Susan Davis

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR and a co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Now, you have likely seen it or felt it yourself. Now a recent survey shows how the nation's bitter political divide is taking a toll on friendships. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, with political polarization hitting a fever pitch, even decades-long relationships are caving under the pressure.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's been happening everywhere on social media and in real life.

SHAMA DAVIS: I did straight up say, dude, I'm done. Lose my number.

SMITH: That Shama Davis from LA.

If 2008 was about hope and change for Democrats, 2020 is about anger and fear.

"I'm terrified, and if I were not as old as I am I'd be out on the streets," said Barbara Ravage, 75, a retiree who lives on Cape Cod. The pandemic has kept Ravage at home and away from volunteering in local politics this year, so instead she has given more money to local politicians and activist causes she supports. "There is no question I have traded rolling up my sleeves into reaching in to my wallet," she said.

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While the outcome of Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court is not in doubt, senators remain at odds over the decision to advance a nomination so close to a presidential election.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., once claimed that he would not support such a move, but he quickly reversed himself following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The House overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning QAnon, the fringe movement that promotes wide-ranging conspiracies about the U.S. government and yet has enjoyed a rising tide inside conservative politics in part because of tacit encouragement from President Trump.

The measure passed 371-18, with one GOP member voting present.

QAnon is a "collective delusion," said House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., "We all must call it what it is: a sick cult."

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is backing more House Democrats for reelection in at least a decade, prompting pushback from some of its strongest GOP allies in Congress.

"It is hypocrisy that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would endorse these Democrats that are part of this socialist agenda that is driving this country out and is fighting this president," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., recently told Fox News.

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Senate Republicans rallied around a $300 billion coronavirus aid package, but it fell short of the necessary 60-vote majority to advance, effectively killing the measure. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican joining Senate Democrats to oppose it — Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., missed the vote.

As former Vice President Joe Biden prepares to give his acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night, Democratic lawmakers and strategists are preparing for what a Biden administration could look like, what the priorities would be and whether anything can actually get done in a Washington accustomed to doing very little.

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost the Senate GOP primary on Tuesday, delivering a victory of sorts for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy to hold on to his majority this November.

Washington is racing to complete a fifth round of legislation to address the ongoing, and still surging, coronavirus pandemic in the next three weeks. The two parties and the White House are at odds over what the major pillars of the legislation should include and how much it should cost.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to get a bill to President Trump by Aug. 7 when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the rest of the summer — a time when lawmakers traditionally hit the campaign trail in an election year.

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It is back. After a three-month hiatus, President Trump resurrected his briefing about the coronavirus tonight. And there was a big shift in his tone.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party couldn't break through in the presidential race, but in congressional races, younger, more diverse, progressive candidates are enjoying a recent surge in support.

"The logic of COVID-19 as well as the logic and the righteousness of the movement for Black lives, I think, is forcing all of us to re-imagine both what is necessary and what is possible, and I think it's having an impact on our politics," said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, a New York-based minor political party.

A familiar tale is unfolding in American politics in 2020: Women are once again setting records as candidates for Congress. While the 2018 midterms saw a historic wave of Democratic candidates and general election winners, this time the surge in candidates is among Republican women running for the House.

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