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.

Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday.

Francis will address lawmakers on Sept. 24, Boehner said, as part of his first papal visit to the United States.

"We're humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people," the Ohio Republican told reporters.

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Republican lawmakers of the House and Senate emerged from a rare joint retreat in Hershey, Pa., a town known best for its chocolate, with little to show for it.

Unlike last year's House retreat where lawmakers unveiled their principles for an overhaul of the nation's immigration overhauls, there was little grand takeaway.

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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.

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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.

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.

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Congressional leaders met with President Obama on Tuesday, ahead of his speech on the Islamic State terrorist group. Obama has indicated he wants congressional support for his policy, but what that will mean is still unclear.

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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.

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

Technology – and particularly smartphones – could reshape safety efforts on college campuses. At least that's the hope of some developers.

Several new apps offer quick ways for college students facing unsafe or uncomfortable situations to reach out to their peers, connect with resources on campus and in their communities, or notify law enforcement.

These apps for the most part target sexual assault and rape, amid growing national concern about the prevalence of incidents and criticism of the ways colleges and universities are handling them.

For principals and administrators, spring means a welcome end to snow days and delayed start times. But as the flowers and trees emerge from their winter slumber, so too do short pants, T-shirts, flip-flops and the inevitable battles over what kids can and can't wear to school.

It might as well be called "dress code" season.

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