Barbara Sprunt | Connecticut Public Radio
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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 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.

Rita Hart, the Iowa Democrat who lost a House race by just six votes, is withdrawing her challenge to Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the former state senator said she made the decision "after many conversations with people I trust about the future of this contest."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commander of the D.C. National Guard, as the next sergeant-at-arms for the House of Representatives.

Walker will be the 38th person and first Black American to serve in that position, which Pelosi described in a statement as "foundational to the functioning of Congress [s]ince the earliest days of our Founding."

In the first news conference of his presidency, President Biden confirmed he plans to run for reelection in 2024.

"That is my expectation," he told reporters, noting the endeavor is several years away.

"I'm a great respecter of fate. I've never been able to plan 4 1/2, 3 1/2 years ahead for certain," he said.

"I set a goal that's in front of me to get things done for the people I care most about, which are hardworking decent American people."

Updated March 24, 2021 at 8:36 AM ET

Sen. Tammy Duckworth and the White House broke an impasse over the Illinois Democrat's pledge to block President Biden's nominees who aren't diverse candidates as a protest over a lack of Asian American representation in the new administration.

Under their deal announced late Tuesday, the White House will add a senior liaison to the community and, in exchange, Duckworth will support Biden's nominees.

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 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."

The Biden administration is mobilizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is known for responding to natural disasters and other crises, to support an effort over the next 90 days to process the growing number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S. southern border.

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.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's draft proposal for a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling it "partisan by design."

The House Budget Committee has approved legislation advancing President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, setting a path for intense debate in the Senate.

The legislation is set for a vote on the House floor at the end of the week. The Senate is then expected to take up the legislation and attempt to modify it to ensure it can pass procedural hurdles while still satisfying all 50 Senate Democrats.

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.

Updated 5:43 p.m. ET

David Perdue has taken the first step on the road back to the U.S. Senate, filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Monday to set up a potential political comeback in the Peach State in 2022.

"This was simply a necessary legal step that will allow me to continue to keep all options open," Perdue said of his paperwork in a tweet on Tuesday afternoon.

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.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday

A majority of senators voted Saturday to convict former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

But the Democrats' side needed 17 Republicans to join them in order to reach the two-thirds threshold needed to convict.

Following former President Donald Trump's second acquittal in an impeachment trial, House Democratic managers are defending their decision not to forge ahead with seeking witnesses to help make their case.

Former President Donald Trump's legal team called the impeachment process against their client "a complete charade from beginning to end," arguing that the "spectacle" was fueled by a partisan vendetta against the former president.

In his closing remarks, Michael van der Veen claimed Trump's words on the day of the Capitol insurrection were taken out of context.

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

In closing arguments on day five of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, House managers argued Trump was solely responsible for inciting his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, threatening the safety of lawmakers and democracy itself.

"It's now clear beyond doubt that Trump supported the actions of the mob," lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin said on the Senate floor.

"He must be convicted," said the Maryland Democrat. "It's that simple."

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 manager Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., directly rebutted one of the Trump defense team's key claims during his arguments on Day 3 of the Senate impeachment trial: that the trial is politically motivated by Democrats who are concerned about running against Trump in 2024.

On Tuesday, Trump lawyer Bruce Castor made the argument: "We are really here because the majority of the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future."

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.

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