Barbara Sprunt | New Hampshire Public Radio

Barbara Sprunt

Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington Desk, where she produces radio and digital content as well as the NPR Politics Podcast. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. Previously, she was the executive assistant to the senior vice president for news at NPR. Sprunt was an intern at NPR's Weekend All Things Considered, where she produced the "Three-Minute Fiction" segment, and NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC, and a Pennsylvania native.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, laid out a key plank of his economic agenda for the country — dubbed "Build Back Better" — in a half-hour speech Thursday, offering a competing vision of economic nationalism that President Trump has trumpeted in recent years.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

In the latest move from the Trump administration to push for states to reopen schools this fall, Vice President Pence couched guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen schools, saying it shouldn't be used as a "barrier" to students returning to classrooms.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

In the latest move from the Trump administration to push for states to reopen schools this fall, Vice President Pence couched guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen schools, saying it shouldn't be used as a "barrier" to students returning to classrooms.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

President Trump vowed to exert pressure on states to reopen their school districts this fall even as large parts of the country are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools," Trump said during a roundtable discussion Tuesday afternoon at the White House.

Updated 4:37 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that reports of Russia paying bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. troops and coalition forces in Afghanistan is a hoax, even as his administration continues to brief members of Congress on the matter.

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump rebuked New York City's plan to paint "Black Lives Matter" on Fifth Avenue, calling it a "symbol of hate" in a Wednesday morning tweet.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can't predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, "it's going to be very disturbing."

Some residents of Washington, D.C., have lived there for years but still cast their votes from elsewhere in the United States.

D.C. is home to over 700,000 people, a population greater than Wyoming and Vermont — but unlike citizens in those states, D.C. residents don't have anyone voting for their interests in Congress.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

House Democrats approved a bill Friday afternoon to make the District of Columbia the nation's 51st state.

The vote was 232-180 largely along party and the legislation is expected to go no further in the face of opposition by Republicans in the Senate.

For decades, Washington, D.C., license plates have bemoaned the District of Columbia's lack of statehood, reminding viewers in bold blue letters of its "taxation without representation."

In a surprising upset, a 24-year-old political newcomer on Tuesday defeated President Trump's pick in a Republican primary runoff for a western North Carolina congressional seat vacated by Trump's chief of staff.

Madison Cawthorn, a real estate investor, easily beat out Lynda Bennett, a real estate agent who had a clear fundraising advantage, with about 66% of the vote.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Fresh off a rally in Tulsa, Okla., in which nearly two-thirds of the arena was empty, President Trump on Tuesday addressed a crowd of student supporters at a tightly packed megachurch in Phoenix, amid the state's growing number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The White House is scaling back temperature checks for those entering the complex as tents stationed along the north entrance to the building for conducting screenings were removed Monday morning.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the move follows Washington, D.C.'s entry into phase two of reopening.

Updated at 6:33 p.m. ET

With anxieties over the coronavirus and tensions over race looming large, President Trump remains on track to hit the campaign trail Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., as he prepares to rally supporters for the first time since the pandemic took root widely across the country three months ago.

The House has scheduled a vote next week on a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, marking the first time since 1993 that Congress will have voted on the issue.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the June 26 vote alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and D.C. officials on Tuesday morning.

The White House and Trump campaign are defending a decision to hold a rally next week in a city that was home to one of the most brutal episodes of racial violence in the country's history, on Juneteenth — a day considered to be Independence Day for black Americans.

The rally, scheduled for June 19 in Tulsa, Okla., marks President Trump's official return to the campaign trail after the coronavirus shifted campaigning to the virtual realm.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Philonise Floyd laid bare his anguish over the death of his brother George at the hands of police as he testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Updated at 8:17 a.m. ET

After years of racist comments that lost him the support of many Republican Party leaders, conservative Iowa Rep. Steve King has lost his bid for reelection to a primary challenge by GOP state Sen. Randy Feenstra.

In his first in-person campaign event in more than two months, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met Monday with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in his hometown to address the outrage and protests surrounding George Floyd's death.

Protests have erupted in dozens of cities over the past week since Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer was seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck for minutes on end.

President Trump held an Oval Office ceremony Friday to sign the 2020 Armed Forces Day Proclamation and unveil the official flag of the Space Force, the newest military branch.

Standing alongside senior leaders of the military, Trump called the unfurling a "very special moment."

"We've worked very hard on this and it's so important from a defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint, from every standpoint there is," Trump said.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his chief primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced on Wednesday the members of a joint task force meant to unify the party ahead of November's general election, bringing together figures from different wings of the party, ranging from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET on May 19

For some members of Congress, an office on Capitol Hill is just, well, an office. But for others, it doubles as their apartment while they live and work in Washington, D.C.

It's a practice Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would like to see permanently banned.

"You know, they sleep on their couches, they then get up in the morning, sneak downstairs [to] the members' gym, shower, change their clothes, and come back up for work," she describes.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

A U.S. military aide who works at the White House has tested positive for the coronavirus, causing concern that the president may have been exposed.

"We were recently notified by the White House medical unit that a member of the United States military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for coronavirus," said White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley in a statement.

New York state's Democratic presidential primary is back on after a district court judge granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday to reinstate the contest.

Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-independent from western Michigan, announced Tuesday evening that he is exploring a third-party bid for the presidency.

The five-term congressman and critic of President Trump said he's launching an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination.

"We're ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together," Amash wrote on Twitter. "I'm excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president."

New York Democrats will not be casting primary votes for a presidential candidate this year.

State election officials effectively canceled the presidential primary by removing every Democrat except the presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, from the primary ballot.

According to multiple reports, Douglas Kellner, co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, received thousands of emails from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pushing for the primary to continue as planned.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional Democrats appeared to have a ways to go on Wednesday before they could agree on details for more relief spending for the coronavirus disaster.

Updated at 7:18 p.m. ET

President Trump acknowledged that he learned only recently about a warning earlier this year from a top adviser about the risks of the coronavirus — but he defended his actions on Tuesday at a news conference.

"I couldn't have done it any better," Trump said about his and the administration's handling of the pandemic.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump said "we certainly want to try" to lift restrictions on life in the U.S. by April 30 but he made no definitive commitment at a news conference on Monday at the White House.

Trump sought to walk a tightrope between grim warnings about a new spike in fatalities forecast for the coming weeks and upbeat exuberance about how well he said the response is going.

"Tremendous progress has been made in a very short period," Trump said.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

In a grim assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump on Saturday predicted that the coming week would be "one of the toughest weeks" of the outbreak. At the same time, the president expressed frustration with the toll that social distancing measures are taking on the economy, saying, "We cannot let this continue."

With data projecting cases in several regions hitting their peaks within seven days, the president told reporters that the United States could see its deadliest week since the coronavirus outbreak began.

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