Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. Her reporting is wide-ranging, with particular focuses on gender politics, demographics, and economic policy.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Kurtzleben spent a year as a correspondent for Vox.com. As part of the site's original reporting team, she covered economics and business news.

Prior to Vox.com, Kurtzleben was with U.S. News & World Report for nearly four years, where she covered the economy, campaign finance and demographic issues. As associate editor, she launched Data Mine, a data visualization blog on usnews.com.

A native of Titonka, Iowa, Kurtzleben has a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College. She also holds a master's degree in Global Communication from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?

"Evidently."

After the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas last year, lawmakers discussed imposing restrictions on "bump stocks." The Las Vegas shooter used that type of gun modification, which makes a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon, and killed 58 people.

After a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November, lawmakers discussed how they could improve the background check system.

No new laws came of those discussions.

Updated at 10:45 a.m., Feb. 12

This week, the Senate plans to debate a variety of immigration overhaul plans, in an attempt to see which ones can get 60 votes. Right now, there are 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats (plus two independents who caucus with the Democrats).

Most American women dislike the job that President Trump is doing. Many demonstrated it by marching in the streets by the tens of thousands on the first anniversary of his inauguration, and they continue to register it in public opinion polls, giving the president a starkly lower approval rating than men do.

Americans could be forgiven for having poll whiplash this week.

"Shock poll: Americans want massive cuts to legal immigration," said a headline from the Washington Times.

Over President Trump's first year in office, the U.S. underwent some changes that he would probably cheer. The economy continued strengthening (including, yes, the stock market, as the president likes to emphasize) and the number of people apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally fell sharply. However, some changes are less promising: The nation's carbon dioxide emissions rose, and the amount of student debt grew by $47 billion.

We have put together a wide variety of statistics to show how the U.S. has changed in the past year.

It's been quite a news week, even by recent standards.

The U.S. is potentially hours away from a partial government shutdown. The debate rages on over the president's reported comments about not wanting to accept immigrants from "s**thole countries." "Girtherism" has erupted over the president's latest height and weight measurements. Officials are scrambling to figure out how to avoid another false ballistic missile alarm, like the one residents of Hawaii suffered last weekend.

The hubbub over the Republican tax plan has died down some since it passed, but the bill isn't forgotten — not by a long shot.

On a Saturday morning in December, Kate Coyne-McCoy stood before 26 women in a small conference room in Manchester, N.H., explaining what fires her up in the morning.

"I wake up every day, the first thing I do is look at this list of members of Congress that I have, and I figure out who's sick and who's going to die," Coyne-McCoy told the women. "Because I want to replace them with you."

Updated at 1:26 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans in Congress approved a sweeping and controversial $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, with the Senate voting early Wednesday along straight party lines to move the measure forward.

Updated on Dec. 20 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The Republican tax bill, which Congress sent to President Trump on Wednesday, would give most Americans a tax cut next year, according to a new analysis. However, it would by far benefit the richest Americans the most. Meanwhile, many lower- and middle-class Americans would have higher taxes a decade from now ... unless a future Congress extends the cuts.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe that "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is essential to bringing about change in our society."

At a time when partisan opinions are so polarized on a range of issues, Republicans and Democrats are relatively similar in believing that society should crack down hard on sexual harassment, a new poll from Ipsos and NPR suggests.

A massive corporate tax cut is at the center of the Republican tax overhaul, in both the House and the Senate bills.

But as lawmakers race to iron out the differences between the two bills, they will have to deal with a wrinkle that could greatly weaken many of the benefits for corporations: the corporate alternative minimum tax. The House bill would scrap it, and the Senate bill would keep it around.

As a candidate, Donald Trump once joked, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters."

Republicans have been selling their tax overhaul plan as a major booster for the U.S. economy. In fact, they have argued that it would grow the economy so much that cuts would largely pay for themselves.

But on both counts, top economists are doubtful.

In a new poll from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, 38 economists from schools including Yale, MIT and the University of California-Berkeley weighed in on contentious points about the GOP tax plans.

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