Susan Davis

Susan Davis is a congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress, elections, and national politics since 2002 for publications including USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal and Roll Call. She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss congressional and national politics, and she is a contributor on PBS's Washington Week with Robert Costa. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Philadelphia native.

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The prospect of Donald Trump at the top of the ticket has raised a question on Capitol Hill that six months ago no one was asking: Could Democrats take over the House this year?

"Everybody knows Democrats in the House are going to gain seats this time, and it's just a question of how many. Even the Republicans will candidly admit that in private," said Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., "but now we believe our opportunity to pick up more seats is greater as a consequence of the quote 'Trump Factor.'"

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The top House Republican took aim at the nature of American politics in remarks viewed as a rebuke of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and the tone of his campaign.

"This has always been a tough business, and when passions flare, ugliness is sometimes inevitable. But we shouldn't accept ugliness as the norm," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a speech Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

"Personalities come and go. But principles? Principles endure," Ryan added.

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Republican Sen. Marco Rubio says Donald Trump is a "con artist" who ripped off ordinary people and now wants to steal "our country."

The Florida senator also said, in a debate Thursday night, along with all of his rivals, that he will support Trump if the businessman wins the Republican nomination.

How could both statements possibly be true? As an answer, we have Rubio's somber explanation, and also an example from history.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he "laughed out loud" at Donald Trump's Super Tuesday comment that the Wisconsin Republican would "pay a big price" if he couldn't work with him.

"Sometimes, reality is stranger than fiction around here these days," Ryan told reporters at his weekly press conference. The speaker said he watched Trump's comments from his office. Trump did not elaborate on his Ryan comment.

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Donald Trump has increased his lead among Republicans after about a dozen states voted yesterday. Hillary Clinton is well ahead on the Democratic side, though neither contest is over.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called out GOP candidate Donald Trump for insufficiently rebuking David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, and his white supremacist politics.

"This is the kind of moment where we should be having a serious debate about the policies to restore the American idea. Instead the conversation over the last few days has been about white supremacists groups," he told reporters Tuesday after the weekly House GOP meeting.

Ryan has, for the most part, stayed out of presidential politics.

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