Claudia Grisales

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.

Before joining NPR in June 2019, she was a Capitol Hill reporter covering military affairs for Stars and Stripes. She also covered breaking news involving fallen service members and the Trump administration's relationship with the military. She also investigated service members who have undergone toxic exposures, such as the atomic veterans who participated nuclear bomb testing and subsequent cleanup operations.

Prior to Stars and Stripes, Grisales was an award-winning reporter at the daily newspaper in Central Texas, the Austin American-Statesman, for 16 years. There, she covered the intersection of business news and regulation, energy issues and public safety. She also conducted a years-long probe that uncovered systemic abuses and corruption at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest member-owned utility in the country. The investigation led to the ousting of more than a dozen executives, state and U.S. congressional hearings and criminal convictions for two of the co-op's top leaders.

Grisales is originally from Chicago and is an alum of the University of Houston, the University of Texas and Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she earned a master's degree in journalism.

Updated July 29, 2021 at 4:29 PM ET

The U.S. Capitol Police are on the verge of running out of money next month so both the Senate and House approved a $2.1 billion spending measure on Thursday to avoid furloughs and pay for overtime, training and more. It also direct funds to federal agencies handling humanitarian aid for U.S. allies in Afghanistan.

The new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police on Friday defended the beleaguered agency, saying that the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection should not define the department and that necessary changes to its procedures have been made in the months since.

"I know how good this U.S. Capitol Police Department is. I know the kind of work that these men and women have done over the years," Tom Manger, who has four decades of experience in law enforcement and who started in his new role on Friday, said in an interview with NPR.

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a sweeping legislative package to reform the way the military prosecutes serious crimes, handing the lawmaker leading the years-long effort a major victory.

Behind closed doors, the panel incorporated Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's measure as part of the annual defense bill, also known as the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Tony and Debbie Steffey are retirees who live on a fixed income in southwest Virginia, and they're desperate for internet. To get it, they'd have to pay $10,000 for a fiber line to their double-wide trailer in the community of Carbo.

"We don't have it, we have no choice," Debbie Steffey, 67, said of not having the money to pay for the construction of a line.

"We don't even have email or nothing," added Tony Steffey, 65.

Just weeks before Capitol Police are due to deplete funding that was drained by the Jan. 6 insurrection, the top Democrat and Republican on a key Senate panel unveiled dramatically different proposals to rescue the agency's dire finances.

Updated June 30, 2021 at 3:54 PM ET

In a largely party-line vote, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved legislation on Wednesday to create a select committee to launch a new inquiry into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

With a larger share of Republicans voting against the plan, it marks the latest turn in a partisan fight to investigate the riot.

Nearly a month after Senate Republicans blocked a move to vote on an outside commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she'll move forward with plans to launch a select committee to take over the probe.

Pelosi shared the news in a press conference on Thursday at which she blasted Republicans for preventing a bipartisan commission from moving forward.

Several key House members, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have signed onto a groundbreaking Senate plan to overhaul the military's justice system, including how sex-related crimes are prosecuted, boosting the measure's chances. The legislation, now moving in both chambers, has momentum after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin backed a key provision on Tuesday.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 11:34 AM ET

The U.S. House of Representatives moved Thursday to repeal a nearly two-decade-old war powers measure, marking what many lawmakers hope will be the beginning of the end of wide-ranging authorities given to the president after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The vote was 268-161. The measure now heads to the Senate.

A bipartisan probe led by two Senate committees has found that U.S. Capitol Police and other authorities were in possession of more alarming intelligence clues ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the complex than previously documented.

The findings are part of a report issued Tuesday by the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees looking into the series of failures of intelligence, security preparations and emergency response before and during the insurrection.

For three straight nights, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand took to the Senate floor to ask for quick approval of her bill to reform the military's criminal justice system.

After eight years of trying, the Democrat and longtime member of the Senate Armed Services Committee finally has the votes needed to approve the transformative legislation in the upper chamber. The bill has more than 60 cosponsors.

The House of Representatives has narrowly passed a $1.9 billion security funding bill to reimburse federal agencies for costs related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, prosecution of criminal cases and new efforts to protect Congress better.

A large share of the measure, more than $730 million, would reimburse costs related to the siege for the National Guard and other agencies. The remainder is dedicated to new security measures for the Capitol complex, the ramping up of protection for members as well as other miscellaneous items.

In an effort to reduce crime among formerly incarcerated individuals, a bipartisan group of Senate and House lawmakers are joining forces to introduce legislation Thursday to create new resource centers to help ex-prisoners get a new start.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas; and House Reps. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., are launching the proposal to offer new access to housing, medical care, job searches and legal services.

Updated May 19, 2021 at 6:53 PM ET

The House has passed a bipartisan plan to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, despite significant opposition from Republican lawmakers.

The vote was 252-175, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats.

Updated May 14, 2021 at 12:44 PM ET

House lawmakers have reached a deal on a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and to recommend changes to protect the complex further.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., the panel's ranking member, will introduce legislation Friday to set up the commission.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told senators on Thursday that in the midst of a surge of migrants trying to enter the U.S., the number of unaccompanied minors in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody continues to fall dramatically.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

On Capitol Hill today, former Trump officials testified for the first time since the January 6 attack. Taking center stage at the House Oversight Committee hearing - bitter exchanges like this one.

A U.S. Capitol Police watchdog told a congressional committee on Monday that the agency was not equipped to handle the flow of intelligence ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the complex, and he focused his testimony on a suggestion that the force create a dedicated counterintelligence unit.

In a breakthrough for an 8-year-long effort, two senators behind legislation to revamp the way the military handles sexual assault cases and other serious crimes say the bill has the bipartisan votes to gain passage.

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