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.

The Senate takes up President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package this week, following a largely party-line House vote early Saturday morning.

Democrats are using a process to avoid a Republican filibuster in the Senate that leaves them no room for error in the divided 50-50 chamber.

As more Texans get their water restored, fallout from the mass blackout continues. There have been resignations from the body that oversees the grid, and lawmakers open their investigation tomorrow.

On Wednesday, House impeachment managers had senators riveted to disturbing new security camera video that showed just how close the rioters that breached the U.S. Capitol came to lawmakers in the House and Senate chambers.

Wednesday's images, from several angles outside the chambers and in hallways outside leadership offices, showed one Capitol police officer run past Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney and direct him to turn around and run, as rioters were closing in on that location just off the Senate floor.

The Senate trial of former President Donald Trump began with a jarring and graphic video of the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The lead House manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., used the montage to tie Trump's message to his supporters that morning to their violent actions breaching the building and attacking U.S. Capitol police.

The Senate trial of former President Donald Trump for one article of impeachment — incitement of the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — starts Tuesday with a debate over whether the Constitution allows for prosecution of a president once he leaves office. The debate comes about a year after the Senate acquitted then-President Trump on two counts of abuse of power and obstruction.

Updated on Friday at 2 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump made history when he became the first president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives. Roughly a year ago, the Senate acquitted Trump on two articles — abuse of power and obstruction.

Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET

President Biden and congressional Democrats are pressing ahead on a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, taking the steps in the House and Senate to approve the measure without Republican support.

Biden called into the weekly House Democratic Caucus call Wednesday and reiterated his commitment to including direct payments of $1,400 in the package.

The House impeachment managers who will argue in front of the Senate that former President Donald Trump should be convicted of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol have filed a brief that outlines their evidence.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

The day before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, five of his Cabinet nominees will answer questions from Senate panels handling their confirmations. The busy committee calendar is ramping up at the same time an impeachment trial is expected to start, posing a split-screen challenge for the Senate, which is still reeling from an attack less than two weeks ago.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

As thousands of National Guard troops now buttress security in Washington, D.C., and the nation, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund is standing by his actions, and those of his agency, on Jan. 6 — the day pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol under his watch.

In an interview with NPR, Sund says he had already planned to have 1,400 to 1,500 officers on duty, "all hands on deck." He said Capitol Police expected a large crowd but said nothing prepared them for what actually happened.

One week after a violent mob breached the U.S. Capitol, threatened lawmakers and forced evacuations, members returned to the House floor. What followed was an emotional, and often angry, debate about recrimination for the president who many argued incited the riot that resulted in five dead.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET Saturday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning that the House could vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump next week as Democrats fume about the stunning attack by a mob of pro-Trump extremists on the Capitol on Wednesday. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol police officer, and offices were ransacked, including top leaders' suites, as lawmakers and the vice president were evacuated from the House and Senate chambers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reconvened the Senate hours after throngs of pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing evacuations and pausing the joint session scheduled under the Constitution to certify the 2020 election results.

"The United States Senate will not be intimidated," McConnell said on the Senate floor, after senators were escorted by a heavy police presence back into the chamber. "We will not be not kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats."

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed House lawmakers that Congress will reconvene Wednesday night to continue its constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral votes after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and forced Capitol Police to evacuate both the House and Senate.

Updated at 4:36 p.m. ET

Democrats took exceedingly narrow control of the Senate on Wednesday after winning both runoff elections in Georgia, granting them control of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2011.

Updated at 2:06 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats are hopeful about possibly taking total control of Washington after the Associated Press projected that the party had picked up one of two Georgia Senate seats early Wednesday morning.

The Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Tuesday were set to decide which party will hold the majority in the upper chamber, with Democrats already winning the presidency and holding a slim House majority.

Updated Tuesday at 11:40 a.m. ET

The Senate acted swiftly Monday night, in a 92-6 vote, to approve more than $900 billion for coronavirus assistance, shortly after the House of Representatives passed the package. The aid comes after months of partisan sniping over what elements should be in a relief measure that virtually all lawmakers on Capitol Hill argued was long overdue.

Updated at 10:27 p.m. ET

Agreement on a bipartisan coronavirus relief package remains elusive as top congressional leaders continue to negotiate and their efforts spilled into the weekend. While they've had a framework for days, they are struggling to close out several details, and a new issue emerged as a key sticking point.

Lawmakers from both parties insist they will not leave Washington for the holidays until they get a deal that wraps together an aid package and a broader spending deal.

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

After months of partisan standoff on Capitol Hill over the size and composition of another round of coronavirus relief, key signs of progress emerged as the House and Senate moved closer to a possible deal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke by telephone Thursday afternoon — notable because the two top leaders hadn't spoken about legislation addressing the pandemic since the election.

Updated at 1:21 p.m. ET

Nancy Pelosi has been reelected speaker of the House by her caucus for the next session of Congress, marking what will be her fourth term with the gavel. The caucus vote was conducted virtually, but Pelosi was approved by a voice vote.

Pelosi, 80, did not face any challenge for her post, but she will also need to secure a simple majority — 218 Democratic votes — by the full House of Representatives in January to be sworn in again as speaker. She indicated after the vote that the upcoming term could be her last.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 11

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has won reelection in North Carolina as Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham conceded on Tuesday. Democrats were hoping to oust Tillis and several other GOP incumbents and take control of the Senate next year, but this latest loss is part of what has become a Republican firewall in Southern and Western states that positions the party to retain its majority.

Cunningham said in a statement that he had called Tillis to congratulate him.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

Republicans appear poised to retain a narrow Senate majority after winning a number of tough races and with others remaining too close to call.

The GOP currently holds a 53-47 seat majority (with two independents — Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — caucusing with Democrats).

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden met for their second and final debate as tens of millions of Americans have already voted. A deeply divided country begins its final sprint to Election Day amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it's unclear how many voters have yet to make up their minds.

Here are five takeaways from the debate in Nashville, Tenn., a much different — and far more civil — night than the last encounter.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, sat for nearly 20 hours of questioning by 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee over two days. At the outset of the process, Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham acknowledged that her confirmation by the panel was all but guaranteed.

Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst zeroed in on the issue of gender at Monday's confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett. She used her opening statement to link herself to Barrett "as a fellow mom, a fellow Midwesterner" and accused Democrats of launching attacks on the judge's religious beliefs — even though Republicans were the only ones bringing up the issue at the hearing.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins confirmation hearings Monday for Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left after the death last month of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

President Trump attempted to clarify his position on white supremacists after a litany of members of his own party urged him to more clearly condemn the right wing group known as The Proud Boys, whom he told to "stand back and stand by" in Tuesday night's first presidential debate.

The president told reporters at the White House that he doesn't know who the Proud Boys are, but said they should "stand down" and let law enforcement do their work.

"I don't know who the Proud Boys are, you'll have to give me a definition," he said.

Supporters and opponents of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court wasted no time launching a high-pitched battle over her confirmation, with just 37 days until the election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has the support of Republicans to move forward with the confirmation process and confirm Barrett on the Senate floor before Nov. 3, barring any development in her vetting.

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.

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