Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

President Biden is asking Congress for billions in additional funding to help with natural disasters and aid for Afghan evacuees.

The White House wants $24 billion in additional funding to help recovery efforts for the California wildfires and several hurricanes, including Hurricane Ida. Biden administration officials are also asking for $6.4 billion to help with resettling vulnerable Afghans in the United States.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

DOVER, Del. — As white-gloved officers carried the flag-draped case of their fellow Marine from the C-17 military plane, the quiet of their gentle footsteps was broken by the soft cries of a loved one's anguish.

It was just one of several emotional moments during the heart-wrenching ritual as the remains of 13 U.S. service members killed in Kabul were brought back home to their families.

President Biden lifted his right hand over his heart as, one-by-one, the remains of the fallen service members were delicately carried across the tarmac to awaiting vehicles.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated August 16, 2021 at 6:38 PM ET

President Biden on Monday defended his decision to withdraw the U.S. military from Afghanistan despite the swift Taliban takeover of the country and chaotic scenes unfolding in its capital of Kabul as people crowd the airport in an effort to flee.

"I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me," he said. "I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision."

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The scenes at the airport in Kabul today have been harrowing, as Afghans sought to flee their country fearing retribution from the Taliban. President Biden addressed the nation this afternoon and said that he is committed to helping evacuate Afghan allies to safety. And he brushed aside criticism that the U.S. waited too long to help, pinning the blame instead on the former president of Afghanistan, who fled over the weekend.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

President Biden promised that the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan would not be a hasty rush to the exits.

It would be responsible, deliberate and safe.

But clearly he and his administration misjudged the speed with which the Afghan forces would collapse and the Taliban would take control.

"The jury is still out. But the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely," Biden said on July 8, but just a month later that appears to be exactly what's happening.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Biden said the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would be, quote, "responsible, deliberate and safe." He did not seem to anticipate the speed with which Afghan forces would collapse. Here's the president on July 8.

Updated August 12, 2021 at 10:43 AM ET

President Biden promised to put U.S. diplomacy back in the "hands of genuine professionals," but more than six months into his administration only one of his ambassadors to another country has been confirmed.

That's raising concerns about how effectively the administration is conducting foreign policy — and the message such a diplomatic vacuum sends to the global community.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 6:34 PM ET

Immigration advocates who had been negotiating with the Biden administration to end a Trump-era rule that blocks most migrants from entering the United States have given up waiting.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The White House is unveiling a strategy to address root causes of migration, a long-term effort that includes increased cooperation with the private sector and with other foreign governments to try to accelerate change in Central America.

The proposal comes as thousands of migrants arrived at the U.S. southern border every day last month.

Senior Biden administration officials on Wednesday described the plan as "the first of its kind," but much of the proposal is expanding on previous efforts that have done little to curb migration from the region.

The White House is moving forward on a plan to have Department of Homeland Security asylum officers take over cases on the southern United States border, a change that would shift future asylum cases out of backlogged immigration courts.

The Biden administration's measure is one of a series of moves to speed up consideration of asylum claims, steps it says would reduce the backlog and make the immigration system more orderly and fair.

Updated July 26, 2021 at 9:00 PM ET

President Biden is in a tough place on immigration.

On one side, he faces growing pressure from supporters who want his administration to stop turning away asylum-seekers — and to invest more political capital on creating a pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Widespread protests across Cuba this past weekend revealed significant political challenges President Biden faces as he seeks to support the demonstrations without hurting their cause — or his own political interest.

Biden says the United States stands with the thousands of Cubans who have taken to the streets to protest food shortages and high prices amid the pandemic.

President Biden is walking back a threat that he won't sign a bipartisan infrastructure deal the White House reached with senators if it's not paired with another larger spending plan supported exclusively by Democrats.

Republicans themselves threatened to walk away from the bipartisan deal after Biden explained during a press conference that the bipartisan effort needed to be passed in tandem with a broader plan that GOP lawmakers strongly oppose.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators have reached a deal on infrastructure. It's big, but it is not as big as Biden hoped.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Updated June 15, 2021 at 7:18 AM ET

President Biden on Tuesday announced a truce in a long-running trade war with the European Union, saying it was time to put aside the fight and focus together on the growing trade threats posed by China.

Updated June 13, 2021 at 1:58 PM ET

Leaders of the G-7 wrapped up their first in-person meeting in two years agreeing to work together to combat the coronavirus pandemic, confront climate change, and — in a win for President Biden — counter the rising influence of China.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Updated June 10, 2021 at 1:01 PM ET

In their first face-to-face meeting, President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a 21st century version of the historic Atlantic Charter, an attempt to depict their countries as the chief global leaders taking on the world's biggest challenges.

The two leaders pledged to work "closely with all partners who share our democratic values" and to counter "the efforts of those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions."

President Biden sets off on his first international trip Wednesday, an ambitious, eight-day journey in Europe capped with what is likely to be a tense sit-down meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden's mission: rebuild relations with allies and reassert America's role as a leader on the world stage. But he'll have to convince some of his old friends in Europe who have grown wary after four years of a more insular approach from his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

On the first foreign trip of his time in office, President Biden is heading to Europe, seeking to repair ties with traditional allies and partners — and deal with a series of provocations from Russia.

Here's what's on his agenda:

Wednesday, June 9: RAF Mildenhall

Air Force One will land at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, and Biden will meet with U.S. Air Force personnel stationed there. The president will be accompanied by first lady Jill Biden for the first leg of his trip.

Thursday, June 10: Prime Minister Boris Johnson

In the run-up to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit planned for next month, President Biden has shown he is willing to sanction Moscow for cyberattacks and election interference even as he proposes more "thoughtful dialogue."

"We want a stable, predictable relationship," Biden said last month when imposing the new sanctions.

But tensions in Washington over Russia policy have made it harder for Biden to reach his goal.

Immigration advocates credit the Biden administration with acting quickly to move tens of thousands of migrant children out of jail-like detention facilities on the U.S. southern border and into safer emergency shelters.

But the advocates are now growing increasingly concerned about the conditions in the mass shelters, such as a military base in El Paso, Texas.

Updated May 12, 2021 at 8:31 PM ET

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday boosting America's cyberdefenses following a ransomware attack on a company that operates a pipeline that provides nearly half of the gasoline and jet fuel for the country's East Coast.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Pages