Andrea Seabrook

Andrea Seabrook covers Capitol Hill as NPR's Congressional Correspondent.

In each report, Seabrook explains the daily complexities of legislation and the longer trends in American politics. She delivers critical, insightful reporting – from the last Republican Majority, through the speakership of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats' control of the House, to the GOP landslide of 2010. She and NPR's Peter Overby won the prestigious Joan S. Barone award for their Dollar Politics series, which exposed the intense lobbying effort around President Obama's Health Care legislation. Seabrook and Overby's most recent collaboration, this time on the flow of money during the 2010 midterm elections, was widely lauded and drew a huge audience spike on NPR.org.

An authority on the comings and goings of daily life on Capitol Hill, Seabrook has covered Congress for NPR since January 2003 She took a year-and-a-half break, in 2006 and 2007, to host the weekend edition of NPR's newsmagazine, All Things Considered. In that role, Seabrook covered a wide range of topics, from the uptick in violence in the Iraq war, to the history of video game music.

A frequent guest host of NPR programs, including Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation, Seabrook has also anchored NPR's live coverage of national party conventions and election night in 2006 and 2008.

Seabrook joined NPR in 1998 as an editorial assistant for the music program, Anthem. After serving in a variety of editorial and production positions, she moved to NPR's Mexico Bureau to work as a producer and translator, providing fill-in coverage of Mexico and Central America. She returned to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1999 and worked on NPR's Science Desk and the NPR/National Geographic series, "Radio Expeditions." Later she moved to NPR's Morning Edition, starting as an editorial assistant and then moving up to Assistant Editor. She then began her on-air career as a weekend general assignment reporter for all NPR programs.

Before coming to NPR, Seabrook lived, studied and worked in Mexico City, Mexico. She ran audio for movies and television, and even had a bit part in a Mexican soap opera.

Seabrook earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Earlham College and studied Latin American literature at UNAM - La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. While in college she worked at WECI, the student-run public radio station at Earlham College.

Election 2012
8:10 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Ryan Brings Big Ideas, And Some Risk, To GOP Ticket

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is popular with conservatives and brings enthusiasm to the ticket. He won his House seat at 28, which means that now, at 42, he's a seasoned legislator.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 9:43 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's newly announced running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, has youth and experience. A conservative from a swing state, he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up.

He also brings a kind of enthusiasm Romney could use: He's a darling of the conservative base that Romney has had a harder time winning over.

Read more
The Veepstakes
4:22 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Budget Hawk Ryan Offers Romney Risk, Reward

Rep. Paul Ryan (left), R-Wis., and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign stop in Appleton, Wis., on March 30.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:30 am

Among those on Mitt Romney's list of potential running mates, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has youth and experience, he's a conservative from a swing state, and he has big ideas and the policy chops to back them up.

But the chairman of the House Budget Committee would not be the safest of choices.

Back in February, when the Republican primary was still in full swing and the party's right wing was conspicuously unhappy with the idea of Romney, tax hawk Grover Norquist spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Read more
Politics
5:00 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Undeterred, GOP Vows To Repeal Health Care Law

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 6:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Just last week, Republican leaders were warning their rank and file not to gloat if the health care law were overturned. Well, after the decision came yesterday, GOP leaders regrouped and vowed to keep fighting. NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports.

ANDREA SEABROOK, BYLINE: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stepped up to the microphone.

REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CANTOR: If for nothing else, today's health care decision underscores the importance of this election.

Read more
Politics
5:34 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Congress Taking Student Loans, Highway Bill To Wire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Congressional leaders on Tuesday said they were close to a deal to solve two big issues facing lawmakers — student loan interest rates and federal highway funding.

Both issues with looming deadlines have high stakes for middle-income Americans: If Congress fails to reach agreements by this weekend, the federal highway program would come to a halt, and student loan interest rates would double, to 6.8 percent.

Student Loans

President Obama has been hammering on the issue of student loans for days.

Read more
Mitt Romney
3:00 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Romney's Next Challenge: Woo Skeptical Republicans

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets attendees at the conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando, Fla., on June 21. The presumptive GOP nominee took knocks from congressional Republicans during the party's presidential primaries.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:30 am

The battering Mitt Romney took from Republican rivals during the primary made big news. What seemed less noteworthy at the time — the knocks he took from Republicans in Congress — is now much more significant if there is to be a President Romney.

"He's the least of the candidates running right now that would be considered a Tea Party candidate," Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., told CNN.

