Archives by: Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer Shutt

About the author

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.

Jennifer Shutt's articles and posts

Congress Health News Top Story

New fight opens in Congress over VA policy that sidesteps state abortion bans

WASHINGTON — Democrats in the U.S. Senate are confident the Department of Veterans Affairs can implement a new policy that allows its doctors to provide abortions when the pregnancy threatens the patient’s life or health, or when it's the result of rape or incest.  The VA announced the new policy last week to cheers from Democrats who have been searching for ways to broaden abortion access in states where the procedure has been outlawed since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion in June.

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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

COVID-19 vaccine may become annual, like flu shot

WASHINGTON — COVID-19 boosters shots are on track to become as frequent as the annual flu shot, though high-risk people may need more than one dose per year, Biden administration officials said Tuesday. “For a large majority of Americans, we are moving to a point where a single annual COVID shot should provide a high degree of protection against serious illness all year,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha said during a briefing.

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Congress Environment News Top Story

Biden signs into law Democrats’ wide-ranging climate change, health care and tax bill

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed his party’s signature climate, health care and tax package into law Tuesday, capping off more than a year of tumultuous negotiations that saw his original proposal to Congress slimmed down considerably. Flanked by a handful of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, Biden sharply contrasted his outlook for the country with that of Republicans, who unanimously voted against the package. 

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Congress Health News Top Story

Twenty states, D.C. join in opposing Texas lawsuit on emergency abortion care

North Carolina's Josh Stein is among the signatories WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a brief in federal court on Tuesday, challenging Texas’ assertion that states shouldn’t have to comply with a federal law that protects doctors who end a pregnancy to save the patient’s life.  The brief argues the judge in the case shouldn’t grant Texas’ request for preliminary injunctive relief...

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Congress Health News Top Story

Biden signs landmark bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits overseas

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed legislation into law Wednesday that will provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, achieving a long-term, personal goal. “I was in and out of Iraq over 20 times,” Biden said of prior trips to the war zone he took as both a U.S. senator and as vice president.

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Congress News Top Story

Manchin and U.S. Senate Democrats strike a deal on major health, climate, tax package

WASHINGTON — West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck an agreement Wednesday for a Democrats-only reconciliation package that would allow negotiations on some Medicare prescription drugs, end corporate tax loopholes and address climate change as well as invest in energy projects.

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Congress Defending Democracy News Top Story

Republicans in Congress shy away from campaigning on national abortion platform

WASHINGTON — Republicans, hoping to flip control of Congress in the November elections, appear to have decided against campaigning on a unified abortion platform that would specify exactly what conservatives plan to do if given control of the U.S. House and Senate. Yet Republicans in Congress have written dozens of proposals that, if passed, would restrict abortion nationwide.

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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

Biden tests positive for COVID-19

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced Thursday morning.  Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has twice received booster doses, according to the statement. He is taking Paxlovid, an antiviral prescription medication that is meant to reduce the severity of symptoms and the duration of illness.

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Congress News Top Story

U.S. House passes bill expanding health care, benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits

Three North Carolina GOP reps vote 'no' on bipartisan measure WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill Wednesday to expand health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits overseas, sending the package back to the U.S. Senate after making a minor change.

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Congress Health News Top Story

Members of U.S. Senate panel fight over effects of abortion ruling on Black patients

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday began wading through the dozens of state laws that have taken effect in the two weeks since the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion, and heard from witnesses who said the effect on Black patients will be especially harsh. “People of color, specifically Black people, will feel the impact of the court's decision in Dobbs more than any other racial group,” said Khiara M. Bridges, professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law, referring to the decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

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