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Russell Berman

Russell Berman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers political news. He was previously a congressional reporter for The Hill and a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun.
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How Some Immigrant Families Are Avoiding Separation

June 22, 2018 MCALLEN, Tex.—Angel Bonilla spent eight days in an immigrant-detention facility with his five-month-old daughter, Selene Alanis, after trekking for nearly a month through Mexico from his home in Honduras. Like so many others, he was caught by the Border Patrol crossing the Rio Grande in a raft. Right now, they’re...

Maine Voters Overrule Their Leaders

June 15, 2018 For the past two years, Maine voters have been at war with their legislature and Governor Paul LePage over the way the state’s elections should be run. In 2016, Mainers approved the use of ranked-choice voting in a referendum, becoming the first state in the nation to adopt the so-called...

Republican Leaders Confront an Immigration Revolt on Two Sides

May 18, 2018 A deepening rupture within the House Republican ranks over immigration policy has claimed another casualty: the farm bill, a far-reaching priority of Speaker Paul Ryan that would impose work requirements on recipients of food stamps. Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus joined in an unlikely alliance with Republican moderates and...

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Be the First Woman to Lead the CIA

May 18, 2018 Gina Haspel will become the first woman to lead the CIA after the Senate confirmed her on a 54-45 vote Thursday afternoon. Unlike the votes for many of President Trump’s Cabinet officers, the final tally on Thursday did not fall neatly along party lines. Six Democrats set aside concerns about...

Senate Panel Narrowly Approves Pompeo for Secretary of State

April 24, 2018 Never in its 202-year history had the Senate Foreign Relations Committee given a public thumbs-down to a presidential nominee for secretary of state. Until a few minutes before the panel met late Monday afternoon, it looked like CIA Director Mike Pompeo would carry that unprecedented blemish to the Senate floor...

The Humbling of Mike Pompeo

April 17, 2018 President Trump’s second round of Cabinet picks haven’t drawn the attention his original selections did last year, but they aren’t getting a free pass in the Senate. CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to serve as secretary of state is facing opposition from most Democrats and a key Republican on the...

Maine's Fitful Experiment With a New Way of Voting

April 11, 2018 In two months, Maine voters will go to the polls to select their nominees to succeed the state’s pugnacious two-term Republican governor, Paul LePage. Whether all of the candidates accept the results of those party primaries, however, remains a surprisingly open question. The June 12 balloting will be the first...

The White Men's Club Leading America's Largest Cities

April 9, 2018 For a brief period beginning last December, London Breed had gained entry into a club that has, of late, almost exclusively belonged to white men: the ranks of big-city mayors. Breed, a 43-year-old African American woman and president of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, had automatically become the city’s acting...

Why President Trump Is Going It Alone on Infrastructure

March 29, 2018 If recent history is a guide, President Trump won’t be getting much infrastructure money from Congress anytime soon. Republicans stiffed former President Barack Obama’s repeated requests to splurge on roads and bridges, and they just got done slashing federal revenues through tax cuts and boosting spending on the military and...

A Domestic Budget to Make Barack Obama Proud

March 26, 2018 President Obama finally got a Republican-controlled Congress to fund his domestic budget. All it took was Donald Trump in the White House to get it done. In the $1.3 trillion spending bill that President Trump reluctantly signed on Friday, lawmakers did more than reject the steep cuts in dollars and...