Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Wisconsin Examiner. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Biden to unveil plan to blunt potential COVID surge this winter

By: - December 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Reimbursements for at-home rapid COVID-19 tests. Tougher testing requirements for international travelers. More emergency response teams to aid states combating infection spikes. And another big push to get Americans vaccinated. Those are the latest steps to fight COVID-19 that President Joe Biden will be announcing Thursday, according to senior administration officials who briefed […]

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. Justices are hearing arguments in a Mississippi case that seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade. Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom.

U.S. Supreme Court considers new limits on abortions in Mississippi case

By: and - December 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is weighing potentially sweeping changes to the right to an abortion, after two hours of arguments Wednesday morning on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court’s conservatives, who hold a 6-3 majority, appeared through their questions to be sympathetic to Mississippi’s arguments that its […]

Young woman receiving a vaccine shot against a virus

Vaccine mandate for health care workers halted nationwide by Louisiana judge

By: and - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Louisiana on Tuesday issued a ruling blocking nationwide the Biden administration mandate requiring millions of health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. A suit challenging the mandate was led on behalf of multiple states by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, and U.S. Judge Terry Doughty granted the states’ request […]

The women of 9 to 5 come to the Capitol to lobby for the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, a new bill that would create a pool of employees in Wisconsin to provide paid leave for employees.

Democrats risk losses in 2022 if they give up on paid leave, advocates say

By: - December 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — When paid family leave was briefly dropped from congressional Democrats’ massive social policy and climate bill earlier this fall, the outcry was swift. Women and caregivers suddenly were calling lawmakers and advocates, and they were sharing their own stories on social media in huge numbers, said Dawn Huckelbridge, director of Paid Leave for […]

Photo contains a COVID19 face mask, needs, shots and vials of the vaccine

Federal vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states blocked by judge

By: - November 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Enforcement of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for millions of health care workers was blocked in 10 states on Monday, after a ruling by a federal judge in Missouri. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp affects the states involved in the lawsuit, which include Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and New Hampshire. The […]

President Joe Biden delivers remarks the East Room of the White House.

New COVID-19 omicron variant ‘not a cause for panic,’ Biden says

By: - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden sought to reassure Americans on Monday about the latest COVID-19 variant, describing it as “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Biden did not announce any new travel restrictions or other federal actions during his brief remarks from the White House.  Instead, he urged Americans to get a booster […]

President Joe Biden, joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the media

How paid leave, a tax cut for the rich and more could get axed from Biden’s social policy bill

By: and - November 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats cheered on the floor of the U.S. House after approving President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill.  But a major struggle lies ahead in the coming month in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats cannot lose any votes within their party if they are to send the so-called Build Back Better […]

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 05: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) speak to reporters at the U.S. Capitol building as the House prepares to vote on infrastructure and spending bills. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

House Democrats pass Biden’s $1.85 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ plan

By: , and - November 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats united around a landmark $1.85 trillion social spending and climate bill on Friday, sending the major plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda to the Senate.  Democratic leaders in the House heralded the 220-213 near party-line vote on the so-called Build Back Better bill, touting its provisions on child care, education, […]

Person getting vaccine vaccination in arm shot by health care worker

Federal health officials open up access to COVID-19 booster shots to all U.S. adults

By: - November 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Friday moved to expand access to COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults, in an effort to bolster protection against infections as case counts rise again across the United States. Officials with the Food and Drug Administration on Friday morning authorized booster shots for anyone over age 18 who […]

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: U.S. President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as he is surrounded by lawmakers and members of his Cabinet during a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House. The $1.2 trillion package will provide funds for public infrastructure projects including improvements to the country’s transportation networks, increasing rural broadband access, and projects to modernizing water and energy systems. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden signs $1.2T infrastructure bill: ‘America is moving again’

By: , and - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law his $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill during a ceremony at the White House packed with some 800 supporters, heralding what he said was a “truly consequential” spending bill that will improve Americans’ day-to-day lives. But Democrats also emphasized that there is more to come—a $1.85 trillion social […]

Man being evicted from his home or apartment with all the property tossed outside

States, cities face deadline for proving how quickly they’ve helped renters in crisis

By: - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties that excelled at distributing emergency federal aid to renters struggling during the pandemic may soon be rewarded—with yet more cash. Their new funding would be drawn from sluggish states and localities that didn’t move as swiftly to help people facing eviction and homelessness, who were targeted for billions in assistance […]

Amtrak train in Chicago (photo by Marc Glucksman)

White House touts clean energy, transit, rail projects in sprawling infrastructure bill

By: and - November 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—Federal officials on Tuesday offered details about how money from the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill would be spent, emphasizing the pending law’s potential to add clean energy capacity. Department of Transportation officials highlighted the $1.2 trillion bill’s record funding for public transit like buses and subways, as well as for Amtrak. They framed the […]