Barbara Sprunt | KGOU
KGOU

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 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 4:07 p.m. ET

Members of Congress held a hearing Monday to examine the forced removal of peaceful protesters by U.S. Park Police near the White House in early June.

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.

President Trump vowed via Twitter on Tuesday morning that anyone who vandalizes "any monument, statue or other such federal property" will be arrested and face up to 10 years in prison, citing a little-known 2003 piece of legislation.

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.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, commemorating the five-year anniversary of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in his home state and lambasting a Democratic colleague for referring to his police reform bill as "token" legislation.

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.

House and Senate Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation Monday to overhaul policing in the U.S., following weeks of national protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

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.

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