Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. Her reporting is wide-ranging, with particular focuses on gender politics, demographics, and economic policy.

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.

On Wednesday, Mississippi became the 49th state to choose its first woman to send to Congress.

The appointment of Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith as Mississippi's junior senator comes 101 years after the first woman, Montana Rep. Jeannette Rankin, went to Congress. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Thad Cochran, who announced that he would resign as of April 1 due to poor health.

Lauren Underwood is optimistic about her chances of winning a seat in Congress.

"This seat is 100 percent at play. It's winnable," the Democratic candidate says of the Illinois 14th Congressional District, which stretches along the western and northern sides of Chicago's outer suburbs.

There is little question that when President Trump holds a rally in Moon Township, Pa., on Saturday night, he will tout the tariffs he imposed on imported steel and aluminum this week.

Western Pennsylvania is steel country, after all, so his message should play well there. But it will likely resonate with millions of other Americans, well beyond steel plants.

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Some of the most inappropriate behaviors at the office, in Americans' minds, are also the most common — yet almost no one admits to them, in a new poll on workplace behavior from NPR and Ipsos.

It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?


After the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Las Vegas last year, lawmakers discussed imposing restrictions on "bump stocks." The Las Vegas shooter used that type of gun modification, which makes a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon, and killed 58 people.

After a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in November, lawmakers discussed how they could improve the background check system.

No new laws came of those discussions.

Updated at 10:45 a.m., Feb. 12

This week, the Senate plans to debate a variety of immigration overhaul plans, in an attempt to see which ones can get 60 votes. Right now, there are 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats (plus two independents who caucus with the Democrats).

Most American women dislike the job that President Trump is doing. Many demonstrated it by marching in the streets by the tens of thousands on the first anniversary of his inauguration, and they continue to register it in public opinion polls, giving the president a starkly lower approval rating than men do.

Americans could be forgiven for having poll whiplash this week.

"Shock poll: Americans want massive cuts to legal immigration," said a headline from the Washington Times.

Over President Trump's first year in office, the U.S. underwent some changes that he would probably cheer. The economy continued strengthening (including, yes, the stock market, as the president likes to emphasize) and the number of people apprehended while trying to enter the country illegally fell sharply. However, some changes are less promising: The nation's carbon dioxide emissions rose, and the amount of student debt grew by $47 billion.

We have put together a wide variety of statistics to show how the U.S. has changed in the past year.

It's been quite a news week, even by recent standards.

The U.S. is potentially hours away from a partial government shutdown. The debate rages on over the president's reported comments about not wanting to accept immigrants from "s**thole countries." "Girtherism" has erupted over the president's latest height and weight measurements. Officials are scrambling to figure out how to avoid another false ballistic missile alarm, like the one residents of Hawaii suffered last weekend.

The hubbub over the Republican tax plan has died down some since it passed, but the bill isn't forgotten — not by a long shot.

Updated Jan. 30

The job market is strong right now, with a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, and President Trump knows it.

In his State of the Union address, he said he is "proud" that "African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. And Hispanic-American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history."

Earier this month, he also bragged about the latest jobs report, focusing in on minorities in particular.