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.

Federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal drug, creating headaches for states

By: - December 23, 2021

Most states in the U.S. are in violation of a major federal drug statute. The 1971 Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana in the most dangerous category defined in the law, on par with cocaine and heroin because of its supposed potential for abuse and lack of medical applications. But 36 states plus the District of […]

Biden extends student loan repayment pause three more months

By: - December 22, 2021

President Joe Biden will continue a pandemic-spurred pause on student loan repayments until May 1, he said Wednesday. Loan repayments were set to restart Jan. 31, following months of the U.S. Education Department not requiring payments during the pandemic. Biden told the department to extend the moratorium initially placed by President Donald Trump’s administration. It […]

Schumer vows U.S. Senate action on voting rights and social policy, as Manchin rift deepens

By: - December 21, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday he plans to force votes on voting rights, a sweeping social policy bill and a change to Senate rules early next year — even as members of his caucus have made clear in recent days Democrats lack the support to pass those proposals. In a letter to […]

Arizona Sen. Sinema opposes filibuster carveout to advance voting rights legislation

By: - December 17, 2021

Arizona’s enigmatic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema remains opposed to weakening the Senate’s 60-vote threshold for moving ahead on legislation, even as other Democrats are floating the idea of making an exception to the chamber’s rules to pass major voting rights measures. In a statement to States Newsroom, a Sinema spokeswoman said the senator supports the […]

Lauren Boebert

U.S. House Dems pass anti-Islamophobia bill, condemn Boebert remarks

By: - December 14, 2021

The U.S. House following a vitriolic debate passed a bill along party lines Tuesday night to create a State Department office that would counter Islamophobia worldwide. Democrats said a conflict much closer to home showed the need to confront anti-Muslim bigotry. The bill sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) picked up momentum after Colorado Republican […]

Two top officials at federal public lands agency will remain in Colorado office

By: - December 14, 2021

The Bureau of Land Management plans to keep two senior positions in western Colorado as most of the agency’s leaders move back to Washington, Director Tracy Stone-Manning told BLM staff in an email Tuesday. Eight assistant directors and deputy assistant directors will relocate to the Interior Department’s headquarters in the District of Columbia, Stone-Manning wrote.  […]

Haaland promises governors federal help for fires, drought

By: - December 11, 2021

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland pledged federal resources and cooperation with governors from 19 Western states to tackle wildfire resilience, drought management, oil and gas cleanup efforts and other issues made more difficult by climate change.  Speaking at the Western Governors Association meeting outside San Diego on Thursday, Haaland touted funding for Interior priorities in […]

Infrastructure law fixes Amtrak funding woes, House panel hears

By: - December 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The leader of Amtrak told a U.S. House panel Thursday that the recently enacted infrastructure law made great strides to solving the passenger rail system’s financial woes and placed it on equal footing with other modes of transportation. Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s rail subcommittee and Amtrak Executive Director Stephen […]

Billions targeted to state wildlife conservation under bipartisan push in Congress

By: - December 9, 2021

A bipartisan pair of senators on Wednesday called for Congress to approve billions in new funding for states to manage wildlife recovery work. At a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said a bill they introduced this year would help protect 1,600 threatened species, […]

U.S. House progressives file resolution yanking Boebert committee assignments

By: - December 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House progressives are pushing to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert of her committee assignments after the Colorado Republican suggested Minnesota’s Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of only three Muslims in Congress, was a terrorist. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) introduced a resolution Wednesday to remove Boebert from the Natural Resources Committee and Budget Committee for […]

Biden’s oil and gas policy falls short on climate goals, House Democrats say

By: - December 3, 2021

Democrats on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday encouraged President Joe Biden to take stronger action to limit oil and gas production, while Republicans said reducing domestic production would only increase global emissions from overseas suppliers. In a hearing less than a week after the U.S. Interior Department released a report that called for […]

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

By: and - November 29, 2021

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 […]