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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: To no one's surprise, Paul Ryan has been chosen by House Republicans to serve as speaker again. It was a unanimous vote. With expansive support from his caucus, Ryan will breeze through the formal election before the full House in January. This happy, united Republican front is a sharp departure from the unrest seen within the ranks of the party barely a month ago. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports that Ryan has Donald...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

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

Negotiators in the House and Senate have reached a deal on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9. Republicans and Democrats have been arguing for weeks to find a way forward before the Sept. 30 deadline in order to avoid a government shutdown. Last week, negotiations in the Senate appeared to be at a standstill, with Democrats in both chambers insisting that the most recent Republican offer was not enough. Both sides were in agreement, however, that whatever bill moved forward would...

The Senate voted Wednesday to give families of 9/11 victims the right to sue the Saudi Arabian government, overriding President Obama's veto for the first time. The vote was lopsided, with 97 Senators voting in favor of the override, well above the two-thirds majority needed to overcome the president's objection. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid cast the lone "no" vote. Senators Tim Kaine, D-Va. and Bernie Sanders, D-Vt. did not vote. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR .

A lot has been said about the difficulty Donald Trump has had getting the Republican establishment behind him. But one man has always backed him in the Senate: Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. They're the odd couple of politics: a New York City tycoon and a guy from the deep South. One man is mild-mannered. The other, famous for bold exaggerations. But Trump and Sessions are linked by their shared hard-line view on one central issue: immigration. And Sessions too has had a controversial...

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

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

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,"...

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? Sanders has repeatedly declared that he intends to remain in the race through the Democratic National Convention in July. He is meeting with President Obama on Thursday to discuss "significant issues at stake in this election," according to the White House. The president...

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: And now to the candidate you heard Donald Trump congratulate right there - Bernie Sanders. He had a huge win over Hillary Clinton yesterday, as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports. It was a victory Sanders needed to prove the viability of his campaign. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: This time, there was no talk of virtual ties or coin flips. This was a drubbing. The race was called just minutes after all the polls had closed. ...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: With a vote this afternoon, Congress is sending a bill to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood to the president's desk. The House has just passed the measure. The Senate has already passed a version. In doing so, many Republican lawmakers are making good on their campaign promises. And yet, no one expects the bill to become law. Joining us to talk about this is NPR's Congressional...

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? First, there were no government shutdowns or defaults on the national debt. Immediately after the midterm...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: There's nothing better to get you in the holiday mood than thumbing through 2,000 pages of legislation. That's what members of Congress and their staffs are doing right now to be able to get out of town. Negotiators reached agreement late last night on two major bills - a year on spending measure and a bill that would extend tax breaks for individuals and families. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports on the $1...

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET: Senate passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act, with a 52-47 vote. Here is our original post: Senate Republicans are expected to achieve two goals on Thursday that have long eluded them — they'll pass a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood and repeals the Affordable Care Act. The House has managed to vote more than 50 times to repeal all or part of the health care law, but it's always been tougher in the Senate, where...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: There's a growing push on Capitol Hill to suspend the entire Syrian refugee resettlement program. Republican leaders in both chambers have asked to pause the flow of Syrian refugees into the U.S. until lawmakers can be assured that terrorists won't enter the country. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: A labyrinth of security checks and crosschecks awaits any Syrian refugee who wants entry...

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home . We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world. Donald Trump's freewheeling, off-the-cuff campaign style can sometimes make him look like he's winging it. Playing by the rules is not what the billionaire presidential candidate is known for. But during a little-known time in his childhood — military school — playing the game meant following the rules. And Trump...

Just days before the election of a new speaker of the House, lame-duck Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made good on one last promise — that he'd try to "clear the barn" for his successor. In one fell swoop, two thorny issues were crossed off the to-do list: raising the debt ceiling by next Tuesday and coming up with a budget agreement. Shortly before midnight, the 144-page budget resolution was submitted to the House Rules Committee. The tentative agreement raises federal spending by $80...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan has made it official. He is running for speaker of the House. It's a job he said he never wanted and would only do if he got the support from almost the entire Republican caucus. The last couple key endorsements came in today. And with us now from Capitol Hill is NPR's Congressional correspondent Ailsa Chang. Hi, Ailsa. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Hi there. SHAPIRO: OK, so...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: This is the week that the pope came to town, the president of China stopped by and the speaker of the House resigned. We're going to start with that surprising announcement today by John Boehner. He says he will leave his position and House seat at the end of next month. The Republican faced unrelenting pressure from conservatives in his own party. NPR's Ailsa Chang begins our coverage. AILSA CHANG,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Lawmakers in Washington have been waiting for months to pick apart the accord with Iran. Now they're getting 60 days to review it, culminating with an opportunity to reject the agreement. But as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it will be an uphill battle to kill the deal. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Within hours after a nuclear agreement with Iran was announced, Republicans could barely contain themselves. Many...

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home . We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world. Boldness comes more naturally to Ted Cruz than compromise. Barely through his first year in the Senate, the Texas Republican bucked his party leaders and became the public face of a government shutdown while standing up for conservative ideals. Rewind three decades back, and you'd find Cruz selling a similar...

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for. If GOP lawmakers get the court decision they've been hoping for, it will be up to the Republican-controlled Congress to figure a way out of the mess. After more than 50 votes in the House to repeal either all or parts of the Affordable Care Act,...

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