KASU

Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. In her current role, she writes for npr.org's It's All Politics blog, focusing on data visualizations. In the run-up to the 2016 election, she will be using numbers to tell stories that go far beyond polling, putting policies into context and illustrating how they affect voters.

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.

Officials from the U.S., Mexico and Canada met Wednesday to begin renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In an opening statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer praised President Trump for the fact that these negotiations were even happening.

"American politicians have been promising to renegotiate NAFTA for years, but today, President Trump is going to fulfill those promises," he said.

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

In a press conference on Tuesday, the president of the United States appeared to equate white supremacist marchers with counterprotesters who recently clashed in Charlottesville, Va.

Although virtually nothing is predictable in politics these days, here is one certainty: Americans — at least the ones watching the news — are about to hear a lot about corporate taxes.

Way back at the start of his presidency, Donald Trump created a stir with his first calls to leaders of U.S. allies.

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath's political ad took the Internet (or at least the political corner of the Internet) by storm this week, but she tells NPR that she doesn't typically love being fussed over.

"People who know me personally know me as an introvert," she said. "I'm not somebody who seeks attention."

President Trump hit a record low approval in a new poll from Quinnipiac University — only 33 percent of Americans now approve of the president (margin of error +/- 3.4 percentage points). Buried in that poll is one sign of where he's losing that support: For the first time, the poll showed Trump with a negative net approval rating among white Americans without a college degree.

Political strategists, take note: For the first time, millennials and Gen Xers outvoted their elders in 2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Fully 69.6 million millennials (defined as people who were 18 to 35 in 2016) and members of Generation X (ages 36 to 51) cast votes in 2016, according to a Pew analysis of data from the Census Bureau. By comparison, 67.9 million baby boomers and members of older generations voted.

Throughout the Trump presidency, Democrats have had one glimmer of optimism looking ahead to 2018. Polls continue to show that the party is well ahead of Republicans on the "generic ballot" — the term for when pollsters ask voters which party they would like to win the House of Representatives in the next election, or which party's House candidate they would likely vote for.

The Affordable Care Act is not "exploding" or "imploding," as President Trump likes to claim. But Trump does hold several keys to sabotaging the insurance marketplaces, should he so choose — one of which his administration is reportedly weighing using.

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

President Trump did not do much to sell the Senate health care bill before its failure. But he gave the sale a shot Wednesday in the White House before cameras and a captive audience of nearly all the Republican senators. His comments were at times confusing, and in some cases, outright incorrect.

It shows the challenge for a president who doesn't dive deeply into policy to sell his agenda.

The House budget plan would slash spending by $5.4 trillion over 10 years, including more than $4 trillion in cuts to mandatory spending like Medicaid and Medicare, while ramping up defense spending.

It's time again for one of Washington's favorite manufactured crises.

The Trump administration this week unveiled its strategy for the economy and dubbed it "MAGAnomics."

In the Wall Street Journal, Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney wrote that "the focus of MAGAnomics is simple: Grow the economy and with it the wealth of, and opportunity for, all Americans."

The simple plan: Ratchet the economic growth rate up to a sustained 3 percent annually. That's an ambitious target, given current levels of around 2 percent.

Updated 6:56 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans on Thursday released a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Americans love the concept of independence, whether it's about annually celebrating freedom from the British or fetishizing individualism. In honor of America's Independence Day, we figured it was as good a time as any to explore America's political independents.1

The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect. Even proponents of the law would agree with that.

In many parts of the country, there is only one insurer in the individual markets — and in a few, there are zero. Premiums have spiked, sending some people on the insurance exchanges hunting for new plans.

One provision of the Senate's health care bill stands to be quite popular: the Better Care Reconciliation Act would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. That would be repealed immediately.

Another would likely please the Republican base: defunding Planned Parenthood for a year. Those funds would disappear right away, too.

Another would threaten health care coverage for millions of Americans: a rollback to the Medicaid expansion. That change wouldn't start until 2021.

Some activists in Georgia were having flashbacks.

"It's like reliving November, right?" said Georgia resident Jessica Zeigler about Democrat Jon Ossoff's loss to Republican Karen Handel in the state's closely watched special election last week.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled their long-awaited health care overhaul proposal on Thursday. The Senate bill, called the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The broad outlines of it look a lot like the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which was passed in May.

The long-awaited special election in Georgia is finally happening.

On Tuesday, people will head to the polls to cast their votes for either Democrat Jon Ossoff or Republican Karen Handel in the sixth congressional district special election in the Atlanta suburbs to replace Republican Tom Price. Price left his seat to become President Trump's health and human services secretary.

President Trump did it again on Twitter late last week.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," he tweeted Friday morning.

Once again, a Trump tweet set off a media frenzy, this time making everyone wonder whether he was indeed confirming that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice. (The White House later said the tweet was not confirmation that Trump has been informed that he is under investigation.)

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

President Trump issued an eyebrow-raising tweet Friday morning.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," he wrote.

Trump's tweet comes less than a day after a strange statement from a senior official in his administration.

What does it mean to make a bill less "mean"? This week, President Trump told Senate Republicans to do just that to their health care overhaul bill, and to also make it "more generous," as sources told the Associated Press. But it appears the White House didn't give much more direction: "the president did not say what aspects of the bill he was characterizing," the AP also reported.

Despite America's rapt attention on former FBI Director James Comey's testimony, the White House has been observing Infrastructure Week. Infrastructure is one of the only policy areas that could have crossover appeal, but there has been little real movement so far on getting something through Congress.

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