Kelsey Snell

Kelsey Snell is a congressional reporter for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a message for Republican voters who are celebrating the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh: Get to the polls in November if you want more conservatives sitting on judicial benches.

"Lose the Senate, and the project of confirming judges is over for the last two years of President Trump," McConnell said in an interview with NPR in his Capitol Hill office. "That, I think, is a scary prospect to the people who like what we've been doing on the judge project and I hope will help us hold on to our majority."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now one step away from a seat on the Supreme Court. Looks like he has the votes he needs to be confirmed in a final vote tomorrow.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, and his confirmation now seems all but certain, after a key swing vote, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declared her support in a speech on the Senate floor.

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated at 7:51 a.m. ET on Thursday

The FBI's highly anticipated supplemental background check on Brett Kavanaugh was sent to the White House and Capitol Hill overnight, with senators set to review the report on Thursday in the final chapter of what has become a deeply acrimonious confirmation battle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced the planned arrival of the report on Wednesday night and said all senators would get a chance to review it ahead of the next procedural milestones in the chamber.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Trump has jumped back into the fight over his Supreme Court nominee. At a rally last night in Mississippi, he outright mocked the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Mr. Graham.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Mr. Cornyn.

JOHN CORNYN: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Mr. Lee.

MIKE LEE: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Mr. Cruz.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD: (Reading) I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Christine Blasey Ford has just begun to speak to the Senate Judiciary Committee, offering testimony today against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Let's just bring the sound of that as we hear a bit of her opening statement.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Before the testimony of his Supreme Court nominee and before the testimony of his accuser, we have testimony, or strictly speaking, a press conference, from the president of the United States.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

The House voted 361-61 to approve a spending bill to avoid a shutdown threat until early December. President Trump has said he plans to sign the legislation.

The legislation also includes a full year of funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor and Health and Human Services and a short-term extension of the Violence Against Women Act; but it has no new money for Trump's proposed wall with Mexico.

Updated at 11:18 p.m. ET

Days before the Senate is set to hear from a woman who alleges that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her while in high school, Kavanaugh is denying fresh accusations from a college classmate who also alleges he acted inappropriately toward her.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, will testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Attorneys for Ford reached an agreement with committee staff on Sunday after days of negotiations over the conditions and details of her appearance. The terms of their agreement provide that Kavanaugh will also appear before the committee, but he will not be in the room while Ford is speaking or being questioned.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

Attorneys for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in the 1980s, have begun discussing terms of her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

"She wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety," Debra Katz, Ford's lawyer says in an email to committee aides first reported in the New York Times and confirmed by NPR.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

The Senate Judiciary Committee will move forward with a hearing scheduled for Monday on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, despite a request for further investigation from his accuser.

House and Senate negotiators have agreed to a plan to avoid a shutdown fight weeks before the midterm elections in November.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been marked by delays and protesters' interruptions all this week. Today - more chaos and a rebellion.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The life and legacy of Senator John McCain was celebrated today at the National Cathedral.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CONGREGATION: (Singing) How great Thou art. How great Thou art.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Trump's administration signaled which side it's on in a lawsuit against Harvard.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Sen. Lindsey Graham doesn't want to replace his best friend, Sen. John McCain — he wants to lead a march in McCain's footsteps.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday delayed efforts to rename the Russell Senate Office in honor of Sen. John McCain by creating an official group to vet a variety of memorial options.

McConnell announced plans for the bipartisan committee just days after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., first suggested renaming the building to memorialize McCain, who died Saturday at 81. Republican reaction to the Schumer proposal was mixed, even as Sen. Jeff Flake, McCain's fellow Arizona Republican, signed on as a co-sponsor.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

The beginning of the national memorial for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been marred by a fight over a sign of public respect, as President Trump initially avoided issuing a proclamation to lower flags to half-staff at all federal properties in McCain's honor.

Flags were lowered at government buildings across Washington and across the country Saturday evening after McCain died, as is standard practice for a sitting member of Congress.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Congressional Republicans stuck by President Trump Wednesday, one day after one of his former top associates was convicted on federal charges and another pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts, implicating Trump in payoffs to two women in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

Pages