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.

Jacob Fischler

DC Bureau Senior Reporter

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.

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

Legislatures across country back off pandemic protocols

BY: and - January 19, 2022

As Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney walked the halls of the Kansas Statehouse on opening day of the legislative session this month, she was taken aback by what she saw. In the hallways, where “people are chatting and hugging and all that stuff, there were probably less than half of the people wearing masks … You […]

Forest Service in ‘paradigm shift’ to use logging, controlled burns to prevent wildfires

BY: - January 18, 2022

The Biden administration will use $3 billion from last year’s infrastructure law to revamp the federal approach to wildfire management, introducing a 10-year plan to deal with the large swaths of the West scientists consider most at risk of destructive blazes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, announced the new strategy in Phoenix, […]

Seven states to watch in the 2022 push to restrict voting rights

BY: - January 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republican state lawmakers across the country are ramping up their drive to enact voting and election-related laws in time for crucial 2022 midterm elections. As federal legislation that would limit state-level voting restrictions appears stymied in Washington, Republicans in the states are moving forward with new proposals and revisiting old ones that Democrats […]

Senate filibuster on voting rights criticized by advocates for the poor

BY: - January 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — Progressive lawmakers Friday joined a virtual news conference with organizers from the Poor People’s Campaign and said they are not giving up on the push to change Senate rules to pass voting rights legislation. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival held the virtual meeting to kick off its plans […]

Bridge funding in infrastructure law on the way to states

BY: - January 15, 2022

The federal government will begin releasing more than $5 billion for distressed bridges in the first year of funding under the recent infrastructure law, President Joe Biden said in a Friday video message. He specifically mentioned the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and […]

COVID-19 tests

Online orders for free at-home COVID tests to begin Jan. 19

BY: - January 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Friday launched a new website for Americans to request up to four free COVID-19 tests per household. The administration is buying 1 billion at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and Americans will be able to begin ordering the tests online on Jan. 19 at COVIDtests.gov. This is part of the administration’s effort […]

Supreme Court blocks Biden workplace vaccine rule, allows health care workers mandate

BY: - January 13, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s fight against the pandemic, blocking a federal mandate that workers be vaccinated or regularly tested for COVID-19 — though the court allowed a separate rule requiring vaccinations for some health care workers. The two rulings represented a split victory for Republican attorneys […]

Federal prosecutors file seditious conspiracy charges against Oath Keepers in Jan. 6 attack

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in organizing an attack on the U.S. Capitol and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the president, the Justice Department announced Thursday.  Edward Vallejo, 63, of Phoenix is charged along with Rhodes in connection with events […]

Sinema won’t support changes in the Senate filibuster, in setback for voting rights

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Thursday appeared to end a drive by Democrats to change the Senate’s filibuster rules and pass major voting rights legislation. Sinema said during a Senate floor speech that she believed any changes to the filibuster would continue to create political division, despite her concerns over a wave […]

Michigan woman arrested with guns in her truck near U.S. Capitol

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States Capitol Police said in a press release that they arrested a Michigan woman Wednesday on charges of unlawful possession of multiple firearms. The woman, identified by officers as Kery Lynn McAttee, told police she was traveling from Michigan and went to the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters to talk about information […]

Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant. Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals […]

Congressional Black Caucus calls for Senate action on voting rights

BY: - January 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Senate Democrats on Thursday to push for the swift passage of two voting rights bills, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are applying pressure for action as well.  During a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, caucus Chair Joyce Beatty said that members […]