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.

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.

On a Saturday morning in December, Kate Coyne-McCoy stood before 26 women in a small conference room in Manchester, N.H., explaining what fires her up in the morning.

"I wake up every day, the first thing I do is look at this list of members of Congress that I have, and I figure out who's sick and who's going to die," Coyne-McCoy told the women. "Because I want to replace them with you."

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Updated at 1:26 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans in Congress approved a sweeping and controversial $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, with the Senate voting early Wednesday along straight party lines to move the measure forward.

Updated on Dec. 20 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The Republican tax bill, which Congress sent to President Trump on Wednesday, would give most Americans a tax cut next year, according to a new analysis. However, it would by far benefit the richest Americans the most. Meanwhile, many lower- and middle-class Americans would have higher taxes a decade from now ... unless a future Congress extends the cuts.

Updated on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans handed their party and the president a major legislative victory when they passed their tax cut plan.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans believe that "a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is essential to bringing about change in our society."

At a time when partisan opinions are so polarized on a range of issues, Republicans and Democrats are relatively similar in believing that society should crack down hard on sexual harassment, a new poll from Ipsos and NPR suggests.

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This week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders promoted one of the White House's chief selling points about the Republican tax plan. The pitch: American households will get an additional $4,000 as a result of the tax overhaul proposed in September.

The number comes from an estimate produced by the Council of Economic Advisers earlier this month.

John McCain on Friday imperiled Republicans' latest Affordable Care Act repeal and replace effort when he said he "cannot in good conscience" support the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill. But McCain did also say he could at some point support the substance of his fellow Republicans' proposal.

"I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends Sens. [Lindsey] Graham and [Bill] Cassidy were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment," McCain said. "But that has not been the case."

After learning that President Trump is working with Democratic congressional leaders on codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, furious Trump supporters burned their Make America Great Again hats.

The Capitol Hill health care fight sure seemed dead. After Republican proposals to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, failed to pass a Republican-controlled Congress, lawmakers looked poised to move on to other topics, like a tax overhaul. But this week, proposals from both the left and the right are grabbing headlines.

In announcing the president's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stressed the legal arguments for that decision.

The recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., amplified an ongoing struggle in America about who experiences discrimination and to what extent. Many of the white nationalists who rallied in Charlottesville, for example, feel that white people are discriminated against as much as, or more than, minority groups.

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

President Trump stood by his heavily criticized defense of monuments commemorating the Confederacy in a series of tweets Thursday morning. Trump said removing the statues of Confederate generals meant removing "beauty" — that would "never able to be comparably replaced" — from American cities. As he did in a Tuesday press conference, he also attempted to equate some Confederate generals with some of the Founding Fathers.

Strung together, the tweets read:

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."

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

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 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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