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.
‘I have not lost my voice’: Gabby Giffords at DNC convention calls for end to gun violence
By: Jacob Fischler - 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 […]
Trump’s $400 a week jobless aid could be just $300. It depends on where you live.
By: Jacob Fischler - 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 […]
Trump moves to extend unemployment benefits, suspend payroll taxes after talks break down
By: Jacob Fischler and Allison Stevens - 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 […]
House passes bipartisan public lands bill; next stop president’s desk
By: Allison Stevens and Jacob Fischler - 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: Jacob Fischler - 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 […]
Can lessons from the Great Recession help states avoid budget disasters?
By: Jacob Fischler - May 8, 2020
As they face massive budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states are looking for federal money to help stave off the kind of drastic cuts they enacted during the last economic downturn. State budget officers and economists generally agree that cuts to state spending worsened the Great Recession in the years following 2008. Layoffs, […]