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.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

Fears of economic and political backlash are motivating senior congressional Republicans to move forward this week with public and private lobbying efforts aimed at getting President Trump to change his mind about tariffs he intends to levy on steel and aluminium imports.

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Top members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus told reporters they are closely watching how House Speaker Paul Ryan navigates the immigration debate as a test of whether they can continue to support him as their leader.

"It is the defining moment for this speaker," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. "If he gets it wrong, it will have consequences for him but it will also have consequences for the rest of the Republican Party."

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Months of false starts, political battles and missed deadlines in Congress culminated overnight with one more missed deadline.

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Updated at 3:06 p.m.

Republicans are gathered at the storied Greenbrier Resort — home to a Cold War-era bunker once meant to house Congress in the event of a nuclear attack — to plot the party's legislative agenda for 2018 and strategize for what could be a bruising midterm election.

In the aftermath of the January 2011 shooting attack against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., lawmakers used the State of the Union that month to send a message to the nation: What unites us is greater than what divides us. Lawmakers voluntarily scrambled the partisan seating chart in the U.S. House chamber that year to bring Republicans and Democrats together.

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President Trump will deliver his first official State of the Union address tonight. Republicans like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy say it should not be about politics.

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Updated at 11 p.m. ET

In recent weeks, President Trump has told lawmakers he would sign any immigration measure that Congress sent him but also flatly rejected a draft of a deal negotiated by six senators.

Now, the White House is laying out the specific elements it wants to see from a bill offering permanent protection for people in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

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And we're going to turn now to NPR's congressional correspondent Susan Davis on Capitol Hill. Susan, thanks so much for being with us.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Scott.

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President Trump surprised lawmakers at the White House last week when he used a live, televised meeting ostensibly about immigration legislation to voice his support for earmarks.

"Maybe you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks," Trump said, laying out a familiar — but hotly contested — argument that when earmarks were in fashion, Washington worked better. "Maybe that brings people together. In our system right now, the way it is set up, will never bring people together."

Updated at 6:18 p.m. ET

The longest-serving Republican senator in American history is finally ready to call it quits.

Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018 and will leave the Senate at the end of his current term, after 42 years in his seat.

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Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is ending the year on a rather thoughtful note.

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Here's a question that Alabama voters answer this week. Can a Democrat really win a Senate seat in such a red state?

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Following all this is NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis. And she's with us from Capitol Hill. Hey.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly.

MCEVERS: So this has been a pretty remarkable week.

DAVIS: Yeah.

Party leaders played a pivotal role in forcing the resignations of three members of Congress within three days this week, and their work might not be done yet.

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Republicans in Congress are trying to pass a final tax bill and avoid a government shutdown. But it is not working out as easily as party leaders had hoped. With us from the Capitol to talk about this is congressional correspondent Susan Davis. Hey, Sue.

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It has become a scramble in the Senate over the Republican tax plan.

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