Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent, and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress, and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee moved Thursday to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, bringing President Trump's nominee within striking distance of confirmation and the court a step closer to a 6-3 conservative majority.

The U.S. Postal Service has settled a lawsuit in Montana that called on it to reverse service cutbacks in advance of next month's election. The suit was brought by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

In a statement, Bullock said the settlement "will ensure stability through and beyond the election by immediately restoring the mail services folks rely on."

The Postal Service said it agreed to the settlement because "it has always been our goal to ensure that anyone who chooses to utilize the mail to vote can do so successfully."

This is scheduled to be the last day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation hearings, and after two days of questioning Barrett, senators will turn to character witnesses and those who are concerned about her likely elevation to the Supreme Court.

Barrett will not be present.

Republicans will call on Amanda Rauh-Bieri, a former law clerk for Barrett on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Laura Wolk, the first blind woman to clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court and who has called Barrett her mentor.

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has, like many of the recent nominees before her, been unwilling to tip her hand as to how she might rule on potential high-profile cases if confirmed to the high court.

But she also has left some hints as to her leanings, especially on the topic of abortion rights. As a University of Notre Dame Law School professor, Barrett signed an ad that stated, "It's time to put an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade," referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its fourth and final day of hearings on Thursday on President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If confirmed, Barrett, 48, would replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court.

Updated at 12:52 p.m.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday that he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are discussing potential stand-alone bills for aid to airlines, small businesses and Americans. He said the Trump administration was "still willing to be engaged" on piecemeal aid bills, though it was not optimistic about a comprehensive aid bill.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

Along with well wishes for a speedy recovery, Democratic lawmakers are lodging some criticism at President Trump following his positive coronavirus test.

"We all received that news with great sadness," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC. "I always pray for the president and his family that they're safe."

Updated at 1:47 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lay in state Friday at the U.S. Capitol, the first woman and the first Jewish person to be given that honor in the nation's history.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday again said widespread distribution of a vaccine against the coronavirus would happen before the end of the year, directly contradicting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. The CDC chief testified earlier Wednesday that a vaccine would not be widely available until next spring or summer.

Trump said he expects the government to be able to distribute a vaccine "sometime in October," though "it may be a little later than that."

Michael Caputo, the top spokesman at the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed to NPR on Tuesday that he made comments during a Facebook Live event on Sunday that have attracted attention and concern – but he said that some of the comments had been taken out of context.

The longtime political strategist did not dispute that he said he believes there are scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who are trying to undermine President Trump and accused them of "sedition."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

For four nights, speakers at the Republican National Convention pilloried Democrat Joe Biden over his alleged weakness on crime and painted a dystopian future if he were to be elected in November.

For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, correctional officer Kareen "Troy" Troitino says things were "pretty relaxed" at FCI Miami. There were no cases of COVID-19 at the low-security federal prison, which currently houses some 1,000 inmates.

That all changed, he says, early last month. "And then on the week of the Fourth of July, we had one case, and then it just spread in one week. I mean, tremendously. It's like wildfire. And you don't even see the fire because you don't know who has it until it's too late."

On his first day on the job last month, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy addressed the nearly half-million U.S. Postal Service career employees in a video message.

He talked of a "trajectory for success" and said that "we will focus on creating a viable operating model that ensures the Postal Service continues fulfilling its public service mission."

Updated at 2:15 p.m. EDT

President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House announced on Monday.

"National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien tested positive for COVID-19. He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off-site. There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted," the White House said in a statement. No further details were immediately available.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Republican Party announced Thursday morning that it is scaling back its upcoming nominating convention and will hold what party chair Ronna McDaniel is calling a "convention celebration" next month in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bowing to the realities of holding a mass gathering in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in Florida, which has seen a spike in new cases, attendance at the convention during its first few days, Aug. 24-26, will be limited to delegates only, which is a little more than 2,500 people.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled legislation on Wednesday to address a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, with hopes of acting on police misconduct, dangerous practices and concerns of systemic racism.

But Democrats say the proposal, which would encourage police departments to end such practices such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants but does not explicitly ban them, falls short.

Federal workers are starting to be called back into their offices in some areas, and among the first to be returning are employees of the Internal Revenue Service. It's a busy time.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted the government to extend the deadline for filing tax returns until July 15 — which is just around the corner. Meanwhile, the IRS is still distributing coronavirus relief checks to millions of Americans.

Much of the work of processing tax returns is automated, as some 90% of taxpayers file theirs electronically, according to the IRS.

Activists protesting police brutality are calling on cities and states to defund their police. Funding for local law enforcement now increasingly comes from the federal government.

Federal departments ranging from the Department of Justice to the Department of Agriculture have grant programs aimed at hiring more police, equipping them and constructing new police facilities.

Some experts say that federal involvement undermines community accountability and focuses more on enforcement than minimizing harm.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday defended the decision to order that protesters be driven back from a park near the White House this week and said extremist groups were involved in sometimes violent demonstrations in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday that state governors should allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to reopen immediately.

In brief comments at the White House, Trump said houses of worship are "essential places that provide essential services." Churches have faced restrictions for gatherings and ceremonies as public health officials worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some have chafed at the restrictions.

Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET

The Senate Banking Committee took its first look at spending under the massive CARES Act, which Congress approved in March to provide assistance to individuals, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were pressed by senators about their stewardship of specific aspects of the approximately $2 trillion relief package at Tuesday's remote hearing.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET

Rick Bright, a career government scientist-turned-whistleblower, told a congressional panel Thursday that without a stronger federal response, the coronavirus threatens to make 2020 the "darkest winter in modern history."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had sharp words for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, during Tuesday's Senate committee hearing on the coronavirus.

In arguing for reopening the economy and schools, Paul said, "As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all. I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision."

Paul pointed to the mortality rate in New York City of young people up to age 18, which he said was near zero — much lower than for older people.

Attorneys for Rick Bright, the government scientist who said he had been reassigned and subsequently filed a whistleblower complaint, say a government watchdog agrees that he should be reinstated to his post.

Bright was serving as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working on a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.

Updated on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET

President Trump said he had planned to wind down the White House coronavirus task force, but now plans to add two or three new members by Monday, noting he had received "calls from very respected people" to keep it going.

Trump said the task force would continue "indefinitely" and made clear its focus would be on "opening the country." Some members of the task force, such as people who worked on increasing the supply of ventilators, "may be less involved," he said.

The Internal Revenue Service has told some 10,000 of its employees that they're needed back in the office as early as Monday — and they'll need to bring their own masks.

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee say it's "completely irresponsible and unethical for the IRS to demand those workers obtain their own protective equipment."

The CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus response legislation Congress approved late last month, calls for a government watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, to monitor the spending and the overall federal response to the pandemic. And while President Trump has pushed back on other oversight, it will be difficult for him to block the GAO's work.

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