Robin Bravender

Robin Bravender, DC Bureau Chief, coordinates States Newsroom’s Washington, D.C., coverage. She keeps tabs on states’ U.S. congressional delegations and writes about how decisions made by federal agencies, the White House and the federal courts impact states across the country. [email protected]

George Floyd’s brother: ‘Make sure that he is more than another face on a T-shirt’

By: - June 10, 2020

WASHINGTON — George Floyd’s younger brother, Philonise Floyd, pleaded with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday to ensure that his brother didn’t die in vain. “I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch something like that. When you watch your big brother, who you looked up to your whole entire life […]

Trump plans July 4th celebration despite pandemic

By: - May 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t upended President Donald Trump’s plans to hold a Fourth of July celebration in the nation’s capital this summer. The White House told the Associated Press this week that Trump intends to move ahead with a scaled-back version of last year’s massive “Salute to America” event on the National Mall. […]

Burr steps down as Intelligence chairman

By: - May 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Burr is leaving his post as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman after federal agents seized his cellphone Wednesday as part of an insider trading probe. “Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation,” […]

From hospital, Justice Ginsburg slams Trump birth control rules

By: - May 6, 2020

WASHINGTON — Hospitalization for a gallbladder condition didn’t stop U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from assailing Trump administration’s birth control rules on Wednesday. Ginsburg, 87, was hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Tuesday night, but was animated as she participated in an oral argument via teleconference surrounding a Trump administration policy […]

Burr wants swift approval of Trump’s intelligence pick despite Dems’ warnings

By: - May 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Last summer, Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe withdrew himself from consideration to be the national intelligence director, just days after President Donald Trump nominated him for the job.  Key Senate Republicans appeared reluctant to fully embrace the nominee — who has a reputation as a conservative firebrand in the U.S. House — and Ratcliffe faced accusations that he embellished his resume from his time as a federal prosecutor. Trump revived the nomination again in February, calling Ratcliffe “an outstanding man of great talent!” on Twitter. 

U.S. Supreme Court tosses gun case as Kavanaugh urges future debate

By: - April 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday avoided issuing a landmark Second Amendment ruling in a closely watched gun rights case, but set the stage for future legal battles. A divided court ruled that a challenge to New York City gun restrictions was moot because the city had later changed its regulations. The case […]

With first quarter fundraising surge, Cunningham outraises Tillis for the first time

By: - April 23, 2020

U.S. House incumbents, vacant seat favorites also pile up big fundraising advantages WASHINGTON — Democrats are plowing cash into North Carolina congressional races in the hopes of sending a much bluer delegation to the U.S. Capitol next year.  Democratic donors — including Hollywood producers and influential politicians — helped U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham to outraise North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis in the first quarter of this year. The race promises to be among the most closely watched and expensive political contests of 2020 as Democrats hope ousting Tillis will help them flip control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Trump ousts another watchdog as critics see ‘disturbing pattern’

By: - April 8, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday ousted the second federal watchdog in the span of five days as congressional Democrats accused him of purging federal employees for political reasons. Trump removed the Defense Department’s Acting Inspector General, Glenn Fine, who had been on the job since early 2016. Last week, Fine had been named […]

Washington update: Behemoth $2T COVID-19 response bill becomes law (Updated)

By: - March 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — A $2 trillion bill to aid workers, health care providers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic passed the U.S. House and was signed into law by President Trump on Friday. Many House members reconvened in Washington to approve the 880-page measure, which stands to be the largest economic aid package in U.S. history. […]

Obama stimulus watchdog: ‘Bad guys’ will make play for COVID-19 relief cash

By: - March 26, 2020

WASHINGTON — Earl Devaney is feeling déjà vu. Devaney, a former longtime federal watchdog, was hired in 2009 to police the distribution of $840 billion in federal stimulus spending for the Obama administration. He had previously worked for the U.S. Secret Service, the EPA’s environmental enforcement division and as the Interior Department’s inspector general. Now […]

Burr asks colleagues to police his ethics. Will anything come of it?

By: - March 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who’s facing a political firestorm for selling off stocks ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, has asked for a Senate ethics investigation into his actions.  The Senate Select Committee on Ethics operates largely in secret, dismisses the vast majority of allegations it receives and involves senators policing their own colleagues. The public usually doesn’t know which complaints are before the panel or how they’re resolved. 

U.S. Senate votes to ax DeVos student loan policy

By: - March 12, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to overturn a controversial regulation from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her critics say hurts defrauded student loan borrowers. Senate Democrats forced the vote under the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows Congress to overturn federal rules within 60 days after they’re finalized. The U.S. House […]