Alana Wise

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.

Prior to joining WAMU, Wise was a politics and later companies news reporter at Reuters, where she covered the 2016 presidential election and the U.S. airline industry. Ever the fan of cherry blossoms and unpredictable weather, Alana, an Atlanta native and Howard University graduate, can be found roaming the city admiring puppies and the national monuments, in that order.

 

Updated on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. ET

The House has once again passed a bill aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws. The Wednesday-night vote was 220-210. But the measure is not expected to advance in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority, and Republicans on Capitol Hill argue the proposal is a political effort to federalize elections.

Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET

It took more than three hours for former President Donald Trump's Defense Department to approve a request for the D.C. National Guard to intervene in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the commanding general of the outfit told senators on Wednesday.

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

Neera Tanden, President Biden's controversial nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, has withdrawn her nomination. Biden said in a statement Tuesday he had accepted her request.

"I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration," Biden said. "She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work."

President Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. will produce enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May, while making a fresh push to vaccinate school staff over the next month.

"We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May," Biden said, crediting his administration's efforts to boost production and moving up the timeline from the end of July, which is what the president was saying just a few weeks ago.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

Some Democratic lawmakers on Friday sought justification from the Biden administration for Thursday's airstrikes in Syria, marking the first significant test of President Biden's military approach.

Just over a month into President Biden's administration, his cabinet remains sparsely staffed as nearly two dozen of his nominees await Senate confirmation.

Neera Tanden, President Biden's pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, saw her path to confirmation narrow significantly on Monday, after two of the Senate's more centrist Republicans said they would not lend their support to her confirmation.

Sens. Susan Collins and Mitt Romney will not support Tanden's confirmation to lead the powerful OMB over past partisan attacks she made online, particularly against Republicans. The two have supported other Biden nominees.

President Biden said Friday he will sign a major disaster declaration that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is requesting, which would open up broader federal aid for immediate and long-term recovery efforts in the state, including for both individual needs and public infrastructure.

Biden and Abbott spoke Thursday night regarding the response.

Texas has been at the mercy of an unprecedented winter storm that has left many of the state's residents without heat, power and potable water for several days. Several people, some homeless, have died in the freezing temperatures.

President Biden is set on Friday to announce a total of $4 billion in contributions to COVAX, the vaccine alliance trying to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries, a senior administration official told reporters.

Biden will make the announcement during a virtual meeting of G-7 leaders about the pandemic.

Tributes to the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh poured in on Wednesday following news of his death earlier in the day. He was 70 years old.

Former President Trump praised the talk show host as a "legend."

"He was with me right from the beginning. And he liked what I said and he agreed with what I said. And he was just a great gentleman. Great man," Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News.

At a CNN town hall on Tuesday evening, President Biden said his goal is to open the majority of K-8 schools by the end of his first 100 days in office. Asked to clarify what he meant by "open," Biden said "I think many of them five days a week. The goal will be five days a week" in person.

He said he would focus on K-8 schools because they're the "easiest to open" due to the relatively low transmission rate of the coronavirus between children.

The Senate has voted unanimously to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman with a Congressional Gold Medal, the institution's highest civilian honor, for his actions to protect the Congress during the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Goodman was greeted in the Senate chamber on Friday with a standing ovation for his actions, which have been praised on both sides of the aisle as heroic and likely life saving.

Responding to a question about the long-term message of the impeachment, Virgin Islands House Del. Stacey Plaskett talked about the emotional impact of seeing Black women's images used during Trump attorney's defense of the former president, highlighting the racial and gender disparities in the fight for equality.

Donald Trump's legal team on Friday sought to justify the propriety of a phone call he made to Georgia election officials, an action that is now part of criminal probe into the then-president's actions in the state.

Attorneys representing former President Donald Trump in his historic second impeachment trial on Friday equated instances of violence and rioting that broke out during last summer's protests for racial justice with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection by pro-Trump extremists, accusing Democrats of hypocrisy in supporting the earlier demonstrations.

The defense showed clips of property destruction and violence alongside videos of Democratic lawmakers speaking in support of the demonstrations. In some protests for racial justice, sporadic looting and violence took place.

Updated at 11:19 a.m. ET

The Biden administration will begin phasing in a new asylum process on Feb. 19 for the backlog of people seeking asylum on the southern U.S. border, but Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told NPR that migrants must avoid traveling to the U.S. border while the new system gets up and running.

An attorney representing former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial accused Democratic House impeachment managers of treating the prosecution like "an entertainment package" and said he did not see the need for the defense to make a protracted case to support Trump's innocence.

"When you bring in a movie company and hire a large law firm to make a professional product, that takes things out of context and presents it as an entertainment package," attorney David Schoen said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday.

The House impeachment managers on Thursday outlined what they said was former President Donald Trump's history of approving of violence against his political opponents, painting the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists as a predictable end to a term in office punctuated by the encouragement of violence.

As Wednesday's proceedings came to a close, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah grew upset at Democrats' use of quotes Lee said were wrongly attributed to him.

Senators on both sides of the aisle were visibly affected by graphic and explicit new footage showing first-person perspective of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as House impeachment managers continue to make their case for convicting former President Donald Trump for inciting a mob.

A senior adviser to Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the former president was confident in his legal team's representation of him in the ongoing Senate impeachment trial, despite Trump's displeasure with their performance the day before, and criticism

Sen. Bill Cassidy on Tuesday said former President Donald Trump's legal team did a "terrible job" defending Trump when arguing against the constitutionality of moving forward with a Senate impeachment trial. The Louisiana Republican broke with most of his party in voting to proceed with Trump's historic second impeachment trial.

Bruce Castor, an attorney representing former President Trump in his second impeachment trial, opened Trump's defense with a long-winded, nonlinear opening argument, claiming that the effort to try Trump was nothing more than an emotionally-driven partisan response to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

"The political pendulum will shift one day," he said. "And partisan impeachments will become commonplace."

Updated on Saturday at 6:22 p.m. ET: Special coverage of the trial has ended.

The Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump of the charge of inciting an insurrection on Saturday.

The Senate voted to allow witnesses earlier Saturday, only to reverse course just a few hours later, avoiding what could have turned into days or even weeks of further proceedings.

Updated on Saturday at 6:20 p.m. ET: The video for this event has ended.

Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial came to a close on Saturday, with Democrats falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict the former president.

The final vote was 57 to 43. Seven Republicans joined with all of the chamber's Democrats and independents to vote to convict.

Trump faced a single impeachment charge, incitement of an insurrection, for his role in urging a mob to attack the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

President Biden said on Friday that his plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour is unlikely to happen as part of his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package.

"I don't think it's going to survive," Biden said in an excerpt of a CBS Evening News interview with Norah O'Donnell released ahead of the Super Bowl. The full interview is scheduled to air on Sunday.

The acting U.S. Capitol Police chief on Friday promised sweeping changes to her department in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol complex. The riot, conducted by pro-Trump extremists, left five people dead, including a police officer.

Updated on Feb. 6 at 8:40 a.m. ET

President Biden pledged to make his Cabinet the most diverse in U.S. history, better representing the makeup of the country.

An NPR analysis of the past three administrations' initial Cabinets shows that so far, he has kept his word, with an inner circle that outdoes his two most recent predecessors in matters of representation of race and gender.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump will not testify in the Senate impeachment trial, due to begin next week, Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump, tells NPR's Domenico Montanaro.

"The president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding," Miller said.

In a Thursday letter, Trump attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen called the request a "public relations stunt."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has called for a "9/11-type Commission" to address security risks at the U.S. Capitol in response to the deadly insurrection at the complex last month.

Pages