Jessica Taylor | KERA News

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.

As the 115th Congress is sworn in Tuesday, Republicans will be poised to control Washington with a stronger hand than they have in a decade — with the Senate, House and the White House in GOP control once President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.

This past November, Republicans held their congressional losses to a minimum, helped by an unexpectedly strong GOP wave behind Trump. After losing just two Senate seats, they'll hold a 52-48 edge (two independents caucus with Democrats). In the House, Republicans lost six seats, giving them a 241-194 majority.

President-elect Donald Trump has used Twitter — his preferred means of communication — to weigh in on a swath of foreign policy issues over the past few weeks.

Some politicians seem to have nine lives, constantly evading scandal and overcoming the odds. But this past year, now-President-elect Donald Trump may have had more than that.

Many things he did would have been the death knell for any other candidate's political hopes — mocking a disabled reporter, bragging about groping, disparaging a Gold Star family and even boasting about his manhood during a national debate.

President-elect Donald Trump is lashing out in defense of his charitable foundation as he prepares to shutter it before taking the oath of office next month.

And in doing so, Trump incorrectly stated the charitable reach of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

In a series of tweets Monday evening, Trump said he had given millions to the foundation he began in 1987 and that all of the money raised went to "wonderful charities."

Michigan GOP Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel is in line to lead the Republican National Committee.

President-elect Donald Trump announced McDaniel's appointment on Wednesday as the RNC deputy chair. That puts her in place to succeed outgoing Chairman Reince Priebus, whom Trump has already tapped as his White House chief of staff.

The General Services Administration is pushing back against House Democrats' contention that President-elect Donald Trump would be breaching his lease on his latest hotel in the Old Post Office Building once he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.

"GSA does not have a position that the lease provision requires the President-elect to divest of his financial interests. We can make no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature," the government agency said in a statement.

Amid news of possible Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, a top Hillary Clinton adviser is publicly casting support for a push by some members of the Electoral College to receive an intelligence briefing ahead of their formal vote next week.

"The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security," Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta said in statement Monday. "Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed."

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump is leaning towards choosing Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state, according to multiple news reports this weekend. NPR has not independently confirmed those reports. The potential pick is already drawing scrutiny for the ExxonMobil CEO's close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the dangers of the promulgation of fake news on Thursday after conspiracy stories involving her campaign spurred violence recently.

"The epidemic of malicious fake news and fake propaganda that flooded social media over the past year, it's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," Clinton said.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen fast-food restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder as his secretary of labor, his transition team announced Thursday.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, and in a statement Trump praised him as someone who "has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans."

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in his incoming administration.

"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said in a statement released Monday. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities."

Nancy Pelosi beat back her toughest challenge yet to her leadership of Democrats in the House of Representatives, defeating Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan to secure another term as House minority leader.

The California Democrat got 134 votes to Ryan's 63 in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday. Pelosi had boasted going into the vote that she had support from two-thirds of the caucus, and she received just over that amount.

President-elect Donald Trump has officially won Michigan's 16 electoral votes, although a recount is possible. It's the last state to officially certify its election results and comes nearly three weeks after Election Day.

President-elect Donald Trump issued a Thanksgiving address on Wednesday evening, calling for the nation to come together after a bruising, bitter campaign.

Kellyanne Conway, a Trump transition senior adviser, defended President-elect Donald Trump's handling of his business interests, telling NPR in an interview that concerns about the influence his children may have in mixing their roles and the Trump companies with advising their father are unfounded.

This story was updated with video at 8:08 p.m. ET

Vice President-elect Mike Pence was presumably seeking a quiet night out at the theater, enjoying one of Broadway's hottest tickets with a Friday night performance of Hamilton: An American Musical.

What he got instead was a welcome of boos and cheers from the crowd and a pointed plea from the diverse cast and crew afterwards about what they believe really makes America great.

In the wake of his party's significant losses across the Rust Belt in last week's elections, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is stepping up to challenge Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's nearly 14-year grip on the House Democratic caucus.

Ryan, a a seven-term lawmaker who represents Youngstown, wrote to his colleagues that "Democrats must not let this opportunity for change pass by without a fight." He noted that the party has hemorrhaged over 60 House seats in the past six years and has only been in the majority for two terms in the past 18 years.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. has plenty of differences with Donald Trump, but the former Democratic presidential candidate said Thursday there are areas where he could find agreement with the president-elect in the coming year.

"Mr. Trump campaigned as a populist, campaigned as somebody who is anti-establishment, and I have zero doubt that he received the support of many working class people all across the country because of some of the positions that he took," Sanders told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

President-elect Donald Trump's first week after pulling off an upset victory has had plenty of missteps. The rocky start to his transition planning that one source described to CNN as a "knife fight" has done little to assure his critics and skeptical Republicans that he'll have a smooth ascension to the Oval Office surrounded by qualified advisers. Trump denies that the transition is rocky.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been unanimously re-nominated by his party to continue to serve as speaker in the 115th Congress.

According to Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong, Ryan was nominated by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus that helped to push out former House Speaker John Boehner.

Donald Trump's surprise victory on Tuesday came largely due to his over-performance of expectations in the Midwest. His populist, anti-trade deal message was tailor-made for this region, but polling hadn't shown him pulling ahead of rival Hillary Clinton there.

But on Election Night, it was clear the surveys had missed a massive surge in some places and shifts in others of white, working-class voters in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that helped Donald Trump pull off the upset.

At his first news conference following his party's shocking loss at the ballot box last week, President Obama appeared to needle Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign for not paying enough attention to rural voters who eventually handed President-elect Donald Trump the upset victory.

"When your team loses, everybody gets deflated, and it's hard, and it's challenging," Obama said. "I think it's a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through some reflection."

Hillary Clinton conceded the White House race to President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning, saying she hoped "he will be a successful president for all Americans."

"This is not the outcome we wanted or worked so hard for. I'm sorry we didn't win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country," the Democratic nominee told supporters crowded into a small, nondescript ballroom at the New Yorker Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Republicans will hold on to control of the Senate, according to Associated Press projections. The GOP defied the odds in a year in which it was almost entirely on defense and rode a wave that carried Donald J. Trump to the White House.

Even with their best opportunities to gain seats in years, Democrats so far have only been able to pick up deep blue Illinois. And they narrowly hung on in Nevada, which was Republicans' only offensive opportunity.

Even if Hillary Clinton does win the White House on Tuesday, the tightening of the presidential race in the final week has been the most detrimental to Democrats' downballot hopes.

Republicans are feeling the best they have this cycle about their chances of holding their majority in the U.S. Senate, but doing that would require several states to break their way on election night. That's a risky place to be one day before control of the Senate is decided.

The tightening of the presidential race over the past week may have had an impact on these Senate contests. Most of the contests remain firm toss-ups, though Democrats still have multiple paths to winning back the five seats they need (or just four if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the presidency).

In what could be a tough election night for Republicans, governors' races may offer a rare bright spot.

Unlike in House and Senate races, Democrats are largely playing defense in the 12 gubernatorial races on the ballot Tuesday. Democrats are defending eight seats to the GOP's four. Two states — North Dakota and Utah — will safely stay in the Republicans' column, while Democrats will keep Oregon, Washington and an open Delaware seat on their side.

As Rep. Barbara Comstock marched in the Leesburg, Va., Halloween parade last week, she was trailed by massive trucks and buses decked out for Donald Trump.

State legislatures have become crucibles for some of the most controversial policies in recent years — voter ID laws, religious freedom bills, minimum wage hikes, gun control measures and more.

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