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Kelsey Snell

Kelsey Snell is a congressional reporter for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.

Democrats are having a moment. They managed to win a House seat in Republican-leaning, industrial Pennsylvania and a Senate seat in the deep-red state of Alabama.

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Updated at 3:05 a.m. ET Friday

Plans for a speedy Senate vote on gun legislation crumbled Thursday as Senate leaders announced plans to move on to long-planned banking legislation, while congressional Republicans struggle to make sense of President Trump's wishes on guns.

Congress is under intense pressure to pass legislation to curb gun violence, but lawmakers are deeply split over how far to go in limiting access to guns.

Lawmakers from both parties say they want to take action to prevent another deadly attack like the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. Disagreements over gun control measures go beyond a clear partisan split between Democrats and Republicans, leaving even the most popular bipartisan proposal stalled in Congress.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Senate failed to pass any immigration legislation before a self-imposed Friday deadline, leaving lawmakers with no plan to address the roughly 700,000 immigrants who stand to lose legal protections as early as March 5.

The defeat follows a rocky 24 hours of negotiations on a bipartisan bill that failed following a veto threat from President Trump. By a 39-60 vote, senators rejected a White House-backed plan that became a partisan lightning rod after Trump insisted his plan was the only one he would sign.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Senate voted to begin debate on immigration Monday, launching an unusual process that could lead to a bipartisan immigration fix — or leave Congress with no solution for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who stand to lose legal protections by March 5.

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Updated at 10:47 p.m. ET

It seems all but certain that the nonessential operations of the government could shutter for at least a few hours overnight after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., repeatedly objected to a Senate vote in order to air his grievances over what he calls runaway federal spending.

Paul faced off with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate majority whip, just after 10 p.m. on the Senate floor and blocked multiple attempts by Cornyn to hold a vote on funding legislation before 1 a.m. Friday.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET

Senate leaders reached a bipartisan budget agreement to increase military and domestic spending levels for two years, paving the way for the first long-term spending pact since President Trump took office.

The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan quickly declared support for the pact, helping pave the way for its passage by the end of the week, despite opposition from fiscal hawks and liberal Democrats.

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We have been here before, haven't we? Congress has to pass a spending bill to keep the government funded, and the deadline is midnight tomorrow.

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Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

The House passed a bill Tuesday evening to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, as Senate leaders still hope to clear the way for years of budget harmony this week with a long-term spending agreement.

But as Congress worked on keeping things running, President Trump made a fresh call to shut down the government over immigration.

California Republican Devin Nunes is at the center of a frenzied uproar in Washington with Friday's release of a secret memo on FBI surveillance.

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Kelsey Snell, as a reporter who covers Congress, do you get all excited when you have a State of the Union speech coming?

KELSEY SNELL, BYLINE: Well, I would say it is an interesting display of...

INSKEEP: Interesting...

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Shutdown Latest

Jan 21, 2018

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It's day two of a partial federal government shutdown. Democrats and Republicans are struggling to negotiate a funding bill, as the clock keeps ticking, and the president keeps tweeting. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan just spoke about a new development on CBS's "Face The Nation."

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Updated at 8:46 p.m. ET

The House passed a stopgap funding bill Thursday evening, though the measure now faces uncertainty in the Senate as Republican congressional leaders work to avert a government shutdown by late Friday night.

Republicans need 60 votes in the Senate to proceed on the four-week continuing resolution, which would extend funding only until Feb. 16. That is looking more and more difficult after most Democrats and at least three Republican senators have said they won't vote for the bill.

Updated at 8:06 a.m. ET, Jan. 18

Congressional leaders plan to vote later this week on a month-long spending bill but the ongoing fight over immigration threatens to derail the plan days before the Friday deadline to prevent a government shutdown.

Republican leaders say they are confident that Congress will vote this week to extend current spending levels until February 16 but Democrats and some far-right conservatives are threatening to block the legislation.

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It may be a new year, but Congress plans to spend most of January wrapping up old business left over from 2017.

Congressional leaders are promising to head off any chance of a government shutdown well before the Jan. 19 deadline, but a nearly yearlong fight over President Trump's demands to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could threaten those plans.

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