Barbara Sprunt | Michigan Radio
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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.

Updated March 11, 2021 at 2:39 PM ET

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Thursday. The colossal bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, allocates money for vaccines, schools, small businesses and anti-poverty programs such as an expanded child tax credit that will mean new monthly payments to many parents.

House Democrats are expected to pass the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, thus delivering on Democrats' campaign promises and cementing a major legislative victory for the Biden administration.

President Biden's national security adviser said Sunday that the administration has concerns over the data China has provided to the World Health Organization regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We need a credible, open, transparent international investigation led by the World Health Organization," Jake Sullivan said in an interview with CBS' Face the Nation.

Following Saturday's vote acquitting former President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., excoriated Trump for his actions on the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, calling them a "disgraceful dereliction of duty."

But he said ultimately, he did not vote to convict the former president because of constitutional concerns.

Updated at 8:23 p.m. ET on Monday

A group of Republican senators met with President Biden on Monday evening to detail a smaller counterproposal to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, an alternative they believe could be approved "quickly by Congress with bipartisan support."

Updated at 1:10p.m. ET

The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States is going to look vastly different than those of his predecessors, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and heightened security concerns after a mob of pro-Trump extremists violently breached the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago.

In an hourlong Instagram Live video Tuesday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., described her personal experience last week when a violent mob of pro-Trump extremists breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding.

"I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me," she described. "And I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event, due to security concerns. But I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die."

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.

As pro-Trump extremists clash with police and breach the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," her statement reads.

The curfew will last until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

It does not apply to essential workers, including media with outlet-issued credentials.

Updated at 9:12 p.m. ET

Georgia election officials released a report Thursday evening on the results of the hand tally recount of the presidential election, affirming Joe Biden's lead in the state.

Shortly after the results were released, The Associated Press called Joe Biden as the winner of the state.

The AP called Biden the winner of the presidential race on Nov. 7.

Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's campaign announced Wednesday morning it is filing a petition to formally ask election authorities to conduct a recount in two Wisconsin counties. President-elect Joe Biden won the state by a little more than 20,000 votes.

Efforts to protect U.S. elections from disinformation are proceeding amid reports that the head of the agency in the Department of Homeland Security that oversees election security expects to be fired soon by the White House.

Christopher Krebs, director of DHS' Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, spearheaded an agency campaign to counter rumors about voter fraud and election irregularities.

Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, offered his congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden during a call Thursday morning.

According to a statement from the Biden-Harris transition team, the pair discussed some policy areas in which Biden is likely to break from President Trump.

Although Joe Biden was declared president-elect on Saturday, the Biden and Trump campaigns are still fundraising, sending dueling requests to supporters for donations billed to boost support for their respective legal efforts. But the fine print of President Trump's solicitations paints a different picture.

Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

Amid baseless accusations of election fraud from Republicans, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the state will conduct a hand recount of the presidential race, where President-elect Joe Biden currently holds a 14,000-vote lead.

"This will help build confidence," said Raffensperger, surrounded by a bipartisan group of local election officials. "It will be a heavy lift. We will work with the counties to get this done in time for our state certification."

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.

Some top Republicans on Sunday defended President Trump's continued protestations that the election is not over and his false claims that Democrats are trying to "steal" the election, while others said he should exit gracefully.

In a statement Sunday, former President George W. Bush congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their win.

Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET

While President Trump has still not conceded the presidential race to his opponent, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are moving forward with their transition plans.

The Biden team updated its website to showcase four policy areas the incoming administration will prioritize: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change.

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

The day after the presidential election was called saw both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden going through their typical Sunday routines. Online, the Biden team updated its transition website, while Trump continued to amplify false claims of voter fraud via Twitter.

Biden began his day by attending Mass with his family at St. Joseph on the Brandywine church in Greenville, Del.

Updated on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden called for healing and cooperation in his victory speech on Saturday night, striking an optimistic tone about the prospects for a renewed and reunited America.

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 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.

Famed journalist Bob Woodward is addressing criticism he has received for not promptly sharing with the public what the president told him about the coronavirus and the government's response in a series of interviews earlier this year.

Woodward's new book, Rage, which details the interviews, is set for release Tuesday.

Updated 7:50 p.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has announced he will suspend the controversial changes he instituted to the U.S. Postal Service until after the November election.

"To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded," DeJoy said in a statement.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump once again questioned the expertise of his top public health officials Monday morning, retweeting a conspiracy theory from former game show host Chuck Woolery, who suggested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "Media, Democrats [and] our Doctors" are lying about COVID-19 in an effort to hurt Trump in November's general election.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

In the latest move from the Trump administration to push for states to reopen schools this fall, Vice President Pence couched guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen schools, saying it shouldn't be used as a "barrier" to students returning to classrooms.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

President Trump vowed to exert pressure on states to reopen their school districts this fall even as large parts of the country are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

"We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools," Trump said during a roundtable discussion Tuesday afternoon at the White House.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can't predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, "it's going to be very disturbing."

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.

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