Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter in the States Newsroom Washington bureau. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues as well as climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

Human in foreground, with flock of starlings

Biden reinstates bird protections gutted under Trump

By: - March 10, 2021

The Interior Department on Monday revoked a Trump administration policy that would have undercut a century-old law protecting migratory birds. The move strengthens federal regulators’ authority to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a 1918 law that allows the government to prosecute polluters whose actions are responsible for the deaths of about 1,100 protected bird […]

Nominee for Secretary of Interior, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, speaks after President-elect Joe Biden announced his climate and energy appointments at the Queen theater on Dec. 19, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Haaland is the first Native American nominated to serve on the presidential cabinet. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

By: - February 19, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will […]

Sandhill cranes. Image by Ettrujillo2 from Pixabay

Interior delays last-minute Trump rule that would weaken bird protections

By: - February 5, 2021

The Interior Department is delaying a last-minute Trump administration rule that would have weakened a century-old law protecting migratory birds, Interior officials said Thursday. Two weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, the Interior Department published a final rule that would have left the federal government unable to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act […]

Protesting the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines with sign reading: People over Pipelines

Biden yanks Keystone XL permit in first-day order, citing climate change

By: - January 21, 2021

In one of his first official acts after taking office, President Joe Biden revoked the federal permit for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline that would have traversed eastern Montana on its way from the Alberta oilfields to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wednesday move at least temporarily halts the construction on the highly contentious […]

Voters wait in line at Washington High School (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

‘I just don’t trust the system any more’: Voters on edge as election nears

By: and - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Widespread anxiety and confusion around voting, compounded by the pandemic that has spread to millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump. A vastly underfunded and decentralized electoral system that could take days and possibly weeks to certify results. Attempts to suppress voting, interfere with elections and cast doubt on the integrity of mail-in […]

Participants at March on Washington

‘You just have to act’: Thousands outraged by police brutality rally at March on Washington

By: and - August 28, 2020

WASHINGTON – On the 57th anniversary of the original March on Washington and in the throes of a pandemic, thousands of demonstrators on Friday joined Democratic lawmakers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to demand Congress act on police brutality and voter suppression. The event, organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, […]

Pharmacist Hank Wedemeyer fills prescriptions as generic diabetes medicine awaits distribution at a community health center for low-income patients on December 1, 2009 in Aurora, Colorado. | John Moore/Getty Images

‘Extremely frustrating’ mail delays for prescriptions hit veterans, rural areas

By: - August 26, 2020

Jan Stowe, a Vietnam War veteran from Traverse City, Mich., says she was unable to move her head and neck for several days last month after going without medication to treat extreme muscle spasms. Stowe, a Department of Veterans Affairs patient who receives her medication through the U.S. Postal Service, said in an interview with […]

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords joined other victims of gun violence and lawmakers outside the U.S. Capitol to rally for a background-check bill by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Califorina, left. Photo by Andrew Howard | Cronkite News

‘I have not lost my voice’: Gabby Giffords at DNC convention calls for end to gun violence

By: - August 19, 2020

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords opened the third night of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, recounting her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head and her embrace of activism on gun violence policy. Giffords, of Arizona, appeared in a pre-taped video that included images of her long, painful rehabilitation from the 2011 assassination […]

Unemployment benefits application (photo by Getty Images)

Trump’s $400 a week jobless aid could be just $300. It depends on where you live.

By: - August 11, 2020

Governors, lawmakers and state unemployment agencies on Monday wrestled with confusion created by President Donald Trump’s executive action extending unemployment benefits, and it appeared some states could settle for $300 a week in benefits instead of the $400 that the president touted. State leaders from both political parties remained unsure how much they’d have to […]

President Donald Trump 2017

Trump moves to extend unemployment benefits, suspend payroll taxes after talks break down

By: and - August 8, 2020

President Donald Trump on Saturday circumvented Congress and took action into his own hands, after weeks of unsuccessful negotiations over another coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill. He signed three presidential memoranda and an executive order, at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Trump would provide $300 per week in federal unemployment assistance with another $100 […]

Devil's Island, Apostle Islands, Wis. The North shore of the Northernmost island of the Apostle Islands is pockmarked with sea caves and fascinating shapes that have been etched into the sandstone cliffs by wind and water.

House passes bipartisan public lands bill; next stop president’s desk

By: and - July 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year […]

Librarians, national guard recruited for states’ new contact tracing armies 

By: - May 25, 2020

As states seek to loosen wide-ranging restrictions imposed to constrain the novel coronavirus, they’re also looking to deploy a huge new fleet of workers to keep cases under control.  Enter the contact tracers.  With interpersonal contact certain to increase as states lift COVID-19 restrictions, tracing who infected people had contact with — and then isolating […]