Kelsey Snell

Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates.


California Rep. Karen Bass was a relative unknown on the national stage until just a few months ago. Now she is among the contenders to be Joe Biden's pick for his vice presidential running mate.

Updated at 7 a.m. ET Saturday

John Lewis — an icon of the civil rights movement, congressman and, for decades, a force in Democratic politics — died at age 80 on Friday.

Lewis had been treated for advanced-stage pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed during a routine medical exam. He publicly disclosed his diagnosis in late December.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

Senate Democrats, emboldened by a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, blocked debate Wednesday on a Republican police reform bill that they said did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

In wrenching testimony before a House panel Wednesday, George Floyd's younger brother Philonise declared, "They lynched my brother."

"That was a modern-day lynching, in broad daylight," Floyd said, adding, "I still need time to grieve."

House lawmakers on Friday approved a Democratic proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief that would include a new wave of help for state and local governments, workers and families.

The House voted 208 to 199 — largely along party lines — to pass the measure. The size of the bill represents the biggest ever proposed and it includes another round of direct cash payments to Americans, extends unemployment benefits to the end of January, and adds hazard pay for front-line workers. It also expands virus-testing efforts, contact tracing and treatment.

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Updated at 6:58 a.m. ET Saturday

Congress has authorized roughly $3 trillion in coronavirus relief in four separate measures over the last two months. These bills attempt to protect the American economy from long-term harm caused by stay-at-home orders and respond to the overall impact of the virus.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

Updated at 7:20 a.m. ET

After a tense day on the Senate floor that included leaders trading barbs over who is to blame for failing to advance a new coronavirus response bill, the top Senate Democrat said late Monday night that he was "very, very close" to an agreement with the White House on a deal for a third wave of emergency funding that could go well past $1 trillion.

Updated at 8:34 p.m. ET

President Trump signed the latest coronavirus aid package into law Wednesday evening.

The Senate approved the new round of emergency funding earlier Wednesday.

Updated at 3:46 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is asking Congress for roughly $1 trillion in new economic relief as lawmakers begin work on the next phase of coronavirus relief efforts.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he worked with the president on the economic package. Their discussions included payments to small businesses, loan guarantees for industries like airlines and hotels, and a stimulus package for workers.

Updated at 12:54 a.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House agreed Friday on relief legislation in response to the national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.

The House passed the measure by an overwhelming vote Friday night.

The breakthrough followed hours of negotiations between the speaker and the administration, including more than a dozen phone calls on Friday between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the priorities for the package.

Updated at 1:43 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning to stay in the 2020 Democratic presidential race despite another disappointing primary night.

Two weeks ago, Sanders was the unlikely front-runner for the nomination. Now former Vice President Joe Biden has consolidated support so rapidly, and won so many states, that Sanders is facing calls to drop out of the race.

But Sanders announced his intention to press on in a statement on Wednesday.

For centrist Democrats the most important theme to emerge from the New Hampshire primary was "don't count us out."

For weeks they have been grappling with the reality that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is shaping up to be their party's front-runner for president. Moderates say surging support for two more moderate Democrats is a signal that their wing of the party has a chance to take the nomination. But there is growing pressure on centrists to unite around a single candidate before Sanders becomes unbeatable.

Updated Jan. 21 at 2:26 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made last-minute, handwritten changes Tuesday to the parameters for how President Trump's impeachment trial process will play out. Departing from a draft resolution he released Monday night, the resolution now allows impeachment managers and the president's defense to have 24 hours to make arguments over three session days. The draft had stipulated 24 hours over two days. McConnell also altered the rules for admitting the House evidence into the record.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

The House will vote to send two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate Wednesday, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a trial to determine whether to remove the president from office will probably begin next Tuesday.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will also name impeachment managers to lead the prosecution against the president Wednesday but did not say who they would be. "The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial," Pelosi said.

Spending negotiators may have reached an agreement on an outline to avoid a government shutdown, but the final legislation is still incomplete less than three days before the Friday deadline.

Updated at 3:44 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans and Democrats will split control of Congress next year. House Democrats are projected to pick up enough GOP-held seats to take the majority in the House, according to The Associated Press. Senate Republicans are projected to maintain and perhaps expand their majority.

The results create a divided Capitol Hill next year and mean President Trump's plans for new tax cuts, tougher immigration legislation and changes to the Affordable Care Act will be blocked.

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, and his confirmation now seems all but certain, after a key swing vote, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declared her support in a speech on the Senate floor.

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

Updated at 7:51 a.m. ET on Thursday

The FBI's highly anticipated supplemental background check on Brett Kavanaugh was sent to the White House and Capitol Hill overnight, with senators set to review the report on Thursday in the final chapter of what has become a deeply acrimonious confirmation battle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the planned arrival of the report on Wednesday night and said all senators would get a chance to review it ahead of the next procedural milestones in the chamber.

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