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

Critics: ‘Big and bold’ infrastructure bill falls short on helping states fight climate change

BY: - August 5, 2021

The Senate is poised to pass a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that would upgrade state transportation networks, electric grids, water systems and more. It’s a major spending boost and potential job creator that critics say falls short of the administration’s goals to address climate change and reduce its effects in the states. The White […]

U.S. Justice Department launches probe of Phoenix Police Department over allegations of excessive force

BY: - August 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the city of Phoenix and its police department, to review whether law enforcement officers there have engaged in a pattern of excessive force and discriminatory practices, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday. The investigation is the third in a series of similar […]

Feds order ban on evictions in counties with high infection rates

BY: and - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The […]

State legislators rallying in D.C. urge Congress to act on voting rights

BY: - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Democrats joined with dozens of state legislators at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol Tuesday afternoon, demanding that the Senate skip August recess and pass critical voting rights legislation in reaction to Republican-led states that have adopted restrictive voting laws. Dozens of legislators from North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas, […]

Biden urges state and local leaders to postpone evictions while rental aid is distributed

BY: - August 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday called on state and local governments to put their own pause on evictions for at least two months, and urged them to use $46.5 billion provided by the coronavirus relief package for tenants and landlords. But the White House said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]

‘It’s a tinderbox situation’: Western governors ask Biden for better wildfire prevention

BY: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met virtually with governors from Western and Midwestern states on Friday to discuss how federal intervention can best aid states battling wildfires, amid complaints from states about federal forest management. “We’ve got big, complex wildfires burning across multiple areas,” Biden said. “We’re in for a long fight this year, and […]

Federal eviction ban to expire Saturday after attempt to extend it fails

BY: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unsuccessfully scrambled on Friday to extend federal legal protections against eviction that will expire on Saturday. The end of the eviction moratorium jeopardizes housing security for millions of Americans who are struggling both to pay their rent and to access billions of dollars in slow-moving federal rental assistance funds. Top Democrats […]

House Dems to unveil revamped voting rights bill named for the late John Lewis

BY: - July 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Democrats plan to next week unveil a new version of legislation named after the late Georgia civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis that could protect voting rights across the U.S. During a Friday press conference, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said that House Democrats are expected to introduce a […]

Klobuchar: Senate Dems ‘very close’ to a deal on revised voting rights bill

BY: - July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Thursday that lawmakers attempting to negotiate a compromise elections overhaul bill are “very close to an agreement” on legislation, as Democrats struggle to respond to restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states. Klobuchar, the chairwoman of the Senate Rules & Administration Committee, has been meeting with other Senate […]

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 […]