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 House of Representatives approved decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level on Friday in the first time Congress has acted on the issue.

The vote was largely along party lines – 228-164. Five Republicans and the lone independent member joined Democrats to pass the bill, and six Democrats voted no.

Branded as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, the bill removes cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and facilitates canceling low-level federal convictions and arrests related to marijuana.

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.

Updated at 12:57 p.m. ET

After a raucous debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden last week that was marked by constant interruptions, name-calling and a moderator unable to control the discussion, Wednesday night's vice presidential debate marked a return to a more traditional affair.

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.

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