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.

For Camilo Villa, a sophomore at Providence College, and his peers, there's one issue that keeps coming up: getting ready to vote.

"It's an icebreaker. 'Are you registered? Are you voting? Who are you voting for?' " he describes. "We finally get to perform our first real adult civic duty. It's like — I'm a big boy now, I get to go out and vote for what I believe in."

There's a political adage when it comes to young voters: always promised, never delivered.

But Villa thinks this could be the year that trend is reversed.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Joe Biden's campaign announced on Wednesday that it, the Democratic National Committee and joint fundraising efforts raised $364.5 million in August, breaking records for a one-month haul.

"That figure blows me away," Biden said in a statement.

August was a big month for the former vice president as he picked Kamala Harris to be his running mate and he formally accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the party's virtual convention.

Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday forcefully pushed back against President Trump's campaign message that voters wouldn't be safe under a Biden administration.

"The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America. So now he's trying to scare America," Biden said in remarks at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Biden called Trump power hungry and lambasted the president for what Biden sees as a lack of moral leadership — a common refrain from the former vice president on the campaign trail.

When Arthur Roland Kam thinks back to 1959, he remembers how everyone around him felt a huge political shift as Hawaii became the country's 50th state.

"For a Hawaiian citizen, it was great because it had been a long time coming," Kam describes. He was 28 years old, working for Pan Am on the island of Oahu.

"It was a big moment in my lifetime, to know that we are part of the union now," he says of the pride he felt. "To me, it was a moment to cherish. Now, we have a star on the flag. And that star is Hawaii."

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his leadership of the Postal Service on Friday and sought to reassure senators that his agency would be able to deliver the nation's election mail "securely and on time," calling it a "sacred duty."

"There has been no changes in any policies with regard to the election mail for the 2020 election," he said.

A federal judge has dismissed President Trump's latest attempt to block a subpoena for his tax records from the district attorney of Manhattan.

Thursday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero came in response to a filing by the president's personal attorneys that sought to prevent Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from obtaining eight years of his tax records. The president's legal team has argued that the subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, is "overbroad."

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

Steve Bannon, President Trump's former political adviser, has pleaded not guilty through his counsel to wire-fraud and money-laundering charges related to an online scheme that federal prosecutors said was responsible for defrauding hundreds of thousands of people.

Bannon appeared via video link in the Southern District of New York hours after his arrest Thursday morning on a yacht off the Connecticut coast.

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 7:09 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday attempted to soften remarks he had made hours earlier in which he appeared to confirm that he opposes Democrats' proposed boost in funding for the U.S. Postal Service because he wants to make it harder to expand voting by mail, claiming his only goal in denying the agency funds is to ensure the integrity of the Nov. 3 election.

Update: 2:04 p.m. ET

A late-night tweet from Kanye West this week strengthened the impression that establishment Republicans are helping the musician and fashion designer in his quest to get on the ballot in some states as a third-party candidate for president.

"I'm willing to do a live interview with the New York Time[s] about my meeting with Jared where we discussed Dr. Claude Anderson's book Powernomics," the post reads.

Updated at 7:38 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his newly named running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, made their first joint appearance Wednesday following Biden's announcement of the selection a day earlier.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sought to clear up comments he made earlier this week that suggested the African American community is mostly not diverse.

His comments came during a virtual interview published Thursday morning with journalists from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Joe Biden says that he believes prosecuting a former president would be a "very unusual thing and probably not very ... good for democracy," but he would not stand in the way of a future Justice Department pursuing criminal charges against President Trump after he leaves office.

The comments from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee came during a virtual interview Tuesday with members from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden says if elected, he would not tear down the parts of the barrier along the U.S. Southern border built during the Trump administration — but he would cease construction.

"There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration, No. 1," he told NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro during an interview with journalists from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Susan Weiss has been a poll worker in Bethesda, Md., for 16 years.

"It's really quite an experience doing it," she says. "Setting up all the equipment, putting signs up, putting arrows on the floor, etc. The camaraderie of the group that volunteers is marvelous."

But this year, with the coronavirus pandemic raging, Weiss, who's 74, decided it's just too risky to work the election in November.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice told NPR she's "honored and humbled" to be on Joe Biden's shortlist for vice president and that her lengthy tenure in the executive branch would make her an effective No. 2.

The House unanimously passed a rare ethics resolution on Friday morning to reprimand Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., for breaking congressional and campaign finance rules.

Schweikert agreed to pay a $50,000 fine and admitted to 11 ethics violations including the misuse of official funds.

The House Ethics Committee had been investigating Schweikert, who was elected in 2010, for more than two years. Its investigative subcommittee concluded there was "substantial reason" to believe Schweikert violated the government code of ethics, campaign finance laws, and House rules.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Tuesday detailed a proposal to advance racial equity in the United States.

The plan is the fourth and final pillar of his "Build Back Better" agenda for economic recovery, crafted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took to the House floor Thursday morning to admonish the insults hurled at her by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., earlier this week.

Yoho confronted Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the Capitol on Monday, Ocasio-Cortez said, calling her "disgusting" for linking poverty to crime rates in New York City.

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 at 4:52 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, laid out a key plank of his economic agenda for the country — dubbed "Build Back Better" — in a half-hour speech Thursday, offering a competing vision of economic nationalism that President Trump has trumpeted in recent years.

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 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump rebuked New York City's plan to paint "Black Lives Matter" on Fifth Avenue, calling it a "symbol of hate" in a Wednesday morning tweet.

Updated 4:37 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that reports of Russia paying bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. troops and coalition forces in Afghanistan is a hoax, even as his administration continues to brief members of Congress on the matter.

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 4:07 p.m. ET

Members of Congress held a hearing Monday to examine the forced removal of peaceful protesters by U.S. Park Police near the White House in early June.

Some residents of Washington, D.C., have lived there for years but still cast their votes from elsewhere in the United States.

D.C. is home to over 700,000 people, a population greater than Wyoming and Vermont — but unlike citizens in those states, D.C. residents don't have anyone voting for their interests in Congress.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

House Democrats approved a bill Friday afternoon to make the District of Columbia the nation's 51st state.

The vote was 232-180 largely along party and the legislation is expected to go no further in the face of opposition by Republicans in the Senate.

For decades, Washington, D.C., license plates have bemoaned the District of Columbia's lack of statehood, reminding viewers in bold blue letters of its "taxation without representation."

In a surprising upset, a 24-year-old political newcomer on Tuesday defeated President Trump's pick in a Republican primary runoff for a western North Carolina congressional seat vacated by Trump's chief of staff.

Madison Cawthorn, a real estate investor, easily beat out Lynda Bennett, a real estate agent who had a clear fundraising advantage, with about 66% of the vote.

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