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Deirdre Walsh

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Updated October 20, 2021 at 10:47 AM ET

Senate Democrats biggest and perhaps last push this year for major voting rights legislation is headed for near-certain defeat on Wednesday because of widespread opposition from Republicans. That's despite the Democrats' effort to craft a compromise bill led in part by Sen. Joe Manchin, legislation that the West Virginia Democrat hoped he could use to get enough GOP votes to overcome a filibuster.

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have set the end of October as the time frame to nail down an agreement on a scaled-back version of President Biden's Build Back Better Agenda. After initially setting the price tag at $3.5 trillion over 10 years to enact sweeping health care, climate, education and child care policies, disagreements between progressives, who make up the bulk of the party's members, and two key Senate moderates mean some tough choices will need to be made to fashion a bill that can clear both chambers.

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Updated October 1, 2021 at 9:59 PM ET

After meeting with House Democrats at the Capitol on Friday, President Biden said it may take days or even weeks for Democrats to come to agreement on voting for a bipartisan infrastructure bill and for a separate package that covers most of his legislative agenda, including climate, childcare, education and other social spending.

"It doesn't matter whether it's in six minutes, six days or six weeks, we're going to get it done," the president said to reporters.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Thursday. Much has been made about a Democratic divide about whether to support the package, but House Republicans, who regularly join Democrats in big numbers to approve transportation bills, are also split.

Updated September 27, 2021 at 2:10 PM ET

Top congressional Democrats worked through the weekend to untangle a snarl of competing demands from members of their own party on fiscal issues while continuing to battle Republicans over the nation's debt.

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Updated September 23, 2021 at 1:21 PM ET

An outside ethics group filed ethics complaints Wednesday against seven U.S. House lawmakers — four Democrats and three Republicans — over failing to report stock trades.

One of the members of Congress — Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York — failed to file required reports on approximately 300 transactions, according to the complaint from the Campaign Legal Center.

Five of the seven lawmakers sit on the powerful House Financial Services Committee.

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I'm going to turn now to Washington, D.C., and NPR's Deirdre Walsh, who covers Congress. Deirdre, thanks so much for being with us this week.

DEIRDRE WALSH, BYLINE: Good morning, Scott.

Updated September 16, 2021 at 9:49 AM ET

For now Republicans' 2022 midterm election message could be summed up by an old slogan used in the 1990s by Democrats: "It's the economy, stupid."

GOP lawmakers in recent weeks have piled on the Biden administration for the chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, and argued it has failed to respond sufficiently to the continuing pandemic the president had vowed to get under control.

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The Senate struggled for months to get agreement and ultimately a bipartisan vote to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure package.

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Updated July 28, 2021 at 7:24 PM ET

Hours after bipartisan Senate negotiators reached a deal on an infrastructure package, the chamber voted to advance it, setting in motion a final vote on the bill in the coming days.

The procedural motion was approved 67-32, with 17 Republicans joining all Democrats to begin legislative action. The top Senate GOP leader, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, was among those voting to move ahead with the proposal.

The stunning attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters roughly six months ago threatened lawmakers and came close to upending the process to certify the 2020 presidential election.

Most members of Congress decried the onslaught in the hours after the Jan. 6 insurrection, but since then the date has become a deeply polarizing moment on Capitol Hill.

Updated June 10, 2021 at 7:53 PM ET

A bipartisan group of 10 U.S. senators says they agree on a "framework" for a deal on an infrastructure package, but the members did not release any details and top leaders from both parties have been mostly silent on the development.

According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, the agreement is focused on "core, physical infrastructure." The proposal would cost $1.2 trillion over eight years and include $579 billion in new spending.

Updated May 18, 2021 at 9:23 PM ET

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out Tuesday against a bipartisan proposal to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The announcement comes a day before the House of Representatives is slated to vote on the legislation.

In his first months in office, Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock is sticking with the strategy that got him elected — and helped give Democrats the Senate majority.

At an early May stop at Blue Bird Corporation, a leader in electric school bus manufacturing in Fort Valley, Ga., Warnock insisted it is time for the federal government to invest in clean energy jobs and a "sustainable future" for the country.

President Biden's joint address to Congress looked back over the challenges he faced taking office 100 days ago in the midst of a pandemic — and declared "America is on the move again."

But the speech also outlined an ambitious, active role for the government to continue helping Americans struggling, as well as new proposals to boost the country's ability to compete. It amounted to an updated New Deal, but one that faces a precarious path to get through razor-thin margins in both the House and Senate.

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