Author

Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer Shutt

Jennifer covers the nation’s capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Her coverage areas include congressional policy, politics and legal challenges with a focus on health care, unemployment, housing and aid to families.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

By: and - December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced Friday she is leaving the Democratic Party and has registered as an independent. The first-term senator wrote in an opinion piece for the Arizona Republic that she does not intend to change the way she legislates or casts votes, but plans to be “an independent voice for Arizona.” “​​When […]

Michigan’s Stabenow, Minnesota’s Klobuchar rise in U.S. Senate Democratic leadership

By: - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats on Thursday elected their leadership for their new 51-seat majority in the upcoming 118th Congress, elevating two Midwesterners — Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow to the No. 3 slot and Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar to the No. 4 role. Stabenow, chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, and Klobuchar, chair of the […]

Marriage equality bill heads to Biden’s desk following bipartisan U.S. House vote

By: - December 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved a marriage equality bill Thursday that would ensure same-sex and interracial couples continue holding many of the rights they have now, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the cases that established those constitutional protections. The measure now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden, who plans to sign it. […]

Congress on track to scrap Pentagon’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in defense bill

By: - December 7, 2022

  WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. military would no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine under a proposal Congress could pass as soon as this week.  The provision eliminating the vaccine mandate is tucked into the massive National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense policy bill that Congress has passed each year […]

Democrats strip Iowa of first-in-the-nation prize, tap South Carolina for first primary

By: - December 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Voters in South Carolina would go first in picking Democratic presidential nominees, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Michigan if their states go along with a proposal a key Democratic National Committee panel approved Friday.  The Rules and Bylaws Committee’s nearly unanimous voice vote proposes moving the Democratic primary’s earliest election date […]

A record-setting number of women will serve in state legislatures in 2023

By: - December 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — A record number of women will soon serve in state legislatures, breaking the previous cap of female lawmakers by at least 69 seats and bringing total representation to more than 32%, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. States will have at least 2,376 female lawmakers in 2023, including both women […]

U.S. House GOP to keep earmarks for local projects — with some ‘tweaks’

By: - November 30, 2022

By Jennifer Shutt  WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republicans voted Wednesday to keep earmarks in place when they take over the chamber in January, a move that solidifies GOP support for the controversial spending practice that was brought back under new guardrails and transparency mechanisms less than two years ago.  Earmarking has become especially important to […]

U.S. House Democrats make history electing first Black party leader in Congress

By: - November 30, 2022

By Jennifer Shutt  WASHINGTON — The three U.S. House Democrats who have led their party through four presidencies and thousands of floor votes formally passed the torch to the next generation Wednesday, when the party gathered behind closed doors to elect its top leaders for the 118th Congress.  House Democrats named Hakeem Jeffries, of New […]

Same-sex marriage protected under bill passed by U.S. Senate with GOP support

By: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday that would enshrine protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, codifying many of the rights that would disappear if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn those landmark decisions the way it overturned the nationwide right to an abortion this summer. The 61-36 bipartisan vote sends the bill back to the U.S. […]

More than $37 billion in disaster aid under scrutiny in congressional lame duck

By: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration wants Congress to approve more than $37 billion to help communities throughout the country recover from various natural disasters, including Hurricanes Ian, which battered Florida and the Southeast U.S. in late September, and Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico. The supplemental funding request comes on top of a $9 billion COVID-19 […]

Thousands of veterans deluge VA with claims for toxic exposure benefits, health care

By: - November 26, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is processing claims at the fastest rate in its history, hoping to avoid a significant backlog as hundreds of thousands of veterans apply for health care and benefits under the landmark toxic exposure law Congress passed earlier this year. The day after President Joe Biden signed the […]

Nancy Pelosi, first woman to serve as speaker of the U.S. House, steps down from leadership

By: - November 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who became the first woman in history to hold the gavel, shepherding landmark bills across four presidencies, announced Thursday she’ll step aside from leadership though she’ll remain in Congress. “With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” she […]