Claudia Grisales

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.

Before joining NPR in June 2019, she was a Capitol Hill reporter covering military affairs for Stars and Stripes. She also covered breaking news involving fallen service members and the Trump administration's relationship with the military. She also investigated service members who have undergone toxic exposures, such as the atomic veterans who participated nuclear bomb testing and subsequent cleanup operations.

Prior to Stars and Stripes, Grisales was an award-winning reporter at the daily newspaper in Central Texas, the Austin American-Statesman, for 16 years. There, she covered the intersection of business news and regulation, energy issues and public safety. She also conducted a years-long probe that uncovered systemic abuses and corruption at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest member-owned utility in the country. The investigation led to the ousting of more than a dozen executives, state and U.S. congressional hearings and criminal convictions for two of the co-op's top leaders.

Grisales is originally from Chicago and is an alum of the University of Houston, the University of Texas and Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she earned a master's degree in journalism.

With supporters calling it more than 100 years in the making, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation on Wednesday that makes lynching a federal hate crime for the first time in U.S. history.

The Emmett Till Antilynching Act was approved in a vote of 410-4. Three Republicans and one independent representative voted against it.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Here in Washington today, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to make lynching a federal hate crime. That is something that supporters say has been tried nearly 200 times before in Congress, never successfully.

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Updated at 3:15 p.m.

President Trump, in his first public remarks in the wake of a U.S. strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, defended the action as necessary to protect national security.

"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war," Trump said Friday afternoon from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told a local television affiliate that she's "disturbed" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans to use "total coordination" with the White House to set out President Trump's impeachment trial.

It wasn't that long ago that House Democrats didn't know who would lead them.

They were warring over the speaker's post just days after the 2018 midterm elections handed them back the majority.

But Nancy Pelosi was certain of her fate.

"I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes," Pelosi told reporters soon after the November elections. "I happen to think at this point, I'm the best person for that."

Updated at 12:03 p.m. ET Thursday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate once she has more information about the contours of a Senate trial.

"We would like to see a fair process and we will be ready for whatever it is," Pelosi said Thursday, making it clear it was a matter of time.

Updated on Oct 17. at 1 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that there's no timeline for the House to wrap up its ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Trump, pushing back on predictions it could happen by the Thanksgiving holiday.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Trump administration has started the arduous process of canceling $3.6 billion in military construction projects to fund its plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper began notifying lawmakers Tuesday which projects will be canceled in their districts. Top Democrats immediately blasted the plan.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was among the first lawmakers to say his district will be impacted by the funding cuts, for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Updated Aug. 28 at 2:45 p.m. ET

As a major storm heads for Puerto Rico, the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday they will move $271 million in funds to support President Trump's border enforcement efforts.

The Pentagon's comptroller said it cost an extra $1.2 million to put on its portion of President Trump's "Salute to America" program for an expanded Fourth of July celebration in Washington, D.C., last week.

Defense Department officials said on Tuesday spending for personnel involvement and demonstrations largely came from their training budgets.