Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

By: , and - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. He will also direct U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to review how marijuana is classified under federal law as a Schedule I […]

‘What century are we in?’ Biden asks of University of Idaho ban on abortion counseling

By: - October 5, 2022

The federal law prohibiting sex discrimination also bars colleges and universities from denying counseling and other services to abortion patients and contraception to all students — even in states where abortion is now severely restricted, the U.S. Education Department said Tuesday.  The guidance, which clarifies the longstanding rules for federal Title IX funding that virtually […]

U.S. Supreme Court mulls federal water rules, wetlands designations in Idaho case

By: - October 4, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its term Monday with an Idaho case that could significantly restrict the federal government’s power to enforce clean water laws and prove crucial in determining wetland protections. The oral arguments came just months after the court’s 6-3 conservative majority limited executive authority to address climate change in a case involving […]

A new justice at the U.S. Supreme Court, and an Idaho wetlands case up first

By: - October 1, 2022

When the U.S. Supreme Court opens its fall term on Monday, a few things will be different. A Black woman, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, will hear oral arguments for the first time ever. And the public will be allowed into the room for the first time since early 2020. The content of the term’s first […]

Tribal law enforcement boosted under bill proposed by members of Congress from the West

By: - September 23, 2022

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers re-introduced legislation Thursday to provide more resources for tribal law enforcement, an issue they say has become more urgent as Congress begins to consider how to respond to a July Supreme Court case that complicated state-tribal criminal jurisdiction. The bill, introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego […]

Manchin’s energy permitting plan roils U.S. Senate and House Democrats

By: and - September 22, 2022

WASHINGTON – The energy permitting proposal centrist Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III made a condition of his support for a major Senate Democratic measure would impose timelines on federal agencies responsible for approving energy projects, according to text of the measure released late Wednesday.  Congressional Democrats are deeply divided over the Manchin permitting bill, […]

USDA to spend $500 million extending high-speed internet to rural America

By: - September 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will send more than $500 million in loans and grants to telecommunications providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas across 20 states, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. The department will spend $360 million in grants and $141 million in loans through its ReConnect Program to benefit sparsely populated communities, […]

‘Crisis pregnancy centers’ that oppose abortion questioned by U.S. Senate Democrats

By: - September 20, 2022

Seven U.S. Senate Democrats questioned a leading Ohio-based antiabortion group Tuesday about its practice of collecting personal information from patients seeking abortions. So-called crisis pregnancy centers — facilities that often mirror abortion provider aesthetics but actually provide services to discourage abortion — collect sensitive data from patients. That presents troubling new complications as states move […]

PR work for ‘Big Oil’ helped stymie climate action, U.S. House Democrats say

By: - September 14, 2022

WASHINGTON – Public relations firms aligned with oil and gas companies have tested the limits of their industry ethics and caused major slowdowns to federal climate change policy, Democrats on a U.S. House panel said at a Wednesday hearing. The firms’ conduct went beyond the bounds of ethical public relations work, Democrats on the House […]

A third of U.S. House Democrats oppose Manchin permitting deal in stopgap spending bill

By: - September 13, 2022

WASHINGTON – The group of U.S. House Democrats asking the chamber’s leaders not to include environmental permitting changes in a stopgap spending deal this month comprises 77 members, including senior leaders of budget and spending committees and factions across the caucus’ ideological spectrum. The 77 signers on a letter sent late last week and updated […]

Confronting history, Congress studies addition of lynching sites to national park system

By: - September 11, 2022

The U.S. House is considering a bill that would put lynching sites in western Tennessee on track to become part of the National Park Service, part of a trend this year of Congress using the agency to advance discussions of the nation’s troubled and often violent racial history. A bill from U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, […]

Biden slams ‘extreme MAGA Republicans’ as Democrats launch drive to midterm election

By: - September 9, 2022

President Joe Biden in a Thursday night speech to a crowd of party faithful promoted legislation passed by the Democratic Congress and attacked supporters of former President Donald Trump for defending rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “Extreme MAGA Republicans just don’t threaten our personal, economic rights. They embrace political violence,” […]