Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent, and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress, and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

There are many rose gardens, but in Washington, D.C., at least, there is only one capital-R capital-G Rose Garden.

"It's one of the few spaces at the White House that I think most Americans know, both by name and by sight," says Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association."You say 'the Rose Garden at the White House,' and it brings back presidential daughter's weddings and state dinners."

On his first day on the job last month, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy addressed the nearly half-million U.S. Postal Service career employees in a video message.

He talked of a "trajectory for success" and said that "we will focus on creating a viable operating model that ensures the Postal Service continues fulfilling its public service mission."

Updated at 2:15 p.m. EDT

President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House announced on Monday.

"National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien tested positive for COVID-19. He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off-site. There is no risk of exposure to the president or the vice president. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted," the White House said in a statement. No further details were immediately available.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Republican Party announced Thursday morning that it is scaling back its upcoming nominating convention and will hold what party chair Ronna McDaniel is calling a "convention celebration" next month in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bowing to the realities of holding a mass gathering in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in Florida, which has seen a spike in new cases, attendance at the convention during its first few days, Aug. 24-26, will be limited to delegates only, which is a little more than 2,500 people.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled legislation on Wednesday to address a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, with hopes of acting on police misconduct, dangerous practices and concerns of systemic racism.

But Democrats say the proposal, which would encourage police departments to end such practices such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants but does not explicitly ban them, falls short.

Federal workers are starting to be called back into their offices in some areas, and among the first to be returning are employees of the Internal Revenue Service. It's a busy time.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted the government to extend the deadline for filing tax returns until July 15 — which is just around the corner. Meanwhile, the IRS is still distributing coronavirus relief checks to millions of Americans.

Much of the work of processing tax returns is automated, as some 90% of taxpayers file theirs electronically, according to the IRS.

Activists protesting police brutality are calling on cities and states to defund their police. Funding for local law enforcement now increasingly comes from the federal government.

Federal departments ranging from the Department of Justice to the Department of Agriculture have grant programs aimed at hiring more police, equipping them and constructing new police facilities.

Some experts say that federal involvement undermines community accountability and focuses more on enforcement than minimizing harm.

President Trump, touting May's lower-than-expected unemployment rate Friday, said a strong economy was the "greatest thing that could happen for race relations."

And he seemed to proclaim that George Floyd, whose killing by police in Minneapolis has sparked more than a week of protests, would be happy with the economic news.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday defended the decision to order that protesters be driven back from a park near the White House this week and said extremist groups were involved in sometimes violent demonstrations in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

Former President Barack Obama said the protests in cities across the nation in the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis under a police officer's knee "represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States."

Eight states and the District of Columbia are holding primary elections next week amid the coronavirus pandemic, and voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail in record numbers.

It is likely to be a preview of what's to come in the fall, and some worry whether the U.S. Postal Service is up to the challenge.

A lot of people like the Postal Service; according to a recent Pew poll, 91% of Americans had a positive view, higher than any other branch of government. But it's an agency with some big problems.

The 2020 presidential election is more than five months away. So it may seem a bit early to think about — much less prepare for — a possible presidential transition.

But under law, and behind the scenes, that's just what the Trump administration and staffers for the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, have begun to do.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday that state governors should allow churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to reopen immediately.

In brief comments at the White House, Trump said houses of worship are "essential places that provide essential services." Churches have faced restrictions for gatherings and ceremonies as public health officials worked to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some have chafed at the restrictions.

Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET

The Senate Banking Committee took its first look at spending under the massive CARES Act, which Congress approved in March to provide assistance to individuals, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were pressed by senators about their stewardship of specific aspects of the approximately $2 trillion relief package at Tuesday's remote hearing.

Updated at 4:42 p.m. ET

Rick Bright, a career government scientist-turned-whistleblower, told a congressional panel Thursday that without a stronger federal response, the coronavirus threatens to make 2020 the "darkest winter in modern history."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had sharp words for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, during Tuesday's Senate committee hearing on the coronavirus.

In arguing for reopening the economy and schools, Paul said, "As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all. I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision."

Paul pointed to the mortality rate in New York City of young people up to age 18, which he said was near zero — much lower than for older people.

Attorneys for Rick Bright, the government scientist who said he had been reassigned and subsequently filed a whistleblower complaint, say a government watchdog agrees that he should be reinstated to his post.

Bright was serving as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working on a vaccine to combat the coronavirus.

The Supreme Court has temporarily put on hold the release of redacted grand jury material from the Russia investigation to a House panel.

The Trump administration is trying to block the release.

Last October, a district court judge ruled the Justice Department had to turn over the materials, which were blacked out, from former special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Updated on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET

President Trump said he had planned to wind down the White House coronavirus task force, but now plans to add two or three new members by Monday, noting he had received "calls from very respected people" to keep it going.

Trump said the task force would continue "indefinitely" and made clear its focus would be on "opening the country." Some members of the task force, such as people who worked on increasing the supply of ventilators, "may be less involved," he said.

Updated at 9:38 a.m. ET

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to work from home, and that includes employees of the federal government. The numbers vary by agency, but at the Social Security Administration, some 53,000 workers are doing so.

Social Security field offices are closed. But the shutdown hasn't stopped the agency from processing claims for new benefits and appeals of benefit denials. And according to statistics that the SSA sent its workers, the agency has been doing so at a faster pace than before.

The Internal Revenue Service has told some 10,000 of its employees that they're needed back in the office as early as Monday — and they'll need to bring their own masks.

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee say it's "completely irresponsible and unethical for the IRS to demand those workers obtain their own protective equipment."

The CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus response legislation Congress approved late last month, calls for a government watchdog, the Government Accountability Office, to monitor the spending and the overall federal response to the pandemic. And while President Trump has pushed back on other oversight, it will be difficult for him to block the GAO's work.

Leading the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the coronavirus pandemic may be one of the most thankless jobs in government right now. Governors are clamoring for more supplies, like ventilators and face masks. The president engages in public feuds with those governors.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Trump at a briefing Monday night made an assertion that likely would have surprised the framers of the U.S. Constitution: that as president, his authority is "total" and that he has the power to order states — which have told businesses to close and people to remain at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus — to reopen.

In a remarkably prophetic report last summer, the Federal Emergency Management Agency accurately predicted that a nationwide pandemic would result in a shortage of medical supplies, hospitals would be overwhelmed and the economy would shut down.

The warnings were contained in the 2019 National Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, published last July. Its existence was first reported by E&E News.

Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET

If you've checked your mail lately, you may have noticed there's just not much of it.

The U.S. Postal Service could be another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

"A lot of businesses have ceased to do advertising through the mail," says Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., "and as a result, mail volume has collapsed."

He says the decline could be as much as 60% by the end of the year, which he says would be "catastrophic" for the agency.

President Trump last weekend raised — and then dropped — the idea of placing residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under a quarantine to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus outside of the nation's hardest-hit region.

President Trump revealed he'll be speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about, among other things, oil prices.

In an interview with Fox and Friends on Monday morning, Trump expressed concern that the recent price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia was endangering the oil industry.

Pages