DC BUREAU

Our Washington, D.C., bureau reports on congressional delegations and key Supreme Court and administrative decisions that affect our state.

STAFF

Jane Norman

DC Bureau Chief

Jane directs national coverage, managing staff and freelance reporters in the nation’s capital and assigning and editing state-specific daily and enterprise stories.

Laura Olson

DC Bureau Senior Reporter

Laura 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.

Ariana Figueroa

DC Bureau Reporter

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

STORIES

FDA panel backs COVID-19 booster shots only for elderly and high-risk Americans

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal health advisory panel wrestled Friday with whether to widely authorize a booster dose of Pfizer’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for most Americans, ultimately recommending that a third dose be offered only to older or higher-risk individuals. The Biden administration had hoped that states could begin rolling out a wide national booster shot […]

Montana AG, others, urge Biden administration to give up on vaccine requirements

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 20 Republican state attorneys general are threatening to sue the Biden administration over its mandate that large employers require their employees to either be vaccinated against the coronavirus vaccine or undergo weekly testing. In a Thursday letter, the 24 AGs pushed the administration to remove the requirement that would affect nearly 80 […]

Putting on pandemic pounds: State obesity rates hit all-time highs

BY: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The number of states with high obesity among residents has nearly doubled since 2018, according to new data Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Montana, 28.5 percent of adults self-reported as being obese, according to the CDC data. There were 16 states that had obesity rates among adult residents of […]

Gymnasts urge U.S. Senate to investigate Larry Nassar sexual abuse after botched FBI inquiry

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Olympic gold medalists including Simone Biles and Aly Raisman on Wednesday detailed for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee the failure of the FBI to investigate dozens of complaints of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics and a former Michigan State University physician. The gymnasts also urged senators to […]

U.S. House Democrats add more high-speed rail, mass transit, in second shot at infrastructure bill

BY: - September 15, 2021

The U.S. House transportation panel early Wednesday passed along party lines the panel’s $60 billion slice of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan, adding nearly $20 billion for a new transit program and high-speed rail development in the states. Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in the Senate-led bipartisan infrastructure […]

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

How the House reconciliation bill targets 4 local plans for oil and gas leasing, mining

BY: - September 14, 2021

Proposals targeting specific areas for conservation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and federal waters off Louisiana’s coast made their way into the gigantic budget reconciliation bill that Democrats are moving through Congress. The portion of the $3.5 trillion package approved on a party-line vote by the House Natural Resources Committee last week includes nationwide measures meant […]

Universal Pre-K and free college part of massive spending bill

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

Billions of housing aid stalled in slow-moving process

BY: - September 12, 2021

  WASHINGTON — Make it simpler to apply for rental assistance money. Allow landlords to apply on behalf of unresponsive tenants. And consolidate two overlapping federal programs aimed at getting financial help to struggling renters. Those were among the proposals that U.S. House members weighed during a hearing Friday on how to better help states and […]

Four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

BY: - September 10, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. The […]

Biden to travel to New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for 9/11 observances

BY: - September 10, 2021

  WASHINGTON—To honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who died 20 years ago on 9/11, President Joe Biden will visit the sites of the terrorist attacks. Biden on Saturday will observe the anniversary in New York City, where hijackers crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Center, killing ​​2,753 people. He’ll also visit Shanksville, Penn., where 40 people were […]

COVID vaccines mandated or weekly tests for millions of workers, Biden orders

BY: - September 9, 2021

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. The upcoming vaccine rule for companies with at least 100 employees is one plank of an increasingly […]