Claudia Grisales

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.

Before joining NPR in June 2019, she was a Capitol Hill reporter covering military affairs for Stars and Stripes. She also covered breaking news involving fallen service members and the Trump administration's relationship with the military. She also investigated service members who have undergone toxic exposures, such as the atomic veterans who participated nuclear bomb testing and subsequent cleanup operations.

Prior to Stars and Stripes, Grisales was an award-winning reporter at the daily newspaper in Central Texas, the Austin American-Statesman, for 16 years. There, she covered the intersection of business news and regulation, energy issues and public safety. She also conducted a years-long probe that uncovered systemic abuses and corruption at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest member-owned utility in the country. The investigation led to the ousting of more than a dozen executives, state and U.S. congressional hearings and criminal convictions for two of the co-op's top leaders.

Grisales is originally from Chicago and is an alum of the University of Houston, the University of Texas and Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she earned a master's degree in journalism.

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.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

In the two weeks since it became clear that President Trump lost the election to Joe Biden — a period bookended by befuddling press conferences from his longtime lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — the president has made it clear that he will spend his remaining days in the White House in the same way he spent much of his term in office: fighting.

For the first time since President Trump lost his bid for reelection, Vice President Pence appeared on the campaign trail on Friday to boost Senate Republicans at a pair of rallies north of Atlanta.

Two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia remain to be decided in runoff races on Jan. 5. The outcome will dictate which party will run the upper chamber come next year.

And with Trump and Pence still declining to concede their loss, GOP has been left with a tricky argument in Georgia for a high-stakes Senate battle as they try to navigate the president's false claims.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has been reelected to his post by his colleagues to lead a larger GOP conference in the new session of Congress next year.

Other top House leaders were also reelected to their current posts, including House Republican Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as chair of the House Republican Conference.

The House of Representatives will return Monday to a post-election session with a few major but controversial items to address, including leadership elections, how to deal with more coronavirus relief and a must-pass spending bill.

To help, they'll have a new, widespread testing program to track the coronavirus among members, staffers and workers. The plan is a first for any chamber of Congress eight months into the pandemic, and it comes as cases are spiking across the country and in Washington.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Control of the Senate may hinge on Georgia's two runoff races in January as no candidate in either contest has reached a required 50% threshold in votes to win outright.

That means Georgia, which is also still counting ballots in a neck-and-neck presidential race expected to go to a recount, is shaping up to be ground zero for whether Congress will be divided again next year.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated on Dec. 4 at 3:45 p.m. ET

The coronavirus pandemic continues to upend the daily work of Congress, which has seen a series of outbreaks.

By November, more than 25 members of Congress and at least 150 workers have tested positive, or were presumed so, for the coronavirus. And a Florida member's aide died this summer from COVID-19.

As a result, both chambers of Congress have recessed multiple times throughout the year as the Capitol has largely gone without a widespread testing program.

Pages