Deirdre Walsh | New Hampshire Public Radio

Deirdre Walsh

Deirdre Walsh is the congress editor for NPR's Washington Desk.

Based in Washington, DC, Walsh manages a team of reporters covering Capitol Hill and political campaigns.

Before joining NPR in 2018, Walsh worked as a senior congressional producer at CNN. In her nearly 18-year career there, she was an off-air reporter and a key contributor to the network's newsgathering efforts, filing stories for CNN.com and producing pieces that aired on domestic and international networks. Prior to covering Capitol Hill, Walsh served as a producer for Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics.

Walsh was elected in August 2018 as the president of the Board of Directors for the Washington Press Club Foundation, a non-profit focused on promoting diversity in print and broadcast media. Walsh has won several awards for enterprise and election reporting, including the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress by the National Press Association, which she won in February 2013 along with CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. Walsh was also awarded the Joan Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based Congressional or Political Reporting in June 2013.

Walsh received a B.A. in political science and communications from Boston College.

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met for their second and final debate as tens of millions of Americans have already voted. A deeply divided country begins its final sprint to Election Day amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it's unclear how many voters have yet to make up their minds.

Here are five takeaways from the debate in Nashville, Tenn., a much different — and far more civil — night than the last encounter.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, sat for nearly 20 hours of questioning by 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee over two days. At the outset of the process, Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham acknowledged that her confirmation by the panel was all but guaranteed.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings Monday for Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left after the death last month of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Updated at 12:57 p.m. ET

After a raucous debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden last week that was marked by constant interruptions, name-calling and a moderator unable to control the discussion, Wednesday night's vice presidential debate marked a return to a more traditional affair.

President Trump attempted to clarify his position on white supremacists after a litany of members of his own party urged him to more clearly condemn the right wing group known as The Proud Boys, whom he told to "stand back and stand by" in Tuesday night's first presidential debate.

The president told reporters at the White House that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, but said they should "stand down" and let law enforcement do their work.

"I don't know who the Proud Boys are, you'll have to give me a definition," he said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on Oct. 12, according to a Senate Republican aide who is not authorized to speak on the record ahead of the official announcement.

The aide says the hearings will follow the same format as the recent ones – which means they are expected to last four days between opening statements, questions and testimony from outside witnesses.

Supporters and opponents of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court wasted no time launching a high-pitched battle over her confirmation, with just 37 days until the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has the support of Republicans to move forward with the confirmation process and confirm Barrett on the Senate floor before Nov. 3, barring any development in her vetting.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his plans to move forward on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"The Senate will vote on this nomination this year," McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday on the Senate floor. He didn't say whether the vote would come before the election, or in a lame duck-session of Congress that occurs after the November election and before the start of a new session in 2021.

The 2020 presidential campaign heads into the fall stretch with a dizzying pace of news developments threatening to upend the contest. But NPR interviews with voters across the country around Labor Day weekend found that most are locked into their support for either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The small contingent of undecided voters said they are unenthusiastic about their choices.

Follow live coverage of the RNC all week at NPR.org/conventions.

President Trump's campaign was forced to deal with sudden focus on two major news stories — mounting national unrest about racial injustice after another shooting of a Black man by police in Wisconsin, and Hurricane Laura, which is threatening "unsurvivable"storm surge — on the third night of the Republican National Convention.

The second night of the Republican National Convention presented a more positive message about a second Trump term after opening night's bleak picture of rising crime, unrest and extremist policies the GOP said the Democratic ticket had in store for the country.

Kamala Harris made history with her formal nomination as the first Black woman and person of Asian descent on a major party's national ticket.

The 55-year-old California senator used much of her first prime-time address as Joe Biden's running mate to tell her own story before turning her fire on President Trump.

Former President Barack Obama, who has mostly stayed on the sidelines as Democrats blasted President Trump's policies over the past 3 1/2 years, took off the gloves and questioned Trump's fitness for the job.

