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.

Planet Earth exploding into heat and flames and sparks

No climate deal for Biden as he joins global allies at critical UN conference

By: - November 1, 2021

President Joe Biden arrived at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, without new federal programs in hand to fight climate change, after Democrats in Congress failed to reach an agreement to pass his revised $1.75 trillion infrastructure plan. But environmental advocates say they haven’t given up and praised the new proposal for […]

Highway construction is expected to be a big part of any federal infrastructure bill. Shown is Interstate Highway 235 in Des Moines. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Congress clears temporary extension of federal transportation programs

By: - October 29, 2021

The U.S. House on Thursday night approved another short-term patch for funding of federal transportation programs, essential for keeping roads money flowing to states despite an impasse in Congress. The bill, passed 358-59, would keep programs running at funding levels first approved in 2015 as lawmakers and the White House seek a bargain to pass […]

Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi

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

By: and - October 1, 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 Joe […]

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

By: - September 30, 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 […]

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02: Airline passengers are blocked from proceeding through a Passport Control by police and protesters. Due to the failure of discussions between the management of Aéroports de Paris and union officials in employment contracts employees were blocking the boarding of passengers at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle terminal 2E, supervised on site by the police, in protest. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)

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 […]

Milwaukee County Bus

U.S. House Democrats add more mass transit, high-speed rail in second shot at infrastructure bill

By: - September 15, 2021

The U.S. House transportation panel early Wednesday passed along party lines the panel’s $60 billion slice of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan, adding nearly $20 billion for a new transit program and high-speed rail development in the states. Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in the Senate-led bipartisan infrastructure […]

Great lakes rising House falling into the lake

Four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

By: - September 13, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. The […]

A boat looking platform that is drilling for oil or gas

Biden administration to restart oil and gas leasing

By: - August 25, 2021

The Interior Department will make significant steps toward restarting its leasing programs for onshore and offshore oil and gas development in the coming months, the Biden administration said in a court filing Tuesday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management anticipates holding a sale for offshore leases in October or November, the administration said.   The Bureau […]

Voting Rights Amendment Act rally in Capitol Hill in June 2014 in Washington, D.C. after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down preclearance requirements in Georgia and other states.

House passes voting rights bill but Senate approval unlikely

By: - August 24, 2021

The U.S. House on Tuesday passed, 219-212, along party lines a bill to reinstate a core section of the Voting Rights Act — a direct rebuke to state laws the bill’s supporters say have restricted voting rights. The bill, named for the late civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Democratic U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, […]

From left, a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe, and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. Lead pipes cause health problems and drive up water bills. Photo courtesy Environmental Protection Agency.

Environmental justice advocates look to historic $3.5T spending bill for bold action

By: - August 23, 2021

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration want to use their massive $3.5 trillion spending plan to help communities that have been devastated by environmental pollution and degradation. For years, activists have been pushing for government recognition of what’s known as environmental justice, the broad movement to provide restitution to communities that have suffered disproportionate harm.  […]

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff visits Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon National Park in Bryce Canyon, Utah, Friday, July 2, 2021, to discuss families visiting National Parks during the pandemic. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)

National Park Service renews mask mandate for all visitors

By: - August 16, 2021

The National Park Service on Monday reinstated a mask mandate for all visitors, workers and volunteers at NPS buildings and crowded outdoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. In May, the agency said it would require only unvaccinated people to wear masks. Recently, as the delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a spike in […]

Biden walks by a Wisconsin flag to tout American Jobs Plan

How Congress will attempt the biggest expansion of U.S. social programs since FDR

By: and - August 16, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate this week passed a massive bipartisan infrastructure bill and an even larger budget blueprint that would pave the way for historic changes in U.S. health, education, climate and tax policies. The two measures are roped to each other, reflecting Democrats’ strategy to pass what they can on a bipartisan basis with Republicans […]