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.

Joe Biden wearing a mask with his hand on it in Michigan

Biden wants mask mandates nationwide: ‘We can save tens of thousands of lives’

By: - November 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus response plan seeks to put a national mask mandate in place by calling on all governors to require face coverings in their states. It’s a move that public health experts say could dramatically reduce the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. But putting wider mask laws in place would […]

The Supreme Court could strike down Obamacare. Here’s what’s at stake.

By: - November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON—The fate of the sweeping 2010 health care law known as Obamacare is again in limbo, with the Supreme Court on Tuesday set to hear arguments over whether that statute should be overturned. States are at the heart of the case and nearly every one has made an argument about why Obamacare should be kept […]

AP: Joe Biden is president-elect of the United States

By: - November 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden’s native state of Pennsylvania on Saturday secured his victory to become the next president of the United States when the Associated Press reported he had gained enough votes there to win the electoral college. The AP called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:25 a.m., which gave the former vice president 284 […]

Right-wing protesters gather outside the Maricopa County Elections Department on Nov. 4, 2020, demanding that all ballots for Donald Trump be counted. Inside the building, election workers were busy counting hundreds of thousands of ballots. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Battleground states count mail ballots, with Biden just shy of votes to clinch presidency

By: - November 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Two days after Election Day, the nation waited for vote-counting to finish in several critical states, where the tallying of mail ballots has left Democrat Joe Biden just short of the votes needed to become the next president. Thursday’s updated totals could push Biden beyond the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory […]

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (3rd R) speaks to members of the media as (L-R) Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) listen at the U.S. Capitol after the weekly Republican Senate policy luncheon January 9, 2019 |Alex Wong, Getty Images

Struggle for control of the U.S. Senate enters its final tense hours

By: and - November 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats have a shot at winning the White House,  capturing the Senate majority and keeping their hold on the House — an election result that could dramatically shift the policy agenda away from the gridlock that’s gripped the nation’s capital for years. In the Senate, the clearest route to that outcome is through […]

A Covid-19 vaccine vial and a syringe (Getty Images)

States struggle to draft COVID-19 vaccine plans while in the dark on details, funding

By: - October 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Across the hundreds of pages of plans that state officials sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on distributing and tracking the yet-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines, there are more questions so far than answers on how exactly vaccine programs will be carried out. Yet states will be on the front lines for […]

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 26: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) introduces 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. With 38 days until the election, Trump tapped Barrett to be his third Supreme Court nominee in just four years and to replace the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Barrett nomination advances to the U.S. Senate floor with a GOP-only vote

By: and - October 22, 2020

WASHINGTON—Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, as Democrats boycotted the vote in a show of protest. The 12 Republicans on the panel speedily voted on Barrett’s nomination and sent it to the Senate floor. The full Senate will vote Monday, […]

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 26: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) introduces 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House September 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. With 38 days until the election, Trump tapped Barrett to be his third Supreme Court nominee in just four years and to replace the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Could COVID-19 delay the Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

By: - October 2, 2020

One of the few obstacles that could prevent Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice this year is the coronavirus. That potential threat was on display Friday, when news of President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test was followed by a similar announcement from U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who […]

President Donald Trump speaks at a Duluth airport hangar for a campaign rally on Sep. 30, 2020. Photo by Ricardo Lopez.

Trump taken to Walter Reed hospital; Biden tests negative

By: , and - October 2, 2020

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Maryland late Friday afternoon, where White House officials said he is expected to stay for “the next few days” for treatment of COVID-19. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Trump, who disclosed his diagnosis earlier Friday, as having mild symptoms […]

Yard sign reading: I'm So Gonna Vote November 3, 2020

Biden says he’ll support election outcome but Trump urges supporters to ‘watch very carefully’

By: - September 30, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Tuesday night to accept the outcome of the election, while President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch very carefully” what happens as voters cast their general-election ballots. Those comments were in response to a question at the first presidential debate from debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris […]

Absentee ballot envelope for vote by mail with denim mask on top of it

Trump, Biden quarrel over mask mandates and state shutdowns in first presidential debate

By: - September 30, 2020

The two men vying to become the next president offered a stark contrast to voters on face mask requirements and on how soon state economies should reopen amid the pandemic, just two of many areas where they squabbled during Tuesday’s contentious and often chaotic first debate. The exchange between President Donald Trump and former Vice […]