After Romney won Florida, GOP Rep. Allen West told CBS that Romney has to do a far better job in "making the appeal as far as being a strong constitutional conservative."

Read more
Election 2012
3:04 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Big Political Donors Shy Away From Public Scrutiny

Charles Koch of Koch Industries speaks in 2007 about his book The Science of Success in Wichita, Kan.
Bo Rader MCT /Landov

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:19 am

Several dozen wealthy donors have taken advantage of this post-Citizens United world, writing seven-figure checks to political superPACs.

Yet it seems there's something wealthy donors weren't counting on when they wrote those checks — attracting attention, including from the political opposition and the media.

Read more
National Security
5:25 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Congressmen Accuse White House Of Leaking Intel

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:54 pm

A bipartisan group of senators has called an investigation into how the news media has received information from the White House about drone strikes and cyber warfare.

Money & Politics
5:35 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Sky's The Limit In Campaign Cash For Wis. Governor

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Democratic challenger to Republican Gov. Scott Walker, greets supporters Tuesday in Racine, Wis.
Brian Kersey UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 7:53 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker vastly out-raised and outspent his Democratic challenger in the state's recall election, largely on the strength of major donations from across the country.

One reason for that was a quirk in Wisconsin law, which lets a governor in Walker's situation bypass limits on political donations.

Wisconsin law says candidates for governor normally may not take donations of more than $10,000 each. That was the limit under which Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democrat, operated in the recall election being decided Tuesday at the polls.

Read more
Health
4:47 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Health Law's Downfall Could Put GOP In Odd Spot

Attorneys general leave the U.S. Supreme Court on March 28, the last of three days of oral arguments on the health care law.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 9:37 pm

The Supreme Court will rule in the coming weeks on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the health care law that has been a flashpoint of partisan acrimony and debate since its beginning.

Much of that debate has been philosophical. But now that the law is under review by the country's highest court, politicians have to plan for the real implications of the court's decision. That's proving particularly difficult for congressional Republicans.

Read more
Politics
4:59 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Remember The Debt Ceiling Debate? It's Back

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks at the 2012 Fiscal Summit held by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation on May 15 in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:22 pm

A storm is brewing in Washington that could darken political debate for months to come. It's about the debt, the deficit, taxes and spending — all hot topics lawmakers have been fighting about for years now.

This time, though, there's a deadline, and the consequences of inaction would be immediate. That has many in Washington saying: Here we go again.

In the past week, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have begun a new round of sparring over the U.S. debt ceiling.

Read more
Election 2012
6:13 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Group Aiming To Bypass Party Politics Hits Bumps

Of candidates willing to run for the Americans Elect nomination, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, shown in 2011, is the most popular so far.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:20 pm

A political group outside the two major parties has been flying below the radar this election season: Americans Elect. The group, which is trying to run the first online primary, says its goal is to choose a presidential ticket and get it on the ballot in all 50 states.

So far, the group has gotten on the ballot in more than half the states. But picking a candidate is proving more of a challenge.

Read more
Governing
5:39 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Just Say No To E-Filing: Senate Remains In Dark Ages

Back in 1868, this was how the Office of the Secretary of the Senate prepared the summons for President Andrew Johnson to appear before the court of impeachment. Today, the secretary of the Senate continues to rely on paper to record campaign contributions.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:39 pm

"Follow the money." That's the mantra of modern political coverage, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates of campaign cash.

Checking a candidate's contributors has become critical for understanding the candidate's politics. It's also easier than ever before with regular deadlines and electronic records — unless the legislator you are tracking is a member of the U.S. Senate.

For more than a decade now, the Senate has kept itself exempt from rules other federal candidates must follow.

Read more
Planet Money
5:08 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Why Lobbyists Dodge Calls From Congressmen

"You spend most of your time dodging calls." - Jimmy Williams, former lobbyist
Courtesy of Jimmy Williams

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:36 am

This story is part of our series on money in politics.

We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.

Read more
NPR News
5:55 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

House Investigator Issa Has Faced Allegations As Well

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House oversight committee, made news recently for going after the Justice Department's botched gun operation, known as Fast and Furious. Here, Issa listens during Attorney General Eric Holder's testimony in February.
Kevin LaMarque Reuters/Landov

The man driving the investigation into the General Services Administration, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, took the top seat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the GOP won a majority in 2010.

Issa has led several splashy investigations since. But he's also been dogged by allegations of his own.

Issa has made news in recent months by threatening to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder, and by calling a panel of only men to talk about women's contraception.

The Car Alarm Voice

Read more