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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.

The White House is scaling back temperature checks for those entering the complex as tents stationed along the north entrance to the building for conducting screenings were removed Monday morning.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the move follows Washington, D.C.'s entry into phase two of reopening.

Updated at 6:33 p.m. ET

With anxieties over the coronavirus and tensions over race looming large, President Trump remains on track to hit the campaign trail Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., as he prepares to rally supporters for the first time since the pandemic took root widely across the country three months ago.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, commemorating the five-year anniversary of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in his home state and lambasting a Democratic colleague for referring to his police reform bill as "token" legislation.

The House has scheduled a vote next week on a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, marking the first time since 1993 that Congress will have voted on the issue.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the June 26 vote alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and D.C. officials on Tuesday morning.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Philonise Floyd laid bare his anguish over the death of his brother George at the hands of police as he testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

House and Senate Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation Monday to overhaul policing in the U.S., following weeks of national protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

Updated at 8:17 a.m. ET

After years of racist comments that lost him the support of many Republican Party leaders, conservative Iowa Rep. Steve King has lost his bid for reelection to a primary challenge by GOP state Sen. Randy Feenstra.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden condemned both police violence and President Trump's increasingly confrontational response to widespread unrest in a Tuesday morning speech delivered at Philadelphia City Hall.

In his first in-person campaign event in more than two months, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met Monday with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in his hometown to address the outrage and protests surrounding George Floyd's death.

Protests have erupted in dozens of cities over the past week since Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer was seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck for minutes on end.

President Trump held an Oval Office ceremony Friday to sign the 2020 Armed Forces Day Proclamation and unveil the official flag of the Space Force, the newest military branch.

Standing alongside senior leaders of the military, Trump called the unfurling a "very special moment."

"We've worked very hard on this and it's so important from a defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint, from every standpoint there is," Trump said.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his chief primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced on Wednesday the members of a joint task force meant to unify the party ahead of November's general election, bringing together figures from different wings of the party, ranging from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET on May 19

For some members of Congress, an office on Capitol Hill is just, well, an office. But for others, it doubles as their apartment while they live and work in Washington, D.C.

It's a practice Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would like to see permanently banned.

"You know, they sleep on their couches, they then get up in the morning, sneak downstairs [to] the members' gym, shower, change their clothes, and come back up for work," she describes.

New York state's Democratic presidential primary is back on after a district court judge granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday to reinstate the contest.

Monday night's Met Gala in New York City may have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn't stop a bold look from appearing on the red carpet. OK, well, it's actually blue carpet.

During a unanimous vote on an agency's inspector general, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., took to the Senate floor while donning a face mask and a vibrant purple wig.

Sinema, whose locks are usually blonde, voted and seemed to identify herself by pointing to her new look, with an expression of, "Yeah, it's me. You knew that, right?"

Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-independent from western Michigan, announced Tuesday evening that he is exploring a third-party bid for the presidency.

The five-term congressman and critic of President Trump said he's launching an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination.

"We're ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together," Amash wrote on Twitter. "I'm excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president."

New York Democrats will not be casting primary votes for a presidential candidate this year.

State election officials effectively canceled the presidential primary by removing every Democrat except the presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, from the primary ballot.

According to multiple reports, Douglas Kellner, co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, received thousands of emails from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pushing for the primary to continue as planned.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional Democrats appeared to have a ways to go on Wednesday before they could agree on details for more relief spending for the coronavirus disaster.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump said "we certainly want to try" to lift restrictions on life in the U.S. by April 30 but he made no definitive commitment at a news conference on Monday at the White House.

Trump sought to walk a tightrope between grim warnings about a new spike in fatalities forecast for the coming weeks and upbeat exuberance about how well he said the response is going.

"Tremendous progress has been made in a very short period," Trump said.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET

In a grim assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump on Saturday predicted that the coming week would be "one of the toughest weeks" of the outbreak. At the same time, the president expressed frustration with the toll that social distancing measures are taking on the economy, saying, "We cannot let this continue."

With data projecting cases in several regions hitting their peaks within seven days, the president told reporters that the United States could see its deadliest week since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Updated at 7:57 p.m. ET

Just days after the White House coronavirus task force warned Americans to brace for sobering death tolls, the administration is vowing to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus.

Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET

White House doctors have started giving rapid coronavirus tests to people who are "in close proximity" to President Trump or Vice President Pence.

Updated at 7:37 p.m. ET

The government has gone to work disbursing the billions of dollars Washington has committed to sustain the economy after the deep shock it has undergone in the pandemic, the White House promised on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration, vowed that some of the first systems for loans or payments would be up and running as soon as Friday.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

President Trump says he may consider grounding some or all flights as a coronavirus pandemic mitigation measure but also said on Wednesday he wants to apply the lightest touch possible in managing the disaster.

Lagging in the Democratic presidential primary and facing the unique challenge of running for office amid the coronavirus pandemic, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he is still assessing his campaign's future.

"It's changing every day because elections are being delayed," Sanders said in an interview with Morning Edition's Noel King.

"Where do we go from here with the elections that are being delayed, where we can't go out and hold rallies or knock on doors? That's what we're looking at right now," Sanders said.

Roughly 50,000 Instagram viewers got a taste of what a White House briefing from the coronavirus task force would be like if only the doctor, not President Trump, answered questions.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

President Trump told governors his administration is working on publishing guidelines for state and local governments to use to determine whether to increase or relax social distancing rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement came ahead of the White House's regular news conference on its response to the pandemic.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Thursday

The White House's pandemic task force convened another briefing on Wednesday afternoon amid a tense denouement for legislation aimed at helping an economy poleaxed by the disaster.

Last-minute objections on Wednesday delayed the Senate vote until late in the evening, when it passed on a vote of 96 to 0.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

In the midst of Senate negotiations on a massive stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic, House Democrats have drafted their own counterproposal titled the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Republican bill before the Senate puts "corporations first, not workers and families."

Updated at 8:55 p.m. ET

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have both tested negative for COVID-19, his office announced on Saturday.

"Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, said in a tweet.

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