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.

The U.S. Supreme Court is shown June 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. up close reading Equal Justice Under Law

Supreme Court appears wary of Biden vaccine-or-test employer mandate

By: - January 10, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared unconvinced Friday of the Biden administration’s authority to impose a vaccine-or-test mandate on private businesses, casting doubt on a key piece of the White House COVID-19 response. The justices seemed potentially more comfortable with another Biden administration rule to fight the virus that requires certain health care workers […]

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

‘We thought that we would die’: Lawmakers probe painful Jan. 6 memories

By: - January 6, 2022

Democrats in Congress marked the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Thursday recounting the terror they experienced first-hand — and argued that it gives them even more reason to pursue voting rights legislation. They remembered the desperate scramble to hang on to the boxes that held the presidential vote tally, the rush […]

climate crisis world globe fire action march in DC

Some Democrats push to rescue climate plan in Biden spending package

By: - January 4, 2022

A group of congressional Democrats on Tuesday called for preserving the climate portions of President Joe Biden’s stalled domestic spending bill as Democrats in the U.S. Senate rewrite the measure. U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Tina Smith of Minnesota and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, along with Reps. Kathy Castor […]

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for Head Start workers in 24 states

By: - January 4, 2022

A Louisiana federal judge has put a hold on President Joe Biden’s mandate that Head Start workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, who previously ruled against a vaccine mandate for health care workers, issued a preliminary injunction on New Year’s Day restricting the executive branch from enforcing in 24 states a […]

Woman in room filled with drying marijuana plants hung upside down

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

By: - December 28, 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 […]

Student loan debt graduating IOU college cost

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 […]

Sen. Chuck Schumer standing at a podium and pointing at a news conference

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

By: - December 20, 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 […]

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

By: - December 15, 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 […]

In this file photo, passengers prepare to board Amtrak’s California Zephyr at the Denver Union rail station during its 2,438-mile trip to Emeryville/San Francisco from Chicago that takes roughly 52 hours in Denver. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Infrastructure law fixes Amtrak funding woes, House panel hears

By: - December 13, 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 […]

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 6, 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 […]

Sage Grouse | Photo from the Bureau of Land Management

Sage-grouse protection plans in the West under review by Biden administration

By: - November 26, 2021

 The Bureau of Land Management is updating Obama-era plans to manage the greater sage-grouse in 10 Western states.  The BLM has published a request for comments to help update management plans for the bird’s habitat in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and other Western states.  The Interior Department agency will review new scientific data, including […]