Susan Davis

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.

Democrats held on to the House majority in 2020, but in the weeks since, it's Republicans who have been celebrating the election results.

"Pundits doubted us. Polls were stacked against us, and I don't believe one person in this room believed we'd win one race," boasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at his weekly news conference last week.

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House and Senate Republicans are enjoying a much better election than anticipated. Republicans are now poised to maintain their majority in the Senate.

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Republicans hold the Senate 53-47. (There are two independents — Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — but they caucus with Democrats and therefore should be counted that way in the math for Senate control.)

To flip the Senate, Democrats would need to net-gain four seats outright or three seats and control of the White House, because in a 50-50 Senate — which is possible this year — the vice president breaks the tie. Republicans can lose up to three seats and hold the majority, as long as President Trump wins reelection.

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OK. Here's a new term - fundraging (ph). It is when someone channels their emotions into their political donations. In 2020, Democrats have taken fundraging to historic new levels, as NPR's Susan Davis reports.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: If 2008 was about hope and change for Democrats, 2020 is about anger and fear.

BARBARA RAVAGE: I'm terrified. And if I were not as old as I am, I'd be out on the streets.

DAVIS: The pandemic has kept 75-year-old Barbara Ravage away from volunteering in person this year, so she's been giving money instead.

If 2008 was about hope and change for Democrats, 2020 is about anger and fear.

"I'm terrified, and if I were not as old as I am I'd be out on the streets," said Barbara Ravage, 75, a retiree who lives on Cape Cod. The pandemic has kept Ravage at home and away from volunteering in local politics this year, so instead she has given more money to local politicians and activist causes she supports. "There is no question I have traded rolling up my sleeves into reaching in to my wallet," she said.

While the outcome of Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court is not in doubt, senators remain at odds over the decision to advance a nomination so close to a presidential election.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., once claimed that he would not support such a move, but he quickly reversed himself following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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The House overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning QAnon, the fringe movement that promotes wide-ranging conspiracies about the U.S. government and yet has enjoyed a rising tide inside conservative politics in part because of tacit encouragement from President Trump.

The measure passed 371-18, with one GOP member voting present.

QAnon is a "collective delusion," said House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., "We all must call it what it is: a sick cult."

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is backing more House Democrats for reelection in at least a decade, prompting pushback from some of its strongest GOP allies in Congress.

"It is hypocrisy that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would endorse these Democrats that are part of this socialist agenda that is driving this country out and is fighting this president," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., recently told Fox News.

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Senate Republicans rallied around a $300 billion coronavirus aid package, but it fell short of the necessary 60-vote majority to advance, effectively killing the measure. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican joining Senate Democrats to oppose it — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., missed the vote.

As former Vice President Joe Biden prepares to give his acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night, Democratic lawmakers and strategists are preparing for what a Biden administration could look like, what the priorities would be and whether anything can actually get done in a Washington accustomed to doing very little.

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Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost the Senate GOP primary on Tuesday, delivering a victory of sorts for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy to hold on to his majority this November.

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Washington is racing to complete a fifth round of legislation to address the ongoing, and still surging, coronavirus pandemic in the next three weeks. The two parties and the White House are at odds over what the major pillars of the legislation should include and how much it should cost.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to get a bill to President Trump by Aug. 7 when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the rest of the summer — a time when lawmakers traditionally hit the campaign trail in an election year.

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It is back. After a three-month hiatus, President Trump resurrected his briefing about the coronavirus tonight. And there was a big shift in his tone.

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The progressive wing of the Democratic Party couldn't break through in the presidential race, but in congressional races, younger, more diverse, progressive candidates are enjoying a recent surge in support.

"The logic of COVID-19 as well as the logic and the righteousness of the movement for Black lives, I think, is forcing all of us to re-imagine both what is necessary and what is possible, and I think it's having an impact on our politics," said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, a New York-based minor political party.

A familiar tale is unfolding in American politics in 2020: Women are once again setting records as candidates for Congress. While the 2018 midterms saw a historic wave of Democratic candidates and general election winners, this time the surge in candidates is among Republican women running for the House.

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In the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd, House and Senate Democrats unveiled legislation on Monday that would bring about wide-ranging reforms to police departments across the country.

The Democratic proposal, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, has more than 200 sponsors and marks one of the most comprehensive efforts in modern times to overhaul the way police do their jobs.

Senate Republicans have launched politically loaded investigations into the Obama administration and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden that are expected to carry on into the fall.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the first of a planned series of hearings on the origins of the FBI's 2016 Russia investigation into possible ties with the Trump campaign. Republicans are particularly interested in the decision-making inside the Obama-Biden administration.

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to subpoena documents and depositions from Blue Star Strategies, a consulting company that worked with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma when Hunter Biden served on its board.

"We need to get to the truth about the Bidens' relationship with Burisma, and these hearings will provide the Senate with the full picture," Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said.

A coalition of Democratic committees representing governors, attorneys general, senators and members of Congress released a strategy memo Tuesday outlining that their collective strategy for the 2020 elections is to focus on health care.

House lawmakers on Friday approved a Democratic proposal to provide $3 trillion in coronavirus relief that would include a new wave of help for state and local governments, workers and families.

The House voted 208 to 199 — largely along party lines — to pass the measure. The size of the bill represents the biggest ever proposed and it includes another round of direct cash payments to Americans, extends unemployment benefits to the end of January, and adds hazard pay for front-line workers. It also expands virus-testing efforts, contact tracing and treatment.

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Today, President Trump officially unveiled his plan to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine.

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