Deirdre Walsh | KGOU
KGOU

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.

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.

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst zeroed in on the issue of gender at Monday's confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett. She used her opening statement to link herself to Barrett "as a fellow mom, a fellow Midwesterner" and accused Democrats of launching attacks on the judge's religious beliefs — even though Republicans were the only ones bringing up the issue at the hearing.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The season for mounting challenges to incumbent lawmakers is nearly over, and the focus is shifting toward the general election. But incumbents shouldn't rest easy — it's clear that groups on the left feel emboldened by the places where they did make gains over the course of the 2020 cycle and plan to keep an eye on where else they can target their energy next.

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.

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.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday to remove statues honoring figures who were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War from the U.S. Capitol. The bill would also replace the bust of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, author of the Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denying freedom to an enslaved man, and replace it with a bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Washington is racing to complete a fifth round of legislation to address the ongoing, and still surging, coronavirus pandemic in the next three weeks. The two parties and the White House are at odds over what the major pillars of the legislation should include and how much it should cost.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to get a bill to President Trump by Aug. 7 when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the rest of the summer — a time when lawmakers traditionally hit the campaign trail in an election year.

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.

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