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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It's All Politics
2:09 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

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
2:48 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 11:11 am

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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Politics
3:52 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns Amid Spending Scandal

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:18 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's All Politics
6:03 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 10:26 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
4:29 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 6:49 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
9:29 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 11:53 am

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
11:23 am
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 7:46 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
2:34 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 6:49 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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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Pope Francis To Address Congress During U.S. Trip, Boehner Says

Pope Francis is cheered by the faithful as he arrives for the weekly general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.
AP

Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

Francis will address lawmakers on Sept. 24, Boehner said, as part of his first papal visit to the United States.

"We're humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people," the Ohio Republican told reporters.

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Politics
4:59 am
Wed February 4, 2015

House Votes Again To Repeal Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 9:44 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
3:06 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

House Votes To Repeal ACA, Though Bill Unlikely To Pass Senate

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 5:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
4:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

House Republican Leaders Drop Effort To Ban Some Abortions

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:28 pm

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Politics
3:32 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Republican Lawmakers Retreat Great For Face Time, But Divisions Remain

"We've all had an opportunity to get to know each other a little better," House Speaker John Boehner said of this week's Republican retreat in Hershey, Pa.
Juana Summers NPR

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:31 pm

Republican lawmakers of the House and Senate emerged from a rare joint retreat in Hershey, Pa., a town known best for its chocolate, with little to show for it.

Unlike last year's House retreat where lawmakers unveiled their principles for an overhaul of the nation's immigration overhauls, there was little grand takeaway.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Republican Majority Makes Boehner's Job Easier — And Harder

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
4:00 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Speaker Election Reveals Split Among Some House Republicans

If Rep. John Boehner secures re-election as speaker of the House on Tuesday, the task at hand will be governing. Boehner's expanded rank and file now includes members from some of the bluest states in the country.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:39 am

The modern Republican Party is rooted in the South. But there's little evidence of that when it comes to congressional leadership.

When the new Congress begins its session, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will lead Senate Republicans. Across the Capitol, though, it's not a Southerner that will wield the gavel. It's Ohio Republican John Boehner, a pragmatist who is ideologically — and geographically — distant from many of the members he will again lead if elected for a third term as speaker of the House.

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Politics
4:05 am
Tue December 23, 2014

As Head Of Armed Services Committee, McCain Gets A Bigger Bullhorn

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:28 am

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Politics
4:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

House's Budget Bill Debate Unveiled Democratic Rifts, GOP Ambitions

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:43 pm

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Politics
4:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Congressional Plan To Fund Military Comes With A Side Of 'Land Grab'

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:13 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Photography
4:29 am
Wed November 19, 2014

House Leadership Ranks Remain Mostly Stagnant For Democrats

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 8:02 am

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Politics
4:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Kansas Republicans Breathe A Sigh Of Relief

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 10:58 am

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It's All Politics
1:31 pm
Sat November 1, 2014

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Is No GOP Bench Warmer

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address in 2014. She's set to easily win re-election to a sixth term next week.
Susan Walsh AP

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is one of the most powerful politicians in America. She's the top-ranking woman in the House GOP, and her political ambitions and trajectory have been debated everywhere from Capitol Hill to the pages of Glamour magazine. But when she walks into locally owned businesses like Maid Naturally in Spokane, Wash., she's just Cathy.

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Politics
3:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Constituent Services Give Voters Something To Remember

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., poses with constituent Noelle Hunter. In a campaign ad, Hunter explains that McConnell helped get her daughter back from Mali after a custody battle.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:49 pm

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Politics
4:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Ebola Blame Game Takes The Stage At Midterm Election Debates

Ebola is the latest issue to spill into debates this season. Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (left) has blamed Republicans for cutting government health resources. His opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, says the CDC has been spending wastefully.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 12:31 pm

First there was ISIS. Now there's Ebola.

The Ebola health crisis is the latest global issue to become a fixture this campaign season, spilling into debates, campaign rhetoric — and even a few ads.

Political arguments about Ebola can roughly be divided into three groups.

Democrats argue that budget-cutting Republicans have deprived the government of the resources it needs to keep Americans safe from the threat of Ebola. That's the argument Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado made at a recent debate.

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It's All Politics
5:11 am
Sun October 12, 2014

In Northern Virginia, Candidates See Opportunity In Asian Vote

In a campaign ad from John Foust, the candidate tries to appeal to Korean voters.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 12:14 pm

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U.S.
5:46 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Details Emerge Of Security Breach During Obama's CDC Visit

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 9:48 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
5:13 am
Mon September 22, 2014

After Major Image Fumbles, NFL Now Runs Into Congress

Philadelphia Eagles player Zach Ertz attempts to catch a pass during Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins. Congress has seized on recent controversies to attack the NFL's tax-exempt status.
Rich Schultz Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 5:10 pm

The NFL just kicked off its 2014 season, and the $9 billion league is currently facing two powerful opponents: its own image and Congress.

Lawmakers have seized on controversies over domestic violence, child abuse and a team name to attack the NFL's tax exemption. While the individual teams generate billions in profits and pay taxes, the league office is considered a nonprofit and does not pay federal income taxes.

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A Closer Look At Sexual Assaults On Campus
3:32 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Smartphone Apps Help To Battle Campus Sexual Assaults

Circle of 6 was born out of the 2011 "Apps Against Abuse" challenge, a partnership between the Office of the Vice President, Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 7:02 am

NPR has been examining sexual assault on campus.

Dozens of U.S. colleges are being investigated over their handling of sexual assault claims.

Incoming freshman are especially vulnerable to those assaults.

The first six weeks of the semester are called the "red zone" when a student is most likely to experience rape or an attempted rape.

Amid all the concerns, there's new legislation in place for colleges, and there's hope that technology could help.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Education Reform Is Becoming A Celebrity Cause

Whoopi Goldberg spoke out against teacher tenure during an episode of The View.
John Shearer AP

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:25 pm

Celebrities are becoming a prominent fixture in the debate over K-12 education.

This week Whoopi Goldberg used her platform on ABC's The View to speak out against teacher tenure.

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NPR Ed
2:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead

A rooftop view of East Baltimore, 1979.
Elinor Cahn Courtesy of Elinor Cahn Photographs, The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 5:21 pm

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

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NPR Ed
8:00 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Enlisting Smartphones In The Campaign For Campus Safety

Circle of 6 was born out of the 2011 "Apps Against Abuse" challenge, a partnership between the Office of the Vice President, Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Technology – and particularly smartphones – could reshape safety efforts on college campuses. At least that's the hope of some developers.

Several new apps offer quick ways for college students facing unsafe or uncomfortable situations to reach out to their peers, connect with resources on campus and in their communities, or notify law enforcement.

These apps for the most part target sexual assault and rape, amid growing national concern about the prevalence of incidents and criticism of the ways colleges and universities are handling them.

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