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.

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.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden condemned both police violence and President Trump's increasingly confrontational response to widespread unrest in a Tuesday morning speech delivered at Philadelphia City Hall.

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.

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.

Monday night's Met Gala in New York City may have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn't stop a bold look from appearing on the red carpet. OK, well, it's actually blue carpet.

During a unanimous vote on an agency's inspector general, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., took to the Senate floor while donning a face mask and a vibrant purple wig.

Sinema, whose locks are usually blonde, voted and seemed to identify herself by pointing to her new look, with an expression of, "Yeah, it's me. You knew that, right?"

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.

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday "temporarily suspending immigration into the United States" in what he calls a response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This will ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens," Trump said at the White House Wednesday.

The proclamation, which Trump first announced in a late-night tweet Monday, suspends immigration for people seeking green cards for 60 days.

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.

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