Juana Summers | KUNC

Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a political reporter for NPR covering demographics and culture. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and also previously covered Congress for NPR.

She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss national politics. In 2016, Summers was a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service. Summers is also a competitive pinball player and sits on the board of the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA), the governing body for competitive pinball events around the world.

She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and a native of Kansas City, Mo.

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.

This is Capitol Hill's version of the The Hunger Games.

The freshman office lottery is part spectacle, part luck and a ruthless, fast-moving process where incoming members try all sorts of tricks hoping to get exactly what they want.

The lottery determines whether rookie lawmakers get a working space with a nice view or one jammed on a high floor that's more like a glorified broom closet.

For a politician, it's one of the few times when measuring the drapes is OK.

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.

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.

Virginia congressional candidates Barbara Comstock, a Republican, and John Foust, a Democrat, are hitting the campaign trail with the usual issues like jobs, health care and immigration. But they're also going a step further to close the deal in a district where Asian Americans are a fast growing ethnic group.

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.

With just days to go until Congress is expected to go home until November, the House and Senate are moving quickly to pass legislation that would authorize the Obama administration's strategy to fight the so-called Islamic State group. The election year debate over the president's request is showing divisions that go beyond party lines.

There are Republicans like Rep. Chris Gibson of New York, who says he can't support a plan with language drafted by members of his own party. Gibson says right now, there's no political partner in Syria to broker an agreement with.

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.

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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