Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a congressional reporter on NPR's Washington Desk.

Prior to coming to NPR, Summers spent nearly four years as a reporter for POLITICO, where she focused on political and campaign coverage, primarily the 2012 Republican primaries and general election. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. She then traveled with Paul Ryan after he accepted the Republican vice presidential nomination. After the 2012 election, Summers began covering defense policy and veterans issues on Capitol Hill.

Summers has her reporting roots in Missouri. She has covered statewide and local politics for the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, as well as KBIA-FM.

Her work has also been featured in the Austin American-Statesman and The Washington Post.

Summers is a regular guest host for C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" and a frequent guest on CNN's "Inside Politics", MSNBC's "Weekends With Alex Witt" and other cable news programs. She was a commentator for BET during the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Summers served one term on the board of directors of the Online News Association, the largest non-profit organization of digital journalists. She is an alumna of the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the New York Times Journalism Institute and the Society of Professional Journalists Reporters Institute.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Summers is a graduate of the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. She is also currently pursuing a master's degree in media management from the Missouri School of Journalism.


It's All Politics
5:03 am
Sun June 28, 2015

Presidential Aspiration Born From A Modest, And Tragic, Beginning

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. announces his candidacy for president in Central, S.C. on June 1.
Jessica McGowan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 9:40 am

Greg Demetri hit the jackpot. When he picked the location for Villa Toscana, his nearly one-year-old Italian restaurant on the main stretch of businesses in Central, S.C., he had no idea that the building had once been owned by the town's most famous resident, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham, a South Carolina native who announced recently that he would seek the Republican party's nomination for president, first lived in a room behind his family's business, the Sanitary Café — a bar and pool hall on Main Street — before moving into the house that now holds Demetri's restaurant.

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5:15 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

House Advances Bill To Give President Obama Fast Track Trade Authority

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 8:58 pm

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



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6:17 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Supreme Court To Announce Decision On Obamacare Subsidies

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 2:34 pm

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



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8:01 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Obama's 11th-Hour Push Fails To Sway House On Trade Deal

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:46 am

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



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5:10 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Skeptical House Democrats Still Not Sold On Trade Pact

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 7:30 am

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

Around the Nation
4:19 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

NTSB, Amtrak Heads Testify Before Congress On Philadelphia Derailment

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 6:35 pm

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



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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Sun May 31, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Lindsey Graham

Graham speaks to reporters in December 1998 about the impeachment trial against President Bill Clinton.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 1:30 pm

This post has been updated to note that Graham has now officially gotten into the race for president.

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5:07 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

O'Malley Joins Democratic Presidential Race, Touts Executive Experience

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 6:07 pm

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

It's All Politics
1:46 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Martin O'Malley

Martin O'Malley performs with his Irish rock group, O'Malley's March, in Baltimore in 2002.
Alex Dorgan-Ross AP

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 7:40 am

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5:11 am
Wed May 20, 2015

After Derailment, Congress Debates Lifting Amtrak's Damage Cap

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 1:12 pm

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



Last week's Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia renewed questions about a decades-old law which limits the money Amtrak can pay out in damages. Some Democratic lawmakers want to raise the limit. Here's NPR's Juana Summers.

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It's All Politics
2:27 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Lawmakers Spar Over Whether Amtrak Funding Cut Matters

"That's a stupid question," House Speaker John Boehner said after a reporter asked him about Democratic claims that the GOP had cut Amtrak funding to unacceptable levels.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 5:28 pm

Back-to-back news conferences by Democratic and Republican House leaders, given from the same podium on Thursday, showed a contrast in how both parties are responding to the politics of a deadly train crash that killed at least eight people and injured scores more.

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It's All Politics
9:03 am
Wed May 13, 2015

GOP Split Over Bill To Let Immigrants In U.S. Illegally Serve In Military

Dream Action Coalition Co-director Cesar Vargas, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2014. He wants immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to later be allowed to serve in the military.

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 8:20 pm

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can't fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces.

"I do believe that because this country has given me so much, I do want to be able to give back," Vargas said in an interview.

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Around the Nation
5:02 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Baltimore Residents Recover After Night Of Violence

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 7:53 pm

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

It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

After Spending Scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock Says Goodbye

"Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term but few faced as many defeats in his personal, business and public life as he did," Rep. Schock said on the House floor Thursday.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:09 pm

Once a fast-rising star in the Republican Party, Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock gave his final speech on the House floor Thursday.

Schock, who was elected to Congress in 2008, will resign his House seat at the end of the month. His resignation comes after weeks of questions about his judgment, lavish lifestyle and spending.

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It's All Politics
3:48 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Capitol Hill Ready To Rest Its Near-Annual 'Doc Fix' Exercise?

If Reps. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner win and their plan becomes law, it would kill what's known on Capitol Hill as the "doc fix."
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 12:11 pm

Updated at 12:10 p.m. E.T.

Doctors who treat Medicare patients will face a huge cut, 21 percent, if Congress doesn't act by the end of the month. This isn't a new problem. While Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients has long been broken, over the years they've been unable to pass more than temporary patches.

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NPR Story
5:09 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Why Defense Hawks Are Rejecting House Republicans' Budget

U.S. soldiers patrol near Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan on June 2014. The House Republicans' budget proposal requests less money for defense than the Obama administration's plan, but tries to close some of the gap by adding billions to the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which has been helping pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:00 pm

Budget season is just kicking off, and already House Republicans' plan is hitting a wall. This time, over defense spending.

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5:42 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns Amid Spending Scandal

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 8:18 pm

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



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It's All Politics
7:03 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

Polls show changing American opinion on marijuana, and it's having an effect on politics.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 11:26 am

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

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The Salt
5:02 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

A Craft Beer Tax Battle Is Brewing On Capitol Hill

Brewers pay a federal tax on each barrel of beer they produce. Two proposals on Capitol Hill would lower that tax for small brewers, but not everyone's on board.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:49 am

Congressman Patrick McHenry is a man who knows his beer. The refrigerator in his Capitol Hill office is filled to the brim with it. The Republican's district includes the city of Asheville, N.C., which claims it has more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city.

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It's All Politics
10:29 am
Sat March 7, 2015

How To Oust A House Speaker (Hint: Don't Even Try)

House Speaker John Boehner's job is secure, despite passing a bill to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security — a bill that most of his Republican colleagues opposed.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 12:53 pm

Here's one story in Washington that just won't go away.

It's the tale of conservatives who are frustrated with House Speaker John Boehner and want to replace him midsession.

The latest murmurs of a coup surfaced after more than 50 Republicans voted against Boehner's plan last week to avert a partial-shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security.

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