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.

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.

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.

A Senate committee looked at the failure of HSBC bank to police money laundering.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from reporter Andrea Seabrook (@RadioBabe).

I have a thing about political fakes on Twitter. I HATE them. And when I say fakes, I mean a handle that appears to be a senator or representative, but is very obviously written by some 22-year-old staffer.

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.

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.

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

This story is part of Planet Money's series on money in politics. This post was originally published on March 30. It was updated on April 6.

Most of the nitty-gritty action in Congress happens in committees.

Not surprisingly, campaign contributions flow to members of the committees that big donors are really interested in — like, say, the ways and means committee, which oversees the tax code.

This story is part of a Planet Money series on money in politics. Also see our story, "Senator By Day, Telemarketer By Night, and listen to us this weekend on This American Life.

Democrats love Nancy Pelosi. Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi.

One key reason for both the love and the hate: Nancy Pelosi is incredibly good at her job. And a huge part of that job is raising money.