Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Colorado Newsline. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Biden wants mask mandates nationwide: ‘We can save tens of thousands of lives’

By: - November 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus response plan seeks to put a national mask mandate in place by calling on all governors to require face coverings in their states. It’s a move that public health experts say could dramatically reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. But putting wider mask laws in place would […]

The Supreme Court could strike down Obamacare. Here’s what’s at stake.

By: - November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON — The fate of the sweeping 2010 health care law known as Obamacare is again in limbo, with the Supreme Court on Tuesday set to hear arguments over whether that statute should be overturned. States are at the heart of the case and nearly every one has made an argument about why Obamacare should […]

AP: Joe Biden is the next president of the United States

By: - November 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden’s native state of Pennsylvania on Saturday secured his victory to become the next president of the United States when The Associated Press reported he had gained enough votes there to win the electoral college. The AP called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:25 a.m., which gave the former vice president 284 […]

Battleground states count mail ballots, with Biden just shy of votes to clinch presidency

By: - November 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Two days after Election Day, the nation waited for vote-counting to finish in several critical states, where the tallying of mail ballots has left Democrat Joe Biden just short of the votes needed to become the next president. Thursday’s updated totals could push Biden beyond the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory […]

The fight for the presidency comes down to millions of uncounted mail ballots in battleground states

By: - November 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory early Wednesday morning, but the outcome of a razor-thin presidential contest actually depends on key battleground states that are trying to finish tallying millions of remaining mail ballots. Here are some questions — and answers — about what’s going on in those states: Why is the counting […]

Dems pick up a seat and lose another in battle for control of the U.S. Senate

By: and - November 3, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats gained at least one Republican-held seat in the U.S. Senate, but also lost a seat of their own, leaving the question of which party will control the chamber unclear late Tuesday with multiple competitive contests unresolved. In Colorado, Democrats succeeded in flipping the seat held by GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, a first-term […]

U.S. Justice Department to send staff to monitor polling places in 18 states

By: - November 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice will have staffers on the ground in 44 counties and cities across 18 states on Election Day, monitoring for violations of federal voting-rights laws — fewer states than in 2016. The localities this year are in battlegrounds like Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. […]

Struggle for control of the U.S. Senate enters its final tense hours

By: and - October 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House, capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House — an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through […]

Trump in final debate slams pandemic aid as a ‘big bailout’ for blue cities and states

By: - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Asked during Thursday’s final presidential debate about why another round of economic relief hasn’t been approved to aid unemployed Americans and struggling local governments, President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, pointed fingers at opposite ends of the U.S. Capitol. Trump blamed House Democrats for the stalemate over another coronavirus stimulus […]

Barrett nomination advances to the U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats boycotted the markup in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will […]

States struggle to draft COVID-19 vaccine plans while in the dark on details, funding

By: - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — Across the hundreds of pages of plans that state officials sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on distributing and tracking the yet-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines, there are more questions so far than answers on how exactly vaccine programs will be carried out. Yet states will be on the front lines for […]

Just another working mom: Blackburn leads the fan club for Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination

By: - October 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, one of two Republican women on the Senate Judiciary Committee, used her time at the end of Tuesday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing to blast liberal critics for what she described as unfair treatment of female conservative nominees like Amy Coney Barrett. Blackburn, who has been a staunch defender of […]