Philip Ewing

Updated at 5:51 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was narrowly reelected leader of the chamber on Sunday, continuing her control of the Democratic majority at a time of questions about the path ahead for Congress and who may take the gavel after her.

Pelosi garnered 216 votes Sunday, seven more than the 209 for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.

The Senate voted Friday to overturn President Trump's veto of the mammoth annual defense bill in an unprecedented act that assures the decades-long continuity for that legislation. It follows a House vote earlier this week.

The outgoing Trump administration still isn't providing information in the way President-elect Joe Biden's lieutenants feel is appropriate for a team poised to take the reins of power, incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NPR on Tuesday.

Sullivan told NPR's Scott Detrow in an exclusive interview that the Defense Department hasn't granted a meeting to the Biden transition since Dec. 18.

Updated at 2:34 p.m. ET

Democrats and President Trump hectored Senate Republicans on Tuesday to take up legislation passed by the House that would increase direct relief payments to many Americans — but the path ahead remains unclear.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged when the chamber convened that Trump had called attention to a few big issues, including the disbursements. McConnell said the Senate would "begin a process to bring [those] priorities into focus," without saying how or when.

The House voted on Monday to overturn President Trump's veto of the gargantuan annual defense authorization bill.

The vote, 322-87, was a highly unusual response to a highly unusual move by a president in rejecting the legislation, which sets policies and establishes other priorities every year for the military services.

The Senate's next moves on the matter are still uncertain, but senators were set to return to Washington on Tuesday.

Updated at 10 p.m. ET

The House voted to increase coronavirus disaster relief payments for Americans to $2,000 per person on Monday in a bid by Democrats to capitalize on political divisions among Republicans.

Updated at 7:04 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden is complaining that the outgoing Trump administration has thrown up some "roadblocks" as he and advisers prepare to take the White House.

In prepared remarks Monday in Wilmington, Del., Biden said that he and his team have been frustrated by what he called a lack of cooperation, especially at the Defense Department and with the Office of Management and Budget.

The 2020 elections ran well and were largely free from foreign interference, U.S. officials say.

That doesn't mean the story is over.

Improving elections practices is a "race without a finish line," as Pennsylvania's secretary of state told NPR in 2019, and big questions remain about what's to become of the fast maturing but still partly formed discipline of election security.

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

President Trump's legal challenges to the election met with a series of defeats and setbacks on Friday as judges found the Trump campaign's arguments and evidence that there was widespread fraud and irregularities with the vote to be lacking.

Democrats have brought the end of the Trump era into sight — but there are more than 70 days to go before the page actually turns and President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

In the meantime, the most unusual era in modern American politics is phasing into what could be one of its most tumultuous transitions.

Here's what you need to know about the final act.

Resolution and reconciliation — or not

Updated at 10:17 p.m. ET

President Trump's campaign has unleashed a multipronged legal offensive directed at states where vote counting continued Thursday based on unsupported allegations about fraud and irregularities in the election.

Attorneys for the Trump campaign sought intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court and also filed suit in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada seeking remedies they hoped would help their prospects in those places. In some instances, that included requests for counting to cease altogether or at least pause for a time.

Federal authorities were cautiously optimistic early Wednesday about having made it through voting season without major disruption by cyberattacks or other malign activity — but they cautioned that could still happen in the coming days.

"We're not out of the woods yet," said one senior official with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who briefed reporters with other U.S. officials on the condition they not be identified.

Foreign interference is a very old problem, but most Americans didn't used to worry much about it and the security of elections.

Now, lessons learned about the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election have brought the most intense focus ever on the U.S. information environment, elections practices, voter databases and other parts of the infrastructure of democracy.

Updated on Oct. 23 at 5:47 a.m. ET

Active Russian cyberattacks are targeting a wide swath of American government networks, including those involved with the ongoing election, federal authorities revealed Thursday.

Updated at 1:01 p.m. ET

Government agencies and political actors across the country remain vulnerable to a spoof email scam like the one blamed on Iran by the U.S. spy boss, cyber-analysts said.

