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Claudia Grisales

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.

Before joining NPR in June 2019, she was a Capitol Hill reporter covering military affairs for Stars and Stripes. She also covered breaking news involving fallen service members and the Trump administration's relationship with the military. She also investigated service members who have undergone toxic exposures, such as the atomic veterans who participated nuclear bomb testing and subsequent cleanup operations.

Prior to Stars and Stripes, Grisales was an award-winning reporter at the daily newspaper in Central Texas, the Austin American-Statesman, for 16 years. There, she covered the intersection of business news and regulation, energy issues and public safety. She also conducted a years-long probe that uncovered systemic abuses and corruption at Pedernales Electric Cooperative, the largest member-owned utility in the country. The investigation led to the ousting of more than a dozen executives, state and U.S. congressional hearings and criminal convictions for two of the co-op's top leaders.

Grisales is originally from Chicago and is an alum of the University of Houston, the University of Texas and Syracuse University. At Syracuse, she attended the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she earned a master's degree in journalism.

In a breakthrough for an eight-year-long effort, two senators behind legislation to revamp the way the military handles sexual assault cases and other serious crimes say the bill has the bipartisan votes to gain passage.

Traditionally, a presidential joint address to Congress is marked by a packed House chamber with a guest list that can total 1,600 people, including members, high-ranking officials and their guests.

That won't be the case Wednesday night.

"This administration is very conscious of COVID and wants to set an example for the country," said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. "So we're going to be indoors and I'm sure there will be strong social distancing."

Dr. Jim Gordon of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., says one of the first steps to addressing trauma is breathing.

"Slow, deep breathing, in through the nose," Gordon says, modeling the practice, "and out through the mouth with our bellies, soft and relaxed."

The psychiatrist is sharing this concentrated meditation technique with U.S. Capitol Police as part of a new program to address the upheaval they have seen in recent months.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 4:16 PM ET

Updated at 3:55 p.m.

Members of Congress heard for the first time on Thursday public testimony from the U.S. Capitol Police inspector general on the most extensive findings yet in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says during his 30 years in Congress, and years earlier as a U.S. Capitol Police officer, a fencing system for the Capitol was not top of mind.

"That was never, ever considered when I was the leader, or when I served on the Capitol Police force — never considered," said Reid, who served in various congressional roles from 1983 to 2015 and as a Capitol Police officer in the 1960s while attending law school.

Michigan congresswoman Elissa Slotkin says the end date for America's singular focus on threats from foreign terrorists has come and gone.

"January 6, for me, kind of capped the end of the post-9/11 era," says the former CIA analyst who served in Iraq and personally briefed both George W. Bush on Barack Obama on foreign terror threats.

Updated at 4:38 p.m. ET

The Jan. 6 insurrection exposed major Capitol security failures, and a review by a task force led by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré is urging Congress to revamp its security apparatus by adding hundreds of new police officers, creating a quick reaction force and installing a new fencing system.

Honoré and other members of the task force hosted three bipartisan briefing sessions for lawmakers on Monday at the Capitol to discuss their findings and draft recommendations.

As a House panel is set to meet on new spending to ramp up Capitol security, military and federal officials will testify in a Senate hearing that is part of several congressional probes into what fueled the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, is testifying before Congress about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He's taking questions from a committee chaired by Democrat Dick Durbin.

(SOUNDBITE OF HEARING)

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, testifying remotely through a video link, told a House committee that her agency head had requested military backup about a half-dozen times in the first hour after the Capitol complex was breached on Jan. 6, the day of the insurrection.

Pittman based her assessment on phone records her agency obtained for then-Chief Steven Sund showing he reached out to the Capitol's top security officials starting shortly before 1 p.m. in the first of six calls requesting the National Guard to respond.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated 12:59 p.m. ET

Former U.S. Capitol Security officials told Congress during a joint hearing on Tuesday they did not have sufficient information ahead of Jan. 6 to accurately predict the scale of the attack.

Congressional Democrats unveiled a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that includes setting up a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

The U.S. Capitol police union issued an overwhelming no-confidence vote for the force's top leaders, including acting Chief Yogananda Pittman and a half-dozen other agency leaders.

The news comes as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Rules committees announced plans for a February 23 joint oversight hearing to examine security failures.

Pittman drew a 92% no-confidence vote, while Capitol Police Captain Ben Smith received the highest rebuke from 97% of voting members, the union said.

House impeachment managers will focus on the harm and damage left behind by the insurrection in the second day of their presentations for the Senate impeachment trial, senior aides to the team said ahead of the proceedings.

The aides said they will also focus on what they say is former President Donald Trump's lack of remorse in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in this final day of opening statements.

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