Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a congressional reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.

Prior to coming to NPR, Summers spent nearly four years as a reporter for POLITICO, where she focused on political and campaign coverage, primarily the 2012 Republican primaries and general election. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. She then traveled with Paul Ryan after he accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination. After the 2012 election, Summers began covering defense policy and veterans issues on Capitol Hill.

Summers has her reporting roots in Missouri. She has covered statewide and local politics for the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as KBIA-FM.

Her work has also been featured in the Austin American-Statesman and The Washington Post.

Summers is a regular guest host for C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" and a frequent guest on CNN's "Inside Politics", MSNBC's "Weekends With Alex Witt" and other cable news programs. She was a commentator for BET during the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Summers served one term on the board of directors of the Online News Association, the largest non-profit organization of digital journalists. She is an alumna of the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the New York Times Journalism Institute and the Society of Professional Journalists Reporters Institute.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Summers is a graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. She is also currently pursuing a master's degree in media management from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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It's All Politics
3:10 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Presidential Aspiration Born From A Modest, And Tragic, Beginning

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. announces his candidacy for president in Central, S.C. on June 1.
Jessica McGowan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 7:40 am

Greg Demetri hit the jackpot. When he picked the location for Villa Toscana, his nearly one-year-old Italian restaurant on the main stretch of businesses in Central, S.C., he had no idea that the building had once been owned by the town's most famous resident, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham, a South Carolina native who announced recently that he would seek the Republican party's nomination for president, first lived in a room behind his family's business, the Sanitary Café — a bar and pool hall on Main Street — before moving into the house that now holds Demetri's restaurant.

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Politics
6:01 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Obama's 11th-Hour Push Fails To Sway House On Trade Deal

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 9:46 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Politics
3:10 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Skeptical House Democrats Still Not Sold On Trade Pact

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 5:30 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
4:03 am
Sun May 31, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Lindsey Graham

Graham speaks to reporters in December 1998 about the impeachment trial against President Bill Clinton.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 11:30 am

This post has been updated to note that Graham has now officially gotten into the race for president.

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It's All Politics
11:46 am
Fri May 29, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley performs with his Irish rock group, O'Malley's March, in Baltimore in 2002.
Alex Dorgan-Ross AP

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 5:40 am

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Politics
3:11 am
Wed May 20, 2015

After Derailment, Congress Debates Lifting Amtrak's Damage Cap

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 11:12 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Last week's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia renewed questions about a decades-old law which limits the money Amtrak can pay out in damages. Some Democratic lawmakers want to raise the limit. Here's NPR's Juana Summers.

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It's All Politics
12:27 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Lawmakers Spar Over Whether Amtrak Funding Cut Matters

"That's a stupid question," House Speaker John Boehner said after a reporter asked him about Democratic claims that the GOP had cut Amtrak funding to unacceptable levels.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 3:28 pm

Back-to-back news conferences by Democratic and Republican House leaders, given from the same podium on Thursday, showed a contrast in how both parties are responding to the politics of a deadly train crash that killed at least eight people and injured scores more.

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It's All Politics
7:03 am
Wed May 13, 2015

GOP Split Over Bill To Let Immigrants In U.S. Illegally Serve In Military

Dream Action Coalition Co-director Cesar Vargas, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014. He wants immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to later be allowed to serve in the military.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:20 pm

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can't fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces.

"I do believe that because this country has given me so much, I do want to be able to give back," Vargas said in an interview.

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It's All Politics
1:09 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

After Spending Scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock Says Goodbye

"Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did," Rep. Schock said on the House floor Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.

Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.

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It's All Politics
1:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 10:11 am

Updated at 12:10 p.m. E.T.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

Polls show changing American opinion on marijuana, and it's having an effect on politics.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:26 am

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

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The Salt
4:08 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

A Craft Beer Tax Battle Is Brewing On Capitol Hill

Brewers pay a federal tax on each barrel of beer they produce. Two proposals on Capitol Hill would lower that tax for small brewers, but not everyone's on board.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:49 am

Congressman Patrick McHenry is a man who knows his beer. The refrigerator in his Capitol Hill office is filled to the brim with it. The Republican's district includes the city of Asheville, N.C., which claims it has more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city.

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It's All Politics
8:17 am
Sat March 7, 2015

How To Oust A House Speaker (Hint: Don't Even Try)

House Speaker John Boehner's job is secure, despite passing a bill to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security — a bill that most of his Republican colleagues opposed.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 10:53 am

Here's one story in Washington that just won't go away.

It's the tale of conservatives who are frustrated with House Speaker John Boehner and want to replace him midsession.

The latest murmurs of a coup surfaced after more than 50 Republicans voted against Boehner's plan last week to avert a partial-shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.

