Ailsa Chang

Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers Congress for NPR. She landed in public radio after spending six years as a lawyer.

Since joining NPR in 2012, Chang has covered battles over immigration, the healthcare law, gun control and White House appointments. She crisscrossed the country in the months before the Republican takeover of the Senate, bringing stories about Washington from the Deep South, Southwest and New England.

Chang started out as a radio reporter in 2009, and has since earned a string of national awards for her work. In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her investigation on the New York City Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" policy and allegations of unlawful marijuana arrests by officers. The series also earned honors from Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

She was also the recipient of the Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award, and an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors for her investigation on how Detroit's broken public defender system leaves lawyers with insufficient resources to effectively represent their clients.

In 2011, the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association named Chang as the winner of the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio.

The former lawyer served as a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.

Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University where she received her bachelor's degree.

She earned her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School, where she won the Irving Hellman, Jr. Special Award for the best piece written by a student in the Stanford Law Review in 2001.

Chang was also a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, where she received a master's degree in media law. And she has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Prior to coming to NPR, Chang was an investigative reporter at NPR member station WNYC from 2009 to 2012 in New York City, focusing on criminal justice and legal affairs. She was a Kroc fellow at NPR from 2008 to 2009, as well as a reporter and producer for NPR member station KQED in San Francisco.

Chang grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Senate is set to vote on four gun control measures Monday evening — and none of them is expected to pass.

Getting these votes scheduled was the singular goal of a 15-hour talking marathon Senate Democrats mounted on the Senate floor Wednesday. But because the outcome of the votes is already a foregone conclusion, some senators are wondering out loud: "What's the point?"

"This is unfortunately about politics on Monday night, not about finding a solution that will work for our country," said Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Now that Hillary Clinton has reached the magic number of delegates to secure the Democratic nomination for president, the question on the minds of many Senate Democrats is, when is Bernie Sanders going to call it quits?

One of the most talked about politicians this election year is a woman who is not even on the ballot — Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. As her name is being thrown around as a possible VP pick for Hillary Clinton, there's an argument to be made that Warren doesn't even need the job. Plenty of her colleagues say she already exerts enormous influence from her perch in the Senate.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Even though the thought of Donald Trump at the top of the ticket is making a lot of Republicans in Congress queasy, they're not exactly flocking to the guy in second place to save them — Ted Cruz. Cruz did not have a single endorsement from any of his Senate colleagues, until this week when Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah committed his support. Marco Rubio, on the other hand, has landed 14 Senate endorsements.

That's because the bad blood between Cruz and his colleagues runs so deep.

It's Getting Awkward

When Congress returns from recess next week, it will be the first time since Justice Antonin Scalia's death for Senate Republicans to hash out face-to-face exactly what they're going to do about the newest Supreme Court vacancy. And rumblings from Republican senators dispersed across the country right now suggest next week could be the beginning of a heated family conversation.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When Republicans took over both chambers of Congress in January, party leaders vowed they would prove to the country that Republicans could govern. They promised to stop with the self-made crises, such as government shutdowns, and rack up legislative accomplishments. So in the first year of a GOP-controlled Congress in nearly a decade, how well did Republicans prove they can govern?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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