Updated at 8:33 p.m. ET

Iranian influence specialists are behind threatening emails sent to voters in Alaska and Florida, U.S. officials said on Wednesday evening and suggested that more such interference could be in store from Russia.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said the U.S. intelligence community believes Iranian and Russian operatives obtained voter-record information, which enabled Iran to target some people with intimidating emails based on party registration about how they'd better vote for President Trump "or else."

Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET

The Justice Department unsealed charges against six alleged Russian government hackers on Monday and said they were behind a rash of recent cyberattacks — from damaging Ukraine's electrical grid to interfering in France's election to spying on European investigations and more.

The men work for the Russian military intelligence agency GRU — which also led Russian cyber-interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Justice Department officials said Moscow has only sustained or heightened its intensity of effort since then.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said he could only find a single case in which Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett didn't follow the precedent of her 7th Circuit Court of Appeals — and that was one in which the Supreme Court itself had established a new doctrine, he said.

Crapo ticked through a series of statistics on Wednesday during a portion of the hearing in which he tried to puncture what he called Democrats' implications that Barrett, notwithstanding her emphasis about "textualism," might actually prove to be a more activist member of the Supreme Court.

Democrats are litigating Judge Amy Coney Barrett's record and outlook on voting as the Senate Judiciary Committee wraps up her three days in the spotlight this week.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said she worried about Barrett's longtime closeness with Justice Antonin Scalia in view of Scalia's antipathy toward the Voting Rights Act, which the Supreme Court partly dismantled in a 2013 ruling.

Republicans condemned what they called inappropriate criticism and questioning about Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's Catholic identity as her confirmation hearing opened on Monday. Democrats did not bring up her faith in Monday's hearing.

Barrett is a devout Catholic, alumna of Notre Dame and member of a small, conservative faith group called the People of Praise.

Democrats are unhappy about nearly everything involving the likely confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. About the only thing that could be worse, from their perspective, is if she helps President Trump secure a second term.

Updated at 11:28 a.m. ET

Democrats on Monday executed an old move from the playbook used by a party when it doesn't control the majority during a big hearing: changing the subject.

Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein of California and her colleagues don't have the votes to stop Judge Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate Judiciary Committee or the full chamber. All they have is the time they can talk between members of the majority.

The White House must find a way to keep working and show that the government is still operating notwithstanding illness or the absence of the president, a group of former chiefs of staff said on Friday morning.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey says that if he knew today what he knew during the Russia investigation, he would have taken a more skeptical view about a key surveillance request.

Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the subsequent revelations about problems with the surveillance warrant requested against one ex-junior campaign aide to Donald Trump likely would have given him pause in pursuing it.

Updated at 4:49 p.m. ET

Democratic nominee Joe Biden called President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful of transfer of power if he loses the election "a typical Trump distraction."

"I'm confident that [despite] all of the irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting, we'll have an election in this country as we always have had," Biden said in an interview Friday with MSNBC. "And he'll leave."

Updated at 12:15 a.m. ET

The Senate shouldn't take up the vacancy on the Supreme Court opened by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after voters have expressed their choice in the election, former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday.

The Democratic presidential hopeful kept in lockstep with his colleagues now in the Senate minority, who wasted little time after the announcement of Ginsburg's death in stating their belief that Washington must wait.

Republicans do not agree.

President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., already had remade the federal judiciary before the hinge of fate swung again on Friday night.

The Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed no fewer than 200 federal judges, many of them young, and each to a lifelong term, as NPR's Carrie Johnson has reported.

President Trump has revealed the names of people he'd consider nominating to the Supreme Court in the event of a vacancy like the one opened by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump's Democratic challenger, hasn't.

The greatest peril posed to American elections is that the cloud of fear and uncertainty about them will cause citizens to stop believing they matter, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress on Thursday.

Wray was asked in a House Homeland Security Committee hearing about his No. 1 concern as the FBI and other agencies work to quash the manifold foreign threats posed to this and future elections. He said the worst danger isn't something within the power of a foreign government.

The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security condemned acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf's failure to appear in response to a subpoena on Thursday.

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