Delaware Public Media

Brakkton Booker

Brakkton Booker is a producer/reporter for NPR's political unit. He has spent most of the 2016 presidential cycle covering the race for the GOP nomination.

When he's not on the campaign trail, Booker produces pieces from the White House, Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and other federal agencies for NPR News magazines including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He previously served as the network's lead producer from the Louisville campaign headquarters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. Booker served in a similar capacity during the 2012 presidential campaign producing pieces from the Republican and Democratic National conventions as well as from President Obama's reelection site in Chicago.

In the summer of 2014, Booker took a break from the politics grind to report on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Booker earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University and is was a 2015 Kiplinger Fellow. When he's not working he enjoys discovering new brands of whiskey and playing golf.

With the partial government shutdown on the verge of becoming the longest in U.S. history, many housing advocates fear thousands of low-income Americans are at risk of being evicted. More than 1,000 government-backed housing contracts have already expired and potentially more will do so in the coming weeks.

Since the shutdown began last month, approximately 1,150 federal rental assistance contracts have not been renewed due to funding lapses at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Updated Monday at 12:28 p.m. EST

Joel Fitzgerald, the man vying to become Baltimore's fourth police commissioner in roughly the span of a year, has withdrawn his name from consideration, according to the office of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Fitzgerald, who has served as police chief in Fort Worth, Texas, since 2015, was scheduled to have a confirmation hearing Monday before the Baltimore City Council, but it was postponed due to a medical emergency involving his son.

By Monday morning, he pulled himself out of the running.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. EST

Flanked by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, President Trump Thursday signed into the law the 2018 farm bill touting it as a "bipartisan success," even though it lacked the administration's much-sought-after changes to the food stamp program.

"We're here to celebrate a really tremendous victory for the American farmer," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "We've been working long and hard on this one."

The Trump administration Wednesday unveiled a multi-agency plan to reduce the number of children exposed to lead in drinking water, consumer products and dust generated from old lead-based paint in homes, schools and soil.

Lawmakers unveiled the much-anticipated farm bill compromise Monday night, ending the months-long impasse over whether a critical piece of legislation that provides subsidies to farmers and helps needy Americans buy groceries could pass before the lame-duck session concludes at the end of the year.

Baltimore may soon have its fifth police commissioner in four years.

Mayor Catherine Pugh has nominated Joel Fitzgerald of the Fort Worth Police Department in Texas to be Baltimore's next top cop. The nomination starts the clock on what is roughly a two-month public interview process, and then Fitzgerald must be approved by the Baltimore City Council.

Fitzgerald has said he intends to "develop the type of rapport and relations necessary" to move Baltimore in a new direction. Pugh has said he is the person "best suited to lead the way forward."

House and Senate negotiators are reportedly close to finalizing a framework on a farm bill compromise in hopes it will pass both chambers of Congress and be on the president's desk by the end of the year.

According to a spokesperson for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., House and Senate committee staff worked through the weekend and again on Monday "exchanging offers daily" as last details are being ironed out.

After 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. earlier this year, students emerged as a driving force behind the gun control debate.

Numbers are still being crunched, but early figures indicate turnout in the midterms among young voters jumped this year. And gun policy may have played a key role in, if not mobilizing, this bloc — and at the very least getting this cohort engaged in the electoral process.

Gun violence is a problem that is ubiquitous in the U.S. and mass shootings are becoming increasingly more commonplace.

It's a political puzzle that frustrates Democrats — in two states where Donald Trump is deeply unpopular, two incumbent GOP governors have remained consistently popular.

Maryland and Massachusetts are places where Trump has his lowest approval ratings in the country — 35 percent. Yet, the Republican governors in those states have approval ratings near 70 percent.

Friday evening marks the first Shabbat since the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre last weekend, and Jewish leaders want Americans of all faiths to come and send, "a resounding message that love triumphs over hate."

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is spearheading the effort using the #ShowUpForShabbat social media campaign. It is to both show solidarity for the 11 victims killed at the Tree of Life synagogue, but also to signal that the Jewish community will not live in fear.

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