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 Iowa Capital Dispatch. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Ernst highlights Supreme Court nominee Barrett’s decision upholding abortion clinic buffer zones

By: - October 13, 2020

After Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett fielded repeated questions throughout Tuesday’s confirmation hearing about her personal views on abortion, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst asked Barrett to once more explain how she would approach the issue as a judge. Barrett, a devout Catholic conservative, told Ernst — an Iowa Republican who described herself as “pro-life” […]

Supreme Court nominee Barrett to Grassley: No one has asked me to rule against the health care law

By: - October 13, 2020

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday whether she has made any promises to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, as he sought to counter arguments from Democratic senators that she would unravel the landmark health care law. Barrett told the Iowa Republican that no one in the […]

American flag flying with U.S. Capitol in the background.

How the Chamber of Commerce learned to love House Democrats

By: - October 11, 2020

Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives two years ago by winning competitive districts like the Iowa seats of Reps. Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer. Now Axne and Finkenauer are among nearly two dozen House Democrats to benefit in their reelection battles from rare U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsements, to the shock and […]

Supreme Court confirmation hearings to plow ahead amid COVID-19 infections

By: - October 9, 2020

Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett will face the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee beginning Monday for what’s expected to be an unusual and contentious four days of hearings on her nomination for the Supreme Court. Democrats sought unsuccessfully to block those hearings, raising concerns about the short time frame before Election Day, the urgent need to […]

U.S. House Dems urge CDC to order moratorium on water shutoffs

By: - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — A pair of Democrats on the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Monday called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a nationwide moratorium on drinking water shutoffs. The letter from Reps. Harley Rouda, D-Calif., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who lead the panel’s environmental subcommittee, urged CDC officials […]

Trump returns to the White House, still infected with coronavirus

By: - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday night departed Walter Reed National Military Hospital, where he had been treated for COVID-19, and arrived at the White House via the Marine One helicopter a short time later. According to the press pool, Trump emerged from Walter Reed and briefly stopped at the top of the hospital […]

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 […]

Trump to stay ‘the next few days’ at military hospital for COVID-19 treatment

By: and - October 2, 2020

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 […]

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 […]

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

By: - September 29, 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 […]