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.

President-elect Joe Biden will choose South Carolina's Jaime Harrison to head the Democratic National Committee, a source close to the decision, who was not authorized to speak ahead of the formal announcement, told NPR's Scott Detrow.

Harrison is a former South Carolina Democratic Party chair, and his selection highlights the influence of another South Carolina Democrat, Rep. James Clyburn, the majority whip in the U.S. House.

Updated 11:35 p.m. ET

Vice President Pence says he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to declare President Trump incapable of executing his duties.

Updated 5:45 p.m. ET

With nine days left before President Trump's term comes to an end, the House of Representatives is forging ahead with plans to try to remove the president from office over his role in his supporters' violent attack last week on the U.S. Capitol.

Updated on Monday at 2:15 p.m. ET

Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police, died Saturday off duty, according to the force. His cause of death was suicide, an attorney for the family said on Monday.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have called for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment.

"I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment," Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. "If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment."

Heading into Wednesday's joint session of Congress to tally the Electoral College vote results, lawmakers anticipated a long day peppered with objections hinged on baseless allegations of election fraud. More than a dozen Republican senators had said they would object to at least one state's election results.

Update: Special coverage has ended. Follow updates here.

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, the 117th Congress is now getting under way as members take their oaths of office on Capitol Hill Sunday.

For many, the process will be familiar territory. But for most of the incoming lawmakers, it's the beginning of a brand new chapter.

Here's a look at that group of lawmakers and what their first few days will look like:

Pandemic looms large

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Sunday night signed a massive coronavirus relief and spending package, relenting on a measure he had called a "disgrace" days earlier.

The legislation, which combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with government funding through September 2021, was passed by large majorities in both chambers of Congress on Dec. 21 — only to see Trump blindside legislators the next day and blast the bill.

In a statement Sunday night, Trump said lawmakers will pursue some of his sought-after changes.

Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden publicly received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday as the death toll from the disease nears 320,000 in the United States.

Rolling up his sleeve at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., Biden told nurse practitioner Tabe Mase, "I'm ready!" and thanked her for her work with COVID-19 patients. "We owe you big, we really do," Biden said.

With lawmakers facing a mounting year-end to-do list, a deal on a new coronavirus relief package continues to be elusive for Congress.

But a key House Democrat on Sunday seemed to indicate some flexibility on one of his party's priorities.

"[Democrats] are not going to get everything we want," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said on CNN's Inside Politics. "We think state and local [aid] is important. And if we can get that, we want to get it. But we want to get aid out to the people who are really, really struggling and are at grave risk."

Updated at 9:37 a.m. ET

On Monday, 538 electors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will cast their votes for president, marking a key next step for Joe Biden as he gets closer to officially becoming the 46th president of the United States.

Updated 6:30 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an effort to overturn the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, signaling the high court would not go along with President Trump's unprecedented efforts to win another term despite a decisive defeat in the popular vote and Electoral College.

The lawsuit was brought by Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, who argued a 2019 state law authorizing universal mail-in voting is unconstitutional and that all ballots cast by mail in the general election in Pennsylvania should be thrown out.

President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday called President Trump's refusal to concede the election "an embarrassment" but said it hasn't yet been a hindrance to his team moving forward with the transition process.

"We're well underway," Biden told reporters following remarks in Wilmington, Del. "The ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognize our win does not change the dynamic at all of what we're able to do."

As California Sen. Kamala Harris shatters one of the highest glass ceilings with her historic election as vice president, her husband is breaking barriers of his own.

Doug Emhoff will not only become the first "second gentleman" but will also be the first Jewish person married to a president or vice president.

President Trump is doubling down on claims that the results of the presidential election must be known on election night, falsely asserting "that's the way it's been and that's the way it should be."

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET Monday

Americans have cast a record-breaking 93 million early ballots as of Sunday afternoon, putting the 2020 election on track for historic levels of voter turnout.

That's almost twice as many pre-election votes as were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project, a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald.

The Senate has voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, just about a week before Election Day and 30 days after she was nominated by President Trump to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In a White House ceremony following the vote Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the constitutional oath to Coney Barrett.

The U.S. Senate voted Sunday afternoon to end debate on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote Monday evening — just over a week before the general election.

In a floor vote mostly along party lines, 51 Republicans advanced Barrett, who's President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Following the cloture vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., proclaimed that "by tomorrow night, we'll have a new member of the United States Supreme Court."

President Trump, who is still receiving treatment for COVID-19, tweeted Tuesday morning that he is "feeling great" and plans to move forward with the second presidential debate slated for Oct. 15 in Miami.

Over the weekend, it seemed possible that Trump would take on a different tone when talking about the severity of COVID-19 now that he is a patient battling the disease.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday

President Trump is hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as he faces COVID-19.

Trump announced early Friday morning that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus, and he was taken to Walter Reed Friday evening.

The rest of the timeline, as laid out by White House officials and Trump's physician, Sean Conley, has at times been unclear. Here's what we know about what happened when:

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET

Plexiglass will separate Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic nominee, during their vice presidential debate on Wednesday.

That's a precaution as a result of a cluster of coronavirus cases from the White House affecting President Trump and a number of aides and associates.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared on Twitter on Monday morning that she has tested positive for the coronavirus, the latest White House official to test positive for the virus after President Trump himself was hospitalized after contracting the disease.

"After testing negative consistently, including every day since Thursday, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning while experiencing no symptoms," she wrote.

Updated a 2:40 a.m. ET

President Trump sought to project an image of vigor in the face of COVID-19, with a surprise motorcade Sunday outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he is being treated, as his physicians suggested he could be discharged to return to the White House as early as Monday.

The president was admitted to Walter Reed on Friday, hours after announcing that he and the first lady had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Updated at 7:59 p.m. ET

President Trump's hospitalization for COVID-19 casts unprecedented uncertainty on the presidential campaign's final stretch.

There are 30 days until Election Day and millions of votes have already been cast.

Updated at 7:53 a.m. ET Monday

Despite indications from doctors that he is still facing serious challenges from the coronavirus and could spread the disease to others, President Trump briefly left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday evening to wave to supporters gathered outside.

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will debate each other for the first time Tuesday evening, in the first of three presidential debates.

Here are the details:

When? Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET. (You can listen to the debate on NPR, and we'll have a livestream video online.)

President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden both travel to northern Minnesota on Friday, as the contested state begins its early voting period.

Trump plans to hold a rally at an airport in the city of Bemidji on Friday evening. Meanwhile, the former vice president will visit a union training center in Duluth.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his leadership of the Postal Service on Friday and sought to reassure senators that his agency would be able to deliver the nation's election mail "securely and on time," calling it a "sacred duty."

"There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election mail for the 2020 election," he said.

A federal judge has dismissed President Trump's latest attempt to block a subpoena for his tax records from the district attorney of Manhattan.

Thursday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero came in response to a filing by the president's personal attorneys that sought to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from obtaining eight years of his tax records. The president's legal team has argued that the subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, is "overbroad."

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