Barbara Sprunt

Congressional Democrats say their $2 trillion spending plan would have a profound impact on the lives and pocketbooks of most American families, and some left-leaning think tanks are trying to help prove it to voters.

A new report from the center-left think tank Third Way aims to distill the social and climate spending package to show what four of its current provisions would mean for various families across the country.

At a busy pub in Midlothian, Virginia, a group of voters are gathered at long wooden tables, ordering burgers and pimento cheese fries and talking about the Democrats' legislative agenda.

"I think universal pre-K is a good idea," said Lindsay Sherrard, a local physician.

"The [child] tax credit is fantastic," added Yael Levin, who works on education issues. "I love the tax credit because that gives the choice back to people."

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Updated November 15, 2021 at 11:42 AM ET

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving member in the Senate, announced Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022.

"Marcelle and I have reached the conclusion that it is time to put down the gavel. It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for our great state. It's time to come home," he said in a news conference at the state capitol in Montpelier.

Updated November 6, 2021 at 11:02 AM ET

After months of tense negotiations, the House of Representatives has passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, 228-206, fulfilling a major priority for President Biden's domestic agenda and cementing a political victory for Democrats.

Biden said Saturday that the vote was a "monumental" step forward and that he would sign the bill into law next week.

Updated November 1, 2021 at 4:17 PM ET

Sen. Joe Manchin has announced he cannot yet support the $1.75 trillion framework for President Biden's social spending package that congressional Democrats were hoping to push through this week.

A lot "ales" Congress these days — with members clashing over President Biden's domestic agenda and continued fallout from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

But on Wednesday night, bipartisan cooperation was on full display during the fourth annual Anheuser-Busch Brew Across America Congressional Brewing Competition, where five pairs of lawmakers work with breweries across the country to create new small batch beers and bring them back to Washington, D.C., to find out whose concoction is best.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he had previously offered to change his political party affiliation to independent if he were an "embarrassment" to his Democratic colleagues.

"I said, me being a moderate centrist Democrat — if that causes you a problem, let me know and I'd switch to be independent," he told Capitol Hill reporters Thursday.

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So much ails Congress these days - disagreements over President Biden's domestic agenda and the January 6 insurrection. Well, NPR's Barbara Sprunt found some unexpected bipartisan cooperation brewing on Capitol Hill over beer.

Updated October 19, 2021 at 9:18 PM ET

Progressive Democrats emerged from a meeting at the White House Tuesday praising President Biden's efforts but acknowledging that in any spending agreement with moderates, key progressive priorities, including climate, pre-K and the child tax credit, would likely be smaller than they'd prefer.

Updated October 6, 2021 at 6:25 PM ET

Senate leaders are working to finalize a deal to avoid the immediate threat of federal default by punting a political battle to December.

Democrats say they are willing to accept an offer from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for a short-term lift of the debt limit. But they say they remain unwilling to accept a related demand to use McConnell's preferred procedure to pass a longer suspension of the borrowing cap.

Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush was trying to regain her composure in her congressional office.

Just moments earlier, the former nurse and activist had, in a House hearing, shared her personal story of her sexual assault and subsequent abortion for the first time.

"I was reading really slowly because I was having trouble just even opening my mouth. It was just very hard. It felt like something was pressing down on me," Bush recounted to NPR. "It was really difficult because I'm telling this story before the world."

In 2018, a bipartisan pair of senators introduced legislation that would provide support to individuals placed under guardianships, a legal mechanism set up for people who the court deems unable to manage their affairs. The bill never got a vote.

But on Tuesday, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, are reintroducing the Guardianship Accountability Act with optimism that this time the bill will have the political and public support to advance.

What changed? Simply put: Britney Spears.

Updated September 28, 2021 at 4:50 PM ET

Top Pentagon officials have stated publicly for the first time that they personally believed it would be a mistake to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Kenneth McKenzie all testified during a Tuesday hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., expressed regret over her earlier opposition to same-sex marriage, a position she took eight years ago that led to a public falling out with her sister, Mary, who is gay and married with children.

