Jessica Taylor | WYPR

Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is the lead digital political reporter for NPR. Based in Washington, D.C., she covers the 2016 elections and national politics for NPR digital.

Before joining NPR in May 2015, Taylor was the campaign editor for The Hill newspaper where she oversaw the newspaper's 2014 midterm coverage, managed a team of political reporters and wrote her own biweekly column.

Prior to The Hill, Taylor was a writer and producer for MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd" and a contributor to the NBC News Political Unit. She covered and reported on the 2012 election as a senior analyst for The Rothenberg Gonzales Political Report. Her quotes have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, as well as several state and regional newspapers across the country. Taylor has also appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN and other local network affiliates.

On Election Night 2012, Jessica served as an off-air analyst for CBS News in New York, advising producers and reporters on House and Senate races.

Previously, Jessica was editor of National Journal's "House Race Hotline" and Assistant Editor for POLITICO during the 2010 midterms. She began her career in Washington as the research director for The Almanac of American Politics.

A native of Elizabethton, Tenn., she is a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, S.C. and now lives in Alexandria, Va.

In the wake of last week's Charleston, S.C., church shootings, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explained his competing concerns between gun rights and gun safety.

"I think guns and gun control is an issue that needs to be discussed," Sanders told NPR's David Greene in an interview airing on Thursday's Morning Edition. "Let me add to that, I think that urban America has got to respect what rural America is about, where 99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law abiding people."

This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday he is running for president, becoming the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race.

Last week's tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine black parishioners gathered for a Bible study has renewed the debate over one of the most controversial Southern symbols — the Confederate flag.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blew away another gathering of religious conservative leaders this week, preaching about threats to religious freedom to a receptive and hungry crowd.

"I will never, ever, ever shy away from standing up and defending the religious liberty of every American," the GOP White House hopeful thundered at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington.

"Religious liberty has never been more threatened in America than right now today," Cruz added.

President Obama's own party dealt him a stinging rebuke when it rejected a key part of the fast-track trade promotion authority the White House wanted. Not even 11th-hour visits to both the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday night and to Capitol Hill Friday morning could cobble together enough support from his own party to advance the legislation. House Republicans say they will try again next week thanks to a procedural maneuver and the White House has dismissed it as a "snafu," but still it's something this president has spent a lot of political capital on.

A once important political event, which has seen its influence diminished by pay-to-play allegations, breathed its last breath Friday morning.

State Republicans voted to kill the Iowa Straw Poll in a unanimous vote — reversing themselves from a unanimous vote in January to continue it. Amid defections by key 2016 presidential candidates and despite pledged reforms, it was no longer able to survive.

Hillary Clinton's campaign kickoff will draw inspiration from her late mother as she seeks to lay out her vision for America.

By detailing the struggles her mother, Dorothy Rodham, went through, the Democratic presidential hopeful will detail Saturday in New York why she's seeking out reforms and priorities for families, telling everyday Americans, "It is your time."

It's the kind of rhetoric that helped elect President Obama twice. He made the focus of his campaigns, especially his reelection, income inequality, which Republicans derided as "class warfare."

As the U.S. Senate (and the world) celebrates National Seersucker Day on Thursday, Washington seems to have finally warmed up to the cool, puckered summer fabric that has a storied history in the nation's capital.

This story has been updated.

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