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It's All Politics
10:23 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Rep. Boehner: House Has 'Done Its Job' On Homeland Security Funding

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday: "The House has done its job to fund the Department of Homeland Security and to stop the president's overreach on immigration. We're waiting for the Senate to do their job."
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:46 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET: Senate To Move Forward On Vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Wednesday afternoon that they would move forward with a vote on a so-called "clean" funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, meaning it would have no policy provisions attached targeting President Obama's immigration policy.

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

For Congressional Committees, It's All In The Name

The Senate Finance Committee has one of the more straightforward names on Capitol Hill. Others, like the education committee, have seen frequent name changes to reflect party priorities.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:49 pm

Earlier this year, just a couple of weeks into the new Congress, David Stacy and his co-workers at the Human Rights Campaign found out about something they weren't expecting, something most of us wouldn't raise an eyebrow at.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn decided to change the name of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee he is now chairman of. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights dropped the "civil rights" and "human rights." Now it's just the Constitution subcommittee.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Pope Francis To Address Congress During U.S. Trip, Boehner Says

Pope Francis is cheered by the faithful as he arrives for the weekly general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.
AP

Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

Francis will address lawmakers on Sept. 24, Boehner said, as part of his first papal visit to the United States.

"We're humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people," the Ohio Republican told reporters.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

House Votes To Repeal ACA, Though Bill Unlikely To Pass Senate

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 4:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

House Republican Leaders Drop Effort To Ban Some Abortions

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:45 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Republican Majority Makes Boehner's Job Easier — And Harder

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:00 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Speaker Election Reveals Split Among Some House Republicans

If Rep. John Boehner secures re-election as speaker of the House on Tuesday, the task at hand will be governing. Boehner's expanded rank and file now includes members from some of the bluest states in the country.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:39 am

The modern Republican Party is rooted in the South. But there's little evidence of that when it comes to congressional leadership.

When the new Congress begins its session, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will lead Senate Republicans. Across the Capitol, though, it's not a Southerner that will wield the gavel. It's Ohio Republican John Boehner, a pragmatist who is ideologically — and geographically — distant from many of the members he will again lead if elected for a third term as speaker of the House.

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Politics
3:05 am
Tue December 23, 2014

As Head Of Armed Services Committee, McCain Gets A Bigger Bullhorn

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:28 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
3:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

House's Budget Bill Debate Unveiled Democratic Rifts, GOP Ambitions

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
3:04 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Congressional Plan To Fund Military Comes With A Side Of 'Land Grab'

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:13 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Sports Commissioners Absent From Senate Hearing On Domestic Abuse

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 5:41 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
6:27 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

'The Hunger Games' Meets Capitol Hill At The Freshman Office Lottery

Rep.-elect Bruce Poliquin (right) of Maine celebrates after aide Megan Hutson picked a choice number in the congressional office lottery.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

This is Capitol Hill's version of the The Hunger Games.

The freshman office lottery is part spectacle, part luck and a ruthless, fast-moving process where incoming members try all sorts of tricks hoping to get exactly what they want.

The lottery determines whether rookie lawmakers get a working space with a nice view or one jammed on a high floor that's more like a glorified broom closet.

For a politician, it's one of the few times when measuring the drapes is OK.

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Politics
3:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Kansas Republicans Breathe A Sigh Of Relief

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 9:58 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's All Politics
12:31 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Is No GOP Bench Warmer

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address in 2014. She's set to easily win re-election to a sixth term next week.
Susan Walsh AP

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is one of the most powerful politicians in America. She's the top-ranking woman in the House GOP, and her political ambitions and trajectory have been debated everywhere from Capitol Hill to the pages of Glamour magazine. But when she walks into locally owned businesses like Maid Naturally in Spokane, Wash., she's just Cathy.

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Politics
2:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Constituent Services Give Voters Something To Remember

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., poses with constituent Noelle Hunter. In a campaign ad, Hunter explains that McConnell helped get her daughter back from Mali after a custody battle.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 4:49 pm

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Politics
2:33 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

New York Ebola Case Raises Questions About U.S. Readiness

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 4:59 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Ebola Blame Game Takes The Stage At Midterm Election Debates

Ebola is the latest issue to spill into debates this season. Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (left) has blamed Republicans for cutting government health resources. His opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, says the CDC has been spending wastefully.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 11:31 am

First there was ISIS. Now there's Ebola.

The Ebola health crisis is the latest global issue to become a fixture this campaign season, spilling into debates, campaign rhetoric — and even a few ads.

Political arguments about Ebola can roughly be divided into three groups.

Democrats argue that budget-cutting Republicans have deprived the government of the resources it needs to keep Americans safe from the threat of Ebola. That's the argument Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado made at a recent debate.

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