After former first lady Michelle Obama's foreboding address Monday about the consequences of a second term for President Trump, and her urgent appeal that people "vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it," the second night of the Democratic National Convention focused on building the case for how Biden would restore a country struggling in an economic and public health crisis.

Updated at 7:22 a.m. ET

Michelle Obama didn't mince words Monday night. After mostly staying out of the political fray during President Trump's tenure in the White House, she used her prime-time Democratic National Convention slot to deliver a blistering indictment on his policies and ability to lead.

"Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

After days of delays, congressional Republicans rolled out their proposal for a fifth wave of pandemic relief aid on Monday, setting the stage for a showdown with Democrats, who say the two sides remain far apart.

The plan, which was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., focuses on new funding for schools and a new round of payments to Americans and allows for some additional wage replacement for unemployed workers.

Congress returns from a summer recess Monday as many states experience spikes in confirmed coronavirus cases.

State governments face a precipitous drop in revenue, parents and teachers are debating how kids will return to school in the fall, and millions of unemployed workers face the prospect of their pandemic assistance running out at the end of the month.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

The picnic that is political life in Washington seldom encounters a skunk of the magnitude of John Bolton.

He was a centerpiece of the establishment, and now President Trump and Republicans have rejected him as a turncoat.

Democrats, never fond of his worldview, now despise him as never before.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

The picnic that is political life in Washington seldom encounters a skunk of the magnitude of John Bolton.

He was a centerpiece of the establishment, and now President Trump and Republicans have rejected him as a turncoat.

Democrats, never fond of his worldview, now despise him as never before.

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an "insulting" attack on his presidential powers.

"This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands," the president said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the full Senate will not plan to return to the Capitol before May 4 — a delay from a planned return next Monday.

McConnell said the decision to change the schedule was made "following the advice of health experts" and in consultation with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

McConnell, R-Ky., stressed that Congress continues to work remotely to respond to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Updated at 6:44 p.m. ET

Congress is working to get more money to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic but negotiations over the size and scope of another round of emergency funding could delay quick action this week.

Updated at 11:32 p.m. ET

Congressional Democrats unveiled a measure for a legislative stimulus package aimed at mitigating the economic damage stemming from the coronavirus.

Updated at 9:04 a.m. ET

Joe Biden continued his impressive string of primary wins, easily besting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho on Tuesday.

With a big delegate lead, he solidified his position as the favorite for his party's nomination to face President Trump in November. Sanders was the projected winner in North Dakota while votes were still being counted in Washington.

Momentum and timing matter in politics — and both helped former Vice President Joe Biden mount a comeback against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who went into Super Tuesday with front-runner status after significant wins in early states.

After poor showings in some opening contests, Biden's campaign was seen by many as left for dead. On Tuesday he emerged as the chief alternative to Sanders.

The Democratic presidential race at one point had almost two dozen candidates, but now it's essentially a contest between two men representing dueling ideological poles of the party.

Updated at 8:48 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the Nevada caucuses, according to an Associated Press projection.

The win gives Sanders victories in two of the first three states to weigh in on the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. His other win was in New Hampshire, and he also ended in a near-tie atop the still-muddled Iowa caucuses.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who gained an instant national profile when she toppled a top Democratic leader in 2018, has launched her own political action committee to boost challengers in 2020 congressional races.

The move shows the 30-year-old New York freshman's intentions to continue battling with her party's establishment.

Updated at 10:20 a.m ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pulled off a narrow victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, providing a jolt of energy to his front-of-the-pack status by holding off Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind.

President Trump's State of the Union address included some surprising moments — both emotional announcements and a blunt reaction from the speaker of the House — all playing out live before a prime-time audience.

Here are six of the highlights:

1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of the president's speech

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.

Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead House impeachment manager, said Wednesday, "We're trying this case to two juries: the Senate and the American people."

It's not just the prosecutors who are approaching the Senate trial as having two distinct audiences.

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