Archives by: Jacob Fischler

Laura Olson

About the author

Laura Olson covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.
[email protected]

Laura Olson's articles and posts

News Top Story

How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s social policy bill

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill. But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better measure to Biden’s desk.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

States, cities face deadline for proving how quickly they’ve helped renters in crisis

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties that excelled at distributing emergency federal aid to renters struggling during the pandemic may soon be rewarded—with yet more cash. Their new funding would be drawn from sluggish states and localities that didn’t move as swiftly to help people facing eviction and homelessness, who were targeted for billions in assistance in relief legislation passed by Congress.

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Environment News Top Story

Clean energy, transit, rail projects: White House explains, touts sprawling infrastructure bill

WASHINGTON—Federal officials on Tuesday offered details about how money from the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill would be spent, emphasizing the pending law’s potential to add clean energy capacity. Department of Transportation officials highlighted the $1.2 trillion bill’s record funding for public transit like buses and subways, as well as for Amtrak.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

New revelations shed more light on efforts to question, undermine 2020 election results

U.S. attorney in Georgia quit under pressure from Trump to reject election results, new report confirms Former President Donald Trump forced a top federal prosecutor in Atlanta to step down because he wouldn’t help Trump overturn his loss of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, a U.S. Senate report released Thursday said.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing and causing lasting harm to children

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

President Biden unveils new plan to speed mass vaccination, strengthen school safety, aid states in need WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, now known as ‘Comirnaty’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one that comes as the country battles another surge in infections and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant.

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News Top Story

Trump allies’ lingering election ‘audits’ spark public skepticism, concerns in Congress

WASHINGTON — The months-long, Republican-led investigation in Arizona into the results of last year’s presidential election has cost millions of dollars and produced no evidence yet of major issues in tallying Maricopa County ballots. Yet supporters of former President Donald Trump are still attempting to follow Arizona’s lead by pushing for so-called audits in several other states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin.

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Top Story

DC update: Senate leader calls for legal weed, Biden pushes infrastructure package

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act...

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Education News Top Story

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting this week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes in that law expanding and reworking the federal child tax credit.

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