Deirdre Walsh | WYPR

Deirdre Walsh

Deirdre Walsh is the congress editor for NPR's Washington Desk.

Based in Washington, DC, Walsh manages a team of reporters covering Capitol Hill and political campaigns.

Before joining NPR in 2018, Walsh worked as a senior congressional producer at CNN. In her nearly 18-year career there, she was an off-air reporter and a key contributor to the network's newsgathering efforts, filing stories for CNN.com and producing pieces that aired on domestic and international networks. Prior to covering Capitol Hill, Walsh served as a producer for Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics.

Walsh was elected in August 2018 as the president of the Board of Directors for the Washington Press Club Foundation, a non-profit focused on promoting diversity in print and broadcast media. Walsh has won several awards for enterprise and election reporting, including the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress by the National Press Association, which she won in February 2013 along with CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. Walsh was also awarded the Joan Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based Congressional or Political Reporting in June 2013.

Walsh received a B.A. in political science and communications from Boston College.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his plans to move forward on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"The Senate will vote on this nomination this year," McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday on the Senate floor. He didn't say whether the vote would come before the election, or in a lame duck-session of Congress that occurs after the November election and before the start of a new session in 2021.

The 2020 presidential campaign heads into the fall stretch with a dizzying pace of news developments threatening to upend the contest. But NPR interviews with voters across the country around Labor Day weekend found that most are locked into their support for either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The small contingent of undecided voters said they are unenthusiastic about their choices.

The season for mounting challenges to incumbent lawmakers is nearly over, and the focus is shifting toward the general election. But incumbents shouldn't rest easy — it's clear that groups on the left feel emboldened by the places where they did make gains over the course of the 2020 cycle and plan to keep an eye on where else they can target their energy next.

Follow live coverage of the RNC all week at NPR.org/conventions.

President Trump's campaign was forced to deal with sudden focus on two major news stories — mounting national unrest about racial injustice after another shooting of a Black man by police in Wisconsin, and Hurricane Laura, which is threatening "unsurvivable"storm surge — on the third night of the Republican National Convention.

The second night of the Republican National Convention presented a more positive message about a second Trump term after opening night's bleak picture of rising crime, unrest and extremist policies the GOP said the Democratic ticket had in store for the country.

Kamala Harris made history with her formal nomination as the first Black woman and person of Asian descent on a major party's national ticket.

The 55-year-old California senator used much of her first prime-time address as Joe Biden's running mate to tell her own story before turning her fire on President Trump.

Former President Barack Obama, who has mostly stayed on the sidelines as Democrats blasted President Trump's policies over the past 3 1/2 years, took off the gloves and questioned Trump's fitness for the job.

After former first lady Michelle Obama's foreboding address Monday about the consequences of a second term for President Trump, and her urgent appeal that people "vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it," the second night of the Democratic National Convention focused on building the case for how Biden would restore a country struggling in an economic and public health crisis.

Updated at 7:22 a.m. ET

Michelle Obama didn't mince words Monday night. After mostly staying out of the political fray during President Trump's tenure in the White House, she used her prime-time Democratic National Convention slot to deliver a blistering indictment on his policies and ability to lead.

"Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

After days of delays, congressional Republicans rolled out their proposal for a fifth wave of pandemic relief aid on Monday, setting the stage for a showdown with Democrats, who say the two sides remain far apart.

The plan, which was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., focuses on new funding for schools and a new round of payments to Americans and allows for some additional wage replacement for unemployed workers.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday to remove statues honoring figures who were part of the Confederacy during the Civil War from the U.S. Capitol. The bill would also replace the bust of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, author of the Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denying freedom to an enslaved man, and replace it with a bust of Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Washington is racing to complete a fifth round of legislation to address the ongoing, and still surging, coronavirus pandemic in the next three weeks. The two parties and the White House are at odds over what the major pillars of the legislation should include and how much it should cost.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to get a bill to President Trump by Aug. 7 when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the rest of the summer — a time when lawmakers traditionally hit the campaign trail in an election year.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

The picnic that is political life in Washington seldom encounters a skunk of the magnitude of John Bolton.

