Kelsey Snell

Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.

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Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

The White House is working to identify federal dollars that could be redirected to construct a border wall, if President Trump invokes his emergency powers to do so.

Updated at 10:38 p.m. ET

Democrats again rejected President Trump's demand for a wall on the Southern border following an Oval Office address Tuesday night in which Trump insisted the wall is the only solution to an influx of migration from Mexico and Central America.

Updated at 3:46 p.m. ET

Nancy Pelosi is again speaker of the House, as Democrats retook control of the chamber for the first time in eight years, bringing divided government back to Washington.

The first woman to hold the position, Pelosi is now the first person to reclaim the speaker's gavel in more than six decades.

The California Democrat was elected with 220 votes over California Republican Kevin McCarthy, the new minority leader.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET

Six days into a partial government shutdown, congressional Democrats and President Trump are showing no signs of reaching a deal to reopen the government. Instead, it appears the shutdown could last until 2019.

The president has only a few more days to advance any spending agreement with the help of full GOP control in Washington. Democrats take control of the House on Jan. 3, giving them significant new leverage over future spending talks.

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Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Congressional negotiators have reached an agreement to overhaul the system for handling accusations of sexual misconduct against members, including a requirement that members pay out of pocket for some settlements and court judgments.

Congress voted to delay the threat of a partial government shutdown until Dec. 21 as lawmakers try to avoid political sniping in the midst of the public mourning for former President George H.W. Bush.

The main sticking point in the spending negotiations is President Trump's demand for $5 billion for construction of a wall along the Southwest border between the United States and Mexico.

Congressional leaders are planning to delay a spending fight until after the memorial ceremonies for former President George H.W. Bush are completed.

House leaders are drafting a bill to postpone a potential government shutdown from midnight on Friday night to the end of the day on Dec. 21.

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President Trump is throwing his support behind legislation that could shorten sentences for some drug offenders and help prisoners adjust to life after incarceration.

Details of the measure have not been officially released, but Trump said Wednesday the bill will provide incentives for prisoners to participate in training or rehabilitation programs with a goal of reducing recidivism.

It will also include measures to address sentencing disparities and inequities.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

House Republicans elected top leaders Wednesday to oversee their transformation from an ideologically diverse majority power to an increasingly conservative minority in the next session of Congress.

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Updated at 2:37 p.m. ET

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., offered an olive branch to President Trump and congressional Republicans, just hours after Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives.

The congressional leader said that the new Democratic House majority will seek bipartisanship with Republicans, a comment that echoed what Trump himself had conveyed in his own postelection press conference.

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House Democrats are promising to start 2019 with a familiar pledge: They want to drain the swamp.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who plans to run for speaker, announced Tuesday that Democrats plan to use their majority in the House to act as a check on President Trump and on corruption in Washington.

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The last few weeks of any election are all about leaving one last impression with voters — a reminder of where a candidate stands and what he or she believes. This year in particular, the only closing argument that matters for Republicans is where they stand on President Trump.

Midterm elections usually are about the president to some degree, but 2018 is shaping up to be a nationwide rehashing of 2016's political feuds. Trump said so himself in a recent rally in Mississippi.

Updated at 8:52 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a message for Republican voters who are celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Get to the polls in November if you want more conservatives sitting on judicial benches.

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, and his confirmation now seems all but certain, after a key swing vote, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declared her support in a speech on the Senate floor.

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

Updated at 7:51 a.m. ET on Thursday

The FBI's highly anticipated supplemental background check on Brett Kavanaugh was sent to the White House and Capitol Hill overnight, with senators set to review the report on Thursday in the final chapter of what has become a deeply acrimonious confirmation battle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the planned arrival of the report on Wednesday night and said all senators would get a chance to review it ahead of the next procedural milestones in the chamber.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD: (Reading) I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.

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Christine Blasey Ford has just begun to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, offering testimony today against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Let's just bring the sound of that as we hear a bit of her opening statement.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

The House voted 361-61 to approve a spending bill to avoid a shutdown threat until early December. President Trump has said he plans to sign the legislation.

The legislation also includes a full year of funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor and Health and Human Services and a short-term extension of the Violence Against Women Act; but it has no new money for Trump's proposed wall with Mexico.

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