"I was wrong. I was wrong. I love my sister very much. I love her family very much," the lawmaker said in an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes.

Updated September 24, 2021 at 11:58 AM ET

The U.S. House on Friday approved a bill that Democrats say will protect a person's access to abortion.

Updated September 13, 2021 at 2:55 PM ET

Authorities arrested a California man early Monday who had a bayonet and machete inside his pickup truck parked near the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

According to a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police, a special operation division officer noticed a Dodge Dakota truck emblazoned with a swastika and other white supremacist symbols around midnight. In place of a license plate, the truck had a picture of the American flag.

Updated September 9, 2021 at 6:25 PM ET

The Department of Justice has sued the state of Texas over a new law that bans abortions after about six weeks, before most people realize they are pregnant, all but halting the procedure in the country's second-largest state.

The lawsuit says the state enacted the law "in open defiance of the Constitution."

President Biden reiterated Friday that the U.S. will continue its mission to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies despite the attack Thursday that killed 13 U.S. troops.

"The mission there being performed is dangerous and now has come with a significant loss of American personnel, but it's a worthy mission because they continue to evacuate folks out of that region," he told reporters during a meeting in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was among the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has revealed his identity for the first time, speaking about the threats he's received since the riot.

Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd told NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt that there have been racist and "very vicious and cruel things" said about him.

"It's all disheartening because I know I was doing my job," he said in the interview released Thursday evening.

Updated August 26, 2021 at 7:19 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday delivered a stark message to those who carried out the deadly attack outside the airport in Kabul that left 13 U.S. service members dead, while also pledging that the evacuation of Afghanistan will continue.

"Know this," Biden said to the attackers. "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay."

Fifty-five U.S. senators are urging President Biden to expeditiously evacuate Afghan special immigrant visa applicants whose lives are in jeopardy in the aftermath of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.

The group of senators, led by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, noted the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan was aided "every step of the way" by Afghans who risked their safety and that of their families to assist the United States.

Updated August 16, 2021 at 6:28 PM ET

Congressional outcry over the Biden's administration's handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover of the country has been swift.

Criticism of the administration was bipartisan: Republicans were scathing about the White House's actions, and Democrats, while acknowledging that President Biden was carrying out the policies of his predecessor, criticized the haphazard manner of the U.S. withdrawal.

Nine moderate House Democrats warned Speaker Nancy Pelosi they won't vote for a budget resolution critical to passing Democrats' $3.5 trillion social policy package unless the House first passes a Senate-approved infrastructure bill, a move that threatens to derail the party's economic agenda.

Updated August 3, 2021 at 7:07 PM ET

Days after a national eviction moratorium expired, the Biden administration on Tuesday issued a new, more limited freeze that remains in effect through Oct. 3.

To retake control of the House of Representatives, Republicans need to pick up just five seats in the 2022 midterm elections. It's Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney's job to make sure that doesn't happen.

The New York Democrat and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told NPR that the party is hopeful that an ambitious, multitrillion-dollar economic agenda trumpeted by the Biden administration will resonate with voters when it's time to head to the polls next fall.

A bipartisan deal has been struck on a $2.1 billion bill that would boost support for the Capitol complex in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, direct much-needed funds to the U.S. Capitol Police and provide humanitarian support for Afghan refugees.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who serve as chair and vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, respectively, announced the deal Tuesday.

Updated July 27, 2021 at 12:51 PM ET

In gripping emotional testimony Tuesday, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell recounted the "horrific and devastating" violence of Jan. 6 during the first hearing of the select committee investigating the insurrection.

The House select committee investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 is holding its first hearing Tuesday. Police officers from the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department will testify before a panel of nine lawmakers: seven Democrats and two Republicans all appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Updated July 21, 2021 at 10:44 PM ET

Senate Democrats fell short in their efforts to begin debate Wednesday on a bill that would act as the vehicle for President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure package, but a broad group of senators said they "are close to a final agreement."

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