He was a centerpiece of the establishment, and now President Trump and Republicans have rejected him as a turncoat.

Democrats, never fond of his worldview, now despise him as never before.

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an "insulting" attack on his presidential powers.

"This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands," the president said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the full Senate will not plan to return to the Capitol before May 4 — a delay from a planned return next Monday.

McConnell said the decision to change the schedule was made "following the advice of health experts" and in consultation with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

McConnell, R-Ky., stressed that Congress continues to work remotely to respond to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Updated at 6:44 p.m. ET

Congress is working to get more money to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic but negotiations over the size and scope of another round of emergency funding could delay quick action this week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will create a bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis to be chaired by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.

The committee will focus on transparency, accountability and oversight and will have the power to issue subpoenas, she said on a call with reporters.

"This select committee is about the here and now," Pelosi said. "We have to work together to get through this, but as we do, we don't want to make more mistakes."

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 5:25 a.m. ET on Friday

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was unable to reach a deal late Thursday on a package of measures to address the coronavirus pandemic amid pushback from the top House Republican that the bill "comes up short."

Negotiations were set to resume on Friday on the legislation, which does not include an emergency payroll tax cut — something that President Trump has been pressing for Congress to pass but that Democrats and some Republicans have rejected.

Updated at 11:32 p.m. ET

Congressional Democrats unveiled a measure for a legislative stimulus package aimed at mitigating the economic damage stemming from the coronavirus.

Updated at 9:04 a.m. ET

Joe Biden continued his impressive string of primary wins, easily besting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho on Tuesday.

With a big delegate lead, he solidified his position as the favorite for his party's nomination to face President Trump in November. Sanders was the projected winner in North Dakota while votes were still being counted in Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the top Senate Democrat for comments he made on the steps of the Supreme Court on Wednesday calling out Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

Appearing before a crowd of abortion-rights demonstrators, Schumer, D-N.Y., referred to the court's two Trump appointees, saying: "You have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."

Momentum and timing matter in politics — and both helped former Vice President Joe Biden mount a comeback against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who went into Super Tuesday with front-runner status after significant wins in early states.

After poor showings in some opening contests, Biden's campaign was seen by many as left for dead. On Tuesday he emerged as the chief alternative to Sanders.

The Democratic presidential race at one point had almost two dozen candidates, but now it's essentially a contest between two men representing dueling ideological poles of the party.

President Trump took full advantage of the large television audience for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to make his case for reelection in November, touting the strong economy and delighting Republicans in the room with a series of made-for-TV moments.

President Trump's State of the Union address included some surprising moments — both emotional announcements and a blunt reaction from the speaker of the House — all playing out live before a prime-time audience.

Here are six of the highlights:

1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of the president's speech

Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead House impeachment manager, said Wednesday, "We're trying this case to two juries: the Senate and the American people."

It's not just the prosecutors who are approaching the Senate trial as having two distinct audiences.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

After a long day and night of dueling between the House managers calling for impeachment and attorneys for President Trump declaring the articles of impeachment "ridiculous," the Senate adopted a set of rules that will govern its impeachment trial, in which opening arguments will get underway Wednesday.

The resolution, put forward by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, calls for each side to receive up to 24 hours to argue their case, spread over three days.

Updated on Jan. 22 at 1:54 p.m. ET

The seven legislators who will act as the prosecution team presenting the House Democrats' case in the Senate trial make up a diverse group with a common link: strong legal backgrounds.

"The emphasis is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the team that is a mix of some familiar faces from the House inquiry and some lesser-known members.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she expects to release her hold on the two articles of impeachment against President Trump "soon," but for now, she is still holding out to learn more about how Republicans plan to conduct a Senate trial.

"No, I'm not holding them indefinitely," Pelosi told reporters Thursday at a weekly press conference. "I'll send them over when I'm ready. That will probably be soon."

Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET

The House is poised to impeach President Trump — thus making him the third president to go down in the history books with a majority of representatives voting that he is guilty of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" as set out in the Constitution.

House Democrats are moving closer to impeaching President Trump with two big developments this week — the release of the House Intelligence Committee's report summarizing their investigation and the Judiciary Committee holding its first hearing.

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