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

Democrats’ vision for free community college would boost undocumented students

BY: - October 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The massive economic policy package Democrats are trying to muscle through Congress could open the door to free community college for undocumented immigrants. But that lifeline for many people now denied access to higher education could also reignite controversies in Republican-leaning states over immigration and federal overreach.  The provision on immigrants was included […]

Congress has a plan for universal pre-K. Will states opt in?

BY: - October 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly a fifth of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion sweeping social spending package is dedicated to providing low-cost care for children from birth to kindergarten — investments that would benefit single parents and low-income families. But how the states implement their programs for pre-K for 3-and 4-year-olds—or whether they even decide to accept […]

Why there’s such an impasse in Congress: Some questions and answers

BY: and - October 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congress may have kept the federal government operating with an 11th-hour flurry of votes on Thursday, but several key pieces of the Democratic agenda remain in limbo. Here are some questions and answers on where negotiations stand with two massive Democratic-drafted bills — and the status of other looming challenges for federal lawmakers:  President […]

Congress passes bill to prevent government shutdown, send out $28.6B in disaster aid

BY: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congress made a last-minute dash to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, with the U.S. Senate and House approving a short-term spending bill just hours ahead of a midnight deadline. Every Democratic and independent senator and 15 Republicans supported the bill in the 65-35 vote. The GOP senators in the “aye” tally included […]

Republicans win congressional dustup on the baseball diamond, amid DC turmoil

BY: - September 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Wednesday night were the victors in an annual charity baseball game against Democrats, 13-12, even as a bitterly divided Congress struggles to pass major legislation this week. There were some feel-good moments, like when President Joe Biden passed out ice cream bars in the dugouts and Republican Rep. Greg Steube […]

‘Their tank is empty’: Local public health officials combat staff burnout, low pay, harassment

BY: - September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local public health departments that were already struggling with too few workers and too little money have been pushed to the brink — and for some, beyond the brink. “My staff is burnt out, overworked and underpaid,” Mysheika Roberts, health commissioner with the Columbus Public […]

‘Wildfire year’ meant record days at the highest preparedness level, Forest Service chief says

BY: - September 29, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. Moore’s comments reflected the growing danger from more intense and harder-to-control fires that have swept Western and Midwestern states this […]

Congressional panel hears from educators about how to safely reopen schools

BY: - September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — A school superintendent from a large Nevada district on Wednesday described how schools there have coped with the pandemic and returned to in-person learning, as members of Congress examined best practices for safe reopening. Jesus Jara, superintendent of Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, told a virtual panel of the House […]

Senate GOP torpedoes U.S. government funding bill, raising odds of federal fiscal crises

BY: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats on Monday evening to begin debate on a broad bill that would avert multiple looming fiscal crises for the federal government. The measure to briefly keep the government operating past the end of the fiscal year on Thursday, as well as to increase the borrowing limit […]

Huge uptick in pandemic ‘air rage’ hits flight attendants

BY: - September 24, 2021

Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage” incidents. While there’s no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants’ union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there’s […]

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing kids

BY: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. Within […]

U.S. House Dems propose $28.6B in disaster aid for recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, floods

BY: - September 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unveiled a short-term spending measure on Tuesday that would keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3 and provide $28.6 billion for costs related to recent natural disasters. That disaster relief money is slightly more than the $24 billion that the Biden administration asked Congress to approve for extreme weather events during the […]