Alana Wise

Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.

Before joining NPR, Alana covered beats including American gun culture, the aviation business and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Through her reporting, Alana has covered such events as large protests, mass shootings, boardroom uprisings and international trade fights.

Alana is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and an Atlanta native.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 4:28 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday.

Federal employees will observe the holiday for the first time on Friday.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday easily approved legislation to commemorate Juneteenth, the national remembrance of the end of chattel slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.

The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that would make Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of chattel slavery in the United States, a legal public holiday.

The holiday is celebrated on June 19, and it began in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

President Abraham Lincoln had signed the proclamation outlawing slavery in most of the United States years earlier, but it was not until 1865 that those in bondage in Texas were freed.

Updated June 8, 2021 at 7:57 PM ET

President Biden on Tuesday turned down the latest offer on an infrastructure deal from Senate Republicans, moving the debate on one of the president's chief domestic priorities into a new phase.

The Department of Justice on Monday issued model legislation from which states can craft their own "extreme risk protection orders," commonly referred to as red flag laws, as part of the Biden administration's ongoing effort to curb U.S. gun violence.

"The Justice Department is determined to take concrete steps to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in our communities," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in connection with campaign contributions made by former employees of the longtime businessman, a spokesman of DeJoy's confirmed Thursday.

Mark Corallo, the spokesman, said in a statement that the department is probing "contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector."

DeJoy had been a Republican megadonor before he was appointed to lead the U.S. Postal Service during the Trump administration.

Updated May 21, 2021 at 2:54 PM ET

Col. Ralph Puckett, Jr. was honored at the White House on Friday and awarded the Medal of Honor for his acts of "conspicuous gallantry" during the Korean War. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is in town to conduct diplomatic talks with President Biden, attended the ceremony.

Updated May 17, 2021 at 5:38 PM ET

President Biden on Monday announced his intention to ship surplus doses of the coronavirus vaccine to needy nations abroad, including millions of doses of the U.S.-authorized Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The majority of the planned shipments will be of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which does not yet have authorization for use in the United States.

President Biden has revoked a number of executive actions taken by former President Donald Trump in the last year of his administration, mostly in response to the protests over systemic racism and police violence.

Officials from the Trump administration will deliver testimony to Congress on Wednesday in defense of their handling of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection led by pro-Trump extremists, as lawmakers seek to pinpoint the administrative failures that led to the deadly riot.

Those collecting unemployment benefits under the American Rescue Plan must accept "suitable" employment when offered, President Biden said Monday, responding to last week's underwhelming April jobs report.

"We're going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who was offered a suitable job, must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits," Biden said before adding: "We don't see much evidence of that."

Updated May 4, 2021 at 3:43 PM ET

President Biden on Tuesday announced a new goal to administer at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 70% of American adults by the Fourth of July.

The administration also aims to have 160 million adults fully vaccinated by then, a push to improve the level of immunity in the country to the point where the coronavirus has less of an opportunity to spread and so that more public health restrictions can be lifted, administration officials told reporters.

Updated May 3, 2021 at 5:22 PM ET

President Biden announced on Monday that his administration is raising the cap on refugee admissions to 62,500 for this fiscal year, far above the 15,000 limit set by the Trump administration, but below an earlier campaign promise.

President Biden met with former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter on Thursday in their hometown of Plains, Ga. The trip, which comes on Biden's 100th day in office, is part of an effort to celebrate his early accomplishments in office and make the push for trillions in new spending that would reshape the nation's economy.

Updated April 28, 2021 at 5:03 PM ET

On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Biden will lay out the latest plank in his economic agenda, a massive spending package that senior administration officials say would improve the lives of millions of Americans.

Updated April 20, 2021 at 8:05 PM ET

President Biden said the guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin "can be a moment of significant change" for the United States as it grapples with systemic racism.

Biden and Vice President Harris addressed the nation on Tuesday, after Chauvin was found guilty of murder for the death of George Floyd during an arrest last year.

Updated April 19, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who engaged with pro-Trump rioters during the Jan. 6 insurrection, died of natural causes the day after the attack, Washington, D.C.'s chief medical examiner announced Monday.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 3:57 AM ET

The United States will withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, President Biden announced Wednesday, turning the page on a conflict that has cost trillions of dollars and the lives of more than 2,300 American troops.

Updated April 13, 2021 at 1:10 PM ET

U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans on Tuesday is lying in honor at the Capitol, where he served for 18 years and lost his life in the line of duty this month.

President Biden on Monday called Daunte Wright's death "tragic" but cautioned it would not be tolerated as an excuse for violence despite the trauma the Black community often experiences at the hands of police.

"We've spoken to the governor and the mayor [of Brooklyn Center, Minn.]. We've spoken to the authorities there. And I haven't called Daunte Wright's family, but prayers are with their family. It's really a tragic thing that happened, but I think we've got to wait and see what the investigation shows," Biden said.

Updated March 31, 2021 at 1:31 PM ET

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, a controversial conservative and boisterous ally of former President Donald Trump's, confirmed Tuesday he is being investigated by the Department of Justice over sexual misconduct but denied the allegations tied to the probe.

Updated March 25, 2021 at 3:28 PM ET

President Biden is doubling his original COVID-19 vaccination goal to 200 million shots in arms by his 100th day in office — which is just over a month away.

President Biden said on Thursday that his administration would reach its initial goal of administering 100 million shots of the COVID-19 vaccines well ahead of his initial 100-day benchmark.

Biden said that the goal of 100 million shots would be achieved on Friday, which will be 58 days into his presidency.

He said he would announce his next vaccination goal next week.

"We need millions more to get vaccinated," Biden said, urging people to get the vaccine when it's their turn and to take other precautions to stop the spread.

A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon near the Naval Observatory and charged with several counts related to weapons and ammunition, according the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. The Naval Observatory is the vice presidential residence, though Vice President Harris and her family do not live at the estate yet.

Paul Murray, 31, of San Antonio was first detained by the U.S. Secret Service based on an intelligence bulletin originating from Texas. He was later formally arrested by Washington police. A rifle and ammunition were recovered from his vehicle.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday recommended that all eligible Americans get the coronavirus vaccine when their opportunity comes, though he added a caveat that he also respects people's decisions not to get one.

Trump had faced growing calls for him to encourage his supporters — especially Republican men, who have voiced cynicism about the vaccine — to get vaccinated.

President Biden has chosen economist Gene Sperling to oversee the rollout of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus recovery act, leaning on the longtime Democratic adviser's expertise to deliver on promises including $1,400 checks to millions of Americans.

Biden signed the package last week. In addition to direct payments, it includes enhanced unemployment insurance, an expanded child tax credit and billions of dollars for schools, businesses and the vaccine rollout.

Updated on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. ET

The House has once again passed a bill aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws. The Wednesday-night vote was 220-210. But the measure is not expected to advance in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority, and Republicans on Capitol Hill argue the proposal is a political effort to federalize elections.

President Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. will produce enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May, while making a fresh push to vaccinate school staff over the next month.

"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said, crediting his administration's efforts to boost production and moving up the timeline from the end of July, which is what the president was saying just a few weeks ago.

Updated at 10:07 a.m. ET

Just over a month into President Biden's administration, his circle of top advisers remains sparsely staffed as nearly two dozen of his nominees await Senate confirmation.

President Biden is set on Friday to announce a total of $4 billion in contributions to COVAX, the vaccine alliance trying to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries, a senior administration official told reporters.

Biden will make the announcement during a virtual meeting of G-7 leaders about the pandemic.

Pages