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Barbara Sprunt

Updated January 12, 2022 at 9:29 PM ET

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., says he won't participate in the Democratic-led Jan. 6 select committee's request for him to testify.

The panel on Wednesday asked that McCarthy voluntarily provide information about events leading up to, during and after the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump supporters a little over a year ago.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has vowed the Senate will forge ahead on voting rights legislation and will vote on changing the rules of the upper chamber by Jan. 17 if the GOP once again blocks the bill.

"We must adapt. The Senate must evolve, like it has many times before," Schumer wrote in a Dear Colleague letter Monday morning. This message is his strongest to date suggesting that changes to the legislative filibuster are necessary.

Sixty years after Jim Clyburn received his diploma from South Carolina State University by mail, the House majority whip returned to his alma mater to march alongside current graduates and receive his diploma in person from the president of the United States.

Clyburn, the sole congressional Democrat from South Carolina, delivered commencement remarks to December graduates and talked about his time at the HBCU, where he met his late wife, Emily.

Democrats have staked their political future on enacting President Biden's plans for trillions in social spending, but a new NPR/Marist poll shows that most voters are skeptical of the party's proposals.

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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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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.

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