimed at fighting poverty and climate change, while keeping defense spending relatively flat.

Updated April 6, 2021 at 1:35 PM ET

House and Senate Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that late U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" F. Evans, who was killed in the line of duty on April 2, will lie in honor in the United States Capitol rotunda.

Updated March 22, 2021 at 4:24 PM ET

Thirty years after Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton first introduced a bill for Washington, D.C., statehood, she returns to Capitol Hill to do it again — this time with the broadest support for the cause to date.

"We've gotten off of the wish list to an approach of a new reality," Norton, the district's nonvoting delegate, told NPR.

The House has overwhelmingly passed a pair of immigration bills that offer a targeted approach to amending the immigration system but have an uncertain future when it comes to passage in the Senate.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services by a narrow vote of 50-49.

Only one Republican — Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — joined her Democratic colleagues in supporting the California attorney general's confirmation. Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii did not vote.

Updated March 15, 2021 at 5:11 PM ET

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy dubbed the surge in migrants showing up at the U.S. southern border, especially unaccompanied children, the "Biden border crisis" during a trip to Texas with a delegation of Republican lawmakers.

"It's more than a crisis. This is a human heartbreak," McCarthy said at a press conference on Monday after a tour of the El Paso Processing Center. "This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration."

Updated March 11, 2021 at 2:39 PM ET

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Thursday. The colossal bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that will mean new monthly payments to many parents.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has announced he will not seek another term next year, making him the latest in a string of long-serving Senate Republicans to decline a reelection bid.

"There's still a lot to do and I look forward to every day this year and next year as I continue to work for you in the Senate," Blunt said in a video he shared on Twitter on Monday.

House Democrats are expected to pass the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, thus delivering on Democrats' campaign promises and cementing a major legislative victory for the Biden administration.

President Biden's national security adviser said Sunday that the administration has concerns over the data China has provided to the World Health Organization regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We need a credible, open, transparent international investigation led by the World Health Organization," Jake Sullivan said in an interview with CBS' Face the Nation.

Congressional Democrats unveiled a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that includes setting up a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

In a highly personal attack, former President Donald Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, calling him an unfit leader of the Republican Party.

"The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political 'leaders' like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm," Trump said in a lengthy statement Tuesday.

"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again," he added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans for Congress to establish an outside and independent commission to investigate "the facts and causes" related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a letter sent to her Democratic colleagues on Monday, the California Democrat said the commission will be modeled on the commission established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Following Saturday's vote acquitting former President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., excoriated Trump for his actions on the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling them a "disgraceful dereliction of duty."

But he said ultimately, he did not vote to convict the former president because of constitutional concerns.

Democratic House impeachment managers wrapped up their arguments Thursday night in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump for his actions leading up to and on the day of the Capitol insurrection.

The trial, which began Tuesday and is Trump's second impeachment trial, comes just over a month after a mob of pro-Trump extremists violently breached the Capitol, leading to the deaths of at least seven people.

House impeachment managers showed chilling new footage to senators during Day 2 of Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, highlighting just how close the violent mob got to then-Vice President Mike Pence and congressional lawmakers on Jan. 6.

Video from the U.S. Capitol's security cameras shows members of Congress evacuating their chambers, including one clip in which Sen. Mitt Romney is warned of a nearby mob and darts the other way. In another video, a rioter is heard looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the rioter paces down a hallway.

During Day 2 of the Senate impeachment trial, House impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell specifically distinguished between those protesting the Nov. 3 election results and the violent rioters that breached the Capitol building.

"I want to be clear: During this trial, when we talk about the violent mob during the attack, we do not mean every American who showed up at [former] President [Donald] Trump's rally," the California Democrat said.

House Democrats did not mince words in their opening argument on Day 2 of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, calling the former president an "inciter-in-chief" who abandoned his sacred oath of office and who "reveled" in the chaos and destruction perpetrated by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

"Donald Trump committed a massive crime against our Constitution and our people and the worst violation of the presidential oath of office in the history of the United States of America," lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin said.

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will move forward after the Senate voted Tuesday that the trial of a former president is constitutional.

Trump was impeached by the House last month on a charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Senate vote on Tuesday was 56-44, with six Republicans joining all 50 members of the Democratic caucus.

In emotional remarks, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin detailed his experience during the Jan. 6 attack, including being separated from his family, who barricaded themselves in an office and hid under a desk.

His youngest daughter Tabitha, an algebra teacher, and his son-in-law Hank joined Raskin that day as he worked to ensure the Electoral College results would be tallied.

"It was the day after we buried her brother, our son Tommy, the saddest day of our lives," Raskin said.

Updated at 1:07 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pledged that Senate Democrats are moving "full steam ahead" on passing coronavirus relief legislation as they convene for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET on Monday

A group of Republican senators met with President Biden on Monday evening to detail a smaller counterproposal to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, an alternative they believe could be approved "quickly by Congress with bipartisan support."

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

At about 7 p.m. ET Monday, House impeachment managers delivered to the Senate an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump, a move that prompts preparations for a historic trial.

The Senate has voted to confirm Avril Haines to be director of national intelligence, making her President Biden's first Cabinet-level official to receive Senate confirmation. The vote was 84-10.

Her confirmation comes after Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., briefly held up the process, asking for a written response from her about a question during her confirmation hearing a day earlier.

"I no longer object," Cotton said Wednesday evening, noting that Haines had provided him with a response.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

Democrats officially took control of the Senate as Georgia's two new Democratic senators-elect were sworn in Wednesday afternoon, cementing a 50-50 split, with Vice President Harris serving as the tiebreaking vote in her new role as president of the the Senate.

Harris administered the oath of office to Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff hours after her own swearing-in.

Inauguration Day wouldn't be complete without a meme or two to mark the occasion.

The creation of memes on the day when past presidents and lawmakers watch as a new president takes the oath of office has become somewhat of a hallmark in recent years.

Who can forget, for example, former President George W. Bush's trials with a rain poncho during former President Trump's inauguration?

Several Republican lawmakers reacted Wednesday to President Biden's inaugural address with optimism that both parties will be able to work together and find common ground as the new administration begins.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the speech was "very well-done."

"I thought it's what we needed," she told Capitol Hill reporters following the address.

Murkowski said that "everything is possible" when it comes to the Republican Party working with the Biden administration.

For the first time since the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly denounced President Trump and his supporters for instigating the insurrection.

"The mob was fed lies," McConnell, R-Ky., said in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon.

"They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like."

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, appeared before a Senate panel Tuesday to begin his confirmation process, vowing to do everything he can so that an attack on the Capitol like the one on Jan. 6 "will not happen again."

Mayorkas, who would be the first Latino and first immigrant to lead that department, was previously the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS agency, during the Obama administration. He then served as deputy secretary of DHS.

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