Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a congressional reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.

Prior to coming to NPR, Summers spent nearly four years as a reporter for POLITICO, where she focused on political and campaign coverage, primarily the 2012 Republican primaries and general election. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. She then traveled with Paul Ryan after he accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination. After the 2012 election, Summers began covering defense policy and veterans issues on Capitol Hill.

Summers has her reporting roots in Missouri. She has covered statewide and local politics for the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as KBIA-FM.

Her work has also been featured in the Austin American-Statesman and The Washington Post.

Summers is a regular guest host for C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" and a frequent guest on CNN's "Inside Politics", MSNBC's "Weekends With Alex Witt" and other cable news programs. She was a commentator for BET during the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Summers served one term on the board of directors of the Online News Association, the largest non-profit organization of digital journalists. She is an alumna of the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the New York Times Journalism Institute and the Society of Professional Journalists Reporters Institute.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Summers is a graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. She is also currently pursuing a master's degree in media management from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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Politics
5:11 am
Wed May 20, 2015

After Derailment, Congress Debates Lifting Amtrak's Damage Cap

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Lawmakers Spar Over Whether Amtrak Funding Cut Matters

"That's a stupid question," House Speaker John Boehner said after a reporter asked him about Democratic claims that the GOP had cut Amtrak funding to unacceptable levels.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 5:28 pm

Back-to-back news conferences by Democratic and Republican House leaders, given from the same podium on Thursday, showed a contrast in how both parties are responding to the politics of a deadly train crash that killed at least eight people and injured scores more.

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It's All Politics
9:03 am
Wed May 13, 2015

GOP Split Over Bill To Let Immigrants In U.S. Illegally Serve In Military

Dream Action Coalition Co-director Cesar Vargas, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014. He wants immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to later be allowed to serve in the military.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 8:20 pm

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can't fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces.

"I do believe that because this country has given me so much, I do want to be able to give back," Vargas said in an interview.

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

After Spending Scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock Says Goodbye

"Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did," Rep. Schock said on the House floor Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:09 pm

Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.

Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.

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It's All Politics
3:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:11 pm

Updated at 12:10 p.m. E.T.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

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It's All Politics
7:03 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

Polls show changing American opinion on marijuana, and it's having an effect on politics.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 11:26 am

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

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The Salt
5:02 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

A Craft Beer Tax Battle Is Brewing On Capitol Hill

Brewers pay a federal tax on each barrel of beer they produce. Two proposals on Capitol Hill would lower that tax for small brewers, but not everyone's on board.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:49 am

Congressman Patrick McHenry is a man who knows his beer. The refrigerator in his Capitol Hill office is filled to the brim with it. The Republican's district includes the city of Asheville, N.C., which claims it has more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city.

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It's All Politics
10:29 am
Sat March 7, 2015

How To Oust A House Speaker (Hint: Don't Even Try)

House Speaker John Boehner's job is secure, despite passing a bill to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security — a bill that most of his Republican colleagues opposed.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 12:53 pm

Here's one story in Washington that just won't go away.

It's the tale of conservatives who are frustrated with House Speaker John Boehner and want to replace him midsession.

The latest murmurs of a coup surfaced after more than 50 Republicans voted against Boehner's plan last week to avert a partial-shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.

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It's All Politics
12:23 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Rep. Boehner: House Has 'Done Its Job' On Homeland Security Funding

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday: "The House has done its job to fund the Department of Homeland Security and to stop the president's overreach on immigration. We're waiting for the Senate to do their job."
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:46 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET: Senate To Move Forward On Vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Wednesday afternoon that they would move forward with a vote on a so-called "clean" funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, meaning it would have no policy provisions attached targeting President Obama's immigration policy.

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It's All Politics
4:07 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

For Congressional Committees, It's All In The Name

The Senate Finance Committee has one of the more straightforward names on Capitol Hill. Others, like the education committee, have seen frequent name changes to reflect party priorities.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 7:49 pm

Earlier this year, just a couple of weeks into the new Congress, David Stacy and his co-workers at the Human Rights Campaign found out about something they weren't expecting, something most of us wouldn't raise an eyebrow at.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn decided to change the name of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee he is now chairman of. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights dropped the "civil rights" and "human rights." Now it's just the Constitution subcommittee.

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