DC BUREAU

Our Washington, D.C., bureau reports on congressional delegations and key Supreme Court and administrative decisions that affect our state.

STAFF

Jane Norman

DC Bureau Chief

Jane directs national coverage, managing staff and freelance reporters in the nation’s capital and assigning and editing state-specific daily and enterprise stories.

Laura Olson

DC Bureau Senior Reporter

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

Ariana Figueroa

DC Bureau Reporter

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.

STORIES

States still lag in getting assistance to struggling renters, federal data shows

BY: - July 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — State and local officials disbursed $1.5 billion in rental assistance during June — more than during the entire previous five months —to help households falling behind on rent and utilities, according to U.S. Treasury data released Wednesday. That progress in getting slow-moving federal dollars to struggling renters comes as the Biden administration and […]

U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation. In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that allows […]

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards. The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans joining Democrats […]

State Dems relate their experiences on the front lines of the voting rights struggle

BY: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — State Democratic legislators on Tuesday outlined their efforts to not only protect voting rights, but also expand them in their Republican-controlled state legislatures. During a panel discussion, state lawmakers from Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida discussed how they’ve fought against restrictive elections measures introduced and passed in their legislatures. This year alone, […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

BY: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. The bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, and Fred Upton, a Republican, […]

Conflicting versions of tree-spiking case overshadow Stone-Manning nomination

BY: - July 17, 2021

Tracy Stone-Manning and a former federal investigator during the past few days shared widely varying accounts of her involvement in a 1989 tree-spiking in an Idaho national forest, as the fight over the Montanan’s nomination to lead the U.S. Bureau of Land Management escalated. Stone-Manning’s confirmation remains stuck in a divided U.S. Senate Energy & […]

Biden meets with mayors and governors on infrastructure package

BY: - July 14, 2021

WASHINGTON —  President Joe Biden met with a group of governors and mayors on Wednesday as he seeks to build support for a massive federal infrastructure package awaiting action from Congress. The local officials joining Biden in the Oval Office included Mayors Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio; Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Ariz., and Michael Hancock, […]

Chuck Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

BY: - July 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances […]

Mailboxes across from the Beaverdale post office in Des Moines.

USPS inspector general investigation targets mail delays in Baltimore and nationally

BY: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Baltimore has seen some of the worst delays of the U.S. Postal Service’s national delivery woes, and the Office of Inspector General is taking a deeper look at why the city’s mail service has been particularly sluggish. During a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday on the Postal Service’s annual budget and the agency’s delivery issues, […]

Miller-Meeks and Arizona Democrat lead push to give vets free park access

BY: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa testified Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee hearing in support of bipartisan legislation that would give veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to national parks and public federal lands. “No one is more worthy of experiencing open access to the incredible places that these […]

Biden’s public lands pick nears crucial vote in growing Senate confirmation fight

BY: - July 11, 2021

Republican senators during the past few weeks led sustained attacks on President Joe Biden’s choice to head up the Bureau of Land Management, zeroing in on the Montanan’s Twitter feed, her graduate thesis that included a mock-up for an advertisement for population control and her ties to a 1989 tree-spiking incident. But Tracy Stone-Manning’s confirmation […]

How the new, expanded federal child tax credit will work

BY: - July 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The most ambitious part of the pandemic stimulus package signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year is about to hit the bank accounts of millions of U.S. parents. Starting next week and ending in December, the vast majority of U.S. households with children will begin receiving monthly payments as a result of changes […]